Haiti Water Project: An Update the Team
Through the many blessings from BHCC, the Haiti Travel team completed a third solar-powered water filtration system in Camp Perrin, District 3 during the week of April 10-16th!
What a joy it was to meet the people of this lush and mountainous village. On this trip were Pastor Brian Snyder, Karl Casey, Pat & Rick Jacobs and Tim & Darenda Lease.
Also joining us was Akeisha Johnson. She is the founder of the Oshun Project and helped to fund some of this installation. With every trip to Haiti there is so much to share with you.
We want you to know that you been a most important part of affecting the lives of those in Haiti and those that you commission to go!
“As I reflect on our most recent trip to Haiti, I think what impressed me most was that the Haitians wanted to be participants and true partners in the project, They wanted to give back to us and not be just the recipients of charity. Thus they, who may not eat a meal every day, fed us three sumptuous meals a day – even though it might mean slaughtering a goat or chicken, or picking, fire-roasting and hand grinding beans to make two thermoses of coffee that we consumed before breakfast each day. And they were so excited to show us the bedrooms complete with new beds and linens they had prepared for us knowing that they didn’t sleep anywhere nearly so nice. When we were done and the celebration was over, the director treated us to an outing at a beautiful waterfall park and cold drinks. Of the little they had they gave generously to us. It was humbling and even embarrassing to be on the receiving end of such hospitality. But to have rejected what they offered would have been to suggest they had nothing to give – that they were mere charity cases to us, not good people with dignity and love to give.
Everyone wanted to help. Teens from the area cheerfully made short work of sticking labels on 200 bottles. The older ladies helped make paper chains for celebration decorations. One elderly lady couldn’t handle scissors or stapler because she didn’t have the strength in her hands so she organized the paper strips in different colors and handed them to me as I stapled the paper links together.” Pat Jacobs
“The thing that has stuck with me is how generally content all the Haitians I encountered were. After what many of them have had to endure, it was unexpected and inspiring.” Chris Robbins
“Emotionally and cognitively, I felt prepared for what was going to be encountered in Haiti, yet seeing a country with no infrastructure, little government organization, extreme poverty, malnutrition, children gathering water from unclean sources with unsanitary vessels and citizens who struggle daily for existence, I found myself totally unprepared. I to had difficulty articulating my experience due to the waves of emotion which silent me. Living and working in an area of privilege, I am humbled by the Haitians who greeted us as family with song, sacrificed their own needs for our comfort, and showed us a selfless hospitality. The positive disposition of the Haitians has changed my perspective of what is important. and fellow team members have become ambassadors for the Haiti, continuing to bring attention to the urgent simple need for clean water. Feeling blessed for the congregation of BHCC giving me the opportunity to be part of mission would be an understatement. I look forward with joyous anticipation to the next installation.” Karl Casey
“Although our initial reaction was a little disappointment when we returned to Torbeck and Chaveneau, the sites of our first water system installations, and learned that the water systems were not operating at full capacity, we did find the systems to be very well maintained and the operators very engaged. We were also welcomed in hospitality in our return visits. We have subsequently concluded that it will take time for the communities to become comfortable with the new water sources. Later that day as we drove into the site of our to be third water installation, MP3K, we were greeted with cheers, laughter and hugs. Throughout our week of installation, their continued hospitality was remarkable, and when Chavanes Casseus, the director of MP3K, commented that “we are treating them like real people”, I came to the realization that our mission as a congregation is much more than the number of gallons of water that we are delivering. The success should be measured in the number of relationships that we create.” Tim Lease
“It has been so exciting to be involved with the Haiti Water Project. Seeing it grow from a brainstorming idea in our Koinonia group to the point where our team has successfully installed 3 systems in Haiti has been amazing! We have all felt the hand of God on this project, guiding us and supporting us each step along the way. When our Koinonia group read The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns, I must admit that the problems of the world that he outlined were overwhelming. It can be paralyzing to see such tremendous need and wonder what we can do about it. But there is an African saying that goes like this… “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito.
So the Haiti Water Project grew out of our conviction that each of us can do something to make a difference. What has been neat to watch is how many people at Bower Hill have found a way to help the project. We are so grateful for the people who have donated money, helped with our fundraisers, driven us to the airport in the wee hours of the morning, upheld us in prayer, offered encouraging words, and helped us to connect with others to share our story.
It is a privilege to be part of the traveling team and I am anxious to return to Haiti in the fall. While we bring the gift of clean water to the Haitians, they in turn give us the gifts of friendship, hospitality and perspective. Thank you for continuing to support us on this amazing journey.” Betsy Hohlfelder
“My experiences working with LWW/SUTS give me a lot of opportunities to meet people and make friends. It also helps me by increasing my knowledge and serving others, lots of pride and honors. So I am thanking all of you guys and especially LWW/SUTS for clean and safe waters to us in Haiti. Now the cholera has decreased in Haiti, this is good way to see the purification systems that you guys and all the other partners have already installed is a really great success only for you who have done the job but also all of the Haitian people who are using waters.” Frantzou Avril
“We know there is much more to do and that God will provide opportunities to help us install more water systems. With that said there are four new people that plan to participate in training at Living Waters and Solar Schools. Steve Boisvert, Meg Kelly, Diane McCammon and Alan Patterson all plan to be ready to go on our next trip! We have in our hearts to return to Haiti in November 2013 for another double installation! We have learned that we are all on a faith journey and it has been said: “We have to expect to share our journey with others.! The isolated journey quickly becomes misguided by ignorance, avoidance and fear. We grow spiritually from relationships with real people, not just books and programs. When we walk with others along the journey we support one another as we talk toward God” Graham Standish
We are ever so grateful to walk with you BHCC! Continued blessing to each of you!
Darenda Lease for The Haiti Travel Team