In recent months, Mountains of Hope has sent two teams to Haiti as part of its on-going work and ministry in the greater Furcy area.
The first was a combined team from Hyde Park UMC (NY) and Mary Taylor UMC (CT) in February. The team assisted in constructing a playground area at the primary school, shared two community meals, participated in worship, led an activity involving liturgical dance and “zumba,” and did a VBS-game day program. The team also had a dentist, Dr. Tina Gage, who provided dental care to more than 60 persons – most of whom had never seen a dentist before. In addition, there was a first-aid/CPR class offered by several nurses who also led a “Days for Girls” program – distributing more than 90 kits to local women and girls. On the last day, a general discussion about oral hygiene and tooth care was conducted for the community.
It is our hope to send another dental team in the fall and we are currently looking for interested dentists and hygienists.
The second team was from Newtown (CT) and Ardsley (NY) UMCs. The primary team focus was the distribution of water filters. This was a unique project, coordinated by Jack Agnew, of Newtown, who organized the effort as his Eagle Scout project. Jack fund-raised to provide 200 filters, which included sessions on hygiene, understanding bacteria and germs, and the use and maintenance of the filters. These were led by local technicians from the Haiti Clean Water Project. MHH has now distributed more than 700 filters to five communities within the greater Furcy area.
In July, a team of more than 20 youth and adults from various NY and CT churches will be going to Furcy. The primary project will be to concrete the area on the side of the church, which is now broken concrete and dirt. The team will also do VBS, a game day, a community meal, and repairs at the school.
Wethersfield UMC Fundraiser
Several days after the Haiti earthquake, Jude and Dadou Exantus, and their two children, returned to the US with Tom and Wendy under the TPS (Temporary Protection Status). Jude was then hired by the Wethersfield UMC as its Youth Director under a Religious Workers Visa and has served in that capacity for the past 6 years. Wethersfield is now seeking to establish a Haiti Missions position and assist Jude and his family toward permanent resident status. For more information please see the attached letter or contact Judy Dowd. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
FAITH Doll project
We will be looking to provide “FAITH” dolls for sale at our Haiti table at the New York Annual Conference this June.
This is a project conceived and supported by Hope UMC in Brunswick, Maryland. Dolls are made by the women of Furcy and brought back to the States where they are filled and sold. The women are paid a fair wage for their efforts and part of the proceeds go toward the MHH scholarship program.
We are looking at more efficient ways of developing this process – sending yarn to Furcy and having the dolls returned for sale.
This project will offer women the opportunity to provide their families with food, education, and support.
EMH Furcy Secondary School
Last year, the EMH established a Secondary School in the Furcy community. The intent is to allow students who graduate from the Elementary School to remain within the Furcy community and continue their education.
The school is on the road to Seguin – the left fork at the intersection where the building with the large letters FURCY stands. The school is about a quarter mile down on the left.
There are currently 17 students enrolled, all of whom are supported by MHH. Ismaye serves as the Principal of the school and Jean Philippe often assists in teaching English.
Tom was able to see the school on his last visit but did not have access to the interior rooms.
Mountains of Hope, and the Methodist Haiti community, lost four good friends in the past several months.
Clare Previlon was a longtime cook and mainstay at the Petionville Guest House. She was a tireless worker and, for anyone who met her, an “unforgettable character.” She is survived by her daughter, Nathalie, and son, Marc. Wendy had the opportunity to spend considerable time with Clare and her family before her passing.
Mr. Charles Clate lived in the village of Furcy and served as the Music Coordinator for the Furcy Church – leading both Sunday morning worship music and instructing youth with music lessons. He leaves a wife and three young children.
Sylvio Rocourt was the coordinator for the EMH Relief and Development Office. He was a friend to Tom and Wendy and worked closely with Tom and UMVIM in the earthquake recovery program.
Etzer Depestre, sibling of Pastor Marco and Christiane Depestre.
Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with their families. They will be missed.
Mountains of Hope will be looking to schedule its next General Meeting for sometime this summer.
Mountains of Hope Finance Update
We currently have enough funding to cover our commitments through September 2017 (quarter 3).
Over the summer we will be sending out notices and commitment requests for the remainder of 2017 and 2018.
Donations to Mountains of Hope for Haiti may be sent to:
The Frontier Foundation - 20 Soundview Avenue
White Plains, NY. 10606
Thank you to all for your continued support!
Tom & Wendy