Mission Trip to Haiti August 2017
In early July, our 22-person team had the privilege of visiting Furcy. For some, it was an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and for others; it was the first exposure to a community so many of us think about every day. Our group was a wonderful mix of high school, college-age and older “youth” and we were also blessed to have a last-minute addition to our team – a high schooler from New Jersey whose family fled Haiti after the earthquake but visit every summer. His parents had approached Brulan, the guest house manager, about a possible mission opportunity for him and our team was happy to include him. After the first few hours, it was like he’d been with us for years - and he spoke fluent Creole - which was a huge help! And thanks to the generosity of the 4 congregations represented on our team and friends who supported our trip, we were able to leave a real mark on the community.
We finished several smaller projects – repaired, sanded and varnished the communion rail;
built a cabinet in the storage area behind the sanctuary where they can now lock valuables; repaired desks at the school and hired several men to begin the larger project – building a couple of retaining walls next to the church so they can pave a large, flat area for community gatherings.
The Furcy community designed and dug the trenches and our group provided the extra muscle necessary to get the very large rock pile by the clinic up to the worksite.
We had a busy week of activities as well. We hosted a Vacation Bible School, where everyone went home with health kits they had decorated and filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, band-aids and antibiotic wipes held two community meals;
a game day;
a gathering where the youth in both communities were able to talk about their lives;
and attended a community concert where we heard amazing talent and our group performed too! And were blessed to have been able to bring several suitcases filled with shoes and clothes so were able to stock a “store” where the women came and “shopped” for all sorts of items. The favorites were shoes and towels!
We were also able to leave suitcases full of school supplies and backpacks for the elementary and middle schools; restock the medical clinic with some of the more common over-the-counter meds, soaps and washcloths and Days for Girls kits; and were able to leave money to fund another day of hot lunch every week for 108 elementary school children for the upcoming school year and money for curriculum and other needs at both schools.
But the best part was the time we had to spend as a team with old and new friends…
… and we are already planning our return in early summer 2019!