Four weeks ago our Give Hope October ’13 team returned from Haiti after an amazing week of serving in Cambry. Eighteen of us lived and worked together and came back changed by the experience. I thought I should provide an update on our progress for all of you who continue to make the work of Give Hope Global possible.
- Orphan CareWe found the children of Cambry to be healthy and happy. They were overjoyed to have us with them and we were overjoyed to be there. One of our team members had the thrill of meeting the young boy she sponsors for the first time and their bond was a beautiful thing to see. We were able to spend some special time with the 10 Mamas who are responsible for the day in-day out care of the children and to bless them with gifts and guidance. We also scheduled each Mama’s “family” (or house) for a focused time to give their sponsor’s gifts to them and help them write notes back to their sponsor. The highlight of the week was the Friday night orphanage-wide party where the kids received a special meal and their individual monogrammed backpacks filled with new underwear, socks, hat, an outfit and pair of shoes. Angela Quinn and I met with Pastor Montgerard and his wife Neemie, who administer the orphanage at Darivarger and agreed to begin seeking supporters for the 45 children there. We are pleased to say that we have now found supporters for the first two children there and are hopeful to complete that process quickly.
- Medical/Dental CareIn line with Give Hope’s ongoing medical strategy to develop an effective health care system for the orphans and staff of the 6 ESMI orphanages in SW Haiti, Dr. Will Caldwell and Nurse Staci Bacon performed physicals on all 143 kids at Cambry plus the 45 kids from Darivarger who rode the bus to Cambry for their physicals and a “Field Trip Day” from their normal routine. They also visited and developed a relationship with the Medical Director at the Bon Finn hospital about 45 minutes away, which will be our partner for acute care needs in the future. Dr. Dane Kovach and Dental Assistant Sonda Harris saw over 100 dental patients, including kids, staff and church members from Cambry and Darivarger plus church members at Pastor Montgerard’s church at La Savanne. The brand new portable dental system worked out wonderfully well and made it possible for Dr. Kovach to transform the mouths of many.
- Construction/Agriculture projects Our construction team was successful in completing Phase 1 of our Aquaponics project. This included choosing and grading the site along with constructing the first of 7 sheds for the Tilapia pools. The shed included fencing around the base, shade cloth around the top and solar panels on the roof. We got the solar power system operational, which will eventually power the sump pumps in the grow beds where the vegetables will be grown hydroponically. We also brought in and spread two dump truck loads of gravel in the area where the grow beds will be placed during our January trip. Our Aquaponics designer and project manager, Josh Owens, was with us and will return for 7 weeks in January and February to complete Module #1 and get it operational. Everyone at Cambry is super excited about the potential of this new agricultural system, which will eventually produce approx 600 lbs of tilapia and 2,500 lbs of vegetables each month.
- Educational Advancement – The Fall semester of school began while we were there. We learned that the school had not yet been able to purchase the new text books it needed to replace the older ones that had traditionally been handed down from class to class. Too many years of that had left enough good text books for the teachers but not enough for the students. In need of approx $3,000 for this expense, the school had to delay the purchase until funds were available. Some of our team members began immediately to raise funds for this project and approx ½ of the funds have already been provided and many of the needed text books are already in the kids’ hands. We were also able to commit to bring two young people to the states for a semester of private school study in one case and four months of internship with a service company in the other case. Efforts to secure passports, visas etc are in full swing and we expect to bring Ernise (13) and Guichard (25) home with us in January. Host homes have been volunteered and with God’s favor in clearing a couple more hurdles everything should soon be in place to make this dream a reality. One of our long time hopes has been to accelerate the mastery of English for as many of our students as possible. While in Cambry we agreed to fund the books and a teacher for one semester of English classes for 20 students. We have since transmitted the funds and the class is set to get underway this week. Pastor Louis and his wife, Martina, chose 10 of the students and Angela Quinn chose the other 10. Needless to say, we are more than excited about this development. Finally, with help from a couple of families in Charlotte, we have been blessed to see our first student graduate high school and be enrolled in college. Esaie Despre will be living on campus and attending the University of Jeremie, beginning next week.
- Fun – Almost forgot about the trip to the beach on Friday afternoon with 16 team members and 5 of the kids (Ernise, Noel, Edlin, Kinley and Kinson). Too good…swimming in the ocean, eating fresh coconut, watching 5 kids enjoy an “off the chart” special experience. My cup runs over…and over…
There is simply no way to thank all of you enough for what you do month in and month out. May our great God shower you with every blessing as you continue to share His blessings in your life with others who He has placed in your path.
Thank you so much,