Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pump at Laraquint Repaired

We are praising the Lord because the pump in the well at Laraquint is fixed! We had all the tools, parts and knowledge to get the job done.
Water Coming From the Well at Laraquint
The problem was parts came unscrewed in the pump cylinder. Before putting it all back together, we replaced the leathers, and a worn sucker rod. That required cutting new threads on a short piece of sucker rod.

Pastor Lenort BienAimé and the community extend their appreciation and thanks for the tools and parts that made the pump repair possible.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Haiti Medical Team - January 22-30, 2016

I was privileged to be a part of this year's medical team led by Doctor Dennis Hatter and James Arbaugh. We did one day clinics in the five churches that we relate to through the Walking Together ministry. The hard working pastors at Payen, Delonye, Gilbert, LaRaquint, and Tapion helped make it possible. We also did a clinic at Project Help which was our home base. 

Our schedule for the day began with a breakfast at the base, then packing up James' truck with medications, jug of water, equipment and suckers/toys for the children. Men's caps and ladies scarves were also given out this year and were much appreciated. At the church were served coffee and bread at break time and a meal of delicious authentic Haitian food for a late lunch. The pastor registers the patient who then pays 50 gourdes (less than $1 US) to see the doctor and receive meds. The 3 areas (triage, consultation, pharmacy) are visited as the patient passes through. The proceeds for the day go into the church treasury. 

This annual clinic has been done in this area for nearly fifteen years and the pastors and church members anticipate it and express appreciation each time we return. We look forward each year to reconnecting with them and providing this service through the churches. We were able to see approximately 950 people this year. 

Counting Pills
Our evening consists of a cold shower, a lovely meal and bagging up medications for the next day. A highlight of each day is to gather around and read an anonymous, encouraging letter from someone in the Mountain View Mennonite Church from which a majority of the team members come. Quite a fun time guessing! Richard and Zane Taylor, Jenny Yancey, Jenn Grove, Nichole Steege, Sharon Arbaugh, Ida Fern Showalter and myself made up the rest of the team. 

Our thanks go out to those who donated money, those who prayed and everyone who encouraged. A special thanks to  Project Help in Borel, Haiti! 

Elaine Schaefer 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Small Millit Crop Failure

We had heard about the failure of the "Piti mi"crop in the area around LaRaquinte from Pastor Lenort. When we arrived we saw the evidence in the blackened stalks and the grain heads riddled with insects. This is very discouraging for the farmers because this grain is an important staple in the area.

Pastor Lenort Showing Failed Crop

We participated to help assist some of those in need. May God multiply it!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Waynesboro Mennonite Church Block Party

Waynesboro Mennonite Church (at its block party this past Saturday) hosted a group of people interested in Haiti.  For the purpose of fellowship a diverse group of Haiti mission leaders, Haitians, and Haitian Americans from North Carolina, Haiti, and Virginia gathered and played games, ate, discussed collaboration possibilities, interacted with the community, and made music together.  

Diverse Group of Fellowship
One of the special treats from this entente were the "taptap" rides.  There was a tractor pulling a copy of the Haitian public transportation vehicle, the taptap (which is a brightly painted truck).  Children and parents were given spirited rides around the property to the delight of everyone.  

"TapTap" Rides
"Hold On Tight Kids"!
Another pleasure was the presence of the leader of the small "United Haiti Restoration" organization, "Johny Z".  He is a Haitian American from North Carolina who (among other things) writes and animates poetry in Haitian French Creole and English.  He treated the assembly to an English rendition of his poem "LOVE", which was an inspiration.

L.O.V.E. Animation

Friday, August 21, 2015

Haiti Tap Tap Rides and Funds for School Kids in Haiti

            Lindale Mennonite Church had Summer Bible School for children and adults the week of June 15 to 19.  Diane Burkholder, the Children’s Minister, suggested that the project for the Bible School offerings should be helping children in Haiti purchase school supplies and school uniforms.  She thought the total children’s offerings might be $300 to $350.  The Lindale Missions and Service committee decided to match up to $500 whatever amount was given by the children.

            Galen Lehman decided to build a Haitian “Tap Tap” (a taxi that some Haitian children ride to school) to help promote the offering project.  We also had several barrel carts built to look like Thomas train cars that children could ride in.  Each evening that week, the children attending Bible School were given rides in the Tap Tap and train cars pulled by four-wheelers. The rides became a popular attraction for kids of all ages.  They were able to get rides during the evening sessions (from one teaching/activity station to another).  They also loved riding the Tap Tap at the end of the evening sessions before they went home.

Tap Tap Ride Anyone?

Riding a Tap Tap Is Fun!
            Each evening children brought their offering money and put it in the pockets of the sample school uniforms.  On Tuesday they were shown a power point presentation about schools in Haiti, how school children wear uniforms to school and what the Tap Taps look like in Haiti.  By Wednesday, the enthusiastic Lindale kids had brought a total of more than $600 and they asked if the church would continue to match whatever amount they brought for the project.  Of course we agreed to do that so the challenge and excitement kept rolling along with the Tap Tap rides.

            The Bible School lessons were based on themes from the life of Elijah.  Signs were posted in the Tap Tap calling it “Elijah’s Chariot.”  On the last night, the Tap Tap was brought inside the church and used in a drama to illustrate the how Elijah was taken up to heaven in a chariot as he gave a blessing to Elisha.

            By the end of the week, the average attendance was more than 130 kids and about 50 adults.  When we totaled the children’s offerings for the five days, it came to $810.00.  So we were able to send $1620.00 to Haiti to help families buy school supplies and school uniforms for their children.  The Lindale children were so excited to learn about school children in Haiti and expressed their support by generous giving.  Even now, several months later, as Lindale kids begin going back to school, they are blessed by remembering the Haiti Tap Tap rides, the differences between their own schools and schools in Haiti, and the Bible School lessons about Elijah.

            You can view a PowerPoint presentation about this project here, which includes nice pictures of Haitian Tap Tap's and uniformed school children.

            If you wish to help raise funds for Haiti ministries, the Tap Tap is available to help promote your fundraising event by contacting Galen Lehman or Joe Arbaugh.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

LaRacoint Church Outreach

Pastor Lenort called Thursday evening with this report about last weekend's special events at their church.

Over 500 were in attendance including the handicapped, widows, widowers, orphans, the extremely poor, the unconverted and recently released prisoners. Different Church groups were there with their singing groups. Pastor Henock was the preacher and three people responded to Christ for the first time. Praise God! A cow was butchered,and many gifts of garden and farm were brought as an offering. Before they adjourned the honored group mentioned above were each recognized and presented with a gift provided by the offerings and the LaRacointe Church. A good time was had by all and Pastor Lenort sends many expressions of thanks. I also spoke with Pastor Henock and he was very enthusiastic about the weekend and thanked us for our participation.

To God Be the Glory!

John S

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Haiti PMG" soon to be called "Walking Together for Christ"

The Haiti Project Management Group (Haiti-PMG) of Virginia Mennonite Missions (VMM) is soon to be called "Walking Together for Christ".  Although not fully finalized, this name describes what we do.  We walk alongside our Haitian church partners in an effort to walk farther than either of us could walk independently.