Grace Teams to Haiti
December Trip Report & Looking Ahead at March Trip!
I (Rich Kennedy) made another trip to Haiti December 2-9, 2017, to assist in the work of Jean Paul at Reformation Hope. I traveled with Robin and Joan Lambert, who visited the work at Baptist Haiti Mission where their son Andrew has become Field Director. They and Andrew were able to visit Reformation Hope for a day to see the work of Reformation Hope and explore potential collaboration.
As a family physician, I was able to deliver much needed meds and supplies to the Clinique Médicale de la Réforme health center and see patients. Thanks to the Monday Night Growth Group for donating $100 worth of “Dial-a-Diopter” adjustable glasses! I also helped the lab add new tests to their chemistry analyzer and brought several much needed laptops. The Académie Théologique de la Réforme seminary was starting its master levels program, and I was able to help set up laptops for communications, a cloud space for common resources, and even resources for learning Greek. I met with Jacky and Ancelotti (pictured below) about needs they had for the New Joy House orphanage. They now have a small computer lab and reliable internet connection, and we brainstormed how this could allow more support from afar to the kids of the orphanage.
On December 24, Grace Church had a special offering that generously gave $2099 to provide some needs of the orphanage. We were delighted to be able to sponsor a Christmas Meal for the kids, (who almost always eat rice and beans) see photo below. They got a special meal and celebration at the mission’s restaurant, American Style Chicken, featuring their specialty chicken dish (Jean Paul’s recipe). They were not able to orchestrate the ice cream, and we hope we can make it happen for Easter when we are there. We purchased and sent a requested video-ready computer loaded with Adobe Premiere Pro and external hard drive and sent them with another team. Jacky, the director of the orphanage, will use them to put together videos of the kid’s choir and the orphanage. We will be purchasing a printer for the computer lab and will take it with us on our upcoming trip. We hope to purchase some artwork for the orphanage dining room when we are there.
With the orphanage’s computer lab and increased reliability of the internet, we have had the idea to connect Grace children with the children at the orphanage. Our hope is for both our children and youth and the children and youth of the orphanage to have a greater understanding of God’s kingdom and to see more of the work that he is doing in lives throughout the world—to know that there are similar joys and challenges that disciples of Jesus face in any culture, and to also learn how different cultures and nations have particular joys and challenges. So far we have some kids (Mia Adams, Isaac Allen, Katarina Allen, and Kyle Sahmel) who have sent emails to hopefully become pen pals with some of the kids there. The directors of the orphanage will be appropriately matching the children based on age and gender. We are looking forward to promoting and facilitating this when we are there in 4 weeks! If your child is interested, please email me!
Our upcoming trip will be March 28-April 4. The team members so far are David Allen, Joshua and Léa Hossack Bouillon, and myself. David will be focusing his attention primarily at the orphanage to help older kids learn computer skills, as well as assisting in meeting any other needs that may arise. Joshua and Léa’s fluent French will be a great asset and their musical talents will help us connect with and support the musical programs of the orphanage. The 50-60 person Presbyterian Children’s Choir (pictured below) is a huge point of pride of the orphanage, and they want to expand the music program of the orphanage and orphanage school. I will be helping at the clinic and seeing patients, as well as providing support for any needs that may arise. All of us will be able to connect with kids through teaching computer skills, etc.
Although we are about one month out from the trip departure date, it would not be impossible for another member to join. Anyone with medical skills could easily find a place to serve, as well as anyone who loves kids and could support the kids of the orphanage—it is a much needed ministry. Please let me know if you are interested. Also, if you are interested, but won’t be able to make it this trip, please talk with me, as we will be planning another trip!
Over the next month, we will be collecting items for the clinic and the orphanage to take with us on our trip. For an almost complete list, please click here. There are items ranging from over the counter medicine and vitamins to recreational items for the orphanage (like basketballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs).
Please join us in prayer as we prepare to go and while we are there!
~ Rich Kennedy