The Tapestry Thread
How Do You Get From There to Here?
I think moving to and living in Haiti has taught me more about networking than I would ever have learned in a lifetime. You simply cannot get anything significant accomplished here without having connections. And it is because of connections that Mission of Hope International has been able to build infrastructure that keeps ministry happening.
When I look around our campuses, I inevitably whisper a "thank you" to the Lord. From properties to buildings, from ideas to programs, it's all because we have been blessed with just the right connections at just the right time.
After the earthquake on January 12, 2010, our network expanded incredibly. The US Navy and Marines set up camp by and in our missionary compound, where we were able to set up showers for them. They provided us with many badly needed services, like knocking down and hauling away walls and buildings that were a risk to the public, and providing meals that we were able to distribute to victims of the quake.
The team with us at the time was from Sturbridge Worship Center (MA), who helped to raise funds for reconstruction. There were several German nationals on the team, led by Stuart and Maike Rankin who connected us with Ein Herz fur Kinder. They granted us 255,000 Euros toward the school construction.
We partnered with the World Food Program to distribute over 500 metric tons of food to every family in the city of Grand-Goâve, as well as to many others outside the city. We were also able to build miles of roads into the mountains so people could bring their crops to the market in town to sell.
We partnered with Forward in Health to bring emergency medical and surgical care to hundreds who had been injured in the quake.
Samaritan's Purse provided us with materials to construct over 600 transitional shelters in Grand-Goâve and Leogane. The World Race (Adventures in Missions) sent us teams of able bodied young people who worked hard to put up shelters and help build the school.
Professional architect, Paul Fallon, offered his services to design the school, as well as some smaller projects, and then came down to Haiti to oversee much of the construction. SGH Engineering provided their services to ensure the structure would be built to some very stringent specifications.
We partnered with Kids Against Hunger Global and the Hands and Feet Project to rescue 32 children from a very bad situation and care for them until the Hands and Feet Project was able to build a new campus in Grand-Goâve to take over their direct care.
Bless Back Worldwide came alongside our medical ministry and increased our capacity to provide healthcare to our students and neighbors with medications and upgrades to the facilities. They also send in teams of medical professionals 4-5 times per year.
Unleash Kids brought computer technology to the school.
Hundreds of individuals and many more organizations made an impact during the two short years that I've referred to above (Like Kevin Groder, who came and lived with us much of the first 4 months after the quake and kept us from being totally overwhelmed). I just wanted to give you a little taste of the amazing network the Lord is creating at MOHI.
We have some very strong, hands on, partnerships that are enabling expansion, as well as helping to maintain what is already in place. I can't even tell you how many things (businesses, buildings, missions, etc.) have started, but can't be maintained. The Haitian culture (which could apply to many cultures, I'm just referring to the one I'm more familiar with these days) tends to be all about "Shiny New..."
At MOHI, we are all about sustainability. We don't want to invest our lives in something that is dependent on Lex and Renée. We teach people that there is only ONE person that we can all depend on and His name is Jesus. So often I hear Lex preaching, "Don't depend on Pastor Lex. Pastor Lex is a man. I can turn my back on you. I can let you down. I might not respond to your text message. But there IS One you can always depend on! He never has the secretary answer the phone for Him. He is ALWAYS available whenever you call. His name is Jesus. Put your trust in HIM and no one else." Sustainability begins with trusting in this dependable One.
On the Horizon
In the next couple of weeks we will begin building a wall around the expanded Thozin campus in partnership with the Whitestone Church of Knoxville, TN. Besides adding necessary security to the school yard, this is a critical aspect of staking our claim when purchasing land in Haiti. We plan to start the excavation for drainage and the soccer field this summer, as well. We are trusting the Lord's provision for every aspect of this project. Would you pray with us, especially for the right people to be in place to make this happen. Thank you.
We are looking forward to getting lots of use out of the MOHI library this summer. Amy is working on some fun ideas for all of our students that want to be a part of story times, research projects, craft projects, and more.
I remember playing with puzzles in nursery school, and at home all the way into my high school years. So often we would have a very complicated "family" puzzle set out on the card table that we would work on in the evenings. Most Haitians have never been exposed to puzzles - especially beyond preschool.
Would you like to be a part of bringing puzzles to Haiti? We are looking for puzzles, preferably new so we know all the pieces are there, for all ages from 3 years old through high school. If you would like to help provide them, you can make an online donation and type in "puzzles" in the memo area. Donations can also be sent by mail to MOHI, PO Box 884, Gardner, MA 01440. Actual puzzles can also be shipped to us in Haiti. This is a bit more involved. Please contact us for detailed information to do this. Thank you.
This week we had an incredible outreach into a new area for us. Our dear missionary friend, Fred Lockett (Missionary Ventures) asked us to join him in Fonde Doux. Ed has been doing Kids Club outreaches there over the past couple of months and was really impressed by how many people continued to show up for them - and not just the kids.
We were able to work together to bring healthcare to 180 individuals and distributed even more clothing, sandals, shoes, and sneakers. It takes many threads to make a beautiful tapestry. I am so grateful for Worldwide Lighthouse Missions' faithfulness to send us barrels of supplies and clothing each quarter and to Bless Back Worldwide for the medication they supply regularly, as well.
We have to be on speaking terms with one another in order for networking to be successful, right? Lex and Laramie had the opportunity to role play about that this morning at church in Thozin.
Thank you so much for being a part of the ministry of Mission of Hope International. Whether through donations, prayers , volunteering or some other method, we are always so grateful for each person's generosity. Thank you!