Thursday, January 7, 2010
EXCITING THINGS ARE HAPPENING
As I said in my previous post we expect many great things to be happening at Project Help-Haiti this year. One thing is for sure we are seeing an upsurge in teams scheduling trips to Haiti. I just looked at the most recent team schedule and through June 19th we have fifteen confirmed teams coming to work or visit PH-H. If we should continue this trend through the last 5 1/2 months of 2010 it will be not only a busy but a record year. This though isn't the important thing (setting a record) but a barometer of mission interest that is an indicator of healthy U.S. churches.
Though I have only been in my new position two months I have had an opportunity to get some thoughts on some of our long standing ministry efforts (medical, evangelical and educational) at PH-H. Along with those ministries I have some ideas from my own ten years of experience with GAP Ministry's work in Haiti about what missions need to be doing to be affective. I have been talking with Don Dennison the Director of Cross Cultural Ministries the parent organization of PH-H about some of these possible ministry ideas.
One of the things we have agreed to do is bring our two compounds and guesthouses into better shape not only for our own teams but to make them available to other organizations working in Haiti. One of the things that has always bothered me is the duplication of ministry work and the often unneeded spending of funds on buying or leasing property and setting up guesthouses, vehicles, generators and work tools. Project Help has been in Haiti almost 43 years and has these facilities and resources that we can make available for others at a reasonable rate. These funds can be a way for us to keep Haitians employed, help us with repairs, operational costs, new purchases and keep our facilities filled with mission teams.
I'm also a firm advocate of missions working together and partnering with other organizations on similar ministries. I hope to be promoting and announcing some of these arrangements this year. I have been studying and looking at ways for my own GAP Ministry to help to improve quality of life issues facing Haitians. In late 2008 we started the "Feet Across the Mountains" ministry, which has been doing some successful work with several mountain villages in Haiti. The focus of this ministry is that of "a hand up not a hand out". In other words helping them to help themselves. This can of course involve work teams doing construction projects that can benefit a mountain community. Such as constructing cisterns, wells, dams & irrigation systems, clinics, schools and churches. Conducting community health outreach training in mountain villages as well as bringing in mobile medical, eye and dental teams on a regular basis. Introducing new agricultural techniques and crops that are low tech, environmentally friendly, high yielding and economically viable to producers. Teaching and introducing better animal husbandry and livestock breeds. Promoting, teaching and distributing small micro financing loans and possibly creating business as missions (BAMs). This is a promising idea where a business or series of businesses are set up (financed) by a non national (out of country) person or organization. They employ nationals, produce or manufacture enough of something to pay expenses, repay start up costs and profits help to generate income funding for mission outreaches. The Borel facility already has a metal fabricating shop and block making business that could eventually attain these goals.
One of the the goals that PH-H has always had is that of having a Technical School. This year it is my hope we can get these going at both of the locations we have designated as potential sites Borel and the new Frecyneau school/church complex in St. Marc. No matter what we do with any of these ministries we will be making more and better disciples. I have a saying hanging in my house in Haiti it says," Evangelize everyday if necessary use words". In God's love, steve