Thursday, March 19, 2009

Latest Haiti Trip Overview

I hope you all are doing well. We have finally settled back in since returning from Haiti and I wanted to give you a report on an amazing trip!

Our Goal

As you may know, the primary goal of the trip was to establish a long-term partnership between The Crossing Church (Clermont, FL) with The Kensckoff Church (Haiti).

The leaders and people of these two churches will create projects that are implemented throughout the year. This will include group trips for construction, training and education, economic planning and meeting basic physical needs.

Needless to say, this trip represented a HUGE step forward for CPI and our partner communities in Haiti. This is the model we want to replicate over and over again – connecting people and organizations to meaningful work in Haiti.

The Crossing Church was represented by Kendal (Pastor), Deb and Sharon. We could not have asked for a better group of people for our first partnership. Kendal has a huge heart and a keen sense for missions work. Deb and Sharon (both grandmothers) were flexible, optimistic, full of energy, fun-loving and committed to this mission.

An Amazing Welcome!

We spent most of our time with the people at the Kensckoff Church. Kensckoff is located south of Port-au-Prince, high up in the mountains. The drive (one way) was about 2 ½ hours on the most absurd roads you can imagine. We delivered the food and school supplies to a group of about 35 adults and 50 children.

When we got out of our vehicles and began the climb up the dirt trail to the church building, we could hear the beautiful sound of children singing. As we rounded the last section of the pathway, we could see the origin of this angelic sound. On the dirty porch of a dilapidated building stood over 40 children, dressed in their school uniforms, singing and smiling with an unmatched enthusiasm.

They were welcoming out team and had been awaiting our arrival. The sights and sounds cannot be communicated through words – you will have to join us on our next trip!

They Were Overwhelmed

Over the few days we were there, we shared meals, played with the children, taught each other how to speak the others’ language (English & Creole), and simply took it all in. We walked around the village area looking at the tiny plots of land that were being farmed.

We were given a tour of a make-shift house owned by Milot and his family. Milot is one of the church leaders and a farmer. His home was made out of wood, some concrete block, and a tin roof. His bathroom (the only one we could find) was a pit latrine off the back of his property.

The entire village had a contagious warmth and hospitality. They were overwhelmed that people like you and me cared enough to come find them up in what they consider to be a forgettable, insignificant place in a huge world.

The Leaders Meet

On the last day in Kensckoff we arranged to share a meal with the leaders from both churches. The women of the church had cooked an amazing meal (rice, beans, green peppers, and chicken fried in coconut oil) over an open fire. We sat in their church building (a block building about 10ft x 20ft) and shared a meal.

In that tiny room, over rickety tables and delicious food, a meaningful partnership was established between The Crossing Church and The Kensckoff Church. They asked questions of one another and dreamed together about how they could bring the love of Christ to that community in a more powerful way.

The ideas covered everything from providing Bibles in Creole to optimizing farming practices to starting a medical clinic. A stake of commitment and potential was driven into the ground that day in Kensckoff Haiti.

A Bright Future

As our plane lifted off the runway and we began to ascend high above the mountains of Haiti, I realized the significance of what took place over those few days. As a result of our efforts, the people of The Crossing Church will spend the next several years working with the Kensckoff Church to forever change their community.

The people in that area will come to know the love of God as children are educated, the sick are treated, the hungry are fed, agriculture and economy are improved, and the dignity of people made in the image of God is restored. I am meeting with Kendal next week to plan a work trip for The Crossing Church this Summer. They raised $4K to build a new building in Kensckoff that will be constructed over the next few months.

Thank YOU!

I wanted to personally say thank you for your donations and your support of this trip. I know Haiti may seem like a distant country and the devastation beyond recovery, but you touched people in that village and are helping us prove that change is possible!

We will be sending out an abbreviated report with some pictures to all of our friends in a few days, but I wanted to get this out to you right away.

Thanks Again for Your Support,

Grant Nieddu
CPI Team Leader

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