Haiti, a Motherland fractured by poverty, lashing against her shores. I stood on this land, steeped in a victorious, rich, revolutionary history. The first Caribbean island to snatch their freedom from the cracking of the slave masters whips. Yes, Haiti is a hopeful nation; do not believe the Western media negative depictions streamed on a Tel Lie Vision near you! Investigate the truth for thy self, to discover facts and not a raping regime that wants to oppress the black race. I saw Haitian men and women walking with pride and heads held high, despite the deprived environment in which they have become accustom too. The agricultural industry is practically non-existent due to the rice and grain imports from America, which makes it virtually impossible for farmers to earn a living.
Most prominent in my mind of which I recall is Haiti’s red dusty pebble streets, 2010 earthquake residue became a veil on your skin for daily living. I believe there is a purpose inside of pain and that Haiti will be a country out that rises out of the hands demonic darkness and gravitates to the everlasting light.
On Saturday 27th October a team of 12 strong Shai Foundation volunteers, packed their bags and headed off to Haiti on a mission for two weeks. We left England with an expectant spirit and a heart to change and improve lives.
Our mission aims were to:
- Educate the children of Haiti
- Paint and decorate homes for the village locals
- Heal the sick Haitians who could not afford medical treatment
When I say I am going to ‘Haiti’ on a mission, most faces well up with fear, it is fear of the unknown. We had cause for concern, as we were entering the Caribbean during the end of hurricane season. God is good because we missed storm ‘Sandy’ both in Haiti and New York! There was a sense of being protected as we bathed ourselves in prayers and Holy Scriptures. The heat was immense in Haiti and a 40c average. I definitely felt like a foreigner for sure, as I sweated profusely throughout the 15 sun drenched days we were there. The main language spoken in Haiti was Creole, but God’s language of love supersedes all, as we were bound to discover.
I headed up the education department as Team Leader in week one. We surveyed the village Sous Savanne in which we would be working in for the majority of our time and were introduced to the local schools, churches and residents. The biggest class I taught was to 160 children and this did not include their parents who stood on the outskirts of the church hall. Our lessons lasted between 60 to 90 minutes and on average we did three sessions a day in different locations such as churches, schools and outside our medical centre. Each educational session comprised of:
- Colourful felt story board from the bible
- Educational health card teachings (for example cholera)
- Praise & worship songs
For the first three days, our team of four worked tirelessly in construction throughout the baking heat. Our aim was to paint the homes that charity Hope force built previously. Our colour scheme was pale yellow and red. The red symbolised the blood of Christ and were painted on the doors and windowsills. Once each home was completed we would bless the owner with a copy of the bible and we would say a prayer of protection. The final two days I spent in the medical clinic was extremely humbling, to see the Doctor and Nurses working relentlessly all day. In two weeks the medical team saw 465 patients. My role in the clinic was to be a runner and assist in organising the medicine equipment and supplies. This particular clinic was based in Port De Prince, we set up in a compound which housed a school and church on its grounds. It was on this same compound that the earthquake destroyed their previous buildings. Over a 40 year period Pastor Joe and he son Pastor Samuel have built 24 churches in Haiti and they continue to spread the gospel and be an inspiration to all they come into contact with. At present approximately 45% of Haitians is Christian.
This mission to Haiti has changed my life because it took me out of a selfish, gluttonous, western world and brought me back to the core of what is important. Without breath, we cannot breathe and if we cannot breathe, then we are no longer living. I firmly believe life is about giving more of ourselves. It is important to function in being selfless as much as possible. Our people need a helping hand up out of the gutter, remember what our ancestors achieved their lives must not be in vain. Our ancestor’s blood spilled on the soil of Haiti to start our path to freedom, so that our generation could live a life of freedom. We must pay homage to this fact and respect those that came before us. I have an overflow of things to say over the coming weeks and months, consider this blog a taster. The community generous donations sent me to Haiti to work on their behalf and for that I will be forever grateful, we raised £1,107. I would like to thank the Founder of Shai Foundation Jennifer Lepompe for following God’s vision and instructions regarding our work in Haiti. I encourage you all who read this to repost and share this blog and make a difference today. Be a part of the solution and not the problem, get involved. To God be the glory.
We are taking a bigger team to Haiti in 2013, if you would like to join us and volunteer your time, get in touch. To continue the fantastic work of ‘Shai Foundation’ please make a donation here: http://www.shaifoundation.org/donate/.