Haiti Revisited

Lin’s O’Connor EIC News Desk

In the words of Paul Crowe (March 28 to April 8, 2017)

We were booked to fly from Toronto through Miami with the intention of arriving in Haiti early afternoon. However the airline made last minute chances so we ended up flying Toronto via Fort Lauderdale which put us into Toussaint Louverture International Airport Haiti just over four hours late, we were very weary after all the delays.

In 2005 I had spent two years in Haiti with Emmanuel International Canada (EIC) located out of the Capital Port-au-Prince. I returned in 2009 prior to the catastrophic earthquake that struck January 12, 2010. The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince and other cities in the region.

The question I had would Haiti be a better place than when I last visited?

I’m pleased to say the short answer is yes!

I know that Haiti and most countries are complicated and often a short trip can skew ones understanding, but what I saw was a country heading in the right direction.

I could not say that before. The streets although still dirty with much garbage the UN presence was basically not noticed and there was a calmness that was not there before. There were still small signs of the earthquake and hurricanes, but most people seemed to just get on with their lives.

On this return trip I was the EIC representative with Richard McGowan and a team from The Rotary Club of Toronto that is involved with humanitarian aid called “Sweat Equity Teams”.

Chris Snyder, a veteran of these trips, has organized and worked with EI Malawi on several visits making a difference in our world.  I honesty can say it was possibly the best team I’ve worked with and it made my job much easier. Each member of the team had excellent cross cultural experience and although mature in age, came to Haiti to work hard and help make it a better place.

We were pleased that Daniel Jovin joined the group as the representative of the Bethesda Baptist Mission (OEBB) Daniel’s dad, Pastor Jovin wasn’t able to be with us as he had to go to Miami for Doctor’s tests and surgery.

The Bethesda School in Port au Prince is part of the Bethesda Baptist Mission (OEBB) and has been a partner of Emmanuel International for over 35 years. Our project was located at the Bethesda School which has 150 plus students from kindergarten to grade 10.

We went to help with the rebuilding of the original school house built over 15 years ago. We helped pour concrete, move rumble (about 13 tons) and clean the play area.

We may not know all the impact of our work on the generation of students that watched the team sweat and work hard in the heat.

Daniel Jovin was thrilled at the attitude and hard work achieved by the Rotary Club team.  “The students have been impacted by your presence” stated Jovin.

I believe God’s sovereignly watched over the team giving each member a fantastic attitude and strength to complete the tasks. It is for this reason I have been changed by Haiti and hopefully Haiti is a better place because we all went to help.

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