Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pestel Fundraiser

Hi everyone,

My church hosted a fundraiser for Pestel today.  It was a soup cookoff (SouperBowl cookoff) and it raised nearly $1400!!!   What a huge show of support and encouragement.  

The idea and the work behind this came from friends of ours, Daniel and Lynley Lapp and their Care Group.  A BIG thanks to them for all their work and inspiration!  And also to the EPS commission at our church that helped promote this.

The money will be used to construct cisterns in Pestel.  As I've mentioned in prior emails, last year Pestel underwent a prolonged drought where about 1/3 of their concrete cisterns dried-up and cracked, rendering them unusable.  On my last trip I met folks who had to walk half-a-day one way to try to find water, and sometimes they would come back empty.   
Imagine the great challenges of having to care for your family without water, whether clean or dirty.  So cisterns provide water capacity for the villages, and that reduces the overall burden (of disease, wasted time searching for water, etc).

So a HUGE thanks to my church for this great outpouring of love!

Also, I received a photo of the kids (from Sister Fidelis) whose education is being sponsored by a couple, and I've attached that to this blog.  To learn more about this family, visit this site and scroll down to the section on Alfred's Family.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update from Fidelis...from Pestel!

Hi all,
Here's a nice update from Sister Fidelis (who lives in Pestel and tirelessly works with the people).
In a few moments, if you go to my blog, you should be able to read this as well as see the photos that she sent along. This is another note in a line of encouragement having to do with the perseverance and persistence of the people of Pestel who are seeking to improve their welfare:


Christians Progress Together (KPA) is the coordinating body for our mission projects. It is made up of representatives from each of the fourteen mountain communities we serve. The ministry team, or executive committee, is comprised of three young men from the community and myself. We meet twice a month, once a month to plan KPA's monthly meeting of delegates, the other for futuring and keeping things running smoothly.

Gerald Victorin, 36, is our newest member, just confirmed in December. Gerald is married with six children. His oldest, a son, is 16. All three team members are teachers. Gerald has taught for seven years. Like many accomplished teachers in Haiti, he himself never went beyond 9th grade in school. He is also the lay director of one of our chapels.

Unlike Gerald, Phenicque Bien-Aime, 36 and a high school math teacher, will be graduating from university this year after nine years of post-high school study including 3 years of normal school and 2 years in major seminary. For three years he was a candidate with the Franciscan friars who served in Pestel, and is a former director of one of the chapels. Phenique is unmarried and lives with his parents and two grown siblings.

This is Gerlad and Phenicque

Fanfan Belizaire, 35, has been with KPA the longest having been one of two people who helped me plan its founding. An accomplished musician, he composed the KPA theme song, and is the director of the chapel where I live. He himself finished high school and is starting normal school this semester. He is a sought-after sixth grade teacher who prepares his students for the national final exams of grade school. Fanfan was just married to Anise Louis on December 30.

When asked why they are active in KPA, these young men said that it's because they are interested in their people, that this is a country where the government has traditionally served the rich and ignored the poor majority, and that Haitians do not often get a chance to make a big difference in the lives of their communities. The projects that they helped to choose, like providing water, healthcare, and micro credit loans, are very important to them and to their people.

When asked what they would like us to know, they said they would like us to be familiar with their culture and their situation so that we could understand the people, their reality, and the work that faces them.

They are eloquent, aren't they? They are good, good people, dedicated and selfless, a real gift to our community and to their own people.

Sister Fidelis Rubbo

Friday, January 9, 2009

Request from Angel Missions Haiti

Hi everyone,

Here's an opportunity to give!  If you are interested in helping please contact Vanessa Carpenter of Angel Missions Haiti (her info is at the bottom of the email).  

"This is the list I have come up with.  It is also a list you can share with family friends or your church.  We can never have enough of these items:
Antiseptic Cream
Triple antibiotic ointment
super glue 
band aids
children's vitamins
acholic wipes
baby wipes
diapers : cloth, pins and rubber pants,  all so every size of disposable diapers
diaper rash cream
finger nail clippers
any and all kinds of over the counter medications
Medical tape
baby blankets, sheets
towels, wash cloths
Funds to purchase the following We need 60 new crib mattress they cost $48 each in Haiti
funds to make the protective vinal zip on covers to keep the mattress safe and clean are $50 each
funds for IV fluids
funds for antibiotics
funds to purchase food to feed the children
Pregnancy test
folic acid
Please pray for these items,  gather them  or post this list at your work place or church.  We can never have to many of these things.  
Thank you love V

Vanessa A. Carpenter
Angel Missions Haiti - Director 

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year Update from Pestel

I just got off the phone with Sister Fidelis who is currently in Pestel (down by the seaside where she can get cell phone reception. There is no cell phone access at her house up in the mountain). There is some very good news to report:

The school benches for the village of Toma Elli have been built! I'm going to plan to visit that village on my next trip. The community donated a bunch of lumbar for the project, reducing the costs! They asked that some of the money go toward building a door for the school to protect the benches (from being 'borrowed'). What a great community! This is also the same village that received some teacher salary support (that arrived in time for Christmas!!). A very eager and committed group of people. These self-sacrificial teachers continue to teach despite receiving very little compensation, and the gift to help them with their salary was a thrill for them!!

I mentioned that Pestel received grant funding to help build a new clinic in Abriko. Well, there's more! The villages received funds to help build a new school in Abriko (see video below), build a road to Desye (see video below), develop a trade school further up in the mountains, install a wall on the island to protect from flooding, a grant to develop animal husbandry, and a few other things.

In financial terms we're talking well over $100,000 worth of grant funding that is going to Pestel!!

Now tell me THAT isn't just awesome! I asked Sister Fidelis if this kind of thing happens every year, and she replied that this was the first time to her knowledge it has happened.

Also, dovetailing with this: I received a news bulletin that stated the World Bank (who is funding these grants to Haiti) will be giving another large amount ($30 million) to Haiti to be used for these community-development projects. So if/when the villages successfully complete their projects there will be a very good chance that further funding is available for future projects.

I am so excited to share how God is working in Pestel. God is good, very good, and that He is doing a great work in Pestel to show His goodness and compassion.

May God be praised for His goodness and compassion that He extends to each of us, and that is so evidently being displayed for the people of Pestel.

That's a good way to start this New Year!

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