Thursday, March 6, 2014

March Update--Haiti

Hi all,

Trip to Haiti
I will be heading to Pestel, Haiti this weekend with the Miss World Team and we ask that you might pray for our safety and any anxiety.  I remain amazed at their resiliency and their desire to help the children of Pestel through their Beauty With  A Purpose charity.  I really am looking forward to seeing them all again.

Ceramic Water Filters
One of the exciting components of our trip will be visiting the village of Duchity in Pestel where a team, led by Mr. John Ball, has been implementing an initiative with the ceramic water filters that will ultimately reach about 2,000 households ( =  12,000 people)!! 
About two weeks ago I gave a presentation at my medical school (Penn State Hershey) to medical students on our work in Pestel, and they collected coins in jars during classes to raise money for the water project.  They raised $1001 in a week!!!   And these are "poor medical students"  :)   

Water Deprivation
On a down note:   Much of Pestel has been experiencing a very hard, dry spell.   I've been receiving notes by email from several people over the past month.  There have been some deaths related to this as well as people have taken risks to try to obtain water.  This has been very hard to process, and it has been a burden on my heart which I have not shared with you because, frankly, I didn't have any solutions.  But I now realize that was the wrong decision.  I recognize that I don't need to always have solutions before sharing these sorts of things.  
I received word from Sister Jo in Pestel that they did experience some rain for three days recently, which is a huge blessing (as you can imagine) and  a surprising answer to prayer.   Of course, the will need a LOT more rain.  In speaking with others we have discussed trying to find ways to truck water into Pestel just to avert this crisis, but even here I don't know where to turn.   The dry season could last for another month (or more).  
In discussions with Water Missions International, we are not giving up on well-drilling.  But we need some sophisticated equipment with expertise to be able to identify potential underground sources of water to improve chances of hitting water.   

Health Clinic
For some time I've been discussing the possibility (and necessity) of a building project in Pestel to construct a health clinic.  This would be located in about the middle of the region where there is no health facility and would serve as an important staging area for the health campaigns as well.   Please pray for wisdom and discernment on this as it is not a small undertaking.


President, Thriving Villages International

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"Pay special attention to these issues:
   love for one another;
   absence of desire to be thought of as someone special;
   and the impeccable performance of mundane tasks."  Teresa of Avila