09 Feb Canadian Team in Haiti Once Again
A team from the UB churches in Canada has been in Haiti since the end of January. They have been involved in a variety of ministries, including quilting classes, eye clinics, construction, and children’s ministry. The Canadian churches have sent teams to Haiti every year since 2002.
On January 31, they were in Archaie for the opening service of their new church. The people and guest choir members marched from the old church to the new church, accompanied by a marching band. It was very celebratory. King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa., was instrumental in seeing this accomplished.
They distributed dozens of eyeglasses in several locations after doing vision tests, which typically took 20-25 minutes. Joan Sider wrote, “There was one particular man who was thrilled at being able to see so clearly. His face just lit up.”
They went into a school to teach girls who were having their menstrual cycle, and gave out 54 “Day for Girls” kits. Joan wrote, “The girls seemed very interested and appreciative of this gift. It was fun watching them learn how to use each piece of the kit.” Ladies from the UB church in Kitchener, Ontario, made these kits.
At Cayes, they joined a bucket brigade to pass stone for the floor of the new sanctuary.
On February 3, Joan Sider was in a motorcycle mishap while riding with a pastor to the Archambault church, which otherwise required a 15-20 minute walk over rough terrain. She tumbled off the bike, the pastor landed on her leg, and the motorcycle landed atop him. Joan was shaken up and sore, but not badly hurt. A doctor and nurse were handy, so she was well cared for.
February 8 found them in Grande Saline for a full, productive day. They produced four quilts; in a drawing, two men and two women “won” quilts. The Children’s Ministry attracted about 50 children, who were very attentive despite many distractions. About 43 kits were given out in the Day for Girls presentation. The eye clinic gave out 35 pairs of glasses. They gave out ten baby bonnets knitted by a lady from the New Dundee church in Ontario.
They also held the first medical clinic of the trip, working with Haitian doctor Robinson Germain (right), who has ministered alongside them on previous trips. They saw 44 patients, mostly with high blood pressure and women’s issues. There were some issues with malaria, but improved water purification has greatly improved the situation.
The team will return to Canada on Thursday, February 11.