Beaverton Foursquare Church are one of our most frequent visitors at Basecamp. We have had the “well guys” down several times and some awesome youth and student teams. This week, for the first time ever, we have Dentists!
This is the end of day two of clinics on the church property. They have seen in excess of 50 people. It’s amazing to me to see so many people waiting to be seen. All of
them a little scared, but determined none the less. For most this may be the only opportunity that they will have this year to see a dentist, or hygienist.
I spoke to one woman who we know from the bead class who came yesterday to have her teeth cleaned only to be told that one of them needs to come out. Feeling the fear, that most of us know only too well, she decided to just go home and chance the future pain and discomfort.
Here she was this morning though, a little afraid, but determined none the less, to face up to the trauma of sitting in the chair once again!
One of the benefits of having had so many medical clinics before is that we have a whole team of guys who are able to translate medical type conversations for us.
While we may be able to get by with a lot of miming and pointing I’m sure it is a great comfort to the patients to know that they are being understood properly.
And of course, we couldn’t let the Dentists loose on our Haitian friends without checking their skills out for ourselves. Our fearless leader led the way!
I’m so happy to be here! It has been over two years since I fell in love with Haiti. It’s been great seeing familiar faces but not so much familiar places. Everything looks so different. Lots of big changes.
I was here for a lot of the firsts, before teams even started coming. First truck, stove, working refrigerator and the big generator. I was able to help clean and prepare the base camp. I helped with whatever was needed really. I enjoyed meeting all the lovely people at the church and going to an orphanage.
Ever since I left I knew I would come back. So with a lot of prayer, seeking the Lord, getting into the word and the support of my family and church family I am back. I’m thankful for my wonderful home church in Scottsdale, Arizona. I wouldn’t be here without Grace Chapel.
I will be here for at least three months. I’m honored to be working with such an amazing staff. They have been so nice and welcoming. I already have a nickname! I will be helping with buying the food, communicating and other things here and there.
I can’t even begin to explain how proud I am of John and Debbie. All the work they’ve done is awesome, their sacrifices are huge and their love for the Haitian people is big.
I’m excited to see what the Lord has for me and the people of Haiti.
So, we all know how easy it is to ‘shoot fish in a barrel’. Have you ever wondered how hard it would be to count fish in 2,000 gallon tank?
Well, I can tell you right now! While it may be not anywhere as easy as the shooting option, it certainly is just as much fun!
This week we have a team of interns from Ignite Academy in Virginia, and one of the tasks that we needed help with is to inventory one of out tilapia tanks. This involves draining the tank and removing all the fish, counting them out and counting them back into a different tank, just to make sure! All this complicated by the fact that tilapia are prolific breeders and the tank is full of tiny fry almost invisible to the naked eye…but thankfully not quite!
We began our tilapia project back in June last year with 600 babies! (you can read more about this here) By January this year they were ready to be sold and had been busy enough replacing themselves that we now have approximately 2,500 fish in our 8 tanks!
So the fish that we sell provides and income for Foursquare Haiti and also much needed affordable nutrition for the people who live locally and come to the church to buy fish.
This is all part of the self sufficiency project that we prototyping on our own property to be reproduced at our other churches and orphanages, along with chicken farming and the new bakery project and our Trades Schools and Training Centers. Our ultimate goal is to be able to have each project able to finance itself and be
encouraging health, education and training in their communities.
– Becky Haldane
It’s always fantastic when we have former team members returning to work with us again. Last week Willie Blakely, one of the guys who were here in the early days in 2010, came back to spend another three months with us. These are his initial thoughts on getting back to Port-au-Prince.
I spent my time in Haiti between the months of September through December in 2010. I really didn’t know what to expect before I came. In fact, it’s kind of embarrassing but before the earthquake I really didn’t know anything about Haiti. I found that serving here was truly something God really set me up with. It was remarkable to see how happy Haitians are on a daily basis and how ready they are to work despite how little it is that they have, in comparison to America anyways.
Me and the guys I came with previously were really privileged to have gone to places like Jeremie and teach a few select Haitians how to make footings for a wall. We were also very lucky to start a lot of projects on the church property here, such as prepping and pouring the slabs for the chicken coup, tilapia, bathrooms and helping with the church slab. It was even more awesome to see all the work that got done when I returned here in April of 2012. I was very surprised to see that the church was done especially because the whole time I was here before it was in Haiti but it was stuck in customs.
I was also very happy to see the church property here thriving as it was talked about happening someday. The reason for my surprise is that, as anyone who is familiar with Haiti knows, it takes such a very long time to do anything.
I am very excited to get to know the staff here, as I am with any person who has love for Haiti. They seem very excited to serve the Lord as well as people. After having learned that there are now multiple foursquare church properties I think it is a true honour for foursquare Haiti to have such loving and gifted people willing to serve on the staff.
– Willie Blakely
Last Monday morning Jeff Duncan, our Director of Agriculture, spoke at our staff devotions about the relationship between David and Jonathan and challenged us to be actively building strong relationships with the people we come alongside here every day.
Since beginning the bead classes a couple of months ago I have been able to begin to develop real frienships with the women who attend. Many of them have finished the course but still come to the classes for the fellowship aspect of not only doing work together, but doing life together.
One of the people who has been on my heart in particular is a wonderful woman named Solange. She came to work for us at the house several weeks ago and has taken our dining experience to a new level!
Through something as simple as sitting with her for short periods of time, teaching her how to roll short strips of card into beads, through broken creole and english (sometimes spanish, facial expressions, and Minnesota-isms, don’tchaknow!) we have developed a friendship that I hope brings as much joy to her heart as it does mine.
We found out recently that Solange, like so many Haitian women and men, never had the opportunity to go to school to learn to read and write. Pastor Debbie, always the teacher, drew dots on a sheet of paper for Solange to be able to join up to spell her name. It never fails to amaze me how something so simple can produce such emotions, mostly in me!!!
My hope is that through the work of the Women’s Training Center, and through one on one relationships such as this we will, one by one, be able to see countless women experience the revolution in their lives that an education can bring.
– Val Yobbie
Last week we had an awesome team in from Phoenix in Arizona. Considering the things they accomplished during their visit its incredible to me how short a time they were here for.
One of the main projects that they wanted to be involved in was building the chicken coup for the orphanage that we are building in Torcel. By the end of their time we were able to give the coup an inaugural run with some of the chickens from Basecamp…so far so good!
Its always a blessing to have gifted evangelists on a team. Four of the workers from Torcel and two women from the Tent City all gave their hearts to the Lord after talking with the team. It was a privilege to watch the Holy Spirit working in and through these guys. We know that God has a plan and a purpose for the lives of these six people and we’re looking forward to watching that unfold.
– Craig Brusetti, Team Facilitator
Part of the wider vision of the Women’s Training Centre is to see women become more independent financially. For some this will mean making beads and selling them to us. For others though, we hope that they will be able to turn their newly acquired skills into a business which may one day lead to them being completely self sufficient.
On Saturday morning we held our first Business Class. More than 20 of our women were able to attend, many of whom have completed the jewellery training and received their diplomas after church on Sunday. Pastors John and Debbie Booker taught from personal business experience about the basics of starting up and keeping books etc, along side good biblical principles for money management and honouring God in all that we do.
Its exciting to be a fly on the wall watching doors being opened for these women and their families that might otherwise never have even been approached. I’m looking forward to being able to report a year from now on the fantastic changes in these women’s lives…stay tuned!!!