Reflections on Mission Trip
to Saint Louis du Sud, Haiti
April 4 - 14, 2018
Each mission trip has its own unique pace and character. The 2018 trip to Saint Louis du Sud was different primarily because of the extended calendar. Rather than the usual seven (7) day calendar, this year our stay was for ten days. Time is a gift! The extra days enabled us to do some local shopping for materials and visit a botanical garden. We had the time to enjoy our stay on the front and back end with Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs at the Bethel Guest House. Their hospitality warms the heart!
Our team consisted of three persons; one of those individuals was really special. Anita’s son, Daniel, traveled with us and won favor with the children in the public school community in rare fashion, truly a nice ingredient.
In thinking about this experience, I have used different paradigms to convey my reactions and observations.
I am grateful for the:
Safe travels from the USA to Haiti, from Port-Au-Prince to Aquin, and daily from Aquin to Saint Luis du Sud.
Good weather and minimal invasion of mosquitoes.
Willingness of the leadership at the public school and Baptist school to work with us to plan for the distributions.
Safety provisions and comfort at Hotel Aldy and Bethel Guest House.
Bathrooms made available to us in Saint Louis du Sud.
Cooperative attitude of the library staff.
Opportunity to make a “minute” difference in an area where the needs are immense.
Gift of time, physical fitness/stamina, emotional and financial fitness to participate in this work.
Sorted and organized the contents of eleven (11) boxes and three (3) barrels of food, books and supplies that had been shipped in the past twelve months.
Purchased a case of composition books that met the standards of the public school.
Distributed meal bags, clothes, including shoes, and school supplies over a three day period touching the lives of over two thousand students.
Expanded shelving capacity enhanced the functionality of the library.
Replaced materials in the library.
Increased shelving capacity supported reorganizing some of the materials in the library which clarified the purpose of the space.
Redesigned shelves allowed for more books to be assigned to the various categories.
Logistics were thoroughly addressed in preparation to serve the community.
Transportation arrangements, rental of vehicle, were much smoother than in past years.
Hotel accommodations were adequate; the meals were well prepared to our specifications. The staff was respectful and supportive.
Library staff has a relationship with the students at the public school and there is a willing attitude to assist in making the library effective.
Challenges / Threats
Having served on as a team member three times since 2014, I base my comment on personal experiences. The major threat for each mission trip for Christian Hearts for Haiti is transportation. Each time that I have participated the team was most at risk with transportation. There were issues either with the vehicle, the driver, or a combination of driver and vehicle.
Having a diverse team of no more than five (5) people and enough work for team members to feel valued.
Prayer and Trust
Reflecting on this experience causes me to realize my limitations, and the need to commit my concerns for this ministry and the conditions in Haiti to our Lord Jesus Christ. So, in keeping with Psalm 37: 5,” Commit your way to the Lord, trust him and he will do this...” , I pray for….
The people of Saint Louis du Sud that a major force will reverse the conditions of lack of clean water, scarcity of food, safe homes, literacy, job training and improved school facilities.
Leaders of Haiti who manage resources, develop educational policy, and negotiate for resources will exercise fair and responsible leadership with urgency and accountability.
Respectfully Submitted and Prepared by,
Ellanor L. Graves, Ed.D.
April 28, 2018
A School Supplies Mission to Children
Christian Hearts for Haiti