LIMBE, HAITI TRIP REPORT JUNE 6-13, 2011 PHYLLIS TSANG
I could do to serve God, the aspect of sacrifice was lacking in my serving. I dodged away from serving sacrificially and giving God full access to my heart and schedule, to staying within my boundary of comfort and abundance. God used this trip to remind me of what Jesus sacrificed for us to atone for our sins, and my call to do the same for the sake of His Kingdom. In Acts 8, Philip was at a different place and on a different journey when God called him to SACRIFICE Like all who has gone on mission talk to the Ethiopian eunuch, but trips would know, I bagged home he went right away. It was that many blessings. The greatest les- simple. son which I learned and was reminded of was sacrifice. Though Comparing to what Jesus gave up I often think about how and what (Philippians 2:6-7), my sacrifices EIGHT DAYS Looking at my dirt-filled nails, I can’t believe I am back. Eight days was like blink of an eye. At the beginning of the trip I was counting down my days, having a hard time adjusting to the level of hygiene in Haiti. But somewhere along the way, I’ve found myself at home and have grown to love CEDAN (Centre for Evangelism and Discipleship of Acul du Nord) and Haiti.
are insignificant. Perhaps even too small to be called sacrifices. During one of our morning devotions, I was reminded that my foundation was shifted to something / somewhere else other than Jesus. The list of “things which I can’t let go” has grown in the past year. Like the rich young man who walked away from Jesus sorrowfully because even though he had obeyed all the commandments, he failed to sell and give away all his possessions to follow Jesus. I don’t want to be him. GOD PROVIDES While I am still hesitating to reluctantly let go of a lot of things in my life (how pitiful!), God has
our Haitian friends at the ministry. Finally, we were even able to run along the trails and mountain ridges. That was exactly what I needed, but it was no longer about my training or keeping up my fitness anymore. It was the time spent up on the mountain with friends, the fresh air, the expandable view of the country and a little bit of solitude in nature and with God which fueled my days. My Father knows exactly what I need. He is never far away. Through meeting these tangible needs, God renewed my faith in On day four of the trip, I went Him to ask for even greater things on my first hike to a mountain for His Kingdom. nearby. In the next couple days, a few of us went further with one of once again shown me how He provides. He truly knows what we needs and He provides as would a loving Father. One of my “sacrifices” is to take a week and a half away from my running and swimming training. So trivial to even admit, yet so difficult. I know whatever time I take off, I’ll need at least twice the time to get back to where I was. But my mediocre athletic life is nowhere near the value of mission work and the impacts we could make for the Kingdom of God.
Route Nationale #1, Haiti
“If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” -Jesus (Matthew 19:21)
Left: Wonky. Right: Children in class at CEDAN
THEIR STORIES One evening, I talked to a young security guard who was staying on guard all night for us. His name is Wonky and he led one of our hikes. As we talked, he shared with me his story. Like most young Haitians, he finished classical school (preschool - high school in Haiti), dreams to go to university but has no means to. His parents are not working because there is no job available. They grow their own food to survive. The Northern Haiti Christian University nearby offers a limited amount of scholarship but not everyone is so fortunate. According to Wonky, public university receives over 5000 applicants each year but only take in 200. In order to be accepted, they need to take an entrance exam. In addition, they are also required to have a godfather and godmother, whom I believe to be sponsors. Wonky’s future is uncertain but he never gives up on learning. He takes on English on his own and is
able to communicate pretty well. CEDAN hires him when extra guards are needed. I felt helpless to his situation, but told him the least I could do is to share his story. I wish I could do a better job in recounting all the moments which provide a window for me to look into their lives and their perspective of them. Like the old lady who came to the guest house to get water from one of the outside pipes. Our eyes met when she looked up to the balcony. I
couldn’t hear her but I read from her lips that she said “thank you.” Government power only comes periodically. During down times, CEDAN turned on the generator to power the water pump and our computers. When that too failed, the ladies had to fetch water somewhere else. Who knows how far away that would be. We experienced two water shortage during which we couldn’t wash, bath, and flush. At the end, we all agreed that we’d take no electricity over no water any day.
Security guards find shade under canopy.
EXISTING MULTIPURPOSE BUILDING
LOOKING TOWARDS GUEST HOUSE
WAITING FOR CLINIC
NEW MULTIPURPOSE BUILDING
PROPOSED CANOPY ROOF TO CURRENT STRUCTURE
ENTRANCE TO SITE
PROJECT & DESIGN CEDAN has been serving Northern Haiti in the region of Limbe for nearly three decades through its churches, clinics, meal services, pantries, and 13 schools. The scope of our project is limited due to site capacity. There are currently two existing buildings on site and another one in construction. Our goal is to design a new multipurpose building to replace the condemned building which currently houses the school and the clinic, and to make suggestions to both existing master plan and structures on site. The design of the multipurpose building is driven by four major factors: the program, site, utility and services,
and the way which CEDAN and the community function (how they use and interact with the current site). The new building will have two floors. First floor will be the home of the clinic on one side and cafe, a multipurpose room and ancillary spaces on the other. Second floor will house four classrooms, a library / computer room, staff offices and housing, and two crisis housings. The new building will also have verandas on the first floor on two sides of the building and a large covered balcony on the second floor to provide shaded congregating area. We also made other improvements on the site like designated parking area, grading for drainage, new
water and waste water treatment to meet the needs. PRESENTATION When Saturday came, we were ready for our presentation. God provided us a room - an option we didnâ€™t even know we had until Friday - equipped with a projector and air conditioning at the Northern Haiti Christian University. They were blown away by our work. As a matter of fact, we were blown away by Godâ€™s work through us. As a team, we came up with something better than what we expected ourselves could do. We are truly humbled by the experience and are thankful for the unity we have as a team.
TOP: CAP HAITIEN AND ITS CATHEDRAL (DOME) FROM A FAR. BOTTOM: ELIO, CLARE AND I ON A HIKE.
Goodbye is always tearful. I miss my trail running friend, who has so much hope and joy amidst of all the hardship he was and is still dealing with. I miss the beauty which I saw with my own eyes. How God has made this country so beautiful. Coming down from the mountain, I saw a blanket of tin roofs draped over the terrain and was reminded of Jonah, who sat on the mountain and waited (and hoped) for judgment to descend upon the “great city.” God has a completely different perspective. He saw with compassion that his very own people who were lost. He saw 120,000
children and babies who could not even tell left from right. What am I willing to give and let go of in order to participate in what God has in mind for Haiti and many countries as such? As I write this with all the comfort which modern technology and first class society could provide, I miss the company of my team who brave the electrical and water outage, the mosquitoes, and the smoke from burning trash with me, and my Haitian friends who went out of their ways to welcome us to their beloved, yet poverty-stricken country.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: A STUDENT AT CEDAN WRITING DOWN HER NAME FOR ME; PART OF EMI TEAM; ARCHITECT JIM JOSE REVIEW ARCHITECTURAL PLANS WITH MINISTRY; ELIO, MY TRAIL RUNNING FRIEND; NICELY, OUR MAIN CONTACT WITH CHILDREN AT CEDAN.