Feb 2015

Traverse Bay United Methodist Church Mission to Musac, Haiti in Feb. 2015.
 This trip had just a couple goals when we started.  One was to check out the installation and operation of the corn grinder that we financed.   The other was to work with the builders who were constructing the grain and seed storage building which we are supporting.  It turned out to be one of the most rewarding and affirming trips for us that we have ever made.

This is our team for 2015
From left: Carla, Ann, Sheryl, Mike, Lauren with our friends Paschel and Tigo.

The communities in Haiti have few facilities for grinding corn.  Those they have are used by many people and are often hand-grinders.  The ability to grind corn is very important to the entire community.  There is a group of women in Musac who had a motor driven grinder which failed.  It was beyond fixing.  Our team spent $4,500.00 to have one delivered from PAP and installed for these women.  













While we were there, a woman brought a bucket of corn to be ground.  It was.  The ground corn went back into her bucket and she was charged 7 goude.  (45 gde = $1 U.S.)
This small fee is necessary for sustain the women with the grinder and to maintain the engine and grinder.



Partly because of the stage of construction and partly for other reasons, we did not do much labor at the building site.  We did hang out there some and moved some dirt to be used in making cement for the ceiling.  Workers here are preparing the support for pouring the ceiling.







Next to the building will be a large cistern. This is about 12ft. deep.


One of the bright spots in Musac is the Cyber Cafe being built by our friend, Daniel and his wife, Sarah.  Computer classes and WiFi access will be available here.  Currently there is no public internet access in the area.  There is a cell-phone charging pole along the street outside where for a couple goude, a cell phone can be charged.




The website for the Musac Cafe is:  musaccafe.weebly.com  To contact Daniel and Sarah write: musaccafe@gmail.com or call: 712-540-0079.  Financial support for this project is being sought.  They will provide unusually excellant plans, costs past and projected, and accountability.  This would be a very good and reliable project to support with your money either individually or as a church, etc.  Daniel is one of several local community leaders who will be the reason Haiti will grow into a viable independant nation.  We have known Daniel for several years and are always impressed with him and pleased to be his friend.


While in Haiti, we went to Jacmel to see Karnaval (like mardi-gras) The celebrations in Port au Prince are much bigger, but, Jacmel does a good job too.  


The tiles went up for a couple blocks.

 More wall murals are there now.








 Is there a dentist in the crowd?









Another project is one of Living Media's.  Ellen Kamischke, from Traverse Bay UMC is on the board of this organization.  We help her  support the New Life School in Musac.  Here are some photos of their Karnaval celebrations.












Some of the students were testing each other in algebra while we were there.



The school has some plants and flowers.  These are coffee plants that belong to Lavalle de Demain being kept here at the school.  Kesnel and Serg are members of this group.  This is also the group we are working with to build the seed/grain storage.


The water from their pump supplies the area with drinkable (Haitian standards) water.










They provide meals to the students too.








Although not a 'project' for us we are friends with this Kid's Club in LaValee (Musac area).  The minister and his wife gather area children each Saturday for Christian lessons, school lessons, and teach subjects such as domestic abuse which is a very needed topic.
This year Ann made hand puppets.  Our team put on a simple play with the puppets using bible stories.  My favorite part was spraying the kids with water during the Jonah and the Whale story.  



 Kids Club




It's a Whale, not a shark.











 Kesnel helped too.  He was one of our leaders/coordinators who planned and monitored our trip.  The other leader was Serg.
Kesnel and Serg are two more of the community leaders who are developing Musac in many ways.



We also had the kids make valentines for their loved ones.










This boy is the pastor's son.  He makes purses, bags, computer cases out of plastic bottles.  They are really neat.


This is pastor Nicodem and his wife who work so very hard to help the local children.  They would be very happy to find sponsorship for their program.  The $200 u.s. they used to receive monthly has been lost.   Without this money, they cannot feed the kids.  This means the kids lose food and because it is a draw to bring the kids, they also lose exposure to Christian learning and schooling. For information how to help, contact Carla, one of our team leaders, at mjw888@charter.net for details.


Below is Tigo's house.  He is going to turn it into a guest house.  Tigo was our host home while we were in Musac.
 We used mosquito nets at night this year.  There are now mosquitoes that carry malaria, dengue fever, and chikungunya.  In the daytime use spray and at night use nets.



This is the kitchen where good meals were made.

The dinning room.




Our tradition has been to have team devotions at night followed by playing cards.  Long ago our friends came and turned this into church with singing, sharing, praying.  Occasionally it's followed by card games.  The Haitians are quite insistent that we hold church.


 This year Tigo shared during church something that affirmed what our team has tried to be about.   He told us how very much our friendship meant to the Haitians.  Our respect for them and the fact that we came and worked with them and not just sent money was important.  He recognized that the team and the Haitians have had to forgive and get past some issues with each other, but, that our friendship was too important to lose.  Truly, this is more than a few mission trips to do something for someone.  This is formation of friendship with each other based on a shared love of Jesus Christ.






This is TiPierre's house.  We built it in 2009 after his was damaged by a hurricaine.  Another hurricaine broke a tree branch which has damaged the roof.  Like any homeowner, it never ends.  


TiPierre is a paraplegic.  He was going through at least 4 wheelchairs a year until we got this P.E.T. (personal energy transport) for him.  They are made in Holland, MI and distributed free around the world.
Ti Pierre has traveled many miles on rough Haitian roads and trails with this machine conducting business and helping others
.  


 There was more to this trip.  Maybe I can add it later.  The most important thing I can leave with you is this.  We are all God's children.  We all have needs.  We all have resources, granted there is a great differance in the material ones.  Jesus tells us all to love one another.  We can do that not by just giving handouts, but, by engaging other people intimately, becoming friends, and sharing our lives with each other.  This can be next door or across the world or both.  Distance is not the issue.  Love for each other and sharing our love of God is the issue.