HAITI APPEAL AUGUST 2021
The twin disasters (earthquake and tropical storm Grace) of the past week in Haiti have caused catastrophic destruction and, once again, left the people of Haiti seeking relief from organizations in the USA and around the world. The three cities hardest hit by these latest disasters are areas that Advent has supported over the years. Les Cayes, where we worked with the Methodiste church to rehab a building to serve as a school; the Jeremie area, where we again partnered with the Methodiste church, this time in founding a school building in Bois Neuf Malor; and in Camp Perin which is the base for COFHED, an organization focused on community development and education in rural Haiti. We have received word of major damage in all three areas. You can visit their website to learn more about their work at www.cofhed.org, or get earthquake updates at www.cofhed.org/earthquake.
COFHED was selected as a Mission Fund partner for several reasons. Many members of Advent have visited their project in Lougou, Haiti, and have continued to support COFHED over the past 15 years. Leaders Nick and Madeleine Avignon, presented to our congregation in advance of the 2019 Christmas offering. In addition, COFHED is a smaller organization that serves the most rural areas of SW Haiti, an area that may be forgotten as aid flows into the more populous cities that were impacted. We also know that the funds we raise will reach those in greatest need, without any being utilized for overhead or unrelated projects.
Photos of the construction process that took place.
Advent has sponsored volunteer in mission teams to Haiti annually since 2001, helping with construction on various building projects coordinated through the Methodiste Church of Haiti. In 2008 Advent started work to rebuild a church in Ile Adam, Haiti (in the north of the country). The floor of the church was too low and whenever it rained, the church would flood. Each year the Advent volunteer team would help start a phase in the reconstruction; work that would continue after the team left with local laborers paid through funds provided by Advent UMC.
In 2008 the foundation was completed and walls were started; in 2009 the walls and roof were completed. In early November, 2010, a team from Advent helped finish the floor, windows and doors, completing the church reconstruction. The church was dedicated to the Glory of God on November 14, 2010 with Advent’s team in attendance. It was a wonderful celebration! Thanks to everyone who gave so generously of time and money to see this project through to completion. And may God bless the people of Haiti who call this their church home.
In 2011, the Advent team partnered with International Child Care to help rebuild homes destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. Many of the employees of Grace Children’s Hospital, the flagship ministry of ICC in Haiti, were profoundly impacted by the January, 2010 earthquake, losing family and friends in the tragedy, along with their homes and all their personal belongings. In spite of the suffering they faced, these employees reported to work at Grace Hospital everyday following the earthquake to provide care to the children and families who were patients at the hospital at the time of the quake. They even took on the task of providing water, food and other support to the community at large in the days following the quake. More than 1-1/2 years later, many of the employees were still living in tent cities or in extended family situations because they do not have the resources needed to rebuild their homes. Advent’s volunteers helped haul debris and supplies and assisted local laborers in rebuilding a staff member’s home nearly destroyed in the quake.
Haiti Partnership Update
Advent’s annual Haiti mission trip was cancelled in fall 2016 due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew. The hurricane destroyed much of the area surrounding our Methodiste school project in Bois Neuf Malor (near Jeremie) and made travel to reach the area hazardous. We were heartened to learn that many people in the area near the school took refuge in the new school building during the storm, even as the roof of the church next door was blown off. Advent sent a team back in October 2017 to continue our work in the Jeremie region. Your contributions to the Mission Fund are greatly appreciated and reach those in need locally, nationally and globally.