Doc’s Hospital Progress

We’re proud to announce that last month, through your support, we were able to fund the vital repairs to Dr. Eugene Maklin’s vehicle. Dr. Eugene is a man like no other in Haiti, and we’re glad to have him as part of the Espwa team.

We’re hoping that you’re aware of the good doctor’s hospital project, as it’s been featured on our Current Projects page for a few months now.  For a good summary of where it stands at the moment, check out the video below.

Suffice it to say that this hospital will make a huge impact in northern Haiti.  We’re excited to see Dr. Eugene’s passion come alive, and we look forward to the day when we can send medical missions teams to help out firsthand.  But as the video illustrates, the funding for construction has hit a plateau.

This week, Dr. Eugene finishes up a two week trip to the U.S., and a large part of the trip has been trying to generate additional support.  If you have a desire to aid in this life-changing project, you can earmark your donation to Espwa as “Doc’s Hospital,” or also donate on the Haiti Mission Branche Nord website.

Thanks for everything you do Dr. Eugene!


Help Us Bless Pastor Benjamin

Since our last visit in July, Pastor Benjamin has jumped right into providing Christian ministry to our Peace & Joy families.  He’s met several times with the families for Bible study and has given out materials for the kids and adults.  Below is a picture he took of his last meeting a few weeks ago.

Pastor Benjamin Kids Bible Study

As we hinted at in our previous post about Pastor Benjamin, we were working on a blessing that could help his ministry flourish. Since we’re in the development stage of intervention (see our approach here), we thought long and hard about the right way to support him. We envisioned a plan where both Espwa and his congregation at EBAC Church could raise some funds.  However, rather than thinking we had the perfect solution, we worked with Pastor Benjamin to come up with something that could really be a game-changer for his life and ministry.

We found out that in Haiti, some church congregations have a somewhat jaded perspective of a pastor’s motivations for serving. Many think they are in it for the money, because they’ve seen other pastors serve their own interests more than the interests of the church. This is unfortunate. Because of this, Pastor Benjamin doesn’t want to give his church body the perception that he is in it for the money, so he simply never makes direct pleas for support other than the normal Sunday offerings.  We learned that Pastor Benjamin was still working in his primary profession of welding, while leading a congregation of nearly 400 Haitians.  He was very concerned with being able to provide for his family and the church as well.

Based on everything we heard and on Pastor Benjamin’s input, we’ve decided to bless him with a welding generator. As he is skilled in this trade, he will be able to take on jobs as necessary without having to rent equipment. When he’s not using it, he can rent it out to other welders to make passive income. Having the generator would free up more time to focus on the church and Peace & Joy ministry while still allowing Pastor Benjamin support his family.  Hopefully with the added time, he can get other church members fired up about the Peace & Joy ministry and take care of some of the day-to-day needs that have been a challenge.

One of our Espwa friends, Steven Licht, who accompanied us on a trip in July 2015, decided to take the initiative and raise some funds for this worthy cause. The project is hosted on our Razoo donations page and he’s raised more than half of the funds necessary to purchase the welding generator. We’re asking for your support to make the final push and fully fund the project. We are traveling to Haiti in December and hope to hand deliver the funds, so just over two months remaining for the goal.

Click the button below to be redirected to the funding page.  We appreciate your support and look forward to great things in the future as Espwa continues to partner with Pastor Benjamin!

Let’s Purchase a Welding Generator


A Reason for Joy!

If you’re familiar with Espwa, you know that the Peace & Joy children are near and dear to our hearts.  When we first encountered the orphanage several years ago, these kids were downtrodden, malnourished, couldn’t attend school, and had little reason for hope.  Fast forward to present day and you’ll instantly notice a difference in their attitudes, demeanor, and outlook on life.  Back in loving homes, attending school, and with access to medical care, the children have flourished.

We’ve always taken pride in these amazing changes, and this year is the first time we’ve felt that the project has hit a steady state.  We’ve covered another year’s schooling fees, medical expenses, and are actively fundraising to continue providing a monthly stipend.  We’ve built relationships with the families and they know we’re in it for the long-haul.

This February, we made a connection with Pastor Benjamin Fleurant of EBAC Church in Cap Haitien, Haiti.  During our initial meeting, we asked Pastor Benjamin many questions, but one stuck with us.  We’d been searching for opportunities to impact the Peace & Joy families in new ways.  We asked Pastor Benjamin if he’d consider providing Christian ministry (such as Bible studies, counseling, etc.) to our Peace & Joy families.  He sat back in his chair and spoke to the translator for a few seconds.  The translator said, “he says you don’t even have to ask that question.”  In other words, the was on board for whatever support the families needed and felt it was his duty as a pastor.  With that, we knew we’d found our man.

As our relationship with Pastor Benjamin grew, his character, integrity, and love for the Lord became apparent.  This summer, we asked for his support during our July trip, and he preached an amazing sermon on light vs. darkness to the Peace & Joy Families.  Pastor Benjamin set up a series of Bible studies for August and has been meeting with the families.

We received word this week that Pastor Benjamin met with the families this past Saturday for one of these Bible studies.  Seventeen of the children were there and he did what he always does – shared the truth of God’s love for all of us.  At the end of the study, 13 of the 17 children came forward and accepted Christ into their lives.  Talk about a reason for joy!

We can’t wait to see where this relationship with Pastor Benjamin goes and the lives that will be impacted as a result.  Please continue to pray for our children and their continued growth mentally, physically, and spiritually.  We have a project in mind to help support Pastor Benjamin in the future, so please stay tuned for more details.


Face Lift for St. Anthony’s

Kudos to our team from Pleasant Hills, who spent a day painting St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic during their trip earlier this month.  We finally got some photos of the completed work after a local Haitian painted the lettering for us.  Check out the before and after below.

St. Anthony’s was Espwa’s first project and we continue to support it through monthly salaries, medication donations, and through annual (or more) medical missions.  Please let us know if you’d like to visit it someday on one of our trips!


July 2015 Post-Trip Report

Fresh off our trip to Haiti, we wanted to share some of the big trip highlights.  Team members were in-country from July 1st – 8th, and much was accomplished.

Our Special Projects Officer, Brady Cillo, arrived in-country on the 1st of July and laid some groundwork for the rest of the team that would be arriving on the 4th.  Brady used the services of Haitian Creole Tour for transportation and translation, and met with several people in the Espwa network, including Dr. Eugene Maklin, Paul Guerrier, and Frantz Louis-Charles (our in-country Haitian team members).  Other tasks included meeting with Pastor Benjamin Fleurant to discuss a potential partnership between EBAC Church and the Peace & Joy Family project, meeting with the Peace & Joy families to discuss our long term vision of small businesses, and touring the hospital where Espwa has sponsored medical care for the Peace & Joy children.  Brady also fulfilled one of his dreams by hiking the mountain north of Cap Haitien with a group of teenage orphans from EBAC Orphanage – 2000 foot elevation gain was a bit rough in the summer heat, but the view was spectacular.

On July 4th, our VP, Chris Pfeiffer, arrived with a team from Pleasant Hills Community Church.  The team of 12 had gone through Espwa’s pre-trip training and was ready to make an impact in Haiti by “helping without hurting.”  The team showed love to our friends at EBAC orphanage, executed this year’s Peace & Joy beach trip, built and painted some benches for the Peace & Joy families, checked in on Dr. Maklin’s hospital construction, saw Jovenel’s farm, and painted St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic.

One of the most exciting parts of the trip (after the beach trip!) was on Tuesday when all the Peace & Joy families met at William Guerrier’s property for a day of learning about light vs. darkness.  The team had packed solar light kits in their suitcases and delivered them to each family.  We spent a day of assembling the units, and then Pastor Benjamin Fleurant passed out copies of the New Testament and preached to the families about how Jesus is the One True Light.  It was a powerful sermon and we hope the beginning of an amazing partnership between EBAC Church and the Peace & Joy families.  Pastor Benjamin has already set up a Bible study with the families with a first meeting in early August.

Thanks to all who prayed, funded, and engaged with us throughout the planning and execution of this trip.  Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed – we couldn’t do it without all our faithful supporters!


The Good Doc’s Cholera Fight

Our Medical Director in Haiti, Dr. Eugene Maklin, recently made us aware of an urgent need due to an outbreak of cholera in some of the rural regions outside of Cap Haitien.  Doc has been soliciting donations of supplies and funds and with them, has been making distribution in the affected areas. When asked what his biggest needs are, he told us Clorox bleach, Aquatab water purification tablets, soap, and hand sanitizer.  We were able to bring Doc some supplies on our latest trip, but we also provided some funds to purchase supplies in-country.

Dr. Maklin’s humility and persistence shone through when he sent us the photo below with the description, “this patient has had the cholera in Laguille-Dondon. I’m so happy that I could serve him with sanitation supplies yesterday. Thanks for all your support.”

Cholera Patient

 

Here are a few more pictures of Dr. Maklin distributing supplies in rural Haiti south of Cap Haitien.

 

If you would like to make a donation to this worthy cause, please visit the full Razoo donation site and add “Cholera outbreak” to your comments.


I Gotta Have More Choir

Last week, our Executive Director, Joe Shaffer, returned to Cap Haitien to continue work on one of the Espwa projects near and dear to his heart.  For years, he has been involved in sharing the beauty of Haitian choirs (read about our project here).  On this trip, Joe recorded enough content to produce new albums for three of the choirs – “Gran Chorale,” “Chorale Lajenes,” and “Son De Soley.”

One of the ongoing needs for both Gran Chorale and Chorale Lajenes is the purchase of choir robes for their performances.  Espwa gave support funds to each of the choir directors (Simon and Marirose) during the trip, but the choirs are still about $1000 short each.  The funds will purchase robes for over 85 people.  If interested in donating to this project, add a comment of “Choir Robes” to your donation on the full Razoo site here.

 

It was great working with Anne, Rosie, Nico, Manu, Eve, and Fannie of Son De Soley again.  Listen to Son De Soley’s first album below: