February 2015 Trip Report

Both of our teams made it back from Haiti safely and with much accomplished!  Thanks to all who supported our team members through prayers, financial giving, and other donations of medical supplies.

Let’s first discuss our medical mission.  Before the trip, we packed multiple suitcases of donated medication and equipment, which was hand carried into Cap Haitien (see the photo for just a small sample). The team also purchased hard-to-get medication in-country to stock the clinics Espwa supports.



The team of 3 medical professionals and one photographer spent their days with Dr. Eugene Maklin, our in-country Medical Director.  The team visited St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic for 3 days and Blue Hills for 2 days, seeing over 100 patients per day!

Haiti 2

Our second team from Northgate Church (Pittsburgh, PA) visited St. Anthony’s clinic, the Agrolide farming expansion project, the Plane-du-Nord hospital project, Haitian Creole Tour, and helped tutor at EBAC Christian Academy.  The team also had dinner Q&A times with one of our Peace & Joy families, a group of local pastors, in-country missionaries, and a Haitian organization that provides micro-loans.  It was a great exposure trip of multiple Espwa projects and many individuals in our network.


Glad to see our friends in-country and continue building relationships.  Also glad to be home safely with renewed energy about our work in Haiti.

Travesty in Haiti Review

This month’s review has an interesting title: Travesty in Haiti: A True Account of Christian Missions, Orphanages, Food Aid, Fraud, and Drug Trafficking by Timothy T. Schwartz.  Sure gives away the author’s true feelings from the start, but here’s our thoughts about the book.

Travesty in HaitiThe book takes the first person perspective of an anthropologist who spent 10+ years in Haiti. The title word says it all – travesty. The author goes through various spheres in Haitian humanitarian aid, including food aid, orphanages, medical care, and schools. He also touches on voodoo, the police and justice system, poverty in rural Haiti, and finally on drug trafficking. The author walks away with a cynical and disillusioned perspective after all of his research – for good reason after all the travesty he witnessed.

As an organization in the business of helping the poorest of the poor in Haiti, this book resonated as a call to examine everything Espwa does. We are founded on the basis of relationships and I think the first step in avoiding some of the travesty is partnering with trustworthy, Christian individuals who share our same vision for poverty alleviation. It would be easy to just pack up shop and say that Haiti is not worth the effort – like the main thrust of this book suggests – but we’re in it for real change, not to pat ourselves on the back. Evaluating ourselves regularly and asking the tough questions are the first steps in overcoming the cynical perspective.

For those who’ve never been to Haiti, this is a good primer to some of the things we’re dealing with down there. It’s taken us many years and much reflection to start overcoming the brokenness wrought by both Haiti itself and foreign aid, but we still consider it a worthy pursuit. If you read this one, do it with a grain of salt and know that we are all broken apart from Jesus.

Disclaimer: there is a bit of language toward the end of the book, but it is more illustrative of the situation rather than excessive.

Haiti, Here We Come!

Next week, we’ll be sending two teams to Cap Haitien, Haiti.  First, we’ll kick off our annual medical mission, which will provide medications (hand carried into country & purchased in country), see dozens of patients daily, and do its best to provide hope to those who’ve been suffering with treatable illnesses.

Next, our second team from Northgate Church (Pittsburgh, PA) will get its first experience of Haiti.  We plan to visit Espwa projects such as the medical mission in action, Jovenel’s farm, and Haitian Creole Tour. We’ll also work to build the Espwa network by meeting with partner organizations (Mission Trakaye & EBAC Church), and one of our Peace & Joy families.

It’s going to be a great trip and we’d appreciate your prayers for safe travels!