Sunday Bulletin Article – Some Notes From Haiti – 4-7-13
Some Notes from Haiti
By Rick Court, Pastor
The question I am asked most often since our return from HOPE’s third mission trip to Haiti this past March is, “So, how was it?” And, my first response is usually, “It was great!” And it was. But, “It was great!” doesn’t fully express or explain our experience while in Haiti last month.
Our arrival was typical: a long 12-hour travel day. Meet at HOPE at 4:30am, drive to JFK, and then wait. Board the plane at 9:30am, enjoy our last few hours of air conditioning, and then arrive in Port au Prince at 2pm. Next are the immigration lines; the luggage claim adventure; and customs, where everyone is looking for a “tip.” Then, we begin our 3-hour drive through the city, then the mountains, then the coast, and finally arrive in Jacmel. It’s only a 50-mile drive— look it up on Google maps— but don’t believe the 1-hour travel time. I am sure the Google Maps people have never been to Jacmel and have never made the drive from Port au Prince to Jacmel because it’s a 3.5-hour drive— every time.
Fenel Bruna is the founder and director of the House of Abraham (HOA). There are currently 13 children at HOA: Widly, Luciana, Richarson, David, Christalla, Saintamene, and seven others. Fenel is a man with a vision and a plan, a man with an ever-present smile on his face, even in the midst of adversity and struggle.
The desire of the House of Abraham is to raise up Haiti’s future leaders. Because the children do not have any parental support, HOA is responsible for meeting every need of the children living in the center. Fenel and his staff provide healthcare, food, education, clothing, and, most importantly, a loving family environment. Fenel, because of the vision and need for leaders in Haiti, has created a special bank account for each child’s future educational goals. He and the House of Abraham are poised and ready to make a difference in Haiti!
While we were there in March, we continued work on the new House of Abraham property. Currently HOA is renting a facility for the children and the work teams that serve. But recently, HOA was able to purchase 8 acres on the side of a mountain with a beautiful view of the city of Jacmel and the Caribbean Sea. As a result, we are now completing the first facility on this new property! The children will move into their new home in May. For many of these kids, this will be their first real home.
There is much to do still at the House of Abraham. The new home on the property is only the first of many buildings yet to come. There is a plan to construct two separate dormitories for both boys and girls, a school, a playground, and a church, as well as community-based programs.
While driving with Fenel one day, I asked, “ What is your greatest need, Fenel?” His response encouraged and challenged me. He said, “The greatest need for these children, and for the House of Abraham, is family. When you have family, you are rich. And HOPE is our family. When you have family, you know there is someone who cares for you and who will help in times of trouble. HOPE and HOA are family. You are already meeting our need.”
So how was our trip? It was great. And our family in Haiti— the House of Abraham— sends you their greetings. There are 13 little ones, as well as a staff of young men and women who consider you and me their family in America. They pray for us, and I was challenged to pray and think of them often.
Our next trip to the House of Abraham is already scheduled for March 6 through March 13, 2014. Clear your calendars now for our next family reunion. I hope you can join us.