An Amazing UCC Haiti Mission Trip
The RICUCC Haiti Task Force, in collaboration with the United Congregational Church UCC of Bridgeport, Ct., had a very amazing Haiti mission trip this past July. The group consisted of 41 youth and adults who, with their pastor the Rev. Sara Smith, accompanied both Shirley Hardison and Suzanne Swanson to Gressier and Leogoane to work in conjunction with our partners in Haiti.
They had worked so hard and planned for months to raise money and donations to serve their neighbors in Haiti. Upon arrival in Haiti they were taken by vans to the New Life Center and the Shepard House by Tingue, their host for the week. They focused on so many projects with our Haiti friends in the very stifling summer’s heat. They installed metal roofs on a sewing school and a Sunday school building and repaired the roof of a pastor’s home. They cooked for 100s with the Haitian cooks over open charcoal stoves. The group provided music and games along with drama and a vacation bible school for the children. The group even laid concrete floors in 2 homes. The families were thrilled!
As the week went on, the group asked for more projects. Soon they had a long list of things to do at Operation Love the Children crèche/orphanage. They laid a concrete patio, built new cabinets, counters and installed plumbing and a sink in the kitchen. The group built shelves in the nurse’s office, 3 beds for children and 1 for an adult, built 2 steps, repaired doors, a canopy and the soccer goals in the yard. They even built a chair for a young girl with CP so she could sit up straight. An important and very timely project was the enclosing and painting of a storage unit for many donations of food and items brought down by the US Naval Hospital Ship Comfort. That was such a gift and just so timely! The list of their accomplishments went on and on!
Their journey was so faith based. The group expressed that it was an amazing, transformative and profound week. The Sunday before they left for Haiti the people of their church wrote prayer flags for them to take with them. The group members then wrote prayer flags back to the congregation on their last night in Haiti to describe their experience working with the Haitian folks. As one prayer said, “Haiti has so little but we took away so much.” The group looks forward to more trips to Haiti and, in the mean time, their lives have been so life changing, thanks be to God.