I find it difficult to even remember what I did yesterday, but here is a quick attempt at everything that is going on as of late.
The months of October and November at the guest house were crazy! Things have tapered off quite a bit in December. January will pick up a lot – so this is a nice breather. We love and enjoy our time hosting guests. It is an opportunity to speak into the lives of others as they visit this wonderful seemingly crazy country. It’s a great time to help guests process, ask questions, and share their love of Christ as they attempt to make sense of things.
Since this month has been less busy around the guest house we are able to spend more time helping out other areas of Heartline.
A number of us from different ministries traveled a 3 hour journey to Léogâne, Haiti to visit a ministry that is partnering with Florida State University. They have a number of projects that are particularly interesting for Heartline. One of the projects that I enjoyed seeing was the tilapia project. They had about 7 large tanks that had thousands of fish in each. They are diverting a stream to fill up the tanks, very clever! Then the excess from the tanks are poured back in downstream all using gravity.
We have a one tilapia tank behind the Harbor House. We are going to start growing this idea by installing 4 tanks out at the property and begin growing much more tilapia. The first goal is to create enough tilapia to feed the women enrolled at the maternity center. The second goal is to make Heartline more self-sustaining by selling them in Haiti.
This ministry is offering, in a sense, micro-loans to Haitians. From their brochure – They provide a Haitian Christian the necessary training, financing and oversight to begin his/her own small business. The chicken coop provides food and income security for a family. It is a realistic tool for poverty alleviation, both sustainable and expandable. Children continue to be fed through a sustainable solution that won’t go away when aid workers can no longer provide meals. Unlike relief dollars that are given, spent and must be replenished, dollars invested in economic development, or “business as ministry”, never stop working.
More details to come…
What an interesting day! Spent almost all day at the sewing center. Fabienne, who works there, asked if I would help make profiles the women who were making purses. It was good practice for my Creole. The profiles will eventually be printed on each bag and also available to view on the haitiancreations.com.
Some questions I asked the ladies:
- Konbyen tan ou travay isit la? - How long have you worked here.
- Ki sa ou espere fè – What do you hope to do?
- Ki chanjman Heartline pote nan lavi w’? – What has changed since you started with Heartline?
It really hit me how this job has really helped these ladies. It was simple things… simple things to us. It wasn’t like they won the lottery and now they live in a mansion and drive nice cars. One of the girls I interviewed lived on the street in a very dangerous part of town. Has two children because of who knows what. Now her family is renting a home to live in. Probably a one room shack, I didn’t ask. She has shelter! Before nothing… now something! She wasn’t even thinking about education for her kids, she was just getting to the next day. Now, she is thinking about her kids education and will be able to pay for them to go to school. It’s amazing sitting face-to-face with these ladies and hearing this. Simple sentences but life changing for future generations. Having the ability to learn and get an education. It continues to give this Haitian proverb meaning for me:
Sak vid pa kanp. - An empty sack can’t stand up.
Two days are never the same in Haiti but I hope this helps give some insight into what we are working towards and the continued mission here in Haiti.