Conduit for Sponsors

Karl translating a letter

One of the very cool things we get to do is bring in letters and gifts from sponsors. We try to take pictures for the sponsors so they can see that their benevolence reaches its target. But we get to be the conduit! It is fun to tell them about their sponsors and translate a letter or card or hand them a gift.

Pictured above I’m relaying a message to this young man about some funds that were sent for his mother’s business. Along with the funds were some wise business instructions to ensure a measure of success. We have participated in several business ventures to help families gain the ability to feed themselves in such a difficult economic environment. We have some other ventures in mind and welcome your input and suggestions.

Giving beans to a happy mom

We are so happy to be in the middle of such kindness and benevolence. We hope that you’ll be able to see it firsthand one day too!

Jaclyn…

Jaclyn with a bunch of her friends

I had the honor of traveling with my daughter, Jaclyn on this last trip. It was just the two of us and it was nice. We started off together every moment, laughing, speaking Haitian Creole, and having fun. Then…she was off! She already made so many friends previously and seemed to make more by the minute. As I would walk around doing my daily business there was bound to be someone asking for her by name.

My 5 children have been to Haiti multiple times now and I’m able to see the impact it has had on their lives; the awareness of blessing here in the States, the difficulties in other environments, the priority of relationships, and so on. It is a beautiful thing. It is not difficult to get one of them to go on another trip that’s for sure!

Jaclyn with a neighbor

Dehydrated Beans

Preparing the first helping of beans

Our good friends Dave and Carolyn sent us some beans to give out in Cabois. Of course I had to try them…right? I never used to be much of a beans guy but after spending lots of time in the third world environment I’m quite used to a meal including rice and beans. I must say, I really enjoyed it! Of course it was extra enjoyable knowing that we’re bringing in nutrition to needing families as well. Everyone we shared these with seemed to love them! Thank God for this provision.

Sharing with a friend (you can sponsor a child too!)

We are hoping to send in one hundred cases soon. They are a great means of protein and only require adding boiling water! All the flavoring is in the mix already, even I can do it!!

Better Living Conditions

Houses along the road

Fifteen months after the earthquake and multitudes of families are still living in make-shift tents all over the country side of Haiti. It’s hard to imagine from our comfortable homes here in the States but seeing it firsthand really brings it home. A stick, a piece of plastic, a sheet of tin, whatever looks like it will provide a little protection from the elements is used by these homeless in an attempt to survive the sunny days, cool nights, and rain.

We have been so blessed to have completed the construction of one hundred fifty shelters and still going. There is such a heartwarming appreciation from the beneficiaries. They say, “thank you” and, “God bless you” and sometimes they sing songs of joy, it’s a sight to behold! We are thrilled to be a piece of the proverbial puzzle.

One of the shelters being built

The new units are a vast improvement over the tents these families have been in for over a year! Please pray for the ability to do more…

 

Natacha…

Shanaika with her new doll and Natacha looking on…

We at Project Nourish will always hold a special place in our hearts for the sponsorship programs. So many long-term, fulfilling relationships have come from these programs. They have lead to international visits between families, business endeavors, and more! The little girl pictured above is shown holding a new doll she received from someone in the States. She wouldn’t let it go! Someone cared about her and showed it. Well you can also see, in the lower left of the picture, her mom happily looking on. The mom’s name is Natacha. She remembers when she was a little girl and someone cared for her and helped her along. Now, at thirty years old as she enjoys her own little girl, Natacha has a business selling food supplies, and a small house for her family to live in because a sponsor decided it was important to help her out. Now they have a relationship that has grown over a couple of decades! Who’d have thought that the decision to sponsor a child would lead to such a rich relationship?! Now there’s regular conversations enjoyed, visits to Natacha’s home, and friendships have been formed with her family and neighbors!

It starts with just knowing that someone needs your help; that the “poor” here are rich compared to what we see in Haiti, and doing something about it. Then you just follow your heart with a letter here and there, maybe a small token of love and care. Before you know it you’re talking about cultural issues, family matters, life concerns, and so on…you’ve made a friend! Of course some people join a group trip which allows for a face to face visit and the friendship blossoms.

Ok, this is funny…I just had a phone call and am now finishing this post. The call was from Natacha! She is excited to know that she will be seeing Jaclyn (my daughter) and I in a couple of days! That’s right…you guessed it…Natacha is “our little girl”. I hope you can enjoy a lasting relationship through sponsoring like my family has. You are making memories…make ‘em good!

P.S. there are other sponsor stories brewing… 🙂

Shoes!

A shelf full of shoes ready for distribution…

Project Nourish was so happy to distribute lots of shoes to families recently. This is one of the most appreciated gifts that we bring in on our trips. I remember the first time that I went to Haiti about 30 years ago. I was sitting on our luggage bags in the back of a pickup truck getting ready to leave Port Au Prince. There were several kids interested in who we were  and what we were doing. One particular little boy was very intently looking at me asking me something several times over. I didn’t understand so I had someone interpret for me. He was asking what I was going to do with my sneakers when I left Haiti! I had barely gotten there and someone was trying to lay claim to my shoes! It is still a frequent question! The terrain demands good shoes and it can quickly destroy them too!

New and slightly used shoes are something that we like to bring in to the country and it is something that meets an immediate need. All kinds; dress shoes, work shoes, sneakers, sandals…they need them all. Feel free to have a shoe drive and send us lots of good shoes and we’ll get them to people who really need them.

If you join us on a trip be prepared to leave a pair or two behind with someone who you find could use them. I guarantee they will not forget you…or the shoes!