Haiti H2O

Hope to Opportunity

Field Report-Jeff VanderMolen

I just got home from Haiti on Saturday, the second trip in one month. I am encouraged by all of the things happening right now. I visited all of our Haitian partners and all of the communities: Baissin Camain, St. Martin, and Plain Matin. In Baissin Caiman, there are 18 baby goats to distribute to new families. The fourth composting toilet has been installed, and the first three are working well! The program has expanded to St. Martin.

Last June, a committee from St. Martin came to Baissin Caiman to take part in a workshop on composting toilets, led by Jilsen and Onis, the head of the committee in Bassin Caiman. After learning about this approach to sanitation, they toured the working toilets, and said this is what they need in St. Martin. On this last visit, I sat down with the St. Martin committee to initiate the education component before beginning construction on the first composting toilet.

Education is important when introducing new ideas and technologies! The people who serve on the committees understand they are ultimately responsible for the success of a new project. They chose a site outside of the church courtyard so the new toilet would be perceived as a community toilet, yet would also ensure adequate supervision to keep it clean.

I have had multiple people confirm that Baissin Caiman wants to pursue a community corn grinder business. The success of the bread oven—it has been operating for the last six years as a self-sustaining business–has prompted them to explain how a corn grinder would benefit many people in the village. Right now, the ladies have a four-hour walk with their sack of corn to the nearest place to grind their corn, and then a four-hour walk home. Sometimes, the grinder is so busy, they cannot get their load finished in one day so they have to return another day to pick up their ground corn!

There are many more stories to tell. Needless to say, God is on the move in Haiti, and we are privileged to be a part of what he is doing. I have four more trips to Haiti planned for the year, and I am excited to keep the momentum going for the communities and people we have come to know and love.

In his grace,
Jeff VanderMolen
Haiti H2O
Trip Coordinator

Haiti H2O- Run for Hope 2014 Update

Running in Haiti
I am busily preparing to travel to Haiti on Sunday to spend a week in the rural community of Bassin Caiman. My half marathon training has suffered a bit due to all of this snow, so I am excited to have the opportunity to run in some warm, sunny weather. Bassin Caiman is three miles from the Caribbean Sea, so my runs usually head that direction and I am almost always joined by several kids.

Running for fun and fitness is a pretty uncommon occurrence in Haiti and I get some pretty strange looks. But I have learned that if I tell them I am training for football (soccer), then their misunderstanding turns to appreciation for my dedication.

I plan to come back with lots of great stories and photos on the goat and toilet projects. I will also be checking in on the progress of our Haiti H2O medals that are made outside of Port au Prince by a tin-art artisan. Thank you again for joining team Haiti H2O, and keep up the hard work!

Don’t forget you can Win a Fitbit!
A friend of Haiti H2O has issued a Fundraising Challenge for our Haiti H2O Run for Hope Team. Everyone who has raised at least $150 by midnight on February 28 will be entered to win a Fitbit flex wristband, which is a fitness activity tracker. So far, four runners have already qualified and several others are close!

Please join our Haiti H2O runners & walkers Facebook community! This is a great place to connect for group runs and other races, and to receive encouragement.

It’s not too late to join the team, and to invite your friends and family!
We are still looking for runners and walkers for all distances (5k, half marathon, relay, full marathon). If you have friends or family members who are interested in running for Haiti H2O this year, thanks to the partnership between the Pittsburgh Marathon and Crowdrise Fundraising, online registration is super easy. Just check out our  Crowdrise page and click on the charity registration link.

Blessings,

Sarah VanderMolen
Haiti H2O
412-867-7879
sdvander@haitih2o.org

Goat Project

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another holds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” —Proverbs 11 24-25

The Haiti H2O Goat Project is a livestock exchange program to aid the people in rural Haiti.  One of the best ways to increase the income of an area is to increase the number of livestock in that area. This project will help break the crippling poverty of the area through gifts of goats.

Would you like to purchase a full-grown female goat or a baby goat for a family in rural Haiti?

  • A full-grown female goat costs $75
  • A baby goat costs $45

You can purchase a goat through our network for good giving page.  

Would you like to make your donation in Honor of someone?  We will send an honor card directly to you to distribute to your friends and/ or family.  (please allow 10 days for delivery)

Honor Card (Outside)

goat_card_outside

Honor Card (inside)

goat_card_inside

 

Run for Hope CHARITY EXTRAVAGANZA Sept 18th

 

It that time of year again! The temperatures are dropping, leaves beginning to change color, and it’s time to join the Haiti H2O Run for Hope Team 2014.  We have been able to do some amazing things with your fundraising efforts.  Please consider running or walking for us again.

This year, the Pittsburgh Marathon staff have decided to kick off registration with a CHARITY EXTRAVAGANZA.  Tomorrow, September 18th (it starts at midnight), for 24 hours you can register to run for Haiti H2O two weeks before they open to the public.

If you take advantage of this registration opportunity, Haiti H2O gets the lowest registration price available. So more of your fundraising efforts goes towards the work in Haiti!

Visit this link: http://www.crowdrise.com/haitih2opittsburgh2014, and starting at midnight tonight (which will officially be September 18), the registration link will be active for 24 hours.

Here are the details:

Commit to run or walk one of the Dicks sporting goods Marathon events.
Marathon 26.2 miles (May 4th) / Half Marathon 13.1 miles (May 4th) / Relay Team (May 4th) / 5K (May 3rd) / Kids Marathon (May 3rd)

Commit to help Haiti H2O by inviting people to financially support your run.

It’s a really simple strategy—you get (or stay!) fit, make friends, and raise some money to change the lives of people in Haiti! Haiti H2O will use the funds you raise to provide clean water, sanitation, schools, and small business opportunities for people in rural Haiti. Sound good?

And don’t worry—we’ll be with you every step of the way.  We’ll help you with training programs, access to Haiti H2O’s coaching team, and we’ll have fun monthly get-togethers where you can network with other runners. We’ll also provide you with access to tons of resources to help you become a better runner.

Now you must really be ready to join team Run for Hope!

Fundraising goals are as follows:
$350 for Marathon
$350 for Half Marathon
$750 for Relay ($150 per runner)
$100 for 5K
$25 for Kids Marathon
For more info, visit www.haitih2o.org or contact us at info@haitih2o.org.

Thanks for considering this opportunity!

Hope is

My Journey to Haiti by Kammy Snyder

On January 18, 2013 I traveled to Haiti with a small team from Trinity Church.  However, my journey to Haiti started over three years ago.

In the summer of 2010 I took our daughters to Charlotte, NC to visit my lifelong friend Tara Brooks and her family.  We were meeting her two sons, Jean Claude and Woodson for the first time.  They were both adopted from Haiti.  After hearing stories of Haiti and falling in love with the boys, I immediately felt a connection to the country that I could not describe.  Then Tara got her photo album out and I saw the beautiful countryside and the beautiful people.  I also saw the huge tarantula and said, “I will never go to Haiti!”

Over the course of the next three years many things have happened here at Trinity to point us in a more mission-oriented direction.  We have welcomed several missionaries and their families in to talk to us about their passion and the mission fields where they are demonstrating God’s love.  The stories of China, the Chec Republic, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand intrigued me but the day that Jeff and Sarah VanderMolen came with their family to share their mission work in Haiti, I knew God had a plan for me in that country as well.  Everyone, including Hannah, seemed excited about their work and the prospect of travelling as a church family to Haiti.  That had me thinking I needed to make sure it’s safe for her to go there.  I immediately started praying about my fear of spiders and how God was going to get me through this difficult trip!

Finally after two years of planning and meeting with Jeff, our small scouting team consisting of me, Pastor Ron, Frank, and Renata was ready to embark on a trip that would change our lives forever.  And boy did it!

There are so many things about Haiti that as an American I simply cannot wrap my brain around.  The amount of trash lying around in the streets of Port Au Prince is simply mind boggling.  There is trash everywhere!  I was witness to a woman taking a drink from a water pouch and simply throwing it on the ground where she stood when she was done.  This is something we just do not see here in the States.  Even in the countryside of Baissin Caimman there is litter on the ground.  There is a constant smell of burning everywhere you go in Haiti either due to burning trash or cooking.  I knew I had to look past the trash to get to the beauty of this country and I am glad I was able to do that.

Another thing that blew my mind was the faith of the people I met in Baissin Caimman. As we settled in Saturday night, Pastor Celon wanted to hold a Bible study with us.  A few men from the community joined us as well but what caught my attention the most was the children who snuck in to be a part of worshiping God as well.  Then again at the Sunday morning service, the excitement of the people, but especially the children was inspiring!  The praise songs were beautiful and sung with a volume and enthusiasm that puts me to shame!  The best example I saw of the faith the Haitian people have was the evening service we attended in another community however.  The place was busting at the seams with people who traveled miles on foot to participate in worshiping God!  And the children who were attentive for three hours singing their hearts out in praise were beautiful!

Here are some of the things I fell in love with in Haiti:

  • women who can’t even understand me, yet hug me with the same passion as my mother
  • those same women cooking all day for us
  • Haitian time
  • the beach
  • the language
  • the way Haiti’s educated want to help their people
  • Jules- a big man with the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met
  • Jeff’s love for Haitian people in action
  • the children who are so curious and eager to meet you with their bright eyes and smiling faces
  • the respect that the people have for teachers and the value they place on their education
  • the beauty of the countryside and the simplicity of life
  • people who are on fire for the Lord no matter what the obstacles are for worshiping Him

There are many concerns I have for my friends in Haiti.  One of the biggest concerns is sanitation, as I expressed before.  The lack of resources is astounding.  The lack of a print-rich environment in the classrooms, especially the pre-k and kindergarten classroom was very sad to me as an educator.  The fact that kids don’t play, they just stay out of the way is another concept that is hard for me to see.

I see one of the roles of the Trinity Church being a support to the teachers of Baissin Caimmin.  We have many teachers and youth who could add a great deal to this ministry.  I would like us to work alongside the teachers and students during the school day to actively engage the students in literacy activities.  As Renata will tell you, we have a lot to learn from them as well.  I envision this as a collaboration of sorts.

We also have many grownups and youth who are actively involved in drama which could also add to this ministry.    My vision is to have a nightly Bible School in which many of the kids and teachers from the community could come and we could just have a great time praising the Lord together.  Learning each other’s language is a great way for our youth to connect with the people of Haiti!  We will be teaching as many Haitian praise songs as we can before our larger group travels back.  The kids could also work alongside each other to create skits for Bible stories that we will be focusing on for the week.

I have been told on more than one occasion that when you visit Haiti and then return home, a part of your heart stays there.  I never really understood this until returning to life as normal here in Nunda, NY.  The people of Haiti suffer in poverty the likes of which no American can fathom.  Yet they live their lives with a richness we as Americans have a hard time grasping as well.  The benefits of Trinity Church working alongside the Haiti H2O team and the people of Baissin Caimmin are only just beginning to immerge.  I look forward to watching lives change both there and in our church family as well in the future years!

I ask you to pray for this ministry and how you can be a part of our partnership with the congregation of Baissin Caimmin.  Perhaps there are things, like spiders, which have you saying “I can’t go!”.  Don’t rule out the possibility!  I never would have believed that I would go and even come face to face with my biggest fear.  But God had it all planned out and I still want to go back! He used my fear to help me trust in Him fully.   Maybe God has a plan for you in Haiti as well!

Sustaining Members

Sustaining Members- From hope to opportunity
We have seen the community grow from the prayers of a few faithful to a vibrant church, a full school K to 8th grade, access to clean water, a community bread oven, composting toilets for cleaner sanitation, and a stronger economy through The Goat Project.

And we have grown! After years of building a solid foundation, cultivating healthy relationships, and mentoring local leadership, Haiti H2O is poised to increase our impact in rural Haiti. We started with two trips in 2006 and now lead programs and ministry that run all year long. We have three part time staff in the US, three Haitian partner communities, four Haitian partner pastors, two Haitian project staff, six interpreters, and a Haitian toilet manager who runs the composting toilet program.

But we need your help. We cannot operate it alone. We need partners to help us sustain this ministry in the communities where the seeds were planted. Will you join us by becoming a sustaining member of Haiti H2O? Your monthly gift of $10, $25, $50 or $100 will nurture their hope and provide opportunities for a better tomorrow.  To become a sustaining member click here. 

Donations can be mailed to: Haiti H2O/ PO Box 5445/ Pittsburgh, PA 15206

The Goat Project Committee at a recent meeting.

Alternative Christmas Gift- The Goat Project

 The Haiti H2O Goat Project is a livestock exchange program to aid the people in rural Haiti.

Would you like to purchase a full-grown female goat or a baby goat for a family in rural Haiti?

  • A full-grown female goat costs $75
  • A baby goat costs $45

You can purchase a goat through our network for good giving page. or send an email to info@haitih2o.org and we will send you mailing instructions.

You will receive a “Goat Card” that you can give to the recipient of your alternative gift.