Dispatch Group Visits Haiti After Hurricane Matthew

In early January, several local business leaders embarked on the fourth Dispatch Project trip to Haiti in the past four years. The group was accompanied the board of directors from Mission Haiti and spent the week visiting the schools, orphanages, elderly care homes, and ministries in the southwest part of Haiti. The group also had the opportunity to deliver locally-purchased tin for new roofs damaged by the hurricane and visit the concrete block making plant, which Dispatch helped start three years ago. While the devastation from the hurricane is quite extensive, the resillience of the Haitian people is stronger than words can express. Dispatch Project is proud to partner with Mission Haiti and see the progress and working of the Lord that is happening in this part of the country. A follow-up trip is already being planned for January 2018. Please contact us if you or your business has interest in being a part of what God is doing in Haiti!

Haiti: Progress Being Made

Written by: James Krueger, Dispatch trip participant and Mission Haiti board member

Over the past 2 years the Dispatch Project has partnered with Mission Haiti sending multiple teams to their mission area in Haiti. Mission Haiti is a non-profit established over 20 years ago that focuses on Christian Education. The idea being, true change will never happen in Haiti without Christian education being at the forefront and acting as the catalyst. Along with their focus of education, Mission Haiti serves orphans, has an elderly care program, evangelizes and helps with medical treatment for the local town. Based on this list, I’m not sure what they all do in their free time 😉

One of the unique things about this particular Dispatch trip, is that the Mission Haiti board members have all traveled along during our trips. Not only has this been a comfort for team members, but has acted as a window into the Mission Haiti organization itself. Who better to learn from then board members walking alongside you on your trip!

Service trips vary drastically from organization to organization (and even team to team) and the Dispatch trips are probably no exception to this. However, the intent behind the Dispatch trips has stayed consistent. The main goal has been bringing entrepreneurs / business minded team members to experience what Mission Haiti focuses on as an organization. From there, team members focus on infrastructure and brainstorming ideas that can live beyond a single project. How can we create jobs? Why was this on the top of the project list? How can we keep this as a sustainable job model? Has this been done before and why didn’t it work? Questions like these are the catalyst for the Dispatch trip to Haiti.

Getting the kids ready for lunch.

Kids in class.

  Paul Ten Haken, Dispatch co-founder, hanging with some of the kids at school.

 

Paul Ten Haken, Dispatch co-founder, hanging with some of the kids at school.

While in Haiti we visited a number of the Mission Haiti schools (playing with kids along the way), toured the concrete block plant that our group raised funds for last year, toured land options providing feedback on the selection of the new medical clinic location and visited all the various Mission Haiti projects from past years. The final stop for us was to tour the children’s wing of a small local hospital. As a parent of 3 small boys, the images we saw will impact you forever. How blessed we are to have access to the medical care that we do here in the U.S.!

There is so much need in Haiti and it’s very, very easy to be overwhelmed on how to help. I’ve chosen to focus on the good that is happening in Haiti. With this being our 2nd Dispatch trip through Mission Haiti, we were able to see signs of progress from the previous year. Even if they were small steps, there were noticeable steps nonetheless. This experience provides perspective at the very least. Perspective that would be hard to come by without a look into the lives of the Haitian people. The theme “don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything” was shared multiple times on this trip. This is such a great reminder as it’s easy to focus on the negatives in life.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.   2 Corinthians 4:16

Haiti Trip - Postponed

We have run into an unanticipated snag with our November 10-16 trip to Haiti. Unlike the US where elections are pretty set in stone regarding dates, Haiti is not as scheduled. It now appears that the presidential election will be held on October 25, 2015.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/13/us-haiti-election-idUSKBN0M82VM20150313

This election day is just two weeks before we are set to fly into Port Au Prince. As you can guess, the level of political unrest and uncertainty surrounding a presidential election in a country like Haiti is hard to predict. To that end, we are going to postpone our Nov 10-16 trip to Ti-Riviere for another time. As much as this bums me out, it is the right thing to do at this time for the participants and to ensure God uses our time there is the most effective way possible.

Be on the lookout for future rescheduled dates when it works for both Dispatch Project and Mission Haiti to partner on trip. In the meantime, your prayer and financial support for Mission Haiti is appreciated immensely.

Dollars and Effort Better Lives Through Mission Haiti

The Dispatch Project partnered with Mission Haiti by sending a group of business men and women to Haiti this month.  Their experience was a powerful eye-opener to the needs and hope of the Haitian people. “I am so blessed to have taken this leap and can’t thank the Dispatch Project and their leadership team for spearheading this. I’d highly encourage everyone to take this leap,” adds Dispatch participant James Krueger in his recent blog post, Remembering Haiti: Reflections on our Service Trip.

From providing medical care, to supporting elderly programs, to spreading God’s word, Mission Haiti takes a multifaceted approach to offering help to those in need.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” ~Matthew 25:40

An ambitious school project underway by Mission Haiti that could transform the Ti-Riviere area of Haiti. The entire community, including the government, is intently watching this project unfold. When complete, it could be truly transformational for these people.

Alain’s Cinema House

When we were down in Haiti in April, we met an interpreter named Alain. He worked with us for the week we were there and he and I (Paul) established a bit of a bond.  Alain had a great smile and a deep, infectious laugh.  One afternoon while we were sitting on the porch of the mission house I asked Alain, “What can we do to create jobs here? Get people working?” It’s the question everyone asks about Haiti – a place that has gotten used to handouts when that is far from a solution.

“I want to show soccer matches in my village,” said Alain. “I can get 3-4 Haitian dollars (about .08-.10 US) to show matches. Maybe even more for big matches.”

For those of us in the United States with TVs in every room, this seems a bit silly.  A dime to watch a soccer game? In Haiti, TVs are extremely rare. And TVs with a satellite that can get soccer matches beamed in? Like finding a Sasquatch.

Over the next couple of hours, Alain and I cobbled together a business plan around showing soccer matches, movies with French audio, kids shows in French, etc.  What admission fee can the market bear? How many matches can he show? What about the downtime when there are no matches? How will we get power? In the end, we came up with the costs and what Alain would need to get rolling. Dispatch decided to give him a loan (not a handout, but a loan) to kickstartthings.

Below are some pictures of “Alain’s Cinema House”.  There is still work to do with figuring out the power issues, programming, marketing – the same stuff any business struggles with. I hope this venture can prove successful for Alain. If not, we will learn from it and continue to find ways to create jobs – even if it is just one – and through those jobs, be the hands and feet of Christ.