Action by Churches Together 5/2/05
Water For Life" Project 3/ 22/05
Clean Water For Haiti 2/10/05
Haitian Water-Harvesting Project
Haiti Water Project
Saipan Seabees Cargo Haiti 1/28/2005
Medical mission team goes to Haiti
Medical team learns lessons in Haiti 3/30/2000

HAITI April 2002

Haiti Water Project
by: Joe Troester
For over a year, I have been working to get the necessary people and funds to continue the water project on La Gonâve (an island off the western coast of Haiti). The dates for the trip had been set. We were ready to go. Then Haiti was suddenly in the news. Rebels took control of Gonaïves and demanded the ouster of President Aristide. They started taking other towns in northern Haiti. The rebels were joined by former Haitian army officers that were living in exile in the Dominican Republic. Then the rebels started to move toward Port-au-Prince. Aristide’s sudden departure probably avoided much bloodshed. The U.S. Marines have moved in to stabilize the country and to try to keep the government from falling into chaos. In the midst of all these problems, the trip was postponed, probably until late summer. I hope the security situation has improved by then.
Many of the place names in Haiti that were mentioned in the news did not mean much to most people. But after 12 trips to Haiti, I had been in many of those villages and towns. The rebels took Basin Bleu. I spent a week in that village. We drilled a well and taught a crew of Haitians how to drill wells. When we were finishing the well, the Catholic priest was so excited he ran out and danced for joy in the mud, while wearing his black dress slacks and shirt with clerical collar. I am sure the rebels did not have much trouble taking this small village of about 500 people. I remember the one policeman. He had a uniform blue shirt and he carried a stick. He may have had an old gun somewhere, but I doubt if he had any bullets. I hope the people that I met there are O.K.
I have spent a total of three weeks with a group of missionaries in Saint-Marc. We drilled several wells and taught another crew how to drill wells. Saint-Marc is a city of about 100,000 inhabitants that is on the road between Gonaïves and the capital and consequently it occupies a strategic location. The rebels took the town and the police (aided by a police helicopter from Port-au-Prince) fought and eventually regained an uneasy control. On February 9, at 1:34 p.m., I received an e-mail from my friends in Saint-Marc that read, “We are in the middle of a gun battle. Helicopter flying overhead shooting, bullets zipping through campus. We are holding tight. If you are monitoring closely then pray for safety now.” They survived. But I have not visited many places that were later the scenes of gun battles.
I want to thank everyone for their support of the Haiti Water Project and ask that you please pray for peace in Haiti. Pray for the people as they struggle to survive these difficult times. Pray that we will eventually be able to complete our mission and bring safe water to the people living on La Gonâve. Your continued support of this project tells our brothers and sisters that there are people who in the name of Christ want to help them in their struggle for survival.
You will always receive a warm welcome at The Union Church of San Juan For more information please contact us at:
2310 Laurel Street, Puntas Las Marias, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00913
Office Hours 9am - 2pm M-F (:787-726-0280 (:787-726-0378:: Manse : 787-727-2517::  Pastor Sam Wood Sam and Amy are always available by phone or email Sam Wood & Amy Jaime-Wood 2306 Calle Laurel,
The Terrace, Apt 6a San Juan, PR 00913
Clean Water For Haiti 2/10/05
Email Update -  - Chris Rolling  Executive Director
Dear Everybody:
The Gonaives project is successful and popular beyond what I could have imagined. Tonie continues to produce 36 filters most days. Filters have been delivered to over 1100 homes to date, and there will probably be about 1700 total filters installed by project’s end. The beginning of this project was very rocky, but my last visit there was very positive. You can read more about Gonaives at the blog mentioned below. There are also some great photos included at that link.
On Friday my brother left from his 10 day visit to Haiti after shooting lots of film to use for putting together a promotional video for Clean Water for Haiti. If you are at all interested in what is going on here, you should read Ben's Blog. I really enjoyed reading it because he saw Haiti with fresh eyes. I’ve been in Haiti for three years now and I tend to forget how a lot of the things we do here can be interesting for people. In fact, you will probably find it more interesting than this letter. My narrative skills for describing Haiti seem to be decreasing as I spend more time here and become used to the weirdness.
There is more good news. We purchased a second truck and two little motor scooters which will be used by project BRAVO until its completion later this year, at which point they will become available for mission use. The truck is a bit smaller than the Daihatsu, but it has four wheel drive. It’s a KIA so I have already had to do quite a bit of mechanical work on this truck. I anticipate I will become much more familiar with the mechanicals of this truck than I really want to. Hopefully God will send us more volunteers by the middle of this year so we will be able to put the new vehicles to good use.
We currently have a group here from Chicago that is doing some specialty work. Their greatest contribution is a proper alarm to replace my hastily strung up contraption made from a truck air-horn. It runs on 110vac with a battery backup and comes with 3 remote actuators that can go in people’s pockets. Another visitor is bringing in a safe on Monday, too. Security at the base is improving greatly.
I have also hired a guardian named Moliere. He is 71 years old and he just watches over the mission property and sees who comes by and why. In addition to being a retired French teacher, he has decided to learn English and he is learning new words every day.
"bonswa", -Chris
Haitian Water-Harvesting Project
Christian Fellowship Church Ministries, International
It is the purpose of this project to provide drinkable water to villages within the country of Haiti and thus further the Christian and humanitarian purpose of helping others. Our first means to provide drinkable water is through the construction of water-harvesting systems.  These systems collect rainwater from flat surfaces, such as rooftops, and, using a drainage system, the water is channeled into storage containers.
Future means of providing drinkable water will also be explored and may include water wells or surface treatment plants. The location of each system will be chosen based on the need for drinkable water and the ability to see the proper care and maintenance of the water-harvesting systems.  Having an established ministry in Haiti, our most viable means to fulfill this goal is through our current administrative structure of CFCMI. All money received for this cause will be recorded in ledger accounts separate from all CFCMI funds and marked "Haitian Water Harvesting." 
All funds in the "Haitian Water Harvesting" ledger accounts will be used solely for legitimate expenses chargeable toward providing drinkable water available to the general public in Haiti (not to exclude the Dominican Republic).  Such expenses are to include tools, equipment, materials, salaries, traveling expenses, etc.  Due to the instability of the Haitian government, the "Haitian Water Harvesting" account will be maintained in the U.S. by CFCMI.  Funds will be sent to the project manager in Haiti as needed.  Selection of the project manager will be determined by CFCMI  according to whomever CFCMI deems to be a present and reliable administrator in Haiti.  Should this Haitian Water-Harvesting Project of CFCMI be terminated due to instability within the Country of Haiti or other reasons, all funds within the "Haitian Water Harvest" account will be donated to remaining humanitarian organizations/projects operating within Haiti.
Water For Life" Project March 22, 2005 –
Public Works Department Provides Ancaster Rotarian Roy Sheldrick With A Cheque For The Haiti "
Hamilton, Ontario

The City of Hamilton’s Public Works Department was pleased to present Rotarian Roy Sheldrick with a cheque for $7,500.00 for the Haiti “Water for Life” Project.  On behalf of the Public Works Department presenting the cheque was: Scott Stewart, General Manager of the Public Works Department; Jim Harnum, Senior Director of the Water and Wastewater Division; and Councillor Dave Mitchell, Chair of the Public Works Infrastructure and Environment Committee.  The proceeds came from the Water and Wastewater Division’s 1st Annual World Water Day Walkathon.
Ancaster Rotarian Roy Sheldrick and Rotary International have, to-date, installed over 100 wells in Haiti and provided over 50,000 people with clean, uncontaminated drinking water.  Due to their efforts the residents of the Artibonite Valley are among the healthiest in Haiti.
“Our goal was to provide another village in Haiti with drinking water” said Jim Harnum, Senior Director, Water and Wastewater Division.  “Thanks to the efforts of staff that put this event together, to everyone who came out and volunteered their time to walk, and to those who sponsored this event in some way, we were able to succeed.  A special thanks goes to a caring Grade 8 student Nicholas Klimchuk, from Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic School who brought all the Grade 7 and 8 students to participate in the Walkathon.”  “Having recently been to Haiti where I saw the happiness and joy expressed in the faces of the Haitians in a village where a well had recently been installed.  I can truly state what a blessing this walkathon will be to another village in Haiti,” said Rotarian Roy Sheldrick.  “Thank you so much from myself, from Rotary and the people of Haiti for efforts and caring concern.”
Action by Churches Together May 2, 2005
(ACT) - Switzerland
Website: Mapou, Haiti,
Right now, Janita Lendi has two choices. She can walk two hours to the nearest water source, stand in line, fill her five-gallon bucket, and then walk back two hours carrying the bucket on her head. The other option is to pay seven Haitian gourdes (about 18 U.S. cents) to fill her bucket when water is available from a neighbor’s small reservoir. But the water is not good for drinking, and seven gourdes for a five-gallon bucket of water is not cheap, considering almost 60 percent of Haitians live on less than one U.S. dollar a day and 75 percent on less than two dollars. Janita and her family go through three or four buckets a day (or about 20 gallons), which only a fraction of the average individual American’s daily consumption of about 150 gallons.
Janita sits on a small, wooden stool in front of the crackers, candies, bread and corn seeds that she sells by the side of the dirt road in front of the elementary school in the village of Mapou. She’s wearing a vibrant, multi-colored scarf around her head, a blue shirt, and colorful skirt. “The water situation is hard - very hard - but you do what you have to do,” she says with a smile that registers both resignation and defiance.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF)-Haiti is more than halfway through a project funded by members of Action by Churches Together (ACT) International that will make Janita’s life considerably easier. Within a few months, she will have access to excellent mountain spring water that is a ten-minute walk from her house and costs only half a gourde (a little more than one cent) for five gallons.
In May 2004, during flooding caused by heavy rains, she and her family lost all their livestock and crops. She, her husband and children ran to higher ground just as the water rushed down from the barren mountain slopes, long ago denuded of their trees. Everything in their home was wiped out, except for the foundation and the walls.
Janita says she has heard about the project, but her realistic nature won’t let her get too excited yet. “The plan sounds great,” she says. “It would be a very big help. We’re praying to God that the water will come.”
The water will soon arrive near the homes of Janita and 15,000 other beneficiaries via 8.3 kilometers of polyurethane pipe as part of this project that involves capping a spring further up the mountain. Janita’s needs are plain and simple, but the solution is complex.
The project started in response to severe flooding that struck this area on May 23 last year. More than 2,500 people died. About 1,700 homes were destroyed, with another 1,700 damaged. More than 80 percent of the agriculture was destroyed, as well as most livestock.
LWF/ACT was involved in the immediate emergency-relief efforts, distributing food, water, clothes and medicines. Soon after the flooding, there was also a significant road-repair project, which provided work for many people in the area. But it was quickly evident that water was an immediate and long-term need. A mediocre piping and reservoir system that reached some people in the area was wiped out by the floods. People were forced to walk long distances to get poor-quality water that in some cases resulted in people and animals becoming ill and even some dying.
Residents of the area knew of an excellent spring in a remote place farther in the mountains, so 22 days after the floods, LWF/ACT began a study to see whether it could bring this supply of water to the Mapou area. Their conclusion—the same one many other international organizations had come to over the years—was that the terrain and technical challenges were too difficult. It couldn’t be done.
Tommy Galbaud, a Haitian LWF/ACT engineer, was part of this early feasibility study.
“All the other engineers in the past who had studied this thought it was impossible,” says Galbaud. “People in the area started having a sort of defeated spirit about water. Water was such a big daily problem, but nobody could find a way to improve things. Our first conclusion was the same: This is impossible.”

Today he stands at the source in the mountains, on top of the completed concrete “spring box” and under the shade of lush trees whose fortunate roots are anchored in this generous spring.
He smiles as he continues, “But before giving up, I wanted to do some final checking. The main problem was crossing a 50-meter-deep ravine. I asked people in the area if anyone might know a way to get across or around the ravine. They introduced me to an older man named Familus Marcelin. He took me up the mountain to an area covered by trees, then cut some brush away with a machete to show where the pipe could run along the mountainside. But I was still doubtful, because the path for the pipe would have to be about the same height as the source—between 800 and 850 meters. I had my GPS [global positioning system] with me and took it out to measure: 837 meters. Perfect!”
The LWF/ACT team then came up with an innovative, if somewhat daunting, plan that is now more than halfway complete. The plan (see sidebar), while involving eight different parts, illustrates the experience, expertise and can-do attitude ACT members like LWF in Haiti apply to difficult problems that often surface in disasters. And solutions to these problems would not be as effective without the invaluable contributions of local residents with their own intimate knowledge of an area and their willingness to take ownership of the solution.
From the small, rustic house where the LWF/ACT project team is living, you can look up and see the waterfall and hear the rushing water. Last night the rain fell hard for only the second time after several months of unyielding dryness. So this morning there aren’t many women and children walking to the source. They get a reprieve for a couple of days as they use water collected off their tin roofs.
The waterfall is part of a beautiful natural scene, but in the way of a painting—a kind of abstract or artistic beauty. Not that God’s natural splendor is to be discounted, but there are more pressing needs around here. And amid this project’s challenges is the prospect of something even more beautiful and tangible than a natural waterfall: channeling that clean, fresh water via polyurethane to thousands of families like Janita’s.
The eight-part plan for obtaining life-changing, clean water
Following flooding in Haiti a year ago, the Lutheran World Federation-Haiti, ACT’s member there, responded in a variety of ways. After some of the immediate and basic needs were provided for, LWF/ACT began to look for solutions to one of the longer-term problems – the difficulty in finding accessible, clean water. While the problem was identified easily, the solution proved to be much more complex, but once completed, this project will provide life-changing and life-sustaining water to thousands of people.

the source had to be capped. This involved building a six-by-ten-meter concrete box around the spring to keep the water pure, capture it and send it down the mountain in pipes. The source is unreachable by vehicle. It’s a 30-minute hike up steep, difficult terrain.
a road had to be repaired and parts of it built. This road has made it possible to truck the needed materials up near the source. Materials are carried on foot from there. Work on the road has been a source of jobs for local residents in a country where more than 60 percent of the residents are not formally employed. Also, this improved infrastructure will contribute to the area’s long-term economic development.
8.3 kilometers of polyurethane pipe 16 centimeters in diameter near the source and 10 centimeters in diameter farther down the mountain needed to be laid. The pipe came in 82 pieces that weighed a total of 12,629 kilograms. The pipes (100 meters each) couldn’t make it all the way up the mountain by truck, so the last stage of transportation involved cutting them in half so they could be carried up the mountain by teams of fifteen men.
Standing down in the plain below the source, one sees a vein of exposed dirt and rock running about halfway up along the length of the mountain to the right of the spring. The pipes are buried under the vein of dirt and rock to protect them. More than four kilometers, by far the most challenging half of the pipe work, have already been laid. The next section will move down flatter, safer ground rather than along a steep mountainside.
A local engineer, Roldophe Jean, from the nearby town of Thiotte (where LWF has a large coffee project), is wearing a construction helmet and saying how proud he is of the project. “None of my friends and nobody around here thought it was possible,” he says, pointing up at the vein along the mountainside. “But look!”
the pipes need to be linked to 19 kiosks built throughout the area, which is where residents will eventually go to fill up their buckets. The kiosks will be managed by a small committee in each community.
a reservoir will be rehabilitated and another will be built along the distribution lines. From these reservoirs, lines will continue distribution to Mapou and the surrounding communities.

the long-term viability of this water source will be studied. Violaine Bault, a young French woman who is a hydro-geologist doing an internship with LWF, is looking at soil samples and area practices of planting and livestock grazing. This is the first step in coming up with a reforestation plan that will ensure long-term viability of this 27-square-kilometer water basin that ranges in elevation from 2,300 meters to 900 meters at the spring and that is very steep in parts. Erosion must be prevented because a water basin is basically a huge reservoir inside a mountain.
More trees and the right crops—as well as building erosion-protecting rock walls—mean more soil will be retained. More soil means that more rainwater is absorbed. This rainwater then eventually filters down through the soil into the mountain reservoir. Such reforestation measures are essential.
The eighth steps involves helping with community organization. A community organizer, Gerald Salomon, is educating people about the health importance of clean water and working full-time to organize and prepare communities to manage the water source and distribution system when it is complete.

The LWF/ACT pipes will reach the communities of Machas, Grand Fond, Ka Conté, Tiplace, Bois Tombé, Nan Roc, and Nan Didier.  By charging half a gourde per bucket, the project will generate annual revenue of 2 million gourdes, based on annual consumption of 20 million gallons of water in all the benefiting communities. This US$50,000 of revenue, overseen by a central committee, makes the project sustainable by providing money for employment, repair, and expansion of the distribution network to other communities.

By the time it’s finished, about 200 women and men will have worked on the water system and about 240 people on the road project, most of them in two-week shifts. This provides people with much-needed income and also builds community support of the project.
The engineer in charge of the road project is Guerline Pierre, who is also from the nearby town of Thiotte. “By involving people in the labor, we’re building support in the community,” she says, “and helping them to see how the project benefits them as a community and as individuals.” Each day, two teams work on the road—the women in dresses, the men in dress slacks and shirts as they collect rocks, swing picks, and dig dirt.

Didier Gallard, a French engineer working as an LWF/ACT consultant, says about the complicated social factors, historical divisions, and political conflicts that might threaten cooperation, “We’re trying to keep people focused solely on the water. We hope and believe the need for water is something everyone can agree on, despite whatever other divisions and conflicts exist in the communities.”
This social aspect also fits within LWF’s mission in Haiti to advance peaceful conflict resolution. By working with the community, providing a much-needed resource, and helping to organize the community based on an essential resource, the hope is to provide an opportunity for positive social development. This social aspect will likely prove as challenging to the project’s long-term success as all the technical difficulties combined.
The final part of the plan involves collaborating with other organizations.

LWF is the lead partner and organization on the ground. To accomplish something of this scope requires significant collaboration. Other contributors include MINUSTAH, the U.N. mission in Haiti, which financed construction of a water reservoir and terracing work to enable the pipes to be laid; OCHA, the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs, which funded the purchase of pipes; Catholic Relief Services and CONCERN, which financed different feasibility studies;
and OXFAM, which repaired a water tank and is installing pipes and building distribution kiosks. The final project cost for this stage will be about US$150,000 (or about $10 per person).

LWF is now seeking $370,000 in funding to extend a different, 17-kilometer branch of piping to reach 15,000 more people.
In the midst of this eight-part complexity, a guiding ideal has been simplicity, which is one of the French engineer Gallard’s specialties. He says that the essential simplicity at the core of this project is what will make it a long-term success.  First, the water flows from the source down to the villages through the pipes by the force of gravity, not a pump—so there is much less that can go wrong.
Second, they have utilized parts that are as simple and fixable as possible.

Third, during construction they have been giving technical training to many local people who have been involved throughout the whole process. “It’s not a djyab,” says Didier, invoking the name of indigenous, mysterious spirits. “There are no secrets. People will understand how this thing works and how to fix any problems it might have.”
Saipan Loads Seabees Cargo Haiti 1/28/2005
Story Number: NNS050128-05 Release Date:
From Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs PASCAGOULA, Miss. (NNS)
The amphibious assault ship USS Saipan (LHA 2) departed Pascagoula, Miss., Jan. 26 after loading more than 50 Seabees and their 1,200 tons of construction equipment and supplies to transport them to Haiti in support of exercise New Horizons (NH) 2005 Haiti.
The Sailors will join other U.S. military forces to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to Haiti, including building three schoolhouses, drilling wells and providing free medical assistance in the hurricane-ravaged island.
“Although U.S. Navy amphibious ships have supported humanitarian missions in the past, it’s almost unheard of for this type of ship to sail on a dedicated mission with the Seabees as the main effort,” said Capt. Chris Chace, Saipan Expeditionary Strike Group commander.
“This event is unique in recent memory, and it has been an exciting challenge for the combat cargo personnel on my staff and in Saipan,” said Chace. “Amphibious ships were designed to carry a ‘landing force,’ which is most associated with the Marines, but we have proven time and again that the versatility of these ships allows us to carry a variety of forces, be they special operations forces, the U.S. Army or, in this case, the U.S. Navy Seabees.”
Saipan is transporting all the equipment and supplies needed to accomplish this mission.
“We loaded on just under 500 pieces of cargo and about 35 vehicles,” said Marine Capt. Darren Demyer, Combat Cargo officer aboard Saipan.
Most of the onloaded material consisted of equipment and supplies needed by Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1 to perform their operation ashore. “The cargo consists of water, Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), tents and construction material for the Seabees,” Demyer said. About 40 personnel helped load the cargo and vehicles over a period of 20 hours. “We started at noon and ended at 3 a.m., then put in another five hours from 7 a.m. until noon,” said Demyer.
Senior Chief Storekeeper Paul Rump supervised the movement and stowage of the equipment. “We drove the forklifts, packed the loads, and put the cargo in the order combat cargo wanted it,” he said. “We basically did whatever combat cargo needed us to do.”
The task force conducting NH Haiti is led by Cmdr. Scott Hurst, from 22nd Naval Construction Regiment, and involves Seabees and Soldiers from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1, Gulfport, Miss.; 400th Military Police Battalion, from Ft. Meade, Md.; 1-207th Aviation Battalion from Ft. Richardson, Alaska; 699th Engineer Company from Ft. Buchanan, Puerto Rico; and the 648th QM-TM from the Virgin Islands.
“This mission allows us to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance," said Hurst. "In addition, working with other services also develops our understanding of each other’s capabilities and enhances our ability to operate jointly."
Haiti will be one of the six nations to benefit from the New Horizons program. NH is a Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed program sponsored by U.S. Southern Command. It involves the deployment of U.S. military personnel to South America and the Caribbean to conduct humanitarian and civil assistance missions.
The NH program started in the mid-1980s with the primary objective of providing joint readiness training for U.S. engineering and medical military units and their host nation counterparts, while fostering goodwill between the United States and its neighbors.
NH Haiti provides and excellent opportunity for U.S. forces to refine engineering and medical skills while helping to improve the quality of life for the people of Haiti.
For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet/NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic Navy NewsStand page at

HAITI April 2002
A three member panel from the Organization of American States (OAS) arrived in the country to investigate "all aspects" of a December attack on the National Palace which has resulted in a four-month political stale-mate between President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government and opposition parties.

Medical mission team goes to Haiti
A medical team of nine members of Risen Savior in Burnsville and two members of the Woodland Hill congregation in St. Paul traveled to Gris Gris, Haiti, in late January for a one-week medical mission.  The group administered 1,700 immunizations, treated 1,500 patients and pulled nearly 400 teeth.

Medical team learns lessons in Haiti March 30, 2000
The Catholic Spirit  By Mike Haasi

'I thought we were going to give and share our gifts to the people of Gris-Gris, but they gave more to us in their acceptance and friendship than I can even desirable here." -Pat Limoges, RN

A medical team made up of nine members of Risen Savior in Burnsville and two members of the Woodland Hills congregation in St. Paul traveled to Haiti in late January for a one-week medical mission at St. Rose of Lima parish in Gris-Gris, Haiti.  Though just 50 miles southwest of the capital Port- au-Prince as the crow flies, it takes about eight hours to get there over the worst roads imaginable.  As in most of rural Haiti, there is no running water, no electricity and no telephones to the outside world. The very first girl that visited the medical team stopped breathing. "We had just arrived at the clinic and hadn't even unpacked the supplies," said Nancy Roberts, a chiropractor that drew upon her prior career as a medical technologist.  "With the quick action of the team, she was stabilized and sent to the hospital which was over two hours away.  She was on our minds, the whole week."

The team of five nurses, two physicians, a dentist, a pharmacist and a physician, worked in conjunction with a Cuban doctor who recently began working in Gris-Gris.  Over the course of one week, they gave 1,700 immunizations, treated 1,500 patients and pulled nearly 400 teeth. "We saw two-and-a-half times as many patients as we anticipated," said Pat Callahan, a pharmacist who was kept busy filling prescriptions.  "I was exhausted." Mike Mahowald was the primary organizer of the trip.  Though not a medical professional, Mahowald became a passionate advocate for the people of Haiti after a trip in December 1998. "I was 'wondering what my role would be when I got there.  I soon found myself being the 'ambulance driver,' picking up people from the surrounding countryside and bringing them to the clinic." 

"Risen Savior and St. Rose of Lima parishes have been in a sister parish relationship for about a year," said Cathy Voysey, chair of the 15-member sister parish committee. "It is incredible to see how this relationship has caught the imagination of this parish," she said.  "Nearly every area of parish life has become involved, from the religious education program to the men's club."

More than $40,000 has been contributed by Risen Savior parishioners. 
The pastor of Gris-Gris, Father Philippe Desire, who visited Risen Savior in October, has used the money to finish the rectory, build a parish bakery and two large water cisterns. In addition, to put on a new roof at one of the outlying chapels. The chief goal, however, is not to be a one-way supply of money and goods to Gris-Gris, but to establish a mutual relationship, a real "sibling" relationship, where each party gives to the other. When members of the medical teams poke at the Masses at Risen Savior, it became clear that this goal was being attained. Nurse Michelle Chadwick said, "Before I left on this trip, people would ask me why I wanted to go to a place like Haiti.  I would respond, 'because I want to give, I want to help' . . . But I can tell you now, that my answer is not the same as when people ask me if I will return to Haiti.  Instead of giving, I really received much more.  I felt that our presence in Gris-Gris would give the people a sense of hope and a sense that people do care.  Instead, the Haitian people gave me a sense of hope - that we can live together, that life is not about what we can obtain and what we can achieve for ourselves, but instead, that we truly are brothers and sisters.... We were accepted and united in a way that I have never before experienced.... It was impossible not to feel God's presence and a sincere love for humanity... I will return to Haiti, to a place where love and hope are alive."

As the group was about to leave Gris-Gris, they found out about the little girl who had stopped breathing that first day.  She had recovered and was doing well at home, a life saved in Haiti, and a symbol of hope for both parishes.
Mike Haasi is Risen Savior's social justice coordinator. Risen Savior became linked to the Gris-Gris parish through the Parish Training Program of the Americas (PTPA).  For further information about the organization, or how to link to a sister parish, call Mike Haasi at (612) 431-5222 or Theresa Patterson at PTPA at (615) 356-5999.