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Opportunity for Generosity - June 2021

Building Blocks

By: Andy Travers and the Haiti Mission Group

In Haiti, it is not uncommon to have a homemade of a few dozen cement blocks and a sheet or two of metal or heavy plastic over the top to keep the rain out. The blocks help provide just enough security and safety for family members to live together. Unlike our homes, where we may have brick facings, plumbing, glass, and wood to personalize our homes, Haitian homes consist of a few critical elements. Windows, which we take for granted in the States, are not available in Haiti. A window there is an empty space in a supporting wall. Dinner is often prepared outside of the home structure, often consisting of a pot of beans and rice cooked over a charcoal fire. There is simply not enough space inside to cook.

Life is hard in Haiti. The few homes I visited there, once upon a time, were made of only a few cement blocks, but they were also cemented together with love and unique Haitian pride. Those who visit Haiti are amazed at how children show up to school and church in clean clothes, often after walking several miles on dusty mountain trails. At the St. Timothy School, an ocean of beautiful yellow shirts and skirts reminded us how much our school means to so many children. The pride they take in their uniforms is similar to the actions we take to support our favorite school or sports team.

 

Through partnership, trust, and cooperation we have been able to build new things with our friends in Haiti. Now they are asking us to help them enclose the courtyard of the school we helped them build (and the adjacent church) to not only protect the school but to also give it some added identity as one of the few places in the area that is both safe and sacred. Across Haiti there are similar courtyards that are often brightly painted to give the village where they are located a greater sense of community and joy.

I am happy with the idea that our relationship with people at the St. Timothy School is based on building things together. There are many days when I yearn for the days of old when life and work here were based on building things, rather than watching things on a screen. There is a good feeling at the end of the day when a hole is dug, a lawn is mowed or a structure is built. The feeling is magnified when the work is done with friends, new or old. It is that special feeling that we can help create with our friends in Haiti when we leave them with something to remember and celebrate.

Please join me and the members of the Haiti Mission Group in supporting new “building blocks” to provide improvements for our friends in Haiti. By cementing blocks one to another we seek to encourage cementing of the identity for all associated with St. Timothee’s. There will be more information in the coming weeks about how you can support this effort.