Thursday, June 30, 2011

July 10: Foundry's Haiti Ministry Team Showing Film "Strange Things: Children of Haiti"

The Haiti Ministry Team invites you to view this film about Haitian street children and their struggle for survival, education and acceptance, on Sunday, July 10th, at 12:30 p.m., at Foundry.

The viewing will be followed by discussion of the film and the current situation in Haiti, led by members of the February 2011 Foundry VIM trip to Haiti. Light lunch will be served. The event will end by 2 p.m.

Please RSVP on the Foundry calendar website, or contact Ace Parsi at for more details.

Here's a description of the film from its website:

In the midst of Haiti’s lush mountains and historical relics, hundreds of thousands of orphaned and abandoned children wander the streets day and night. Known as the Sanguine (“Soulless”) and forgotten by their own people, they have struggled for survival since long before the devastating 2010 earthquake. STRANGE THINGS: Children of Haiti follows three teenage street boys, who reflect on their country and their lives, sharing a common dream of education, government assistance and social acceptance.

Following the evolution and transformation of these boys into young men, this cinematic documentary provides direct insight into Haiti’s ongoing abandoned youth problem. In the voices of the street boys themselves, the film examines a complicated issue which has not only plagued the country for decades, but grows more severe every day.

Shot in the historic northern city of Cap-Haitien over a period of three years, Children of Haiti reveals the country’s strange contrasts; a land of breathtaking landscapes and remarkable heritage, but also great human tragedy, all seen through the eyes of these prolific, poetic boys. Despite the nearly insurmountable obstacles, they show that a few can still manage to find hope, and even a little joy, in this harsh reality.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Foundry's Haiti Ministry Team Welcomes Thomas Kemper

This Sunday, June 19, promises to bring mission into focus when Foundry welcomes Thomas Kemper, general secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) of the United Methodist Church, and a former missionary in Brazil.

A recent blog post by Kemper reveals the reverence and humility he experienced alongside dispossessed Brazilians that deeply affected his own sense of mission. As Foundry has chosen to emphasize Haiti as a sustained global mission focus through 2014, Kemper will no doubt excite insight into our ministry.

A special offering will be collected Sunday, June 19, as part of Foundry's ministry focus on Haiti. Donations will support teachers’ salaries in Haiti—through the UM Volunteers in Mission program—and the school lunch program—through the UM Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the mission agency of GBGM. Foundry’s Haiti Ministry Team is seeking to raise $5,000 before the next VIM trip this October.

While in the village of Mellier in February 2011, Haiti VIM team members appreciated the importance of advocating for, and ministering with, children in poverty. “Ultimately, these children will take their places in their communities as educated citizens and leaders,” said mission participant Margaret Yao. “They are the future, the next generation, who will lead and strengthen their own nation.” Mellier was near the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake.

Purpose and hope must be nourished in the near term. "We witnessed firsthand the educational needs of the children of Haiti,” said Laurie Watkins, another team member. “Unfortunately, the Haitian communities, nongovernmental organizations, and religious organizations have been unable to adequately fund education due to the challenging poor conditions.”

Kemper, who will base his sermon “Jesus at the Gate” on Hebrews 13:12-16, visited Haiti in January at the one-year anniversary of the earthquake. Kemper was elected to his post a day after the earthquake that devastated much of Haiti. GBGM’s relief and partnership efforts in Haiti include supporting programs for teacher training in camps in Port-Au-Prince, housing and construction, work training, agriculture, and microfinance.