Saturday, February 18, 2012

Haiti VIM: Day 3, Feb. 18

Each time Foundry sends a VIM team to Haiti, it participates in a project designed to employ Haitians and boost the local economy.

The Foundry team in Mellier this week is rebuilding a multipurpose facility that will house a church and other programs.

The Foundry team is working alongside 11 construction personnel from Mellier and surrounding communities.

One of the leaders of the Mellier group, Eguins Louissaint, sat down with Foundry VIM team member Ace Parsi today. Here is Ace's reflection:

I asked a young man, Eguins, for one message to give to our congregation.

He said, "Continue to pray so God can bless the church and especially those in necessity so that God can make a way for them, too."

There is certainly necessity AND potential in Haiti. Eguins, in his early 20s, has finished his second year in college-level economics and can't afford to continue.

Similarly, Haiti's soil is rich and ideal to grow rice, but all around we see bags of rice with American flags. These bags represent the subsidized crops that put many Haitian farmers out of work.

Answers are not simple. The people pushing the bags of rice thought they were hiring American farmers and feeding a nation, not taking the livelihood of others.

Well-meaning answers are not enough. We must be willing to sit with the discomfort, ask people how we can walk toward their dreams, not the dreams we hold for them -- and work for solutions that are long-term and sustainable.

I asked Eguins to close our conversation with prayer. He said, "Dear God, even though we have a different skin color, language and culture, you have made it so we worship one God."

Late Saturday afternoon, the Foundry team took a walking tour of Mellier, a small town that was hit hard by the 2010 earthquake.

We saw rebuilding and striking economic progress as well as deep challenges that remain for the vast majority of its residents.

God, give us as a team and as a congregation the wisdom and the resolve to be true to the spirit of brotherhood Eguins and we pray for.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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