Last October, a group of four Eastsiders joined two other people from the partnership to go on an exploratory trip to the island of La Gonave off the coast of Haiti. From the start Eastside has wanted to have an international presence in how we serve our world. The La Gonave Haiti Partnership provided a unique opportunity to do this because utilize a partnership model that allowed our small church to easily begin forming a longterm relationship. As their website states, they do development, “in partnership with the people of La Gonave, employing local people and using locally made goods and materials. While US partners identify resources and often provide workshops and educational opportunities, the projects themselves belong to the people of La Gonave. This addresses the issue of economic development in a way that traditional aid does not – by building a sustainable community and an educated workforce.”
On the trip we got to see all different facets of the partnership, from the clinic and the traditional birth attendant, to the goat project, to the women’s sewing co-op. We also visited the community of Ticolette on our first day and learned about how they had had a partner church, but that church had left with the previous priest and abandoned them.
They spoke to us of their hopes of having partner churches as most of the other communities have. We ended up coming back there on Friday and administering de-worming medicine with the help of their community health worker, holding an impromptu clinic courtesy of Dr. Andre Melendez, and holding a community meeting. In that meeting we asked the people of Ticolette about their needs and hopes. We heard about wanting to have more visiting clinics and needing a new school and repairs to their church building. We heard about dreams for learning skills that would help them support themselves. They also asked if we would return.
This trip in July is our part of holding to that promise. It is part of continuing in a mutual relationship with the people of Ticolette. It will also be an opportunity to administer more de-worming meds, checking in on the school children’s’ health and taking time to build relationship. In short, it is the work of loving and being loved as neighbor, even though far apart, and working alongside the people of La Gonave to build the Kingdom of God. To learn more, watch our report of the exploratory trip.
So how can you help?
Maybe you’re going on the trip and will be there helping and participating physically, and hopefully as the partnership continues everyone who wants to will be able to make the trip. Until then, there are many ways to help from here.
1. You can pray. Pray for our sister community of Ticolette, pray for the team as they prepare to travel, pray for health and safety, pray that we, all together, might further the Kingdom of God of earth.
2. Donate items to the yard sale or come and shop yourself on June 14th.
3. Donate money to help cover the cost of the trip. Click here to support our team!