Friday, July 17, 2015

Trinity Youth Mission Experience

This past week, I was blessed to travel with the youth of Trinity Episcopal Church Asheville, NC, on their trip to visit Cange and the Central Plateau. I really can't express how inspiring and meaningful this experience was.

Debbie, the youth director at Trinity who has been such a big part of my life, led the group of 8 youth along with the participation of Rev. Scott and his wife Missy, and Greg Hilderbran, a parishioner from Trinity who is involved with Consider Haiti, an organization based in Montrouis, Haiti.
We were able to visit almost everywhere we planned for the week. One highlight was visiting Hermane in Chapoteau to assist in the first produce distribution from his community garden to some of the 25 primary school kids who are in an agriculture-education program he is leading (funded by St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Herndon, VA). I was very excited to be there for this, and I appreciate Hermane inviting the group across the lake. He even sent us back to Cange with a sample of the spinach for the staff in Cange to prepare for us. Delicious and nutritious!
We also were able to tour Cange, CFFL/Zanmi Agrikol, the University Hospital in Mirebalais, and Basin Zim. On Thursday, we stayed at a beach resort called Wahoo Bay Beach, my first time staying at a beach resort in Haiti. It was a special, relaxing treat and even included a bit of snorkeling. Also during this overnight trip, we were able to visit one of the sites for Consider Haiti--glad I finally made it. I'm impressed by their multi-faceted approach to their work in health, nutrition and food security.

The youth also led a couple of English classes for Alix's and Victoria's afternoon English program for young kids in Cange, which all seemed to enjoy. And finally, Scott was able to lead the service at Bon Sauveur Parish, which has been without a permanent priest since August of last year. I was able to translate the sermon for him to the congregation, and he was able to lead Eucharist and a blessing of the children in the church (some adults still have a bit of a child in them too).
Beyond these great learning experiences, I am most impressed with the curiosity and compassion expressed throughout the week and of course all of the Haitian hospitality. The Trinity youth proved to me, once again, that high school groups coming to visit Haiti are some of the best to come through. The work that we were able to see, the people we met doing it, and the interest of those in the group give me great hope for the future. A big thank you to those from Trinity and elsewhere that contributed to making this possible.

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