This is written by Josh and Paige Konoza, of Pittsburg, PA. They were married in August and decided to go serve with MH4H in Haiti for their belated Honeymoon. This is both of there first time traveling to Haiti.
Day 3 (Dec. 20th) – Written by Paige
We started the morning with a visit to the hospital to meet with some of the office staff that help run the Pella Christian School scholarship program.A child patient in the hospital.
While we were there, we saw students have dental exams, women having their babies weighed and immunized, and we had a chance to meet with Dr. Guy Theodore, the founder of Hôpital de Bienfaisance de Pignon. Josh was excited to have the chance to meet him as he is well respected in the U.S. and Haiti as both a surgeon and humanitarian, and he was in America when great strides were being made to create university programs and train medical professionals as Physician Assistants.Dr. Guy at the Cholera Clinic in Pignon.
Following our trip to the hospital, Zeke showed us to his mother-in-laws where there is a group of local Haitians who have undertaken a small business to create jewelry from paper beads as well as tree bark. It seems to be very meticulous work, as paper must be cut, glued, wound, varnished, and eventually stringed into an array of designs. All of which is tedious and time consuming. They are a very small operation as of yet, but they hope that they can come up with new ideas to set their jewelry apart from others with similar ventures. Their aim is to eventually expand to a small business capable of providing work for 30-40 employees, as well as the local artists that are hired to paint very small detailed designs.Here is Baby hand rolling the beads to go on necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
In the afternoon we were able to meet with local community leaders to get a more solid plan in place for VBS this friday. Many of the girls were practicing songs and dancing that they would like to share with everyone, and we enjoyed being able to watch their performance and cheer them on. It was a great time to see some of the local children that we will be working with at VBS. We were also able to get an idea of how many children to expect, as I have been given the reigns for the crafts and needed to make sure that there won’t be any children left out. (nothing worse than 200 AND 3 kids showing up, when you’ve only prepared for 200). We expect anywhere from 100-200 children and we look forward to singing, dancing, sharing Bible stories, crafting, and providing a meal for them. It will definitely be an exciting day.At Haiti Home of Hope Orphanage, MH4H supplements the feeding programs for the widows and mothers program. Here they are weighing the kids to ensure the food is actual going to the child and not being sold for profit.
We ended our day with a tour of Haiti Home of Hope run by Americans Bill and Jennifer Campbell. They house nearly 40 Haitian children as well as providing feedings once a week for infants who have lost their mothers as well as both mothers and children that are malnourished. They hope that by ensuring the health of both parent and child that families will be encouraged to remain together, rather than send their children to live with relatives or in many cases to other families who may promise them an education but often times end up using them as unpaid house slaves. We were very impressed by their facilities, and glad to hear that unlike the American foster care system, they have decided not to set a standard for “aging out” as they feel every child is different and deserves a chance to finish high school, receive some form of technical training, and ensure that they will be able to provide for themselves as well as a family should they choose to some day marry. Bill spoke to us of their overall aim to replace the cultural traditions of voodoo and superstition with the gospel and freedom from fear. We are excited to take up their offer of coming to visit with the children and helping at the feedings whenever we have the free time to do so.