-Please keep Robers, Maguy, the girls (Nemy, Baly, Kimberly, Samantha in Canada and Elidia in Haiti) and Grace Corps in your prayers
- Pray for the Lord's blessings to be poured on us abundantly.
- More of the children in the schools are in need of help.
Recent blog posts
Building A School In Bolosse, Haiti
Bolosse is one of the poorest suburbs of Port-au- Prince. It is located on the hills south of the large bay east of the Capital. It represents with Carrefour-Feuille, Martissant and Fontamara at least a fifth of Port-au- Prince 2,000,000 inhabitants. The neighborhood at one point was a vacation hub for the rich families. Some of the gingerbread houses still "ferociously" standing against time, people and natural disasters are nostalgic reminders of that idyllic past. In the 70s however, due to the Duvalier dictatorship and later in the 80s to political unrest and absence of authorities in the 90s, Bolosse drastically changed. The beautiful forests of Mahogany and Oak trees were senselessly depleted.
Today as one looks over the hills only the treecovered UFM-Mission compound has preserved an infinitesimal portion of that forest. Today, families who migrated from the hills and coastal villages of Jacmel, Cayes and Jeremy call Bolosse their home. They are for the most part peasant farmers who flood the Capital in search of a better life. All they find is the heat of the treeless hills, the malaria epidemic from the mosquito- ridden creeks,lately Cholera in the waters, the misery of street commerce (for the lucky ones who may have relatives in the US and Canada to offer financial support) and idleness caused by joblessness for the vast majority of them.
The global address for the school on Google Earth or any other similar Web apps is as follow Latitude: 18°31'45.81"N and Longitude: 72°20'57.52"W. That is where Grace Corps is currently building the school to replace the Fontamara school put out of order by the 2010 quake. The neighborhoods are similar. Both are in the heart of vast areas of shantytowns infamously renowned for dangerous gang activities. Even though in Fontamara I nearly lost my life, I never feel threatened when visiting my old neighborhood in the 2nd and 3rd Bolosse Avenues.
There seems to be a manifested respect there for what we stand for. Some of the suspected gang leaders whom I have known since childhood (we played soccer on the street together) call me "a child of Bolosse". Hence a certain familiarity that goes a long way in Haiti and which I believe, coupled with other cultural aspects, plays a role in the affinity that pervades my relationship with them: First, following Christ's example, I see in them possibilities of redemption not marginalized angry individuals. That underlying concept directs my every interaction with them. Secondly, Grace Corps in the past has run a small scale financial operation by which we sought to support ladies street merchants in need of some cash. (A big fire that burnt their houses and the political upheaval that followed halted that most needed project.) That was in the days ten years ago before we began to focus solely on the education aspect of our mission and left the development segment in the back burner. The project was positively viewed by all. We believe that God is allowing us to go back to that neighborhood with the message of Grace found in Christ Jesus, something that encompasses education and development in a more sustaining manner and will provide both temporary and eternal hope.
As the school is being built in phases and stages so is our vision for the neighborhood. Should the Lord bless the desire that we feel that He has placed in our hearts, He will touch other owners on the land to donate or sell their part at a reasonable price that Grace Corps can afford to add a playground open to the public, something that the neighborhood has never had. Meanwhile , we will continue to pray, hope and work. As in the past, we are confident that our Lord will make His will be known and demonstrate His power as we build schools, train teachers and help raise the next generation of responsible Haitian citizens.