Nine volunteers, all but one being from Cedar Creek Evangelical Free Church in Colorado, recently visited Baptist Haiti Mission. They were headed by the churches lead pastor, Curt Mudgett. Other team members were: Becky Matthews, Carolyn Hickerson, Leslie Torres, Timothy Putnam, David Simons, Tim Kavanaugh and Hilary Barrett from Georgia. They helped out with many various things on the mission, but their main project was building a house for a woman in need in the community of Sarthe.
Madame Gislène Gilbert is a 58-year old woman who's husband left her approximately 10 years ago and was never blessed with any children. Prior to the earthquake, Gislène had been housing 7 of her extended family members. On January 12th, 2010 that small home was destroyed. Gislène is a member of the Griffen Conservative Baptist Church and is one of many volunteers that help to keep the church clean. Other than this, she has no employment. She says that her extended family helps her to get food. In fact, Gislène, has never had the opportunity to have an education, she cannot read or write. With a big smile on her face she stated that she, “Thanks Jesus, praises God, and is very happy that her house is almost complete.” She informed us that she will continue to have the same 7 family members living with her after the housing project is complete.
Just like Madame Gilène, the members of Cedar Creek also feel very blessed. During their 10-day stay in Haiti they worked side by side with 6 Haitian men (sometimes more when the community members would get involved). After the walls were up and being cemented, team member, Tim Kavanaugh stated with a big smile, “It’s a celebratory atmosphere today. In the beginning many were shy and kept their distance. As the building emerged from the ground, our project gained validity. This (as he touches the house walls) brought trust.” Pastor Mudgett’s son, Grant, said “It means a lot to come and help people. I love to help people. I really hope to be a missionary in Haiti someday.”
Over the span of time that the Cedar Creek team spent at the building site, Madame Gislène served the group drinks and small snacks. She did so with a look of joy on her face. During their last day at the building site, Gislène’s family and community brought the team a very large amount of vegetables as a gift offering. Pastor Curt Mudgett gave a message to the Haitians. “Thank you for opening your hearts to us. I am thankful to have made new friends. The feeling of friendship while working side by side of the Haitians has been humbling and joyful.”
|Gislene, making coffee for the team|
|Part of the team with Gislene, inside her new half finished home|
|Pastor Mudgett and the Haitian workers, stopping for a coffee break|
|Gislene, smiling inside the walls of her new home|
|Carolyn and Leslie, working on the mission|
|Group picture with team shirts|