A group of 12 high school youth from the St. Pierre Bible Fellowship Church have chosen Haiti as the location for their missions trip and for a very specific reason.
Troy Dearborn, one of the pastors of the church and the leader of the trip, says their church typically sends down a team on a missions trip every four years. He notes Haiti is definitely a much more expensive option in terms of travel but explains the reason they chose Haiti is because most of their team actually speak French, which is one of the official languages of Haiti.
“We will be able to communicate with the people down there in a way that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to do in some of the Spanish nations in the Caribbean. Typically we’ve gone to Mexico or we’ve gone to Panama and this time we chose Haiti because there’s a lot of need there, it’s the poorest country in the western hemisphere but also actually because of this French connection. There a lot of Haitian population in Canada as well so there’s a connection between French Canada and French Haiti.”
Dearborn says following all the natural disasters in Haiti in the last number of years, clean drinking water has become quite scarce. He adds with the help of many generous donors from the community, they were able to fundraise over $16,000 to bring 325 water filter kits with them to Haiti to give members of the communities that they will visit.
Chanelle Marion is one of the youth going on the trip. She explains what she’s most looking forward to on this trip.
“Just having a whole new experience, because you travel all the time but this is different because you go to a country and you’re actually helping a lot so it’s just having a different experience of helping people.”
William Johnson, who is also a member of the team, notes one of the reasons he’s passionate about going, is his older siblings have all taken part in previous trips as well.
“This trip has been organized through my church for as long as I remember and I’ve seen my brother and my sister go on this trip like four years ago and four years before that, so that was probably the leading factor, was that my whole family has done it, I want to do it. Then getting to know the trip, I personally got really interested in what’s happening down there.”
Dearborn adds they hope the students, as well as the leaders, can learn as much as they can in Haiti and just embrace the culture as they communicate with the local people. He says the purpose of this trip is to learn just as much as it is to help.
“There’s a whole lot of different ways of poverty right, there’s different kinds of poverty. They might not have material wealth, they might not have the things that we do here in Canada but they’re so rich in other ways. Rich in hope, rich in strength, rich in faith and those are ways that we can go down there and learn from them. So it’s all about relationships, it’s all about partnership, we’re not going down there with the solutions to fix everything. We’re going down there to learn just as much as we’re going down there to bring filters and bring the good news.”