Pastor Evan and Kevin Castanherio headed back to Haiti to learn more about fish farming and listen for the ways Lake Ridge can continue to be a part of the work God is doing in Haiti. Pastor Evan shares below a few of his thoughts on our blog from their week so far:
Haiti - January 25, 2017
Well, today was quite the day. It started at 5:30 a.m. as we headed over to the airport to catch our flight which was set to leave at 7 a.m. That’s when the day kicked off with a small glitch. Our plane tickets had been canceled because someone didn’t read them close enough (I guess that would be me) to see that they were only reservations and still required payment. So foreign country, different language, and big problem to solve.
Big problems, even the self-inflicted ones, seem to be God’s specialty. While sitting on the benches discussing a plan to get to Northern Haiti a lady sitting in front of us turned around and spoke to us in perfect english. She said, “I work for Mission Aviation Fellowship and we fly all over Haiti. Perhaps you could just charter one of our planes?”
Here's the short of how it went down: within 1 hour we were sitting on a brand new plane which, we chartered, and even sold a ticket to another traveller who apparently didn’t read his ticket either.
A short delay to the day, plus a few weeks of my life for the stress and we were back on track. The day was huge from that point on. We visited a Hospital run by the CRUDEM Foundation. We spoke with one of their people about fish farms and also got to visit the doctor in charge of the juvenile diabetes program. They currently serve about 56 young people with this condition. What often happens is these patients age out of the program and end up coming to Dr. Manno for care.
From there, we met with a group of young famers who have started a cooperative. They began with 10 goats in addition to already running 100 colonies of bees. After learning that chickens produce the correct amount of by-product to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton (which fish eat) these young farmers are now considering adding chickens to their plan in preparation for a fish pond.
Honestly, I was very excited about these young people because they show real initiative. They have made a plan without out any input so far and there have about 50 in their cooperative. For me, encouraging and helping them to get something started is attractive because many other farmers could benefit and learn from each other.
On our way back we stopped to help feed the children in Petite Anse. You may remember, the Covenant Church (mostly College Park Covenant Church) supports a feeding program there. Yesterday there were about 140 children and they had a great meal. The kids also sang for us and it’s so moving that it could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
From there we headed over to several abandoned fish ponds near Petite Anse. This property was a bit run down, however, the Father here would like to see it up and running. He has a heart for the children in the area and wonders about the potential to teaching children a skill (fish farming) while at the same time eating. Randy Bevis, the fish farm expert, actually believes they could get these ponds running with very little effort, but it’s important that they make it their own with us encouraging or training.
Finally to Dr. Manno’s for some rest. It was a long day and well after dark before we made it back to the house. I love this place and am very encouraged and blessed to meet so many people talking about sustainable options for their communities and Haiti. I don’t know where all this leads, but I believe God has us here for a reason and since Jesus is in the business of multiplication I’m hoping for more of the same. Please pray with us and for us these next few days. Our brains are full and our hearts overflowing. There will be much to sort out upon out return home.
P.S. Please share this post with whomever you think might be interested.