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 27, 2016

Today was kind of a difficult day personally, but I’ll come back to that. 

We visited several places today. We started with a walk around the University campus right here in Haute Limbe. There has been some interest over the years to start a small fish farm and we, with Randy Bevis (fish guy www.in-seine.org), thought it was important to have a look. 

Several things on this trip have honestly just fallen into place and I’m hopeful this will be one of the unintended projects that comes from this trip. The location they have considered is an ideal place and the potential to run a self sufficient farm is for sure there. In addition, students from all over Haiti attend this school and the ripple effect of a successful farm could be life changing for so many.  

Just before leaving town, Dr. Manno stopped in the clinic to make sure everything was going well. When he returned he had a little boy named Jacqulin and his mother in tow. Jacqulin is 10 years old and a Type 1 Diabetic. He and his mother live about an hour from Limbe. Jacqulin had come to clinic to get some more insulin however the type he needed Dr. Manno was out of.  Jacqulin needed to go to a different clinic a long distance away in Milot to Hospital Sacre Coeur run by the CRUDM foundation. They have a special program there where they help juvenile diabetic patients and their families.  

Dr. Manno feels its time for Jacqulin to try and get into that program as it specializes in children. When Jacqulin turns 24 he will not longer be eligible for that program and Dr. Manno says if he lives that long we will once again be responsible for Jacqulin’s care at the Sante 2000 Clinic.  

As we drove, I couldn’t help but to think to myself what I would do if I were a parent of a child with diabetes in Haiti. This little guy was only half the size of my own son Otto, yet he is 3 years older than Otto. As he complained about being hungry and uncomfortable and his mother gripped a small piece of paper (which she cannot read) with the information explaining were she needed to go and who she needed to see. It was terribly difficult to watch.

Our plan was to get Jacqulin and his mother to Cap Haitian and put them on a TapTap for the second leg of their journey. (A TapTap is usually a small toyota truck with a topper, it’s not uncommon to see up to 20-25 people ridings at a time with many hanging on the back). As we reached town it became obvious that the city was not a place either of them were used to. The idea that we were about to them get out of the comfort of our vehicle and into the crowded Taptap was very difficult for me.  

As I watched them leave, I caught a glimpse of Jacqulin’s scared little face. It was more than I could bare. To imagine placing my own son in this TapTap seems unimaginable, yet to get him what he needed to survive I would do it. Driving away from this story was overwhelmingly difficult. As I let the tears flow out from behind my sunglasses and tried to be strong;

I remembered that to not allow myself to weep when I need to is the path to losing who I am as a human. Strength is not shown in the absence of tears, but in our willingness to accept them, and what they teach us.

But it is so hard sometimes.         

I have traveled to Haiti and seen many hard things, however for some reason today was the day my heart would be broken again by this place and these serious issues. Reflecting on this has reminded me that as much as I can try and explain why this kind of thing happens in this world it cannot become a method for removing myself from the shear pain and heart ache it causes.  

There are so many children suffering in our world, so many children that Dr. Manno is called upon to care for, to do the best he can for each one and to trust that God will take it from there.  My heart breaks for them and my friend Manno who each day sees the needs and knows that only God has the resources to care for them. 

So as we go to sleep tonight, can we not just say a little prayer for Jacqulin, his mother and Dr. Manno? Can we say a BIG prayer for others like them and a world that cries out in pain? Jesus said, “what ever you ask for in my name I will give it.” Well, even as I pray this prayer, I know that God’s answer to this prayer lies in his people. It lies in you and I to be people to stand up and do something. Can we choose to place ourselves in front of the hurting in our neighbourhoods and in our world? That I believe is the first step. 

In true Canadian fashion this blog post comes with an apology. It has been my intention to break your heart a little as mine has been broken. Please know it’s with the best of intentions. For when we allow our heart to be broken by what breaks theheart of God, we create soil for new things to grow within us. May this soil grow something new in us all.  #sorrynotsorry

-Pastor Evan

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