Haiti Mission Trip

Haiti Mission Trip
November 5-14, 2011
[ click here for photo album ]
All of us are painfully aware of the human suffering taking place in Haiti following the earthquake that struck that country in 2010. Over the last few months, the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware (ABCOPAD) has worked with Herb and Bernice Rogers to plan several mission trips to Haiti. Pastor Bud joined a team of 15 volunteers for the ABCOPAD Earthquake Relief Team, November 5-14, 2011.
The team traveled to the earthquake-devastated community of Grand Goave, Haiti. The team worked side by side with members of the local community to build 4 “rubble houses” for families left homeless by the catastrophic disaster.
Beginning with a trench foundation, steel mesh is erected into a basket-style wall form that is filled with earthquake rubble broken up with sledgehammers. Field-made metal hooks keep the mesh evenly spaced. When the wall baskets are filled, mortar is added to stabilize the structure. Additional coats of mortar provide a finished look, not unlike a concrete-block exterior. Add a wooden roof frame covered with tin, and you have a very serviceable home.
The technique was developed by Conscience International, a humanitarian and advocacy organization that has a partnership with ABCOPAD.
Using materials from a family’s destroyed home allows them to remain in their old neighborhood. It aids with cleanup and solves complicated land-use issues. Construction materials are purchased locally, and Haitians are employed, boosting the local economy.
Nearly two years after the Haiti earthquake, housing remains a critical issue. Hundreds of thousands of people are still without reliable shelter, living in tents amid elements like heat and rain and the constant threat of living in an earthquake-prone zone. Many families with young children are eager to get out of tents and into such houses. Because of the strength of the steel basket and the fact that the contents are allowed to shift during an earthquake, engineers believe the houses will withstand an 8.0 earthquake with only minor cosmetic damage.
The mission trip experience was designed to:
…Build bridges of friendship with the Haitian people, some of which may become long-term relationships as we seek ways to become missional churches.
…Work side by side with someone who has experienced a dramatic story related to the earthquake.
…Forge friendships with other team members.
…Help with various construction tasks in support of national skilled laborers.
…Serve the people of Haiti by extending your hands in compassion, love, and hope. We can show them that they are not forgotten.
Many thanks to all those who provided much encouragement with prayers and financial support!