Saturday, September 4, 2021

Remembering Pastor Giordani

It’s odd when COVID hits so close to home, even as the loss is another world away.

Thursday, August 5, 2021 our beloved friend and ministry partner, Pastor Giordani Docteur passed away quite suddenly from COVID-19.   

There are as many layers to this loss as there are complications in all things Haiti these difficult, chaotic days. 


A big part of the pain is being so far away, and knowing our dear friends are suffering under great duress already due to the pandemic, political upheaval, the recent earthquake, with chronic poverty being the prevailing baseline.

 About Pastor Giordani

 Giordani has served for over thirty years as the leader of the Association des Eglises Missionaries (Assosication of Missionary Churches) AEM.  As well, he was Lead Pastor in Hinche with a congregation of between 500 and 800 people. Giordani also directed a theological program for students that had graduated high school.  Many of the younger AEM pastors had taken their 4 years of training through that program, and Giordani regularly mentored several young pastors every year.   Giordani also was the AEM representative with the government.  

He leaves behind his wife Jacqueline, and adult children Carl and Daniel,  Kathleen and Kensley.

Highview feels this loss deeply.

Many of us have had the privilege of knowing Pastor Giordani, and being the recipient of his generous hospitality, keen mind and deep faith.  The pictures included here represent just a small glimpse of our relationship as we have sought a true reciprocity in our partnership with the ministry there.

A further glimpse is in the words from some of those who have travelled there, and known him personally.

From Meg

Pastor Giordani was a kind, hospitable, hard working man. He opened up his home to us the year I went to Haiti, and I will forever be grateful for that. He helped shape my first mission trip into something special.

 From Linda

Pastor  Giordani was a servant leader who modelled faithful  obedience.  His love for God, his family and church community rippled out to impact our Highview community too,  Heaven's hospitality is now all open for him.  We will miss him here.

From Brian

In 2008 I was part of a team that headed off to Haiti from Highview Community Church in Kitchener.

Had absolutely no idea what to expect when we arrived. But the first person we were to meet was Pr. Giordani and his family. We had the privilege of staying with them in their home in the town of Hinche. This was the start of a very special relationship. 

Since 2008 I and a team from Highview have travelled to Haiti on a regular basis and on every visit we would make sure to stop in Hinche to worship at Pr. Giordani’s church and visit our friends in Sapate (the site of our first building project.) 

On one occasion Pr. Giordani took me for a walk on a tour of the church in Hinche, to give me an update on its ongoing construction. As we took a break to sit down in his office he talked to me about trust. He mentioned that now that I had been to Haiti on three occasions (ultimately it would be nine!!) that he and his church could trust me. They could trust that when I and our team said we cared, we meant it. They could trust that when we said that we would be back, they believed us. I’ve never forgotten how meaningful, and challenging, that conversation was in reminding me that our words and actions, wherever we are, matter so much in building relationships. 

Pr. Giordani was a special friend to me and Highview. I can’t imagine how much he will be missed by his family and his church in Haiti but I know my heart is hurting because an important piece is gone. For now!!! 


We grieve, but not as those without hope.

As we make our honest way through the difficult, ponderous realities of life, we do not in any way want to default too soon to “the right answers”.  These losses hit so close to home because we have opened our hearts to love and be loved, know and be known even in Regions Beyond, even when we can’t get there safely or quickly, even when people we love die.

Bottom line remains, however.  This life begs an epic sequel, and God continues to write the story all the way to His ultimate win.  This is a very true thing, and to this we cling.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Why This Pipe Makes Us So Happy


 

It's not the kind of picture folks usually post when they have something wild and wonderful to share.  But this small visible above-ground end of a very long below-ground pipe makes us very, very happy.

It's the capped off end of the well for our Senior's Home in Pignon, Haiti.

The story of our engagement with the Senior's Home is longer even than the whole of the pipe, with several Teams by now, from both Highview and Trinity EMC,

having been part of the ongoing construction, first of the wall, and then of the residence itself.  The idea has been to partner with a church in Haiti to develop a property that would ultimately serve as a safe place for seniors there who have no family or other means by which they could be cared for in their later years.

Patience and perseverance have paid off, and we are now in the last stages of set up, preparing for our residents to move in, in the months to come.  Beds and mattresses, tables and chairs, and the all-important water system that will connect this very important pipe to the rest of the facility, are now in the works.  As well, appropriate staffing is being lined up, all so we can welcome precious Grammas and Grampas into their new home.

Our partnership now has new opportunities to be involved in ongoing care of the Residents themselves. Respectful, culturally sensitive conversations have begun to map out a way we might come alongside Pastor Abdon and his wife Se Lumide to provide for the ongoing needs of food and medicine, and all that would bring quality of life. 

As those plan become clearer, we will invite all who are interested and impassioned to be part of these next steps.  God's heart is always to bring the lonely into families.  It's exciting to be at the brink of watching Him do it again.

Of course, everyone who's been there, and even some of us who haven't, are waiting for the right time to visit in person.  As those plans come into focus as well, we will certainly let you know.  Who knows, you may end up washing some dishes or laundry using water from this very well.

In the meantime, any and all donations for Haiti can still be made through Highview's online giving link at https://hcckw.churchcenter.com/giving.

Thanks so much for your ongoing prayers and love.

In a world turned upside down by a pandemic, love brings back the balance.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Continuing the Work in Strange Times


 

Just a quick hello to keep us all on board and up to speed on the ways God is continuing to work among our Haitian friends.

As many of you know, Marilyn McIlroy is our steady connection between Highview and all things Haitian.  Her blog updates keep us current, and reflect our shared passion for all that our friends are living through during these difficult times.

Check it out.

Keep praying.

God bless.



Wednesday, August 26, 2020

In All Things


 

Some days it's just hard to watch the news.  This seems particularly true when the world is in the midst of a pandemic AND it's hurricane season.  Then, it seems even more true when Haiti is involved, and there are people and places we love being affected in ways we can't even imagine.

I'm glad for the news and all the ways we are connected, because, not only do we hear about the hard stuff, we can know the beautiful, redemptive things God is doing, as we stay connected in meaningful ways.

Our beautiful friend Marilyn McIlroy's BLOG "Where In the World Is Marilyn?" will not only help provide us with some information, but can keep our hearts in touch with how we can pray and support our partners in Haiti.

In her email to me this week she reports:

"We are excited to say that the Senior's Retirement Home is continuing to progress.  The remainder of the finances that were raised last year were sent to Pastor Abdon in Pignon, to move along the parging, the painting, more sidewalks and ceilings, and many more details in the second section of the building.

'The hurricane on the weekend did not really affect the Pignon area. [Praise God!]

'Early August, children had already returned to school in areas where school were not able to provide study material due to the Covid shutdown.  The pan is to complete the studies missed from March through June.  Then the new school year will commence later in the fall."

So -- good things to celebrate and be grateful for!!!

Thank you everyone who continue to pray for and otherwise support the important work God is doing in Haiti.  While we may struggle a bit with our lack of ability to plan and proceed the way we normally do through this coming ministry season (no trips planned, what about our Haiti Dinner?), we serve a God who is intimately involved in lives, and Who's plans cannot be thwarted.



Thursday, June 11, 2020

Haitian Covid Situation Update from Marilyn McIlroy

From one of our first trips to Haiti.  Linda with a little friend.


As Canada deals with it's own Covid-19 implications, around the world other countries, many far more vulnerable than ours, face this microscopic menace with far less resources.

Our faithful partner is all things Haitian, with a heart that beats boldly for her people, Marilyn McIlroy brings us an update on what's happening right now.

Thank you everyone who is praying and going and who constantly works with us in all our fundraising efforts.

Marilyn's Blog

Friday, May 8, 2020

What's Happening In Haiti

During a time when all planned trips to Haiti from Highview are clearly on pause, it's important for us to continue to remain faithful in our prayers and attention toward those we care so much about.



It's been fascinating to me to watch the numbers vary from place to place (as in Thailand) and consider all the factors (testing, reporting, exposure, etc.) that need to be considered.

Regardless, we are all aware of how fragile life is in Haiti and how much we are all part of this pandemic together, no matter where we are.

An interesting article to provide some food for thought....and our prayers.

We will continue to keep you posted as we can.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Covid-19 Update from Haiti


Update from Marilyn McIlroy, EMCC World Partners Project Manager and Community Development regarding the Covid situation in Hait.

We are praying together for our hurting world!




Hello friends: 

I just want to send a brief update re the part of Haiti that we all know and love! 

I spoke with Se Herlynda Philogene this afternoon.  She stated that many people have been laid off work (as here) but with no government promising any financial help.  In a country where very few people have work to begin with, these layoffs cause huge anxiety and fear for families.  

Haiti is reported to have thirty confirmed cases of COVID19 and 2 deaths (as of Friday, April 10 - 37 cases confirmed as of April 15).  Of course these are the confirmed cases and the known deaths.  Herlynda stated that no one in Gender and Disaster Netowrd or Ouanaminthe has tested positive (not sure if they are even doing the testing in OAN).  But she said that there were two positive cases in Fort Liberte and one died last evening.  She said there are cases in the other cities between OAN and Cap Haitian.  She said that Haitians are returning home from the Dominican Republic (crossing through the river as the border is closed).  They are bringing COVID home with them!  The D.R. reported over 1,700 cases.  

To top of the difficult situation, the US expelled 68 Haitians back to Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.  It is quite likely that a number of them will be carrying Covid back as well.  Let us be praying for Haiti (and Cuba and Jamaica and Venezuela).  Resources are almost non existent.  It is the private hospitals that are taking on the care of the ill and dying.  The staff at other hospitals are refusing to work due to lack of PPE. 

Herlynda wanted me to tell you that they are praying for Canada.  They are hearing the news about Canada and are concerned for us.  I said that I would pass along her words of concern and comfort for us as well.  

The GDN clinic remains open and still is seeing patients who need care.  Thank you for praying.  

Marilyn