Tuesday, April 26, 2022

We Are Delighted to Introduce to You....


Friends!  We have exciting news!

As of Thursday, April 14, 2022 a long-held vision of Pastor Abdon and his wife Madame Lumide, plus the fine people of the Church in Pignon has become a reality.

Five precious grammas and grandads are now under the roof of Auberge des Vieillards (Inn for the Elderly) in Pignon, Haiti.

By name, they are (Left to Right)

Brother Esler-Pierre, Sister Christiane, Brother Alphonse, Sister Ariana and Sister Zina.

We are looking forward to hearing more of their life story, and getting to know them a bit better in the months to come.

This journey has been at times tediously incremental from our perspective, but perfectly timed out and orchestrated from God's perspective.  Our construction teams have been down on several trips, building a security wall first, and then, step by step, constructing the facility.  Each piece has been leading us toward the vision of sheltering vulnerable seniors in and around Pignon.

As well as the residents, there are plans for clinics and day programs for other seniors and disabled persons in the area.  The property has space for a garden, and we are coordinating now for good partnerships in providing not just the finances but the support of innovative initiatives in the future.

Brother Alphonse in His Room

Looking in at the Dining Area

Auberge des Vieillard is under the supervision of a Leadership Committee appointed by the Church in Pignon.  They are, by name (Left to Right):

A des V Leadership Committee
Brother Cemilare, a deacon at the church and serving as Vice President of the Committee.  Brother Claude, also a deacon of the church.  Madame Lumide (married to Pastor Abdon), a trained nurse supervising the medical care and overall care of the residents.  Pastor Abdon who serves as President of the Committee.  Brother Eladiue, who is by profession a lab tech at a nearby hospital, and serves as the Treasurer of the Committee.

This journey has been at times tediously incremental from our perspective, but perfectly timed out and orchestrated from God's perspective.  Our constructions teams have been down on several trips, building a security wall first, and then, step by step, constructing the facility.  Each piece has been leading us toward the vision of sheltering vulnerable seniors in and around Pignon.

As well as the residents, there are plans for clinics and day programs for other seniors and disabled persons in the area.  The property has space for a garden, and we are coordinating now for good partnerships in providing not just the finances but the support of innovative initiatives in the future.

To contribute to the regular operations you can go directly through the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada's website and scroll down just a little until you find Seniors' Residence.  

Otherwise, we will keep you posted as to other opportunities.  And you are more than welcome to email me at  rabreithaupt@hcckw.ca for a Zoom link to Highview's HaitiNOW meeting, Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m. where we will talk more about next steps.

It's truly inspiring to realize that so much of the final stages of this vision have happened during COVID.  We may have been restricted, but God was not.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Haiti NOW


 $955.00 of $1,000.00 already raised!

Can we exceed our goal by the end of the month?

Tucked away in the small town of Pignon (Haiti) is a building that is welcoming vulnerable seniors.  Already at-risk before 2019, the pandemic has crushed down on the country's fragile heath care system in ways unthinkable.  Added to the natural disasters and political chaos, the risk to many who do not have family to care for them in their last years is great.

But the vision of a leader and the compassion of his faith community makes hope possible for those being welcomed into Auberge des Vieillards (Inn for the Elderly).  

It's also part of the story (scroll back to previous blogs beginning 2008) to remember that Highview, partnering with other churches local to the Waterloo Region, has been actively involved in construction projects, one of which has been the building of a perimeter wall, then the building itself, of this very property.

Pastor Abdon and wife Lumide, along with an impressive committee dedicated to the careful oversight of Auberge des Vieillards, are busy with all the administrative and practical details to ensure our residents have everything they need for housing and nutrition, medical care, and end of life dignity.

To contribute to our March fundraiser for Kitchen Equipment please head over to Highview's donation page, choose the drop down menu "Regions Beyond - Haiti" and indicate "kitchen" in the notes.
Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed thus far!!!

Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m.
Haiti NOW Zoom Meeting

We invite you to join us in discerning how we can best offer a supportive partnership with the Church in Pignon going forward.  You can email me at rabreithaupt@hcckw.ca for the Zoom link, or if you have any other questions.

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