Thursday, January 19, 2023

A Simple Meal - Haiti Dinner and Silent Auction February 25, 2023


 

Highview Community Church presents

295 Highview Drive, KIT ON N2N 2K7

Haiti Dinner and Silent Auction

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Seating One: 5:00 p.m.

Seating Two: 6:30 p.m.

Auction Closes: 8:00 p.m.

For ticket reservations please contact info@hcckw.ca

A simple meal on the table here to put a simple meal on the table there.

Turkey dinner (two seatings), with a short update from our Haiti Team.

Silent Auction of a wide variety of quality items, representing a wide range of starting bids.

They sit around a table, nourished not just by the food on their plates, but by the companionship of one another and their caregivers.  They are vulnerable souls in a vulnerable place, finding safety and wholeness and belonging.

They are the Grammas and Grandpas of Auberge des Vieillard (Inn for the Elderly) in Pignon, Haiti.   A refuge of care overseen by Haitian Pastors Abdon and Lumide and the astonishingly generous folks of the Evangelical Missionary Church there.  

This is their vision, their passion -- something you'll hear more about at Highview on Sunday, February 19th for our service: "Of Haitian Threads and Tapestries".  We are honoured to partner with them in this mission that so closely reflects the heart of God.

Food, water, clothing, medical care and medicine, supplies and equipment, plus the healing power of belonging to a loving community....all of this is where all the funds raised on February 25th will go.

So often, as I watch the news, I am tempted to be overcome, even paralyzed by the enormity of the needs so evident all around the world.  But this.  This is something I can do.  I invite you to join me, and a whole team of eager, selfless hearts behind this event, to make a HUGE difference.

For more information about the residence, check out the World Partners website here.


Rev. Ruth Anne Breithaupt, Missionary in Residence, Highview Community Church

Thursday, December 8, 2022

A Christmas Letter from our Friend Marilyn!

 Hello Highviewers and other supporters of all things Haiti.

Reposting here, with permission, Marilyn McIlroy's Christmas letter.


CHRISTMAS GREETINGS 2022
from your EMCC WP Global Partner 
 

Here we are already pressing forward in the Christmas Season.  I love Christmas.  I really enjoy the festivities, the lights and the music.   Most of all I love the reason for the season, Jesus. 
Today I want to share so many reasons for giving thanks.  The month of November, as a church we remembered those who live under severe or very high levels of persecution.  The first Sunday of the month we are to remember to pray for our brothers and sisters who are living in extreme situations that we really cannot comprehend.  And then there are those believers who are from backgrounds where their very lives will be snuffed out if they speak the name of Jesus.  I am so thankful for a friend, now with Jesus in heaven, Sharon B., who drew my attention to praying for peoples who are of Muslim backgrounds and live in Muslim nations.  (Sharon was the finance administrator for EMCC and a member of my local church back in the day).  I recently found a paper copy of an email from Sharon.  It was 2002, Day 4 of the 30 days during Ramadan and the Muslim prayer focus, and we were reminded to pray for the Komering of Indonesia.  This people group had only a handful of believers in a population of over a million people.  Since 2002, I have become passionate about prayer for those who suffer persecution and for the peoples who live within Muslim nations.  God is working in amazing ways through the prayers of thousands of believers around the globe who desire to see "your kingdom come, your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven."   Why am I thankful then?  I am so grateful for Sharon who passed on her passion to pray for those who would not easily have opportunity to hear the good news of Jesus and to pass that on.  I am thankful for the way that God is drawing many to himself through dreams and visions and miracles.  I am thankful for our freedom here in Canada to live for Jesus, to share the good news and to be able to financially assist in the places where faith costs the most.  
Today I am so grateful for the EMCCWP Project RD111 in Pignon, Haiti.  Wow, when the doors opened to the Seniors' Home in Pignon back in March, 2022 I really did not know how we would reach to November and December and still have adequate funds.  I am so thankful for Highview Community church and their commitment to sponsor this Initiative but several more church or individual donors are needed to cover the daily costs.  I can say today that the needs have been met for today.  And I am grateful. Thank you Jesus.  
What a blessing to see the residents enjoying a meal around the table, as they live in community and encourage one another.  
Photos below:  
Top L Mr. Bassien, Top R John Richard (paraplegic)
Bottom L Ms Venise, Bottom R Mr Calixte
August, 2022
Gens de Nantes
3-day training in Garden's of Faithfulness
 
The Initiative RD 146: Gens de Nantes, Haiti Education, Food Security and Community Mobilization continues to face many challenges.  For this fall season, schools have remained closed due to instability in the country.  When the school does open, parents are afraid to send their children.  For example in the city of Gonaives, 2 children in school uniforms were shot on their way to school. Parents also struggle to find cash to pay for uniforms and shoes and food.  Yes, school fees and books and backpacks are provided but the children still need to eat.  The seeds purchased for the big FGW/Gardens of Faithfulness Training in August have failed to germinate.  Well that is the story I am receiving.  Is it lack of watering, poor soil and lack of preparing the soil with natural fertilizer.  I do not know.  There is still the big challenge for the beneficiary families to have "buy in."  The good news is that there are members of the community who are very interested and who participated in the 3 day training that was held at the GDN practice farm.  
Above: 
At the three day training event in August, there were 80  participants including beneficiary parents and beneficiary students, teachers and community members along with the trainers from Farm Haiti Pignon and Hernso, the lead trainer at GDN.  The participants were given further training in how to prepare and manage Gardens of Faithfulness.  Everyone greatly appreciated the training.  Now, to encourage them to put it into practice at home!
 
Above: 
In early July, Hernso and some of the beneficiary students prepared a small plot of ground using the FGW methods.  Hernso planted this small test plot of corn.  He had selected the best seed from a previous crop and the students helped him plant it.  These are the results.  I am so happy to see the size of the cobs. The basket shows the crop that was harvested.  The neighbours apparently enjoyed fresh corn from his crop, when he was not present :-(.  The height and size of the corn show the strength of  Hernso's learnings from FGW - seed selection, natural fertilizer and management of the crop.  
What have I been up to in the last 3 months (apart from work)?  
I have been spending lots of time with Pam Hicks and Jean Winker.
Pam and I love walking/hiking on the trails.
Jean and I were Pam's wedding consultants.  
Pam and Randall Rehkopf were married October 22, 2022.
What a wonderful day it was!
PS.  I was in the wedding party too.
I am so very thankful to you, my partners in the ministry of Community Health.  Thank you for your faithful commitment during this year of 2022. I appreciate you.  And thank you to those who are continuing to partner with the various initiatives of EMCCWP. Your dedicated support has been a huge blessing.
Thank you.  Thank you.


 
Prayer and Praise Notes
  1. Praise for Seniors' home and the new residents in place.  Praise for funds to this point.  Pray for new donors for the new year.
  2. Praise for success of the FGW corn crop.  Pray that the beneficiaries will see the benefit of having a garden in their own yard and for a readily available food source. 
  3. Pray for ongoing resilience and courage for our Haitian brothers and sisters in the midst of such difficult circumstances.  Many schools have not yet opened due to insecurity.  Food is scarce.  Gang violence leads to fear and desperation.  
  4. Praise for a new church partner committed to a fundraiser in support of FGW in the new year.  
  5. Pray for FGW Gardens coordinator, Hernso, who along with many in the city of Ouanaminthe, is suffering from influenza - high fevers, head aches, cough and body aches.
  6. Praise for this year, 2022, for resources needed for personal support as well as funding for the various initiatives related to the ministry of this Global Partner (GP).  Pray for me as I continue to downsize in my GP role and to be "future ready."
Christmas is just around the corner.  In the midst of our busy schedules let us remember that the Christ of Christmas, Jesus, is here right now.  He invites us into fellowship with him.  He desires that we spend time in our busy days to "be still and know that he is God."  He also calls us to love one another.  
1John 3:16,17 says that we should give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If we see a brother or sister in need and do not have compassion - how can God's love be in us?  We should not merely say we love each other but show it by our actions.  
In this season, which focuses on gift giving, consider our brothers and sisters in need, globally and locally. 
 
God's Wonderful Gift of Love to Us
1John4:9 "God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son 
into the world so that we might have eternal life through him."      
Check out the website for WP Initiatives:

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Flip Flop Focus

Don't let this relaxed lunchy look fool you.  These are two of the most tenacious, hardworking people we know.  But first, it's about the flip flops.

Granme Ophelie (not her real name) is back from the garden.  She is smiling, being led by the hand by one of the children who joined in the search that started just five minutes ago.  She's here, she's okay, as we knew she would be.  But still.  Some wandering is apt to happen, and we must keep an eye out at all times.

But Granme Ophelie, where is your other shoe?  Still smiling she looks down at her feet, and then a look of mild surprise.  Oh!  Only one flip flop has made it back from the garden with her.  The child is sent off to look for it as she is led to the table for lunch.

Auberge des Vieillards is home to seven grammas and grampas under the care of Pastor Abdon and Madame Lumide, and the Care Team and Staff operating out of the AEM Church in Pignon.


It's been a long road to get here, as anyone who has been following this blog and Highview's Haitian story will know.  Several work teams from Highview and other Canadian churches have done the very physical work of building the wall, then the rooms that now house our residents.  These are vulnerable adults in desperate situations in the midst of a country in chaos.

I'll leave it to you to read more about the current political and economic situation in Haiti.  The politics and violence are truly sinister partners with COVID in terms of the struggle for stability and basic quality of life.  The problems are legion, and could easily overwhelm us.

Until we sit down for lunch with Abdon and Lumide and work on just what's needed next.
Until we focus on Granme Ophelie and making sure she has her shoes.
.  
Our friend, missionary-pastor Marilyn McIlroy, was able to visit this summer, braving the heat of July and the uncertainties of a first trip back since all the travel shut downs.  Our conversation upon her return was full of her heart for these frail folks, trusting God for everything from shoes to stoves to medicines.

All the seniors are doing much better since arriving at A des V, and for this we are grateful.  Need of the pump's final hook up to the available electricity, specific medicines required that are next to impossible to secure there, and the sudden jump in price for the stove are all real needs under the general column of 'asap.'  And meanwhile, they persevere.  Bravely, lovingly, tenaciously caring for the most vulnerable among the vulnerable.

There will be more from Highview a bit later into the season where we will be ramping up our fundraising for this project in a bigger way.  Right now I would encourage you, if you are led, if you are so inclined, to give what you can through the EMCC's projects page at the link provided here.

It just might buy Granme Ophelie her next pair of shoes.




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.