Sunday, May 4, 2014

Thank you Hannah for all your work with ElderCare!

Hannah with Carolle, the ElderCare employee

Hannah's time as the Long Term Missionary that supported ElderCare has come to an end.  We were so sad to see her go, but so grateful for all that she accomplished while she was there.  As a nurse, she strengthened the monitoring and care that the elderly received by further training Carolle.  She is the only reason we were able to start the Community Artisan Program....allowing the elderly and their families to earn money instead of just receiving handouts.  To start a program like this in Haiti is an all consuming task: monitoring and training everyone involved and keeping track of all the details.  Beyond her daily tasks, she also managed all those things that come up: doctor visits, surgeries, deaths and funerals, and request upon request from elders and the community.  And most importantly, by living in Haiti, she was also able to provide such insight into how we do things and always kept the focus on why we serve and doing it in the best way possible for the people we serve. Even though her job is complete, that insight will affect the ElderCare program for a long time to come.  Thank you Hannah for everything you did!!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Antchola gets a new home!

This is Antchola in the doorway of her old home made of sticks and tarps....full of holes that did not keep out the rain or bugs.
 This is the team two weeks ago, getting ready to move Antchola to her new home.
 The team with all of Antchola's belongings.  Can you imagine moving all of your belongings in one trip like this?  As you can see, she also lived on the other side of this ravine from Titanyen, so crossing it every day would get more dangerous as she ages. 
Her beautiful new home with concrete walls, tin roof and a mattress. 
Antchola and her granddaughter!

Thank you to the donors who sponsored her first 6 months of rent and her new mattress!  Because Antchola is in the Artisian program, we will be working with her to teach her how to save money over the next 6 months to provide for her own housing.  Please pray for Antchola and the rest of our elders, that we can continue to provide them with self sufficiency!

Congratulations Pirre!

Many of you that love the ElderCare program, also love Pirre.  Just wanted to give you an update that he got married in 2013 and on December 16, he and his wife welcomed Baby Esdras to the world.  Congratulations Pirre!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Sad news on this Christmas Eve......Nicolas, one of the elders in the ElderCare program, passed away last night. He was a quiet man who was always surrounded by his loving family. Please pray for his family as they mourn his passing so close to Christmas and for our long term missionaries and employees who will be helping with funeral arrangements. What a gift for him spend Christmas in the arms of Christ!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Roof for Clelie

Clelie is one of the newest elders to our program and is the grandmother of two of the boys at Grace Village.  Her home was severely damaged from a house fire over a year ago, so she has been living with family in an already over crowded home.  This is her home, with layers of burnt tin, tarps, logs and concrete block as a roof to try to keep her belongings safe.
Recently, a team visited her and really wanted to do something to help give her the dignity of living in the home she owned.  This is always a sticky situation....we don't want to give handouts which can rob a person of dignity, create bad expectations of Americans and take away jobs from Haitians.  We also have to be careful of making improvements to rented homes, which could cause rent to be increased.  Luckily, Clelie owns this home.
Meanwhile, there is this amazing program going on at Grace Village for the older boys (one of Clelie's grandsons included) who are transitioning out of the orphanage.  They are learning skills to survive on their own and be contributors to their community.  One of the skills they wanted to learn was construction.  And what better way to learn, than to put a roof on the home of an elderly person in their community!
While there are challenges with putting a new roof on an old structure, with areas of crumbling and un-level walls, the boys were taught how to problem solve, work as a team, use their resources in the best way possible and how to give back to their community with their time and talents.  The investment from Americans was minimal, allowing Haitians to be the ones to give to each other.

Done in the right way, financial giving for something such as a roof, can provide the opportunity Haitians wouldn't otherwise have to help each other.  And the daily impact of an elderly woman being able to live in her own home is priceless.....


ElderCare Christmas Party

On December 6, the elders were invited to a Christmas Party at the Feeding Center.  Carolle had decorated with balloons, a traditional Haitian Christmas meal was being prepared and gifts were ready.
The beautiful elders all showed up in their finest clothes, excited for the day.

Our team was excited, too.  You see, we were a parent child trip and we were performing the Christmas Pageant for them.
And the wisemen followed the star......

Beautiful Marie with Grace.
Ofhane is one of the sweetest men I know.
Delicious Food!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Welcoming Vania to the ElderCare Team!

Hannah & Vania
Vania Pierre started employment with the ElderCare Artisian Program on Monday!  She will be working with our elders 4 hours per day in creating the Artisian pieces that are now being sold in the Guesthouse Giftshop and at events around the Twin Cities (see previous blog post).  This week, she is learning how to make each item, the participant names, where they each live and how to manage the program.
The first week of December, Vania will be working with Ross Safford to learn how to fire and maintain the bread ovens, help our elderly make bread to eat or sell, make bread for the Grace Village meals and much more.  This will utilize the other 4 hours per day so that she is employed full time.
You may recognize Vania, because she and her husband Emmanuel are devoted volunteers at Grace Church on Sundays.  She is always standing to one side of the church service as usher, donations collector, and much more.  We are so pleased to have such a wonderful Godly woman on the ElderCare team!