Ministry In Mission, coordinated a mission trip to Haiti in early December to Jacmel and Les Cayes Haiti. The team had members from various Lutheran Churches across two States, Ohio and Illinois.
Sue Matzke, Jackie and Mark Rychel, from St. Mark Lutheran in Chesterland, OH, Pam Juris and Brian Upton from Trinity Lutheran in Cleveland, OH . Karleen Zuercher from Royal Redeemer Lutheran in North Royalton, OH, Terry Marks and Rick Harper from Trinity Lutheran in Peoria IL and Bill Morse from Good Sheperd Lutheran in Elgin IL were the team members.
In Jacmel the primary mission was to interview and photograph more than 125 students that are sponsored for school by donors back home in the US. Pam Juris coordinates the Jacmel sponsorships. In addition to the school sponsorships, Sue Matzke held a women’s bible study. We visited the elderly, distributed food and prayed with them
From Jacmel we boarded the van and headed to Les Cayes Haiti to follow up on the, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) Hurricane Matthew relief effort . Ministry In Mission is a Recognized Service Organization of the LCMS and coordinated the distribution of funds to The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti (ELCH). Rev. Paul Toulotte, Southern District President of the ELCH distributed the funds.
The relief strategy of the LCMS was to:
1. provide new roofs to the local pastors affected by the hurricane. By addressing the need of the local pastors, the pastors could direct their attention to helping there congregation members
2. send medical teams out to the churches to assess general health and the possible spread of cholera
3. to distribute food through the local churches.
Our team observed new roofs on many pastors homes. The travel in the mountains was extremely difficult by four wheel drive vehicles. In one case the members of the team had to walk for thirty minutes after traveling hours just to see a pastors house. We also saw the medical teams working doing blood pressure checks, providing clean water tablets and providing over the counter medication to those that needed it. Pastor Toulotte has been distributing food money to the local pastors. We also distributed hygiene kits donated by our local congregations back home.
In addition to visiting the churches and pastor’s homes in the rough mountain terrain surrounding Les Cayes we sponsored chain saw training for some local Haitian men at the site of American University in Les Cayes Haiti, Thank You Lutheran Church Charities for the Chain Saw Donation. We gave basic training and stressed safety even though we were with out some of the usual safety equipment we use in the US. Sue Matzke also held another women’s bible study in the vestibule of the First Lutheran Church of Les Cayes. The main sanctuary was destroyed by the hurricane. One of our partner organizations, “The Israel Isidor Foundation” has a medical clinic and we made a shopping trip to the local pharmacy to help the restock the shelves with over the counter medications. The money for this was donated by the team member congregations.
As a team we are grateful that God has given us the opportunity to serve people. It is our hope that by showing the love of Jesus Christ, the people that we minister to, who do not have faith in Jesus Christ, will come to know Him as their Lord as their Savior.
If you wish to sponsor a child. Contact Pam Juris at: firstname.lastname@example.org