Building a Future for Children in Haiti

10/03/13

Despite the thick, humid air, the team presses on. They want to finish building the classroom roof before it rains. 

 
Just as they secure the last metal panel, raindrops begin to fall. Taking shelter under the new roof, they listen to the sound of the downpour and think of the old, leaky tent that used to shelter the children. No more lunches or arts and crafts sessions will be interrupted by streams of water from above. 
 
Water streams in through the roof of the tent that used to cover the children
 Water pours in through the roof of the tent that used to cover the children in COTN's after-school program in Haiti.
 
The rain storm was a welcome pause in the midst of a busy week for the Venture Build Team from Flood Church in San Diego. They came to do two projects: build a roof for the school that has partnered with Children of the Nations (COTN) and dig a new foundation for the local church that was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. But it quickly became clear that the team’s impact will stretch beyond these construction projects to directly affect the children of Haiti.
 
The new roof will shelter children from the weather
                    The new roof will shelter children from the weather so they can focus on their school work.
 
One Haitian father shared with team member Greg Geldmacher how much it means to know his children receive an education and learn about God on this campus. Like many Haitian parents, he knows education can change his children’s lives, but he struggles to provide this basic necessity. Thanks to sponsors and Venture Teams though, his children are seeing new opportunities opening up before them. And they’re excited to be a part of the process. “The kids were there every day watching us work on the roof,” says Jeff Webdell, the team’s leader. This roof is more than just a shelter. “It’s giving importance to their education,” he says. 
 
A boy looks up at the new roof and listens to the rain
A boy looks up at the new roof and listens to the rain. This room will serve as a classroom and feeding center for the children.
 
Every day, men from the community worked hard alongside the team. “They saw that people outside of Haiti care about their community, their country, and their children,” says Jeff. A few of the children even joined in helping the team move rocks and push the wheelbarrow. 
 
The team and men from the community worked hard to dig out a new foundation
                The team and men from the community worked hard to dig out a new foundation for the church. 
 
But it wasn’t all work and no play! Every evening, the team played with the children and showed off their soccer skills. They quickly made friends, and by the end of the week, four team members decided to sponsor some of the children they had spent so much time with.
 
It was the relationships with the children they won’t forget
The team worked hard to complete the roof and dig the new foundation. But it was the relationships with the children they won’t forget. “We felt like we left a piece of our hearts,” says Greg.
 
“The trip was incredible,” says Jeff. The team saw firsthand how child sponsorship and the Venture Program change the lives of children and their families. “We felt like we left a piece of our hearts,” says Greg. 
 
Toward the end of the week, as Greg pushed a wheelbarrow full of dirt up a small dirt hill, he stopped and looked out at the new school roof and the freshly dug foundation for the church. Suddenly he was overwhelmed with a beautiful thought. “All the people who prayed and supported me now have a stake in what God is doing there in Haiti.” 
 
You can be a part of what God is doing in Africa and the Caribbean by sponsoring a child or joining a Venture Team!