St. Peter's Blog 'Final Day' from St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – North Wales, PA's Blog

Final Day

Image Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
Author: Pastor Andreas Wagner

This is about Pastor's final day in Haiti. More on Sunday!

This was our final day in Haiti. Tomorrow morning we will leave around 6:00 a.m. to get to the airport. To say that it was an eventful and intense week would be an understatement. Today we visited an elderly home run by Korean sisters. Many of the families here don't have the means, energy or compassion to take care of their elderly. This is one of the few places where they are properly cared for. It shows again that the church is in many places at the forefront of relief work and charity.  We celebrated a wild worship service with a foot washing - and I mean a real foot washing, with feet that really needed it. At the end of the service many of us danced with the elderly to the worship music. Some of the 90 something were still amazingly nimble.  I think I got to about eight washings and soon found out that this can be real work in this heat.

A small group from another American relief organization followed us today. They have been building houses in another area of Haiti and were interested in the efforts of other relief organizations. Most of them were from the Seattle area. Richard Hotes, an Anchorage native, started this charity a number of years ago and he was quite the character. He had some choice words for the efforts of the Red Cross and seemed a bit impressed with himself. But I am sure he is a classical "doer" and has gotten things done in many parts of the "Third World." The website of the Hotes Foundation is http://hotesfoundation.org. We came across other relief workers, a medical team from Idaho for instance. It is heart-warming to see a good number of Americans at work here.       

Around lunch time we toured an agricultural facility with a fish spawning program, mostly Tilapia and Catfish because they don't need great conditions. We were told that people here still need to get used to Catfish since they are considered "ugly" and are not part of the traditional Haitian food staple. It was great to see a real agricultural program after all the rock and dust sceneries from yesterday. We saw huge Mango trees, banana orchards and even bee hives, besides many other plants. All those types of places are protected by a huge gate with an armored guard.

Last, we visited a care facility for physically and mentally disabled children, Again, this was very sad, as, I am sure it would be in the US and other places. It's not so much the issue of conditions as seeing and interacting with the deformity of human life. The place again was run by an order with Father Prisca, another young man of the cloth in charge. He was part of the Missionaries of Mercy out of Jamaica, but a native Haitian. I later learned that the medical team from Wyoming had been there the day before. One of the doctors/nurses told me that he was very impressed with the level of care there. He mentioned that they found no signs of bed sores, which is actually not uncommon in similar places in the US. I am sure that the staff-patient ratio is pretty good here and that also more attention is given to core care, such as washing, feeding, etc.  

We will finish our day with another session of reflection. I got to know some great colleagues during these few days and I will continue to think about ways how this might impact our ministry at St. Peter's. Tomorrow it's back to the cold. More in Sunday!

Pastor Andreas Wagner

 


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