Ryan returned from Haiti to the USA about 2 weeks ago. He had amazing stories to share about all of the amazing things that are happening in the communities we work alongside. This has been a trying time for me personally, as I have not been able to return to Haiti since July. However, we talk with our staff almost every day and Ryan has been able to go down a handful of times, as well. We are so thankful for all of the things our indigenous staff are doing in Haiti- how wonderful they are!
This fall, we have been focusing as a staff team on “strengthening what has been built”. When we first started, we kind of grew at a faster rate than we anticipated. We started a few businesses- like the Fanm Konbit sewing co-op and the moringa gardening business, as well as a coffee partnership. We did a lot of training with teachers flying in to pour into our staff. We also started programs, like our after-school program and Crazy Saturday. We still ran Justice Water in 5 different areas and continued to teach about water, sanitation and hygiene. This was a lot for the first year or so! Thankfully, we have had some amazing folks in the community step up to help run all of these program and have expanded our staff team by quite a bit!
The word Konbit is a phrase that is fully loaded. While we have so many things happening that would be considered more exclusively “Konbit,” there are also many collaborations that are happening that we get to be a part of: a Haitian pastor’s coalition which brings together pastors from all over the area, our Jeremie Hurricane Matthew response and our ongoing partnership with other amazing pastors in the mountains. It has been neat to be able to partner with local leaders and we are thankful they consider us partners.
We have been able to strengthen so many of our ongoing programs, seeing more involvement and participation from the community. Perhaps one of the coolest things we have seen is almost a complete cessation from the witch doctor next door. He is even getting interested in what we are doing!
While we have been in the US, missing our friends and ministry on the ground, we have been able to do so many things here, as well. Administratively, we have been able to take care of so much work on this side of things and have had a lot of success getting things in order. In addition to that, our fundraising, grant writing and partnership efforts have been really well received! We are currently selling our Fanm Konbit sewing creations at 2 stores on the Eastern Shore- Cadeaux Caches and the Windmill Market in downtown Fairhope. We also were able to sell some of our ornaments and bracelets in Atlanta at the Carter Center. Soon, our coffee will be available for purchase at a local coffee shop! So, its safe to say while we miss our staff team, we are certainly continuing to partner with them as we get work done on this side, as well.
Ryan will be heading back to Haiti this Saturday to deliver Christmas gifts and fun for our kids’ program! He will be joined by a few people from Rosemary Beach Anglican, and we are really excited for them to experience what they have been pouring into.
We have so much to be thankful for- and so many people we love and appreciate, as well! Please keep our crew in your thoughts and prayers as they also have personal medical issues going on and are also trying to finish building their homes. Thank you for the work and effort you have put into advocating for Konbit Haiti and more.
If you are interested in getting together with us or partnering more with us, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below!