Respire Haiti assists with education, medical care, economic development and “Restavek” awareness in the city of Gressier, Haiti. At the end of October, a team from Timberline traveled there to assist wherever the greatest need was. Facing the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, there was surely much to clean up. Here’s a report from Nicole Sutton about her experience:
“I never thought of tires as something you could paint.” That was what we were all probably thinking as we stood outside of Respire Cafe in Gressier (grey-see-ay), Haiti, before a ten-foot wall made entirely out of used tires. With a paintbrush in hand and a tray full of blue or green, we began the long, tedious task of covering the tires in layers of paint.
Throughout the week, all eleven of us worked on various tasks, including building and painting an espresso bar, installing a speaker system, painting the outside trim, and painting the inside walls, ceilings and bathroom. Two women from our team walked up Bellevue Mountain each day to work with the special needs classes at Respire Haiti. Every single one of us came with different skills to offer and each of them were put to use: working with power tools, drawing, painting, barista, electronics, and working with special needs.
While working in Gressier, we learned to be flexible with our projects and to do our best with limited supplies and time. With the right attitude and lots of patience, we were able to get nearly all of our projects finished. Visiting an impoverished country like Haiti was truly eye-opening. In America we often take for granted that we have running water, paved roads, electricity, food, shelter and clothes. That isn’t always the case in Haiti where everything is extremely limited.
Josh Anderson, Megan’s husband, was extremely grateful to have us from Timberline Church. He used to attend nine70 at Timberline when he lived in Fort Collins. He was impressed by how quickly and efficiently we were able to work at Respire Cafe. Josh hopes that we take what we have learned in Gressier and put it to use in our every day lives in Fort Collins.
It was amazing to see what Respire Haiti has become since Megan Boudreaux founded the organization five years ago. At the school, a vast majority of the children are sponsored. Parents pay only $8-10 per year for their children to receive a good education, two meals per day and a safe place to play and make friends. God has provided the right people and the right skills to allow the school and clinic to run strong. His love completely surrounds Respire Haiti.
If you are interested in discovering more about Respire Haiti, please go to: http://www.respirehaiti.org/home/