Coastal Haiti Mission Newsletter

February 2021

 

 

Website Revision and Review

This month we revisit the “Contact Us” tab

CONTACT US

Coastal Haiti Mission

c/o Connie Goddard

3048 Spring Fancy Lane

Indian Trail, NC 28079

704- 989-3493

Email: connie@coastalhaitimission.org

 

Ken Johansson

114 Old Westboro Road

North Grafton, MA  01536

508-839-6322

Email: ken@coastalhaitimission.org

 

Esther Stidham

41 Dellwood Road

Worcester, MA 01602

508-791-9094

Email: esther@coastalhaitimission.org

 

Pastor Coty Joseph

Cahess, Haiti

Email: coty@coastalhaitimission.org

 

Carl Lamour

8 Eastham Street

Worcester, MA 01604

Email: carl@coastlhaitimission.org

 

MEMORIES

   When we first walked into the village of Cahess, Haiti, years ago while on a short-term mission trip, we had eyes upon us from every direction.  Both adults and children wondered who we were and what we were doing there in their beloved neighborhood.

   We said “bonjour” to about everyone we passed (one of the few words we knew in the Creole language at the time).  Each one politely returned our greeting, but, no doubt about it, we were strangers — different countries, different languages, different cultures, different colors…different to the core!

   We were there to put up a multi-purpose building, and, soon our project was underway.  We were staying at a hotel in Cap Haitien, the second-largest city in Haiti, and each new day we would return to the village to continue our work. Our contractor/carpenter and stone masons worked and sweated under the hot, Haitian sun. 

   The folks continued to stare, and we continued to say “bonjour.”  The children became less shy and gave us crash lessons in Creole, but the adults still gave us a wide berth, except for the Haitian men who worked with our builders, and the woman who cooked for us.  Many of the folk kind of “hung out” and watched.

   Finally, the work was finished, and it was time to “light up” the building.  We were in an area that had never had electric lights, so it was a big deal.  The building was wired, and the generator turned on.  The new building was filled with team members and Haitian men, women, and children who had come for the occasion.  Anticipation was high.  And the lights went on.

   Suddenly, the place became alive: Cheering! Clapping! Laughing! Singing! dancing! loving! PRAISING THE LORD!

(Allow me to say) “Holy Hilarity!”

   And there it was — CHURCH!   We were having “church!” Different countries, different languages, different cultures, different colors!  No longer “strangers,” but “brothers and “sisters” in Christ.  One God!  One Father!

 And so the merriment continued.  Light drifted out from the building and mingled with the soft tropical breezes.

A taste of heaven.  Oh, yes!

 

Walking this Way with you,

Connie

 

 

Mardi Gras

In Haiti, Mardi Gras 2021 was held from Sunday, February 14 to Tuesday February 16. This 3 day celebration has its roots in the beliefs and practices of Voodoo. Therefore the Christian Churches and Schools, discourage their members from attending these celebrations.

Pastor Coty Joseph Writes

When it was Carnival/Mardi Gras time, my father never let his children go to watch the celebrations, let alone participate in them.

He would refer to Mardi Gras as the devil’s work and therefore, we should not under any circumstances, partake in the festivities of Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras affects people in different ways: one group of people, particularly the children, like to follow the disguised person, who is called the  local Mardi Gras, as he moves along the street.

A second group, mostly made up of children, are extremely fearful of the Mardi Gras. Some children are so afraid, that it becomes very easy to get them do extra chores (similar to the bogeyman in US folklore).

Many children stop wetting their beds at night during the time of Mardi Gras. Often, grownups would frighten them by saying, that the Mardi Gras is looking for children who wet their beds.

 In past years, people used to wear costumes and disguises just for the fun of it. Then, you could have a disguised person dance for you, for a small fee.

Now, it is nearly impossible to encounter such a treat. The everyday struggle of life has changed the way we live and celebrate, so it is unlikely to find this kind of expression anymore.

Now, during the time of Mardi Gras,  many people are mostly interested in panhandling. One of the techniques a costumed Mardi Gras person will use, is to lay down in the street, near a police officer, thinking that a car will not run him over, in the presence of the officer. That forces the approaching driver to stop. The disguised person then demands money from the driver, for allowing the driver to continue.

Some people are not normally comfortable in engaging in the practice of panhandling. However, when in disguise, and they have no fear of being recognized, they engage in this practice.

Whenever I am on the road during Mardi Gras time, I always make sure I have some loose change with me, just in case I find a person blocking the road.

 

 

The School Lunch Program

Teacher Raymond Roceny wrote:

Special greetings to all the supporters on behalf of the students and the teachers of the school “Institution Bonne Nouvelle de Cahesse”(IBNC).

My name is Raymond Roceny and I am the 4th grade teacher. I would like to personally thank all of you for your dedication and tireless support. Thank you for being the facilitators and the contributors that allows us to teach and educate our students.

The school lunch program is very important, because it has a direct impact on our students’ performance in class. They are more alert and focus much better on scholastic activities. It gives the students a sense of belonging, as well as a source of motivation, which helps the students to persevere in their studies.

We are forever grateful for all your support, your encouragement and your devotion.

Also, we teachers partake in the lunch program, which helps us to be more effective in educating the students. There is an old Haitian proverbs that says: ”A hungry belly has no ears”. This proverb applies to students. However, it also applies to us teachers, because teaching on a full belly, improves our performance and helps us be the best we can be.

Raymond Roceny

 

Teacher Raymond Roceny having lunch.

 Raymond Roceny’s letter in Creole. Translated by Carl Lamour

Teacher Raymond with his class

 Two treasures having lunch

 Please, fill up my bowl

We welcome and continue to need donations for the School Lunch Program. We thank you for your investment in the children.

 

 

Food for the Needy Program

This elderly person is Mr. Jean-Baptiste Blaise, he is known as Uncle Jean. He used to live in the Dominican Republic(DR) and resided there with one of his children.

He explained that he was living in a single room house with 5 other occupants. They were his daughter, her husband and 3 grandchildren in addition to himself.

Having all of these people in a single room was not a good situation, but he had no other alternative. Once Covid-19 hit the DR, things became even worse. He said sometimes he would go without a meal for two days.

After enduring all these difficulties, he decided to go back home. Initially he left the Village of Cahess, in quest of a better life in the DR. However life in the DR has become much more difficult, due to the pandemic.

Currently he is living in the village with another daughter. He said his standard of living is surprisingly better in the village due to the generosity of the CHM supporters.

He does not have to worry about going hungry for days. He said it is a blessing to bring food home.

 

 

A report on Brothers Steventz and Louventz

Steventz and Louventz are the two boys with hemophilia in Cahess.

With the support of Save One Life, an  organization dedicated to helping people suffering with hemophilia, they are now doing very well.

Save One Life has provided the medication that they need, and also provides some financial support, to help them and their family, navigate living and growing up with this illness.

Louventz is in the 4th grade and Steventz is in the 7th grade. Both of them are doing good in school. During the last exams, Steventz was excellent in his class. He had the best grades from everyone else in his class. He promises that he will keep on being at the head of his class.

They live with their Aunt and Uncle along with 2 older sisters, and a nephew. Both of them want to be a Doctor one day.

Steventz’s best friend is Kenson. Not only are they in the same grade and the same school, but they are also neighbors. It is the same situation with Louventz’s best friend, Wisly.

They spend much time watching TV, because  they cannot play physical games like soccer.

 Louventz in class

Steventz

 

 

Fixing a Dark Problem in Cahess

 The September 2020 CHM Newsletter describes the way most families light their homes at night.

These kerosene lamps create many dangerous conditions.

This list describes some of the negative conditions of using these lamps

  1. The open flame creates a huge fire risk to the families using this lamp.
  2. The amount of light is very small, similar to that of a candle.
  3. This lamp gives off smoke which causes cancer and emphysema.
  4. The smoke creates a blue haze.
  5. The smoke creates an oily smell.
  6. Kerosene must be purchased to fuel this lamp.

A typical light currently in use in the homes of Cahess.

 

Our Solution to Light Holmes in Cahess

Part 1

The first part of the system consists of a bright LED lamp powered by a substantial rechargeable battery. The battery must be rechargeable because the people do not have money to purchase replacement batteries.

The light is a Maxxeon CYCLOPS  WorkStar  810. It is available for purchase on the Internet. It can be viewed on the Maxxeon website www.maxxeon.com

This light is an industrial grade product, which is needed for it to survive the hard use it will receive in the rural Haitian environment.

The handle of the light (which is like a yoke), allows the light to rotate in the handle to 12 positions. There is a strong magnet in the handle which allows the light to be easily moved to many locations and still be securely mounted at each position.

The light has 3 switch selectable brightness settings.

          The brightest setting will last for 2 hours

          The medium brightness setting will last for 4.5 hours

          The lowest brightness setting will last for 10 hours.

The amount of light at the lowest setting is a huge improvement over the kerosene lamp. (I am guessing more than several hundred times better).

Additionally, the quality of the light is a major improvement, approaching that of daylight, as compared to the very yellow flame of the kerosene lamp.

The battery of the light can be recharged in 3 hours.      

If the electric grid is available, the battery can be charged with a cell phone charger.

Front View

Bracket Top

Bracket Side View

Illuminated Light, Lowest Brightness Setting. It is impossible to adequately demonstrate the light output of this lamp in a photograph. The brightness is so intense.

Part 2

The second part of the system is needed to recharge the lamp battery when there is no electrical power.

We have found a charity who manufactures a solar powered charging station.

The name of this organization is Unite to Light. This organization is very well established and is committed to providing light to the world’s population that   lives with lighting conditions similar to those in Cahess. You can view their website at www.unitetolight.org

This Solar Charger & Battery Bank can, when it is fully charged, charge the internal battery of the light 2 times without being recharged itself. The combination of the Solar Charger and Battery Bank when connected to the light, can be charged simultaneously when in bright sunlight. 

Solar Charger and Battery Bank (Folded Position)

Solar Charger and Battery Bank

Solar Charger and Battery Bank, Charging the Light

Part 3

Evaluation

The Cyclops light was tested and found to meet or exceed its published specifications. The amount of light on the least bright setting will illuminate a typical room in a Haitian Home, and it can be used at this setting for 10 hours. The 2 higher brightness settings will substantially add more illumination to  the typical room, although for a shorter time period, typically 4.5 hours and 2 hours, respectively.

The Solar Charger and Battery Bank, as its name implies, serves both as a charger, and as a charge storage device. It has a large internal battery, which when fully charged,  contains enough electrical energy to fully charge the Cyclops light 2 times, before needing to recharge itself.

The Solar Charger and Battery Bank contains electronics to protect itself from overloads. It has 2 output ports and can charge 2 cell phones simultaneously.

We sent a sample system to Pastor Coty to determine the interest level of the residents of Cahess.

Pastor Coty’s reply was that everyone wants a system. 

 

We can fix the dark home problem in the Village of Cahess by providing these systems.

The cost of the Maxxeon Cyclops Light is ——————————-$25.00

The cost of the Unite to Light Solar Charger and Battery Bank is $30.00

 Domestic Shipping and International Shipping and Customs —–$25.00

Total cost per lighting system                                                              $80.00

 

This is an estimated cost because we won’t know what shipping and customs will be, until we actually send the first batch of systems.

 

CHM’s plan is to ship 10 systems, to verify the estimated cost of $800.   

CHM is accepting donations of any amount for this project. If you wish to help light up a home in Cahess, please send your donation to the address at the end of this newsletter, and mark your gift “home lighting”; or use our PayPal service also at the end of this newsletter.

 

Hebrews 13: 16  ESV

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

 

A blessing to you from the scripture:

The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace.

Numbers 6: 24-26

 

Thank you Family and Friends of Coastal Haiti Mission, for all that you do to help the people in Cahess, Haiti. You are making a huge difference for these people.

Please remember, that CHM must continue to send our monthly commitment of $800 to carry on the ongoing CHM ministry in Cahess.

If you desire to help, please send your tax deductible check to our address and tell us how you want us to use your donation:

Coastal Haiti Mission

C/O Constance Goddard

3048 Spring Fancy Lane

Indian Trail, NC 28079

Or

For tax deductible “online donations”, please use our PayPal service. Also please designate how you want us to use your donation:

 

May the Lord our God, who knows your heart and sees your actions, grant you great joy as you serve Him.                   

Connie, Esther, Pastor Coty, Carl, and Ken are very grateful for your sacrifice.

Ken Johansson CHM Newsletter Editor

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