On Mission with God in Port-Margot, Haiti: Part I
We want to thank everyone who has prayed for us and supported us financially toward our recent mission trip to Haiti. We left for the city of Cap-Haitien (“Okap”) on Friday, September 4, and came back to the states on Tuesday, September 8. During our four-day trip in Haiti, we went to a rural town called Port-Margot. Port-Margot is a commune in the Borgne Arrondissement, in the Nord Department of Haiti. Based on the 2003 census, its population is about 36,937 people. Port-Margot is less than two hours (if you drive by car) away from the city of Cap-Haitien— a major port area and the second largest city of Haiti. The roads to Port-Margot are very rocky and bumpy. From Port-Margot, we drove for another 30 minutes to go to our final destination: the rural region of Coraille.
The Open-air market in Port Margot
The beautiful streets of Port-Margot
The Cargo/Ship that brought the boxes that contained the school supplies for those families and students arrived in Cap-Haitien on Thursday, September 3. We are thankful to God that we received the items on Saturday morning. Next, we drove to the guest house in Okap to unload the truck and unpack the items.
In Haiti, we worked with a wonderful team of good people who served sacrificially and joyfully to make sure everything went well. Here are a few pics of me (Dr. Joseph), Claudin, Stanley, and other children in the guest house repackaging the school supplies and inserting the items into the school backpacks for the families and students of Coraille.
It took us about two hours or a little bit less to repackage everything. Afterwards, we loaded the truck and drove off to Port Margot. On our way to Coraille, it happened that the rear tire on the driver’s side was flat. Claudin, our driver who has been extremely helpful to us, changed the tire.
Nonetheless, we had to drive for another 30 to 40 minutes to arrive at Coraille. Along the way, we met with the local people, took pictures, and contemplated on the goodness of God and the beauty of his creation at Port-Margot.
Our experience with the people of Coraille, Vigoureux, and other surrounding areas was incredible and memorable. We made new acquaintances and friends in the community. We ate, sang and worshiped with the people. We were tremendously blessed and transformed by their presence, love, fellowship, and of course, their contagious smile and happiness.
On Sunday morning, September 6, we worshiped with the people in the community. I (Dr. Joseph) preached at the only local church in the area: l’Église Wesleyenne de Mont-Pisgah. I talked about the peace of God discussed in Romans 5:1-5—as a result of justification by faith through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. It was wonderful to share the Word of God with the people of God and to preach in the mother tongue of the people: Creole. The church was packed with people, and those couldn’t find a seat inside the church stood outside patiently to hear me preaching. We had a wonderful experience in partaking together the Lord’s Supper.
The Wesleyan Church of Mont-Pisgah, where I preached on Sunday, is affiliated with the Methodist denomination. It has a Christian school that houses 450 students—100% of the student population comes from the peasant class and economically disadvantaged families. This is the only school in the area. I believe there are only six grades in the school. Students who have gone through all the six grades cannot continue schooling unless they are relocated to a major city. Unfortunately, because of limited financial resources, most parents in the area are unable to send off their children to other locations (such as Cap-Haitian) to continue their education.
Sample Classrooms (I believe there are a total of six classrooms at the School)
It is good to inform you that there is no electricity in these rural areas (Coraille, Vigoureux, etc.) and water is scarce in those regions. Telecommunication is poorly developed. Few people there own a phone or radio; even if they do, they cannot use it effectively in the surrounding areas. The people who live in these rural areas are poor peasants. The needs are many and urgent. Yet, in the midst of dire poverty and incredible suffering, the people in the community of Coraille and its surroundings continue to live joyfully and hope for a better tomorrow.
Below is a video of me (Dr. Joseph) distributing the school supplies to underprivileged families and students. We distributed 122 backpacks and a kit containing school supplies to the most needed families in the church and the community. Unfortunately, because of our limited resources, we were unable to serve and reach out to all the 450 students at the school, and other children in need in the community.
More Pics of classrooms
In part 2, I will share other stories and pictures with you. We are thankful of your prayers, generosity, financial support, and the amazing grace of God that sustains and preserves us, and makes us moving forward. Praise be to his glorious name!
Dr. Celucien Joseph, President
Hope for Today Outreach