Tomorrow we leave ... Marjie Koons, John Mirely, Wendy Hedeen, Nancy Spates, Pam Miklavcic, Pastor Kit and my son Andrew Carlson-Lynch. We will be joining 40 other Christians from the Detroit area (and Montana!) to travel to Mirebalais, Haiti, with the Haiti Outreach Mission.
For ten years, Roger and Dominique Matthews have worked to build a health clinic, school, orphanage and bakery, side by side with local Catholic and Episcopal churches. For ten years, they have taken groups of American Christians to work and to see first-hand the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The work is as much to teach us about Haiti and its needs as it is to bring our assistance to the Haitian people.
Our parish has collected money and medical supplies for the mission. We have contributed vestments and altar linens from our sacristy. Some of our group helped pack 100 tubs full of supplies last week. We have spent three sessions with Michael Largey (thanks, Michael!) learning some basic Creole phrases.
Now it's time to head out. We'll leave Detroit Metro Friday evening, sleep over in Ft. Lauderdale, then get up early Saturday to fly to Port-au-Prince. From there, we will board buses and trucks and head immediately into the Central Plateau, to Mirebalais.
Sunday, Pentecost, the morning will be spent in church. Chris Yaw, rector of St. David's-Southfield, and I will take turns preaching in two Episcopal churches. Then it's time to set up the clinic for the week ahead.
Monday through Thursday are for work ... running the medical and dental clinics, helping at the school, and construction work. In the evenings, Chris and I will hold prayer and reflection sessions. On Wednesday evening, the children from the school will put on a program for us. Thursday evening is our farewell dinner. We return the following Friday.
It is a short and intense trip. We'll learn a lot. We'll help a lot, too, we hope. Keep us in prayer throughout the week ahead.