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See articles below on Plain Martin Medical Clinic and Welcoming our New Director and a note from Rhonda.
Plain Martin Medical Clinic
By Ann Boyd, Fox Chapel Church
Several years ago, we went to Plain Matin for the first time, up in the mountains—lush, green and cool.  It was a different landscape than I’d experienced or imagined in Haiti.  The several vehicles full of our group and their dreams and energies spilled into a hilltop church setting and an awaiting Pastor Pharyl with his young family.  We were to build them a house.  The countryside was scattered with rudimentary huts and little kids and pathways to more huts and more kids.  During the week, we were there, we lay the foundation for the pastor’s house—concrete, mortar and sweat.        

Sunday Morning’s church service was attended by 18 worshipers and the 15 of us from Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church (FCPC).  It was a remarkable week as we worked hard and got familiar with the community and our surroundings.  Full of new sights, sounds, muscles and impressions.   I cautiously appreciated the effort and prayed for hope and abundance as we left.

This past summer, we returned to Plain Matin—this time for a medical mission trip.  In the interim (since we’d been there last), another group from FCPC had gone, an in-country mission trip had facilitated the completion of the Pastor’s house, and a massive Hurricane Matthew had stalled 48 hours over Plain Matin last October.  With that hurricane went the roof over the church, much of the local crops and livestock, most of the huts in the community, leaving many homeless and without food.  There was loss of life.  But the Pastor’s house stood and provided refuge for over 150 residents of Plain Matin..  A gift of God for the people of God.

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Photos from Plain Martin Clinic






Upon arrival, we saw a new, bright blue roof over the church, lots of people milling around, and the Pastor’s House, complete with a porch, and new kitchen area, and a well.  Twenty of us stayed in that House –11 Americans and 9 Haitian women…all under the shelter of Gods purpose for us that week.  The Pastor and his family stayed there too.

During the week, our team of Haitians and Americans (including 4 doctors and seven nurses, translators, pharmacists and helpers) established a clinic in the church and treated over 1000 people.  Patients were young and old, men and women, all poor and tired and ill. Each patient was seen by a welcoming team member who took vitals, a triage person who did an initial health screening, a physician, a nurse who treated wounds if necessary and pharmacists who distributed the medicine.  All left with a health kit, a blessing, and a feeling of hope.  No one was turned away.  Everyone had a story to tell and everyone had several listeners.  Each encounter provided a sense of spiritual and physical healing.
 
On Sunday morning, over 120 worshiped at church.  It was full to overflowing. There were prayers and sermons, two full choirs—members dressed in neatly pressed robes—a band with an array of instruments, and lots of singing and dancing.  Sunday evening there was more, and more.

With gratitude, I celebrate this experience of renewed and enhanced faith.  I feel the promise of Plain Matin, the power of the Holy Spirit found in Pastor Pharyl’s quiet energy, the fellowship of our Haitian/American team, and in the healing and wellness established. 
There is hope and resilience in a healing community and this leads to opportunity.  Haiti H20 provided again the foundation for sustainability in an area so challenged by circumstance, yet so blessed with abundant possibility.  My prayer is that this community will continue to thrive and that the residents will be healed and assessed regularly so that they may feel well always (or mostly), and that there will be opportunities for them to learn about health, nutrition and sanitation, thus avoiding many of the stumbling blocks on the way to a better life.
Welcome our New Director
by Doug Bradbury, Board President
With kids heading back to school and the leaves starting to change we are indeed transitioning to the fall season. For many of our Haitian friends this time of year is also marked with what is known as the Hurricane season.  Many of you have joined us in prayer along with our friends in Haiti as several storms have all but missed the Southwest area that was devastated about a year ago.  We are grateful that additional damage did not occur so far this season, but we are also mindful of the continued long haul of recovery from Hurricane Mathew. 
Several months ago, with Director Sarah VanderMolen stepping down from years of faithful leadership, I asked for your prayers for Haiti H20 as we transitioned in finding a new Director.  I believe God has answered those prayers as I am thrilled to introduce Rhonda Smith as our new Director of Haiti H20.  Rhonda brings with her tremendous experience in both the public and private sector including everything from work in public housing to Christian education. With her three kids now a little older, she desires to direct some of her energies and bring her knowledge and leadership experience to serve with Haiti H20. 
We are in our 10th year as an organization and it seems this is a promising season for deepening our relationships in the three communities of Bassin Caiman, St. Martain, and Plain Matin.  There are truly incredible opportunities on the horizon and we move forward with great hope.  Please join me in welcoming Rhonda as our new director.      

A note from Rhonda:
After finishing my MBA and Master of Public Policy, I worked in the field of affordable housing finance.  When we moved to Pittsburgh, I took some time off to be more available for my young children.  Over these years I’ve been active in their school, Pittsburgh Urban Christian School, helping to start a robotics team, working in the financial office and leading the PUCS Board. 
I’m thrilled to now be joining the Haiti H2O team!  Our family has been a supporter of this organization for a over a year.  I feel privileged to participate in the mission of Haiti H2O and as I’m learning more about the inner workings of this organization, I continue to be impressed with the love, compassion, and commitment to sustainable partnerships that offer not only hope, but opportunity. 

 


Rhonda Smith, Director


Smith Family






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