As 2012 comes to a close it is a joy to report that the spirit of collaboration and Christian fellowship is alive and well on Lagonave. As our host, Dan Irvine, said at the close of the meeting, “This is the church at its best! This is the stuff that makes God smile.”
The second Wesleyan Summit for Lagonave was held near Montrouis, Haiit in early December. The meeting began with a three day gathering of any NGOs working on the island who wanted to attend. In attendance from the Lagonave Haiti Partnership were Jim Ingvoldstad, Deborah Griffin and Leslie Jordanger. We were the guest of Dan and Joy Irvine who are serving as coordinators between the Wesleyan Church of Haiti and the North American Wesleyan Church. Dan has been a great leader in the efforts to develop good communication among the NGOs active on the island of Lagonave in order to maximize the use of funds and other resources going onto the island to benefit the people in need.
We were very pleased to be among 10 NGOs represented and were more than thrilled at the open communication and the willingness to collaborate that was the tone of the entire meeting. For two full days the meeting room buzzed with information, questions, sharing, brainstorming. People were humble, kind and eager to learn. It was “as good as it gets.”
Global Partners Worldwide, the auxiliary mission division of the Wesleyan Church, was represented by Dennis and Gwen Jackson who have traveled and served all over the world in the mission field and he had very kind words for the collaboration that was going on in the room.
The details are not for a blog and we are in the process of getting out a summary of resources available from the meeting, but we should all take heart that as the Haitian proverb goes: Men anpil, chey pa lou – Many hand make the load lighter.
It was heartwarming to see so many put out what they had to offer and reach out to honor what others had already done. We left the meeting and went over to Lagonave in a sail boat with the conversation continuing. In the three days we had on the island the collaboration continued full force. A woman from the UK with a speciality in maternal and child health and just finishing a tour in Sierra Leone, Africa, Joanne Ferry, chose to go up to the Bill Rice Clinic and help me interview women about their healthcare needs. She will send us a complete report on the research that she is currently doing for Greater Good Haiti and it will help us better formulate services at Bill Rice and in our communities.
We were able to extend hospitality to Tim Chamberlain and his daughter Sarah. They stayed at St. Francis so that he could be near to the Wesleyan Hospital and do an emergency surgery first thing Monday morning and not have to stay far out of town in the only housing available to him. We shared interesting dinner conversation and information.
Jim did an emergency surgery at the Wesleyan Hospital late Tuesday night to fill in for a doctor and Barry Gould of WISH came up to the Bill Rice Clinic to assess our battery situation and tell us that we did not need new batteries. He gave us a parts list and will return to repair the connections and train someone to maintain them.
It was more than words. It was action that started as soon as the meeting was over. Proverbs says “One gives freely, yet grows richer..” (11:24) and I can tell you that as I left Lagonave I felt rich. And, as one who often encourages others to give to this work, I feel honest in saying that we are doing God’s work in the best way we know how…and I believe that makes God smile.
Thank you for being a part of this work.
For the Partnership