Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Lisbon HS Alumni Contribute International Community Service!
Two Lisbon High School Alumni Serve in Haiti
Brian and Meghan (back row) pictured with children that take part in PID’s programming in Blanchard, Haiti.
By Brian Craig
Brian and Meghan Craig are 2009 and 2011 graduates of Lisbon High School. Brian received his bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries and Biblical Studies from Gordon College and is now pursuing his Masters of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA. Meghan is now pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene and a minor in Sociology at the University of New England in Portland. While in high school both were very involved in journalism and community service.
Early on August 13th Meghan and I left to travel to Haiti. The organization we were working with in Haiti was called Partner’s In Development (PID). PID strives to help impoverished communities attain independence and whole life improvement. PID’s work in Haiti started in 1990. PID has various programs in Haiti that include a medical clinic, small business training for Haitians, micro-finance loans so that families can afford a new home, and they have a child sponsorship program. PID provides material, financial and educational resources, which enable the poor to construct and implement their own programs for development.
Our stay in Haiti was spent in the village of Blanchard; which is situated right next to the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The majority of our time was spent serving and building relationships with the Haitian people. During our trip our team stayed on the PID compound. Meghan and I helped serve PID by being on the construction crew. While in Haiti we painted, mixed cement and sifted sand from rock, and worked hard to complete the new administration building on PID’s compound. When this administration building is completed by the end of September PID will have more room to expand their medical clinic and be able to serve more people in the community. We worked extremely hard and accomplished so much during our time in Haiti. The highlight of being on the construction crew was that we had the opportunity to work directly alongside Haitians and we all were able to learn so much from them.
In addition to these service projects, we were able to build relationships with the children in Blanchard. According to Meghan, “My favorite part of the trip was interacting with the children of Haiti. I had the chance to volunteer with the yoga program that PID offers for the children of Blanchard, and it was such a powerful experience to interact with the children. I learned so much from the children.” PID is a truly wonderful place that gives these children safety and real opportunities for their future through the child sponsorship program. On our breaks at the worksite the children would run over and play with us and to see the smiles on their faces as we played games with them was one of the most rewarding parts of the trip. PID has over 400 children enrolled in their sponsorship program and these donations are helping struggling families all over Haiti. If you are interested in sponsoring a child in Haiti you can visit http://www.pidonline.org for more information on how to sign up.
Another powerful part of the trip was touring Port-au-Prince and seeing the devastation that still remains from the earthquake four years ago. There are still thousands of people living in tents. Even though there is so much despair from this tragic event, God is doing powerful things in this country. We encountered so much hope in Haiti. Haitians are some of the hardest workers and they are determined to rebuild and bring growth to this country.
Meghan and I are so thankful to the community of Lisbon and our friends and family for financially supporting this trip. We ask that you please keep Haiti in your prayers because we saw so much hope but there is still a lot to be done in Haiti. God taught us so much through this experience. It was such a great blessing to work with a great organization like PID and this fall when I am back at school I hope to continue to volunteer with them in their local Ipswich, MA warehouse. This service learning trip was truly a life changing experience!