As many of you may know, Poured Out works not only in US Disaster Response, but has for two years worked in Haiti on water treatment projects. We do education on water sanitation, hygiene, and health safety as well as install water treatment systems in homes, schools, orphanages, and churches along Haiti’s south-western coast. The team had just returned from a 3-week trip in Haiti when we were called to come serve in NY.
The Poured Out team was incredibly excited when direction came through to go to the Philadelphia Wesleyan Church of Coney Island, an establishment with an entirely Haitian congregation! With the help of our partners at Faith Wesleyan Church and a bus of donations from the Penn Jersey Wesleyan District, we headed down to Cony Island to unload the goods. When we arrived we met Pastor Claudelle Noisette, who thanked us generously for our work in his home country and now in his church. Poured Out volunteers worked with volunteers from From Haiti to Haitian-New York the congregation to unload food, water, hygiene products, blankets, medical supplies, and many other donated items that had been given to the cause. The ladies smiled and laughed as they unloaded the goods and chattered about the distribution event they were going to host the following weekend.
After the unloading was completed Pastor Noisette took the Poured Out group on a tour through his church (pictured on right). The sanctuary was petit but beautiful, with carefully carved pews and royal purple surrounding the alter. The smell, however, was telling of the flooding and possible molding that must have started somewhere in the building. Pastor told us that they had been without power, and thus heat since the storm hit.
He then took us down to the basement (pictured on left) and showed us where that musty smell must have been coming from. The basement was in shambles since it was flooded weeks ago. Noisette told the team they really needed some help in gutting out and cleaning the basement while they waited for their power lines to be fixed and heat to be turned back on.
Pastor Noisette also introduced us to some members of his congregation whose houses had been flooded and were in desperate need of clean-up help. We exchanged our awkward attempts at Creole greetings, and got the families’ contact information and addresses.
After a plan was made to return and help this church and its community, the Poured Out team prayed with Pastor and his congregants, asking for hearts to be awakened to this cause and for help and support to come.
What a wonderful transition from serving in Haiti to serving Haitians in the states.
Donations are needed to keep this great work going! Visit www.poured-out.org for information on how to donate to Hurricane Sandy Relief!