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Hand in Hand with Haiti is a project of EMAS Canada specifically focused on a community in Haiti that is actively addressing the needs of its neighbours. The community is the El Shaddai Church, which was started by a young Baptist seminary graduate, St. Hilaire. In 1993, this visionary leader and pastor started the El Shaddai Church, as he says, “under the mango trees”, because he had no building at the time. He preached the gospel of Jesus, but also called Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the surrounding area. He saw the lack of health care and education in his corner of Port au Prince and did what he could—he began a feeding centre for hungry kids and eventually started a school. He also contacted his friend Dr. Pierre Plourde in Canada (they first met back in 1982) and asked if he would come to do a clinic for the neighbourhood.
That was in 2002. Now Dr. Plourde leads an EMAS-Haiti healthcare mission team to Haiti annually and has made a lifelong commitment to invest his life to helping the people of El Shaddai and their surrounding area. For a more complete picture, please see the 2013 Ten Year Review.
Following the devastating 2010 earthquake, when their well used building was destroyed, the need for a space to accommodate the growing ministries was evident. In close consultation with the El Shaddai elders, Engineering Ministries International (eMi) determined the needs and available resources and proposed three concepts. The elders chose one concept and eMi designed a site plan after a visit there in May 2010.
Currently we are on track to complete the plan in seven years. Construction began in 2011 and the first school building is now complete, the second school building and the septic field are well under way. The students will soon be moving out of the temporary structure, built in March 2010. The simple tin roof structure has accommodated the elementary school and doubled as worship and meeting space, so that programs and services proceeded while the more permanent facilities are being built. Throughout we are committed to top standards of construction so that Haiti can build better than before–it is a chance for a fresh start.
If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please email our Logistics and Administration contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org