On November 7, 2018, more than 50 volunteers traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to launch the “Haiti, We Hear You” mission campaign. Through the partnership of the Capitol Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church (CHC), ADRA Connections—the volunteer program of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)—and private sector partners from Maryland and the District of Columbia, a team of doctors, nurses and students will help 185 families displaced after the devastating earthquake in 2010.
Responding to a petition from the local government, ADRA immediately mobilized its resources on the ground to provide housing, education and medical support, but they assert, more help is still needed. “Haiti, We Hear You” is in direct response to the continued need throughout thecountry, including these 185 families. “We want to make a long-term, sustainable impact for these families and their community,” said Emil Dean Peeler, CHC senior pastor.
CHC volunteers will focus on the construction of the Community Center of Hope, which will provide adult literacy programs, a gathering space for the community, and a playground for children; provide access to a mobile health clinic; and organize activities with the community, including nightly evangelistic meetings.
Ahead of the seven-day mission trip, CHC members provided school uniforms and payment of teacher salaries. Still needed are donations for 200 pairs of shoes and solar panels or portable solar kits to power such items as cell phones, lights and radios. “If we can give light to villages that are in the dark for only $45 per unit, or a pair of shoes at only $8 per pair, then we can begin to help lift families out of poverty,” said Josue Pierre, CHC head elder and Associate General Counsel for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Several local businesses also decided to get involved in the “Haiti, We Hear You” launch, including William E. Kelson, D.D.S., owner of WK & Associates General and Cosmetic Dentistry in Silver Spring, Maryland. After learning about this campaign and the need, he closed down his office for a week and took his entire staff to provide dental care for the families in Haiti. “This is the type of involvement that we’re looking for through ADRA Connections,” said Nicole Watson, advancement specialist at ADRA. “Working together with local churches and other entities is key.”
The “Haiti, We Hear You” campaign continues to be a team effort with generous support from CHC, ADRA, Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Adventist HealthCare, Holy Cross Hospital, Haiti Adventist Hospital, William Kelson, DDS, and other generous supporters.