All told 48 people traveled with Compassion Corps across the oceans to minister in war-torn Liberia and earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The camaraderie on both teams was awesome and much was accomplished on behalf of our partners who are daily on the front lines. Armed with 100 pounds each of luggage, our competent and highly flexible team members braved the airports, took on sometimes scary transportation systems, less than optimal working conditions, very hot weather and often heavy downpours to be a source of encouragement to others while in the meantime being extraordinarily blessed themselves.
The Liberia team, 24 strong, left in late June for a 16-day journey that included teacher training seminars in 4 different locations, children’s fun days, and researching the medical and water needs of this country. The team was privileged to meet President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who requested that we come often and be involved in their educational rebuilding efforts. The Liberian people have been through a hellish 20-year civil war, but when you speak to a Liberian, you find an individual full of joy and hope with a ready smile and a Liberian handshake just for you. Compassion Corps is excited to be planning a June/July trip for 2011 that will include a medical contingent as well as continuing education work for the eager teachers who flocked to seminars.
The Haiti team was comprised of 27 team members who came and went over a 2-week period in late July/early August. This was a split group of medical workers and others who were eager and willing to help in any way needed….and they were indeed put to work. There were buildings to paint on the Nehemiah Vision Ministries’ campus, as well as concrete work and fence building. We were able to repair some broken-down swings for the school children to enjoy. Many children come to the campus from the nearby village of Chambrun so there was plenty of time for playing, coloring, storytelling, and just plain loving. The team took large numbers of donated shoes and one day was set aside to fitting each child that came with a brand new or gently used pair of sturdy sneakers or shoes. One team member even gave away her crocs and walked in her socks the rest of the day when she saw a child with torn up shoes on her feet. The heat was intense and the days were long, but the smiles on each face at the end of a day told the story of contentment and joy at being able to be a little ripple of kindness in a big ocean of need!
A team heads for Uganda in November, and 2011 teams are forming now. Check out our information on short term team opportunities in the “How to Get Involved” section under “About Us” or contact Beth McMillen, short term teams coordinator, at [email protected].
These photos of our summer teams tell the stories so well: