By Sarah Comstock
In 2012, our founder, Guesly Dessieux, started a trip for pre-medical students from Corban University to work with a team of physicians and nurses to provide medical care to underserved people in Haiti. The following year, I was asked to join the leadership team for the Corban trip. In case you were not aware, Guesly is a physician in Stayton, OR and I am a professor in the Science department at Corban University. The purpose of this trip is to serve the medical needs of the Haitian people while also providing pre-med students a glimpse of the unique nature of healthcare in the developing world. This trip makes a significant impact on Corban University students; they come back with a renewed drive to serve others through medicine. In fact, because of this trip, Corban University now offers a scholarship in Guesly’s name – the Dessieux Scholarship – for students seeking to use a career in healthcare to serve others through missions.
This May, Guesly and I helped lead a team of 15 students and 15 medical professionals to serve on the 7th annual Corban University medical mission trip. We partnered with a new organization, Nehemiah Vision Ministries, to provide outreach in three villages in rural Haiti as well as with our Oregonian friend Aslan Noakes and her organization, Empower Haiti Together, to help develop a hypertension management program in two other communities. We saw over 400 patients and developed relationships with many other like-minded people working to empower the Haitian people. While Project Living Hope does not focus on medical ministry, we are committed to using our talents to empower the Haitian people and we seek to partner with other organizations that are working to do the same. We are excited about the partnerships with these two organizations and look forward to collaborating more with them in the future.
While we were in country, we also got to work with our Project Living Hope in-country employees and take care of important logistics. We met with our architect, Andrew Ripp from MSAADA Architects, to sign contracts and to discuss our vision for our project as well as our ministry. Then, later in the week, Andy came out and toured the property. We are excited to be working with Andy and MSAADA. Their mission is to “provide professional architectural and engineering services in the planning, design and implementation of building projects for organizations dedicated to serving others.” Specifically, they seek to partner with organizations in developing countries who serve the Worldwide Church. In addition, we met with another nearby organization, Extollo International, that works to educate Haitians in the construction industry, “equipping them to build/rebuild their communities, reduce unemployment, stimulate the local economy and improve their quality of life.” We will be partnering with Extollo to train construction workers from Camp Marie and contracting with them to help begin building on Phase One. The contracts are signed, so be on the lookout for updates about building in the next few months!
Another important meeting to note was that we also got to see the mayor, Marie Lourdes. We are so impressed with the way she is advocating for Project Living Hope and the community of Camp Marie. As we met, she showed us a letter she had written to the local government officials asking for their support as we develop in this new community. She wrote about the opportunities that our partnership with Camp Marie will develop and how their support will help further this relationship and create jobs for the community. We ask you to be in prayer that this letter will be well received and that God will continue to guide us to future partnerships that will help us continue His Kingdom Work.