Haitian and Dominican Homeless Support
Organized by: Edward Griffin
I recently went on a mission trip in support of a ministry called "Cups of Cold Water", which is headed up by my friend Mike. It is based in Sosua, Dominican Republic. They feed, cloth, and build homes for both Haitian and Dominican homeless or poor people and families. The following are highlights from my most recent trip during 6/28/16-7/3/16 Wed: *** Garbage Dump Feeding Program *** We went to the city dump on the outskirts of Sosua. There are approximately 70 - 100 people living their and sifting through trash to find anything they can eat or sell for food. Some have been there for several years and have staked out their little pile of trash. Others wander around with a large plastic bag containing all their possessions. We passed out cups of chicken soup to a group who gathered around our truck and hand-delivered soup to those who were unwilling to leave their "claim". Next we distributed clean water from two 5 gallon jugs by allowing people to fill there old plastic bottles. We also passed out peanut butter sandwiches for a later meal. I spent time talking to a 61 year old Haitian earthquake refugee who has been living at the dump for 4 years. His son and 2 granddaughters had been with him but were able to return to Haiti 3 years ago. His son is working to save enough money to send for his father. Mike told me the people love sardines but can't afford them or even to fish for them. I would like to provide as many easy-open cans of sardines as possible on my next trip. Wed-Sat: *** Children's Camp Paradiso and Zion Village*** We helped with a children's Vacation Bible Study in an outside pavilion that was built 6 years ago at a site where Mike and visiting teams have now built about 40 homes. We also painted 4 houses. The early session had 130 young children and the second session had 80 teens. (Six years ago there were 40 children and about 10 teens.) What impacted me most was seeing 12 of the teens, who have grown up in the village, acting as leaders during the the teaching and game playing sessions. Thu: *** Evening Sex Trafficking Walk *** The D.R. is a small nation but ranks 4th in the world for prostitution. We walked the streets in a notorious section downtown and prayed with several of the young girls. For many of them this lifestyle is the only way they cay feed themselves and their children. Many of them are young teens encouraged to do this by their mothers and fathers. Mike and his teams are sharing the love of Christ with these girls and their appreciation is visible. On rare occasions, a girl will leave the streets and come to live at Zion Village. Mike has a sewing clinic at the village where girls can attend for several weeks of sewing lessons. Once they are proficient, they get to keep the machine they trained on and set up a sewing business to support themselves. Sat: *** Orphanage Visit *** We spent a good part of the day at an orphanage housing children of ages 5-18. These kids are not allowed to be adopted and stay until they reach 18 years of age. We spent several hours playing games and coloring with them. The activities closed with a bible lesson singing. *** Pregnancy Center *** A missionary couple took over a pregnancy center about 5 years ago. The husband teaches the teenage session at the VBS we held in Camp Paradiso and Zion Village. The wife runs the pregnancy center in downtown Sosua with his support. The last time I visited the pregnancy center (4 years ago) they were serving about 40 young women. Today there are serving about 100. They provide vitamins, diapers, baby formula, and care instructions. The women must attend the instructional classes twice a week to receive their bags of provisions. Many of these expecting mothers are working the streets. The center also helps with some post-natal care. The original founders of the clinic will be stopping their funding soon and the clinic is in need of support. *** In Conclusion *** I would like to return as often as possible, with as much food, clothing, and funding as your donations allow. The "Cups of Cold Water" ministry and the Pregnancy Center are having a real and growing impact on many lives in the Sosua, D.R. area. Please consider donating to this worthy cause.