Dale Ryder | LCSW, MSW
In It For The Cause Foundation’s HOPE for Haiti is an amazing opportunity for those in recovery to experience a life changing therapy to help those in need. The clients are faced with their own fears as they reach out to these beautiful young children who accept any form of love and attention with a grateful heart, the fears of being abandoned themselves and not feeling a part of something bigger. Witnessing the humbleness of those that have lost their homes and their families invokes self-reflection around being grateful for what they do have and that all is not lost. A sense of hope is restored and a belief in a higher purpose and cause can bring them back home to self with a renewed passion for life. This program is a gift and supported by the therapeutic team.
October 9, 2012
Reach Out to Haiti Expands Again!
By: Barbara Walker
As most of you know, Reach Out to Haiti is a multi-functioning organization. We work with several partnering mission organizations, such as “In It For The Cause Foundation”, to provide help to a variety of groups of people and they are all USA 501(c)(3) organizations, with the same goals. We endeavor to reach out to people in need of help, education, compassion, and guidance, to improve their health, lives, and the lives of their families.
Years ago, when I first came to Haiti, I was driven by the scripture in 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” I believed God was telling me to use my God given talents and skills to help others in need. I had a working knowledge of all facets of construction and found great personal satisfaction in helping to build churches in Brazil.
We were blessed with workers and donations. People from all over the world would reach out to help. Ruuska Village was rebuilt stronger and safer than ever. We received financial contributions that enabled us to expand even more. Naturally, houses were needed for even more women who did not have homes. All our ladies welcomed friends and family to stay with them. Soon, our houses were overcrowded.
We were able to buy the house next to the village. It had only minor damage. We were also able to buy a piece of land nearby. We quickly started building more houses on that land. We named this Maki Island. Soon, several more families moved into this village. The house next to Ruuska Village is now called the Doctor Charles House. We began using this for the work groups that came to help. Time flies by and Ruuska Village has been blessed with group after group, all willing to work and serve in any way needed. All that experience running a guesthouse came to good use.
Reach Out to Haiti has been very blessed. God, with the hands of many, has enabled us to help so many families in Haiti. Now, we have expanded again! We have had the pleasure of yet another mission driven organization to partner with us.
This group has come to help Ruuska Village many times over the past few years. God showed them the possibility of doing a new ministry in Haiti. Tim Parker led the way to start partnering their mission with ours. “In It For The Cause Foundation” is a Christian addiction treatment program out of Prescott, Arizona. It is a very successful program for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. We have had the privilege of hosting many groups here in Haiti. After a suitable amount of time with successful treatment, recovering addicts are eligible to participate in a mission outreach trip to Ruuska Village. While here, they give and receive blessings. The children just love the time they are able to spend with them. We have a play center and school here at the village, where they spend quality time spoiling the children.
There is always so much work to do at the village, and not enough time to play with the children. Tim’s groups spend hours a day working on construction projects and spending time with the children. They give and receive unconditional love. God surely smiles when he watches these groups interact with the children. It is a win-win deal. Everyone is happy. I believe the shock of showing how difficult live is in Haiti provides a new perspective on their addiction. They pray for us, and we pray for and with them. It has proven to be a life-changing experience for each of them.
Thank you and May God Bless You as you have blessed us at Ruuska Village.
MY HAITI REPORT
By: Roger Lee Miller
Joe Hurston is a flying missionary who has perfected electronic water purifiers that he has delivered all over the world for disasters such as the tsunami in Japan, earthquakes and floods in Haiti, Miramar/Burma, Indonesia, New Orleans and the Philippines. Joe uses clean pure water to demonstrate the love of Jesus. Joe met his wife Cindy when they were both missionaries in Haiti and Joe has more than 300 water purifiers there that he services on a monthly basis.
Several months ago, Joe asked me to make a fund raising film for him. As you know, I make these programs as a volunteer and asked him to take me to Haiti with him in his six seat Cessna 337 two engine push/pull prop airplane. Port-au-Prince is about five hours by small plane from Titusville.
My trip to Haiti started at 1:30 a.m. The alarm sounded and I hurried to get ready to meet Joe by 3:00 a.m. at the Space Coast (Titusville/Cocoa) airport. Joe called, “Would you stop at Wal-Mart and pick up some granola bars, beef jerky and trail mix for treats on the flight?” Joe and Barbara Walker topped off the fuel tanks as I filmed. It was dark. Small airports are not staffed during the night and pilots are responsible for their own clearance for take off and landings. The plane was loaded with baby food, diapers and other necessities for Ruuska Village, a Haitian orphanage founded by Barbara. Joe also included replacement parts needed for maintenance on his Air Mobile Rescuer water purifiers.
Joe asked us to secure our oxygen nose tubes that we would need later and noise canceling headsets so we could talk to each other and listen to flight controllers directing traffic in the sky. Both engines started promptly and the little plane taxied away from the hanger. Joe pushed a remote button and by magic, the runway lights sparked to brightness. Effortlessly, the plane vaulted into the sky and the earth shrunk below. Joe contacted air control in Orlando and later Miami and we charted our course to Port-au-Prince through the Bermuda Triangle.
Legend has it that ships have been swallowed in the Triangle waters and airplanes have been blown hundreds of miles off course. Lighting lit the horizon to the east and storm clouds hovered ahead. Joe has been flying this route for more than 30 years and he deftly guided his cargo past the troubled skies.
Joe and I were roommates in the Ruuska Village orphanage that he uses as home base in Haiti. This village depends on Joe’s water filters to purify well water that contains impurities such as cholera. I drank that filtered water for five days and didn’t get sick. Haiti, as you might guess, is hot with daytime temperatures running around 95 °F. They have no air conditioning and our room never got cooler than 90 °F. I lost 10 pounds in five days. The rooms were clean, but buckets of water had to be brought up the stairs to splash over our bodies for showers and to flush the toilet. The food was simple and okay, but I was too hot to be hungry.
This mission does wonderful work. The country is so poor that women find a man to live with; but as soon as they get pregnant, the man moves out. Men brag about how many women they have impregnated. One of the nannies in the village had 13 children with 13 different men. Most of these children now go to Argentina as prejudice in the United States keeps most Haitians out. Some of the kids are so cute and darling that it just makes you want to cry thinking about some of their futures. Joe Hurston’s water purifiers keep the water safe to drink in many of these missions. His plane brings in food and other supplies not available in Haiti.
Haiti, originally a part of the French Colonial Empire, has been a poor country for a long time. Under the rule of dictators Papa Doc Duvalier and Baby Doc his son, the Duvaliers were held accountable for the repression and deaths of thousands of Haitians. (The United States is not blameless as various presidents used the Duvaliers in its fight against Fidel Castro’s Cuba.)
However, the massive earthquake on January 12, 2010 reduced this poor country and its capital Port-au-Prince into a massive slum. (Ironically Adele and I, returning on a cruise of the Panama Canal, sailed through the straits separating Cuba and Haiti just hours before the disaster.)
At Barbara’s village, one building is set aside for visiting guests. Tim Parker, a former drug and alcohol addict, now therapist from Prescott , AZ, and co-founder of In It For The Cause Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 organization brought in five recovering Arizona clients to demonstrate that their lives were not so bad. The kids were surrounded by these extreme circumstances for ten days. I was fortunate to ride with them on a tour of the streets of Port-au-Prince. We traveled mile after mile over broken cement roads lined with tents, shacks, and rusty corrugated tin buildings and crumbling concrete structures that they call home. Lucien, one of Barbara’s male employees, served as guide and Tim, a muscular weight lifter, drove with a stun gun at his side and a huge hunting knife under his butt. My video camera was out the passenger window most of the time, but I kept the strap around my neck should someone try to grab it. These are mean streets. In their call as missionaries, Barbara and Joe have been beaten and robbed
In my travels, I’ve visited a handful of Caribbean islands and one usually finds some beautiful well preserved historical areas as well as new tourist destinations. Not in Haiti! Lucien said, “This is the Main Street.” But how could you tell, the road was filled shoulder to shoulder with people walking, buying and selling their wares. Tim had to constantly beep the van’s horn to part the sea of humanity. And then we saw the skeletons of buildings, dust blowing from the remains, stones still falling on the hoards below. This was once the pride of the French Colonial Empire. Then, in the background, I saw the cathedral and as we turned the corner, I said, “Oh my God!” The dome of the Palace cocked forward as the hat of a song and dance man. Our group got out of the bus to take pictures of the destroyed Palace. Sidewalk vendors descended upon us with their vividly colored native art. Lucien kept an eye on them. Tim, who speaks some Creole – a derivative of French, told them we would be back later to buy.
The young men and women from Prescott talked about their unbelievable experience. Yes, they acknowledged that they had wonderful lives back home. It was good therapy.
On the other hand, I was deeply distressed. How can we as human beings allow people of our species to live like this? Certainly, Haiti is just a microcosm of all the suffering in other continents such as Africa and India. Joe Hurston and Barbara Walker are doing all they can to ease this pain; for that they earned my deep respect. To me, our God is a loving God and we, “the chosen,” are endowed with the mission to help all of our brothers and sisters. I don’t have the answers, but I do have the tears.