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Sanibel Church on mission to build school for Haitians

By Staff | Apr 8, 2010

Imagine a throng of a 1,000 youths pouring through jagged woods to use the bathroom. One trail for girls, another one for boys.

This is life for students attending school in St. Marc, Haiti.

There are cracks in the walls, little equipment for young minds to develop new skills and no toilet facilities.

Yet the 1,000 or so children that live in St. Marc – a community in Haiti about 50 miles from the country’s capital Port Au Prince – want nothing more than to be able to go to school and learn.

But hope is just a few hours away in the form of a mission group from the Sanibel Community Church. The six volunteers are leaving for Haiti on Saturday, April 24 on behalf of the church and Missionary Enterprises, Inc.

Once there the group plans on working to build about a dozen high school classrooms on the top floor of the Haut St. Marc school.

Dan Budd, a church member and owner of Wildseed Construction, is one of the church members who will be going to Haiti. He will be joined by Garry Decker, Joseph Julmeus, Matt Kirchner, Bruce Leary, Chet Sadler, Dave Truelsen.

Budd, a father of four, is touched by the Haitian children’s challenges they face in going to school. The image that shakes him up a bit is of the children being forced to pad into the woods in order to relieve themselves.

“It’s by far the poorest country,” Budd said. “So little goes so far.”

Brad Livermon, the Missions Pastor for the Sanibel Community Church, said the mission is two-fold. The goals are to help build classrooms for the students as well as spread the Christian faith and develop relationships.

The main project entails building around a dozen classrooms, installing benches and stools and if there is enough material constructing latrines.

But on the spiritual side, Livermon hopes to inspire the word of God through the use of solar operated kits that play the New Testament portion of the Bible in Creole. The missionary group is bringing enough of the boxes for about 300 people to be able to listen to hear. The missionary members will also be bringing a film about Jesus, called “the Jesus Film Project,” which is translated in Creole, Livermon said.

Members of the Sanibel Community Church have done missionary work in Haiti before. Last year, the church’s youth group worked with children’s camps in Haiti.

But creating dialogue and bonding with the Haitian people as well as learning about their culture is paramount during this mission.

“I think it’s huge,” Livermon said. “The biggest thing we want to do is build relationships.”

The Sanibel Community Church is collecting donated items for the mission. For a complete list of items, contact the Livermon at 472-2684.