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Local mission team travels to Haiti

Anticipation ran high as the group of people traveling to Haiti loaded suitcases and tubs in the parking lot of the Tyrone Area High School. The team was preparing to leave Tyrone and travel to Baltimore where they would take a flight to Haiti. There they met with Rodney and Sharyn Babe, Presbyterian agriculture missionaries who have been working with the people who live on the watershed of the Cormier River 25 miles west of Port Au Prince. One of the team members Cindy Whitby had made a trip to Haiti the last time a group went from the area.
“I’m looking forward to working with the children again,” Whitby said. “Last time in church a little girl was sitting beside me she kept looking at my hand on the bench; she kept moving it closer to my hand when she moved it close she reached out and held my hand. The children are such loving children.”
Bill Harshman loaded building supplies into tubs and John Conrad helped to weigh them for airline restrictions. Conrad said ” I’m finally doing something I’ve always said I wanted to do. Now I’m making it happen.”
The ten member team arrived in Haiti on August 17th. On Sunday, a day of worship with the Haitians and a time to explore the beautiful scenery. The team started each day at 4:30 a.m. when the generator started up. The men on the team and team member, Kristi Morrow, an architect, worked with Rodney Babe to build forms and scaffolding for the second floor of the Family Life Center. The first floor of the Center will provide space for a library, the preschool class and serve as a meeting place for the community. The second floor will have two apartments for mission volunteers working with Rodney and Sharyn Babe to help people with agriculture projects.
The other five members of the team went to Siloe School at 6 a.m. each morning. Dr. Kathryn Lewis said, “We worked with the teachers at Siloe School to teach 100 children health subjects. These included healthy food, how to care for your teeth and the five senses — sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The children loved the craft material we brought and made bead crosses and bracelets.”
After the school was dismissed at 1 p.m. Cindy Whitby taught the principles of CPR to the teachers. “We were grateful to many people who helped us by providing material for our trip,” Lewis added. “Dentists Dr. Don Miller, Dr. James Grant and Tipton Dentistry gave us toothbrushes and toothpaste for each child and teacher. Team member, Marlene Anderson of McVeytown brought combs for each child.”
Lewis went on to say,” Our group represented three area churches who helped us earn money to buy supplies and kept us in their prayers: Sinking Valley Presbyterian Church, St. Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church and McVeytown Presbyterian Church. We also appreciate the prayers of our families and friends.”
A group of area people forming a team to help improve the life of the people of Haiti. The poorest country of the world was made a little better by the caring nature and generosity of area people.