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8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
(with hymns, no choir)

10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
(with full choir, hymns)

7:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist

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Christ Church Mission in Haiti

Over a decade ago, parishioners at Christ Church were asked to donate crutches for people in Haiti. For most of us, that was the first time we learned that Christ Church has a connection with Partners in Health, the organization started by Dr. Paul Farmer. Some of us had read Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder’s book about the important work done by Dr. Farmer and others in the remote village of Cange, Haiti. Cange would not be the success story that it is without water. And here in our midst was Clarkson Williams, whose father created the system by which water is pumped up 600 feet to the people of Cange. Moreover, Clarkson’s mother, Jackie, now lives in Cange and runs an Art Center providing employment for many local people.

Haiti Soccer BallsIn the fall of 2010, we held a fundraiser to purchase soccer balls for the children in Cange. Ordinary soccer balls soon develop leaks and become useless. These new balls, made from the same material used in Crocs, are basically indestructible.

In January 2011, carrying with us a few of those soccer balls, a group of Christ Church parishioners traveled to Cange. We stayed on the grounds of ‘Zanmi Lasante’ (‘Partners in Health’ in Haitian Creole) and felt the warm hospitality of Jackie Williams and Marie Flore Chipps. Marie Flore oversees the mission work done under the auspices of the church at Cange. (Father Fritz Lafontant, Marie Flore’s father, was until recently the rector of the church.) We met many people and witnessed their dedication to improving the lives of Haitians—often through education. A few of us had concrete skills that were useful during our visit. One person helped to develop curriculum materials to teach chemistry. Others helped sort books in a small library. And the artist in our group worked directly with young painters at the Art Center—more on that below.

On the website http://lesamisdejackie.shutterfly.com/pictures/977, you will find some photographs taken during our visit. Also, look for the video entitled “Cange Stairs Beyond Stairs” which will give you a good sense of the Zanmi Lasante community: http://lesamisdejackie.shutterfly.com/pictures/598

Gary w paintingShane Crabtree spent many hours working with artists at Sant Art ak Kouti (the Art Center) in Cange. Part of Christ Church’s mission since returning from Haiti is to help support the Art Center. Paintings and other work done by the artists are currently offered for sale in the Sant Art gallery. To make their work available outside of Haiti, we have agreed to offer some of their art for sale at Christ Church. In addition, St. Anne’s in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Lincoln has agreed to partner with us in this effort. The artists’ work will be displayed after church during Advent. (A booklet of photos showing some of the artists with their work is available for viewing at the Glebe House. A pdf copy of the booklet can be found by clicking here).

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Our connection with the Art Center gives us at Christ Church a concrete way to make a difference, encouraging these talented, eager, hard-working young people in their goal of becoming professional artists. Any money earned through this effort will help them to buy art supplies.

Christ Church and St. Anne’s have also formed a partnership to look at other opportunities to help the people living in Haiti’s Central Plateau. A group from Christ Church and St. Anne's travelled to Haiti in January 2014 on a mission trip to support an innovative new trade school that has been established by local Episcopal priest Father Fritz Lafontant.  The Centre de Formation Fritz Lafontant Vocational School (CFFL) in Corporant, Haiti is striving to invest in the future by helping the people of Haiti learn how to help themselves. Click here for a link to a brochure about the new school.

CFFL is a school for vocational trades and agronomy in Haiti's Central Plateau. The goal of CFFL is to train a generation of young Haitians who will lead their communities out of poverty through sustainable local agriculture production and innovative building processes in an environment that promotes service to the common good.  Christ Church and St. Anne's in-the-Fields (Lincoln, MA) have combined to sponsor three students at the school.  Parishioners Michael Marcinelli, Chris Wagner, Heather Doyle, Amanda Doyle, Andy Taylor and Martine Taylor were joined by three members of St. Anne's and three members of Christ Church of the Ascension, Arizona.  The group participated in class discussions, created a video/pictorial chronicle of CFFL, assisted in planting crops, toured facilities, and visited an orphanage.

We are hoping to take another trip to Haiti sometime in the future.
  Rev. Hodges, members of the parish, as well as members of St. Anne’s in-the-Fields in Lincoln, will be traveling together in mission. If you are interested in being part of this trip, please contact Rev. Michael Hodges.

Beginning in 2015, Christ Church began a "Goats for Haiti" fundraising campaign.  To learn more and to donate, go to http://www.christchurchandover.org/goatsforhaiti.

For more information about Christ Church's efforts in Haiti, feel free to contact Clarkson Williams at 617-422-4862 (work) or 857-272-6899 (cell) or e-mail him.

Last Published: June 28, 2021 4:29 PM