Before three lovely children entered our lives, Justin and I had the distinct privilege to travel on two mission trips to Guatemala together. It’s been 10 years since that last trip! But God has been moving in our hearts and lives (as always!) and we both feel that now is the time for us to serve in another country together.
Justin began traveling to Haiti in 2011, first to install a water treatment system in a community center. It was one year after Haiti’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed 220,00 people, injured 300,000+ and displaced 1.5 million. The extent of the damage in Haiti was evident as they drove through large tent villages on roads that can best be described as “rough.”
Since then, Justin has traveled to Haiti four more times; once with a local missionary and three times with an organization that we and our church have since build a partnership. Chances for Children, a distinctly Christian organization, has a mission to help solve the orphan problem one child, one family, one community at a time. While Chances for Children runs an orphanage where kids are found forever families, they believe that the answer to Haiti's orphan epidemic is not just adoptions. They have invested in Haiti through education, providing students with tuition scholarships; orphan care, providing orphans with nutritious meals, education, and homes; and strengthening communities. This is accomplished by funding the construction of schools, providing child sponsorship for orphans, creating a fresh water supply, strengthening faith through a community church, providing medical care at a local clinic, and implementing vocational training, artisan craft programs and community based agricultural projects.
Last February, I had a unique opportunity to travel to Haiti with a friend and several of Chances for Children’s staff to visit their three feeding program sites, two of which are in remote villages where the people are literally starving. God opened her eyes to the vast need for redemption in this impoverished land, which was key in knitting her heart with Justin’s ever-growing heart for Haiti.
This August, Justin will be leading a team from University Fellowship Church. The majority of the team will be working to finish a building that is intended to house the toddlers in C4C’s orphanage. There is a fairly long laundry list of projects that need to be completed, but the hope is to move the toddlers at the end of our time there.
A smaller part of that team will be led by me. Five women will be teaching a small number of women to sew. The women will be part of an ongoing artisan sewing program. The ultimate goal is to learn to make scrubs to sell in the States. This trip will just be “Part 1,” learning to work with a sewing machine and doing small projects. We are still seeking the right vendor for the proper fabric that is needed from which we can make scrubs. The artisan program is KEY in helping keep families together. The women who have applied to be part of the program are women who may otherwise have to give up their children for lack of resources to feed and take care of their own. We hope to keep children where they belong: in their first families!
We would love to partner with you in this venture. We bring nothing to Haiti that was not first given to us by God’s grace, so we humbly go. It is truly a privilege to let God use us in this way. We desperately desire that our hearts are open to the Lord, that we go as servants, and that we follow God’s leading. Would you be willing to pray with us?
In addition, perhaps you are able to financially support us. The trip costs approximately $1600 per person. We believe that this is a small amount to pay for what we hope to do and for who we hope to help. If you feel like this is a good eternal investment and you are able to give at this time, you can make a tax-deductible gift in our names to University Fellowship Church (with Jessica & Justin Haiti in the memo line) and send it to PO Box 12083, Eugene OR, 97440.
Finally, we are taking sewing supplies. If you are interested in donating, please contact me.
Thank you so much!
Justin & Jessica Ubel
Specific Prayer Needs:
1. Ubel kids as they stay at home. Prayer safe, healthy, & energetic children & grandparents!
2. Safety and health of the team
3. Spiritual readiness
4. Haitian artisan women learning to sew—relationships with them