Stories from the field

Impactful moments of life change

Restored Vision

Cranbrook Community Team’s medical clinics were full every day, with patients streaming in with a variety of needs. On one particularly busy morning, an elderly Haitian gentleman with a straw hat walked over to the optician’s station. The nurse made introductions through an interpreter, asking his name and if he could read the first line of printing on his prescription. He said it was blurry—not at all clear—shaking his head in disappointment. The nurse proceeded to help him try on various strengths of glasses, starting with the lowest power.

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A Little Act of Kindness

Sharon lovingly handed the gift box, filled with toys and treats, to the 3-year-old girl. Made by Sharon’s mother, and brought 9,000 km from Canada to the Ukraine, this small token brought joy and thankfulness to the girl’s face. The gifts may have been small, but the gesture was huge.

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Nothing to be ashamed of

Katie and Steven are friends. She is an 18-year-old from Prince George, while he is 12 and lives in Mirebalais. The team was painting in the blazing sun, when Steven was invited to help. At first glance, it was apparent he was blind in one eye, but Steven’s disability didn’t hold him back. Even though his community would’ve shunned him for his impairment, he had an incredible work ethic. The duo would come to share an indescribable connection.

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The garden of Rose’s

Rose led the team to a little garden patch behind her house. She was using the water from a runoff system to sustain some corn planted back there. When the team told her what was going to happen next, the excitement washed over her face. So, together they started a barrel garden—in among those plants already reaching for the sun. 

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Raising pigs

Meet Hun Hope. She lives in the rural Cambodian province of Stung Treng—right on the bank of the Mekong river—where her husband works as a fisherman. To supplement their meager income, Hun Hope began raising pigs. It was a job that required hard work and offered very little pay—due to the high cost of feed and rate of disease. In fact, she would lose two thirds of every farrow before they even went to market.

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A Ukrainian grandmother

The Fraser Valley Group went to Ukraine to help widows and orphans. On the drive home one evening, Agnes Tschetter spotted two malnourished children who would make a substantial impression on her. After the visit, she pursued their story and discovered that they attended a special needs boarding school in the city.

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Searing tears

A few weeks ago, a man, his wife and their four children were kicked out of their home. They had to leave because of their belief in Jesus Christ. The husband and father did not know what to do about it. A house could cost almost two years of his family’s wages. But now, less than a month later, they received a gift. The grateful man stood watching the dedication of his new home with tears streaming down his face. 

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A cultural exchange

Ten minutes from Mirebalais, the team began painting two houses for the Haiti Children’s Home construction project in Nirva. After a while, various construction workers began visiting to inspect the work. They came and went without saying very much to anyone. Later that day, the group learned why: painting is considered men’s work in Haiti. The construction workers, while suspicious at first, were amazed that the women could paint so well. 

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A healthy reflection

Five months ago, in a particularly poor area of Haiti, Matt met a small family. As part of two separate trips to Palto, with the Grace Point Church of God, he witnessed a transformation. Over time, a three-year-old boy would come to represent the unforgettable impact one church can have. 

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Saving smiles

When the team arrived in Haiti from Prince George their goal was to provide dental care. There was just one problem—they had no dental hygienist. The couple that had planned to lead this specialization was prevented from coming because of a family emergency. A last minute complication like this could have proven disastrous for another team. However, College Heights took the opportunity to spring into action. Back home they trained key team members on how to perform simple tasks like applying fluoride to children’s teeth. In the absence of experience they shook off the nerves. 

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