At our recent annual open meeting, one of the things we did was to approve that some money be donated to a variety of ministries involved in work that made sense to us. A gift of $1000 is going to support the work of the Education Medical Aid and Service (EMAS) Healthcare Mission to Haiti. Over the week February 1-7, 2009, Pierre and Daniel Plourde were in Haiti, and what follows is a bit of a summary of what they were a part of.
hen he met St. Hilaire Faniel in 1982, Dr. Pierre Plourde knew his Creole language tutor would become a lifelong friend and confidante. Since his ordination in the 1990’s St. Hilaire nurtured a New Testament-like community in a poor neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince that has served as an inspiration to all who have witnessed their selfless service to the poorest of the poor.
Since 2004, Pierre has led annual healthcare teams to Port-au-Prince to work alongside local physicians, dentists, and nurses in a clinical teaching environment; and since 2006 his son Daniel has energized the Haitian community with a vibrant soccer program. This year, over 400 patients were served, over 800 prescriptions were dispensed, and 4 goals were scored by Daniel in two very exciting soccer matches.
Since Pasteur St. Hilaire’s heartbreaking death at the hands of thieves on December 22, 2008, his church has bravely faced a future without their shepherd. Despite this inexplicable tragedy, Pierre is able to give thanks for a newfound friendship with the chair of the board of elders of St. Hilaire’s church. This community of believers is already mobilizing to bring to fruition St. Hilaire’s vision to build a new church and community health centre, a feeding centre for children, and a primary school.
Friendships are what bring Pierre and Daniel back to Haiti again and again and again. Serving alongside our brothers and sisters in the midst of their suffering is the most cherished privilege of any EMAS Haiti Team participant.
Pierre Plourde is a Medical Officer of Health with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and EMAS Team Leader for an annual mission to Haiti.