Folks from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are expected to attend the Haitian Ministries Team Reunion and Fundraiser at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 26, at Bangor Baptist Church, 1476 Broadway in Bangor.
Anyone planning to attend, or who would like more information, is asked to call co-director Pam Brochu of Glenburn at 491-4775 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registration deadline is Sunday, March 20.
Pam hopes not only current and former mission team members will attend, but also anyone who wants to learn more about the organization and how it supports “our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” she said.
Haitian Ministries was founded in Nebraska by missionary nurses, Pam said. It is a national, nondenominational, faith-based ministry open to anyone over age 16.
Pam and her husband, Luke Brochu, have been directing this Bangor-based chapter since 1998 and, since it is not associated with any specific church, they extend a sincere welcome to anyone to attend this gathering and learn more about the organization.
“We work with pastors, schools and other organizations to help bridge the gap with our Haitian brothers and sisters, assisted by 17 Haitian nationals who work with the ministry,” she said.
Pam, who is a registered nurse, was in Haiti in October and will return in April.
“I have to go every few months for three to four weeks, just to help supervise some of what we are doing,” Pam said. “Our groups there are ongoing.”
Pam said the team members pay their own way and provide for their own expenses.
“We fundraise through individuals, local churches and specific projects,” she said, but all that money directly benefits the work of the mission teams.
Since this chapter’s organization, Pam said, 15 to 20 teams have made their way to Haiti.
Team members can include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, construction workers, contractors, pastors and a variety of volunteers.
“We are mostly involved in the northern region of Haiti,” Pam said, “where we concentrate our work in our clinics.”
She did say that since the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12, 2010, the teams have been “very involved alongside many of the people who have come up from the Port-au-Prince area.”
Haiti’s capital city was less than 20 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake.
It is slow,” she said of the recovery progress. “It is going to take a lot of time.”
Pam said a lot of people have migrated north “and back into the countryside, out of necessity.”
As part of their most recent mission, she said, “we’ve been involved in working with some of the children from the orphanages of Port-au-Prince,” to help get those displaced children into homes.
Preparing for this reunion, Pam and Luke are looking forward to greeting former team members and welcoming prospective ones.
“Anyone who has ever been involved has been invited,” she said. “They come from all over. Teams can be people from Utah, Nebraska, Florida, New Jersey” as well as Maine.
“People meet and form teams and identify projects they want to be involved in that we’ve identified,” such as school construction and helping build homes and churches.
“We’ve had youth groups come down, and they’ve done summer camp programs, but our medical programs are our primary focus.”
Pam understands many people want to help others “but don’t know who to work with.”
“The neat thing about our ministry is that 100 percent of the funds and money raised go to the Haitians,” she said.
“So anyone looking for a place to plug into, looking for partners to work with, is welcome.”
Pam hopes the program will attract people who have an interest in joining a team that is partnered with an established and highly respected organization whose members stand with their “Haitian brothers and sisters” and help “provide and develop sustainable health care” through its medical ministry.
If you want more information about Haitian Ministries, Pam Brochu would love to hear from you.
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; email@example.com; 990-8288.