More than 60 volunteers from Rolling Hills Christian Church traveled to Haiti this week to deliver babies, build a soccer stadium — we’re talking concrete walls around an existing field here, not Wembly Stadium — and so much more.
And about those babies … “They average four births a day,” Senior Pastor Jeff Bigelow said of the northwest region of Haiti. “He’ll be busy.”
Rolling Hills parishioners and the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission teamed up for this trip, in the works since a devastating earthquake hit Haiti early this year. The El Dorado Hills church made a financial donation to the relief effort after the January 2010 disaster but, Bigelow said, they knew they wanted to do more.
“Haiti ranks right up there with the poorest nations,” he said. “We’re called to help where we can.”
For a week the volunteers will lend their expertise to the nation, which is also suffering from a cholera outbreak and potential hurricane damage. Tomas is expected to hit late Thursday and Friday.
Medical volunteers, in addition to delivering babies, will perform minor surgeries and check-ups at two orphanages. The construction team will repair and improve the soccer stadium. Parishioners will reach out the the orphans, assisting the orphanages’ full-time staffs and sharing Bible stories, and also volunteer at the Miriam Center, a facility for the elderly and children with disabilities. The center was put on the map by support from actress Eva Longoria and NFL player Pierre Garcon, a native of Haiti.
With more than 60 hands raised at the mention of this trip, Pastor Bigelow called it “a great first time response” and, he said, he hopes it won’t be the last. “We hope this could establish a bridge for many trips to Haiti.”
The church is already looking into “adopting” a Haitian village and there should be no shortage of volunteers ready to help. “A lot of parishioners told me they want to go next time,” Bigelow said.
For more information about Rolling Hills Christian Church and their volunteer efforts visit www.rollhillchurch.com.