In January of 2011, 24-year-old Megan Boudreaux went to Haiti committed to help and trusting that God would guide her to a way to do that.
What started out as a small feeding program quickly grew to be a school for vulnerable children. Now only six years later, Respire is a 500-student school with a clinic and will soon be building a physical therapy center. The school has one American that works in the director’s office and employs 120 Haitians. There are two classrooms for children with special needs, and the tennis and soccer teams has players who are ranked nationally and on the national team.
For the past two years, a Missouri Conference church has been partnering with Boudreaux to help the children of the Gressier community. La Croix UMC in Cape Girardeau sent a team to Haiti after the earthquake to look for an organization they could partner with in a helpful manner. They ended up meeting Boudreaux, which eventually led to La Croix forming a relationship with Respire that has evolved to include financial support, yearly medical volunteer teams, and video production.
La Croix’s financial support has come in many different forms – yearly monetary support, funding of safe water projects, payments for shipments of food, payments for fresh foods to augment the feeding program and partial funding of large scale capital projects.
Last year, La Croix’s video production team traveled to Respire to create and film a series of videos that Respire has used at churches across the U.S. These videos have helped Respire share how God is moving on Bellevue Mountain with other churches and how they can get involved. See the video online at: http://tinyurl.com/respirelc.
One way that La Croix’s vision for Global Missions is shared with the congregation is through their “Mission Wall,” which blends facts, vision, stories and photos to share where God is moving through the people of La Croix. An electronic version of that content can be found here: http://www.lacroixonmission.org/stories.
“Our congregation is also deeply involved with Respire and has taken on exponential ways to support Respire above what La Croix does, including sewing programs, caring for Haitian children for months at a time while they receive medical care in the United States, in-services on palliative care, etc.,” Elena Tanner, executive assistant to Creative Arts at La Croix. “In the future, we want to be a blessing to and serve Respire in the ways they need it most, whether it be staffing a clinic, building projects, training teachers and medical professionals, etc.”