Though he’s been away from home off and on for many years, this is the first time we’ve ever been cut off from our son electronically. It’s going to be a long week as we wait for the first communication when they return to the US and then Canada, though I recognize that for some of you reading this, Haiti is just a stone’s throw away compared to places in the world where you have close relatives. If you’re coming in part-way through this story, I wrote about his 4-month internship with the organization at this blog post.
The more I hear about Engineering Ministries International, the more impressed I am with this organization and the unique role they fill in world missions. I’m so excited to be able to passionately tell their story. At 9 minutes, this video is a little long, and requires you to read the captions, but it defines exactly what a design team does in the various countries in which EMI serves. They’re not doing the actual building, which means they’re not taking away work from locals. They’re also living within the realities of the budgets the host organization is working with, and the construction materials that are available. In Haiti, the latter is a daunting prospect.
The director of the team he’s serving on wrote about all the things they’re taking with them.
We get 1 suitcase each. Between our 4 and the 2 belonging to the interns also leaving from Calgary, we’ve managed to pack:
- water test kits, a pocket penetrometer, a TDS meter, measuring tapes, a portable printer and all sorts of other engineering-type stuff
- first aid kits, headlamps, plug adapters
- craft items, both from our own stash and donated by our church to do a craft day with the kids there
- several quilts sewn by kids from our church
- pillow case dresses and shorts sewn by a friend with a heart for orphans
- hats knitted by [our daughter]
- t-shirts from a friend of eMi
- some hand-me-down clothes
- small toys and school supplies from [our daughter’s] friends
- some hot chocolate (a special request!) & peanut butter
- toothbrushes donated by a friend and toothpaste donated by our dentist
- donated soccer balls and a pump
- more school supplies [donated]
- oh – and our own clothes and toiletries and such
There’s a ceremony that engineers go through — family are not allowed to attend — in which they are given a ring. My son wrote about that recently:
As my graduation neared, I was given a steel ring to wear as a tangible reminder to double-check my work because, in engineering, I will often have people depending on it for their safety, but I’m finding that I don’t need the reminder. The spectacle and gravity of the work, and the humbling and uplifting character of the cause, are enough.
Anyway, this has been somewhat random, but I hope you’ll remember the team in prayer this week, and if you have engineers, surveyors, architects or people with similar gifts in your faith community; EMI is always looking for people to go on short-term trips. If you know a student who is studying any of those fields, there is opportunity to do a internship — the other intern on his team is doing a co-op term — for professional credit. You can link to the various websites at these links: