My sister’s going to Haiti!

My older sister Sharon is going to help out with the disaster relief effort in Haiti and I couldn’t be more proud of her/excited for her trip! She will be traveling with a team of friends from her church from May 14th – 22nd to the neighborhood of La Saline in Port-au-Prince to complete clean-up and construction projects for the Kingdom Kids Orphanage, which was damaged during the recent earthquake. They will be helping the local community by passing out rice to the neighborhood residents, cooking a huge meal for the community, and teaching the children lessons and art projects (they haven’t been in school since the earthquake)! They will also bring supplies such as children’s vitamins, antibiotic creams, and toothpaste to donate to the orphanage.

Haiti is one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries, with over 80% of the residents living in poverty. The recent earthquake further increased the suffering in this country, with some estimates showing that 3 million people need humanitarian relief, including food assistance. The Kingdom Kids Orphanage was started a few years ago when several babies were dropped off at the house of Pastor Rigaud. They now have 35 children ranging in age from 2 months to 20 years (see pictures below), some of whom are from families who can’t afford to feed their own children.

In order to make this trip possible, Sharon needs your help! Her total need is $1500, which covers room and board, food, and transportation costs to Haiti. If you haven’t had the chance to give to Haiti yet (or just want to give more), please consider joining her in prayer and financial support. Gifts of $50, $100, $200 or whatever you are led to give will go a long way toward helping her meet this need. Any additional money raised will go towards purchasing supplies to donate to the orphanage. I know that many of you are unable to personally go to Haiti and help in this way, so this is a great way you can participate in rebuilding this impoverished nation!

If you would like to help her, simply click on the link below and you can donate with credit or debit card via Paypal:

Or you can write a check to her personally with the word “Haiti” in the memo line and mail it to:

Sharon Jotblad
1541 Oxford St. Apt. 401
Berkeley, CA 94709

You can give her a call at 310-562-0749 or email her at if you have any questions. I’ll post an update from her when she gets back!

Me and Sharon at my wedding

Salva Vida

Salva Vida means “lifesaver” in Spanish. It also happens to be the name of the most common beer in Honduras. It was interesting, because everywhere I traveled in Honduras…Salva Vida was available, however in all those places, if I had tried to drink the tap water I would have become sick. It seems like they should have called their bottled water Salva Vida, but I guess clean beer made it to Honduras before clean water.

A couple weeks ago I returned from Honduras where a small team of volunteers helped a hospital in Olanchito install a filtration system so that they could have access to clean water. They have a maternity ward there, and I just kept thinking how scared I would be if Melissa was going to have a baby AND she might get sick from the water while at the hospital. Maybe that is why the infant mortality rates in Honduras are over 5 times greater than here in the US. By the time we left, the hospital could use and drink the water without the fear of sickness/death, and that was a pretty cool feeling.

One thing that surprised me about the job was that it was not at all complicated or difficult. It makes sense though once I think about it. A very basic need should have a relatively basic solution. When I think of the world “water crisis” it seems like an insurmountable problem (which is actually not far from the truth), but for a very different reason than I had initially assumed. I guess I was thinking that facing a big problem like the clean water crisis meant it was going to be technically challenging, but that is really not the case here. We know how to make clean water, it will just cost us something to get it where it needs to go. The main challenge lies in getting the people who know how to do it to pay attention to people who don’t, and then commit the resources to get it done. We have the ability and the resources, all we lack currently is the will. It’s crazy to think about all the simple necessities we take for granted and how quickly we are able to forget about those who don’t have them. I am really glad I was privileged to be a part of addressing this issue (even in a small way), and I really hope that God is not done using me in this capacity!

Below are a couple pictures I took on the trip. The top one is from the day we arrived. It was 106 degrees and humid, and that was in March! The bottom one is a picture of the wiring job for the existing pump system. There was no “safety code” so they just cut some wires, twisted them together, and wrapped it up in a bunch of tape. Those red wires just hanging out at the top are 480 volts…enough to throw you across a room and kill you fyi. I also have a cool video I want to share but I’m still searching for it so I’ll put that up once I find it.