Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the poorest in the world. It was here that Catherine Wolf, a lifelong member of the Kingston Presbyterian Church; made a visit as a college student to see what a third world country was like as she considered her dream of being a medical missionary. She went back to Haiti to work as a missionary physician after completing her medical training from 1982-1987 and 1990-1994, working in a large protestant mission hospital in south Haiti. She returned to the United States in 1994 and worked as an Emergency Physician but Haiti remained in her heart and she decided to take on the challenge of developing a primary care clinic and maternity center in a mountainous area about an hour’s drive south of the city of Jeremie, on the northern coast of the southern peninsula.
Friends for Health in Haiti was created as a non-profit in 2006 by Dr. Wolf (MD., MPH). Its mission states, “The mission of Friends for Health in Haiti, Inc. is to improve the health status of the people of Haiti through high-quality health care provided in a caring, compassionate and respectful manner, as a means of demonstrating God’s love in this world and as a reflection of our faith in Jesus Christ.”
Currently, the outpatient clinic construction project has officially started. The final construction designs and site plans include the outpatient clinic, maternity center and ancillary buildings. In April 2011, construction of the entry road onto the site began.
Dr. Wolf reports that “Our patients have been very excited to see construction begin, since it means that soon they will have a nice, new clinic in which to receive services. We thank you for your participation with us as together we take on the challenging task of improving health in Haiti.”
Haiti Work Group demonstrates power tools at FFH – Jan. 2012
Members of the Kingston Presbyterian Church have been privileged to join Dr. Wolf in Haiti 7 times in the past several years, most recently in January 2012 when 6 members of the congregation were joined by 8 members of the Hopewell and Nassau Presbyterian churches for a work camp sponsored by the Mission Committee of the New Brunswick Presbytery. See more information at www.FriendsForHealthinHaiti.org.
Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (CEDEPCA)
Karla Koll is one of the 200+ missionaries sent out by the PCUSA. She was commissioned as a mission worker in 1988. The Kingston Presbyterian Church has been supporting her mission for many years. She is currently serving at the Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (CEDEPCA) in Guatemala. CEDEPCA is a branch of the Latin American Biblical University (UBL) which is an inter-denominational institution that has been training Latin American Protestant leaders for over 80 years.
At CEDEPCA, Karla serves as dean for the Biblical and Theological Training program where she teaches classes on topics including how to study the Bible, liturgy and ethics. Karla also teaches university-level courses in the city of Quetzaltenango on topics covering history and theology. Karla has been able to visit our church occasionally and has roots in our area from her time at Princeton Seminary. She lives with her husband, Javier, in Quetzaltenango and has a daughter who is a college student in the US. For more information, visit www.cedepca.org.