Sails from NY to Haiti

Below is the story how Deborah and John Rapp got from Buffalo, NY to southern Haiti with used sails for fisherman on the small island of Ile a Vache.

We saw the needs in Haiti and decided to collect school supplies from upstate NY and then sail the Sister Flora’s orphanage on Ile a Vache. In April 2016 we drove to Mobile, AL where our boat was with all the donations. From there we headed to Haiti.

We met Bill Montgomery at the Just Mercy Missionary site on one of our first ventures over to the island.  His warm welcome and kindness were of great help to us in managing our own needs at our anchorage, just in front of his island home.  Bill introduced us to his missionary work helping the families, the fishermen, and those who were ill. The fishermen sailed in and out of the harbor daily, past our boat, to fish for food for their families and to sell at market.  Some of the sails were worn and in need of repair and it was then that we realized how we could help.  The 'Sail' Project started immediately. We facebooked all of our friends from the sailing community in Buffalo, NY and within days we had plenty of used sails.  Knowing that many donations to third world countries never get directly to those in need,  Bill advised us to contact Missionary Flights, to assure delivery of the sails to him.  

Bill Montgomery, John Rapp, and some local fisherman.

Bill Montgomery, John Rapp, and some local fisherman.

In April 2017, we took our truck loaded with used sails from NY. We had some car troubles but eventually arrived in time to make the scheduled departure to Haiti. MFI staff were accommodating and reassuring and we knew the sails were finally and safely in the right hands.

John and I are grateful for this gift of service and hope to continue the Sail Project in the future with even more contributions of sails. We hope to sail again to Haiti sometime in the future and reignite the friendships that we made with the people on Ile A Vache. Thank you to Just Mercy and Missionary Flights for your efforts and kindness in "Standing in the Gap". God bless you always.