Beaverton Christian group returns from 10-day mission trip

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Members of the 2014 Beaverton Christian Church mission team spent Jan. 5 to 15 in Haiti where they distributed clothing, shoes and food to more than 1,500 children and their families.A group of women from Beaverton Christian Church recently returned from a 10-day mission trip to Haiti where they distributed clothing, shoes and food to more than 1,500 children and their families.

Under the leadership of Shari Swanson, director of Beaverton Christian’s women’s ministry, the local group included Diane Morris, Karen Kyle, JoEtta Martes and Jan Lefebvre. They joined female missionaries from across the United States at Lifeline Christian Mission’s compound in Grand Goave, a small village approximately 40 miles west of Port au Prince.

Swanson was on a short-term missionary trip to a Haitian children’s school in Grand Coave when the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake struck.

“The earthquake did significant damage to the country, and I saw collapsed buildings, roads that had buckled up, and countless people who were injured or killed,” she said. “I remember feeling so overwhelmed because our team did not have the skills needed to care for all the people.

“One has to remember that Haiti has been ravaged by tropical storms and hurricanes for years, so it was a pretty devastated area prior to the 2010 earthquake, and they’ve had many storms since that date. It seems as though the people are just bouncing back from one tragedy when another hits.”

When the Beaverton missionary group arrived in Port au Prince on Jan. 5, Swanson said they were met with great improvement in the country’s largest city. “Garbage was no longer as evident, and rubble was not as prevalent. I was so encouraged,” she added. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - A Haitian boy shows off his new pair of Nike shoes.

During their time in Haiti, the Beaverton women said they were constantly surprised by the warm, gracious nature of the Haitian people. This year they visited one of the villages in an outlying area that had not been visited by Lifeline in many years.

“As we arrived, the school children were waiting for us with flowers and a beautiful program followed by an amazing Haitian feast,” Swanson said.

“This year, thanks to Nike, the Beaverton community and the faithful members of Beaverton Christian Church, we were able to bring more shoes than ever before, which provided new shoes and socks for over 1,000 children,” Swanson added. In addition, five homes were constructed for very needy families, more than 1,200 sacks of All Because of Christ food were distributed — equaling 42,000 meals, 11 new children were sponsored, and 500 Bibles and 100 soccer balls were distributed.

“Giving out new shoes to the children was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done,” she said. “They come with either mismatched shoes, or shoes that are barely held together, and leave with beautiful new shoes.

“The look on their faces is priceless, and I was in tears several times at the joy I saw there.”

The Beaverton group also assisted with a Ladies Day for more than 500 women who came from as far as five hours away to participate. It included a day of singing, rejoicing, teaching and connecting with one another.

The women’s ministry spent months of preparation for this year’s trip by holding food, clothing and shoe drives throughout 2013.

Swanson will be taking another team to Haiti in January 2015.

You can help

Sewing in Love for His Kingdom meets at the church, 13600 S.W. Allen Blvd., once a month on a Saturday to make clothes for mothers and babies in Haiti.

The participants push fabric through sewing machines, pin patterns, cut fabrics and iron newly sewn shorts, skirts, dresses, bedding and baby quilts out of colorful cloth.

The next SILK program is scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If anyone has any questions or would like to become more involved in helping Haiti, contact Shari Swanson, Beaverton Christian's women’s ministry director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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