People…everything we do essentially boils down to people. During my first few months living in Haiti, I found myself alone in a truck with a man who’d spent more years in ministry and missions than I’d been alive. I was bright eyed and naive. He was wise and gracious, as he listened to me dream about the plan and program shifts that would boost the impact of COTP. I’ll never forget his response, “All those plans are great, but missions and ministry always boils down to one-to-one. Jesus moving through one person, impacting another one’s life in a shared space. All these plans are about setting up those spaces, those Jesus interactions.”

For my 15 years at COTP, these words have continually rung true. I give thanks for the people God has brought to COTP and for the ways God has moved through one-to-one interactions to transform lives and communities. But people are hard. People are living, and therefore they are changing. Just as we rejoice when God brings someone into our lives, we lament when people transition out of our lives. People transitions are hard even in the best of circumstances. They are hard when complex factors lead to necessary endings. We want to share about a few of the people transitions we’ve faced recently:

National Staff leaving on Visas and Humanitarian Parole:  Many of you have asked about the recent visa programs allowing many Haitians to legally depart to the US and other Nations. A recent report states that 138,000 Haitians have moved to the US through the Humanitarian Parole program in the past year (the Biden Program as some call it). Several other programs have allowed thousands more to depart. Nearly all organizations in our area have lost staff to these programs, and COTP is no exception. In the past year, we’ve lost 6 staff members to these visa programs. There are a lot of strong feelings out there about programs like this one. Our feelings about it are complex. It hurts to lose these people. We’ve lost key leaders and people we’ve relied on for many years. We also mourn Haiti’s temporary loss of these leaders. However, we also understand the opportunity and the reality of Haiti at the moment. For each person, this program could be transformational in shaping the future of their family. Since we believe in each of them, we believe they will continue to be powerful agents of change wherever they go. Bondye Konnen.

Haiti Staff Retirement:  Retirement is a luxury of 1st world countries. In places like Haiti, most people do not retire by choice. They work as long as their bodies can endure the work. COTP has had the honor of having incredible longevity from many of our National staff. Some staff have been with us for nearly 25 years! However, with this also comes the reality that age and health decline come into play at some point. We do our best to support staff and make accommodations with staff to extend their employment with COTP. However, we also have to balance this with our standard of care and service, and our ability to achieve our mission. This means retirement for some employees when they can no longer meet the requirements of their role. It is always hard, and typically not their choice. When retirement occurs, we do our best to honor these staff through a celebration and to support them with a financial gift as they depart. We also work to stay in touch and provide on-going support as we are able.

There are a variety of other reasons for these people departures; including terms ending and budget related decisions. Ultimately, we trust God to lead and love us no matter where we go. Here is a list of people who have transitioned from COTP in the past year for one of the reasons above. 

  • Leaders:  Rikerns Jean Louis (Logistics), Joel Estavien (Marketing), Christian Jean (Maintenance), Pascal Nery Jean Charles (Program Consulting)
  • Nannies:  Bouta, Dacoun, Zazou, Evania
  • Haiti staff:  Roudy Lindor, Ivinge Francois, Arsene Mesidor
  • Board members:  Renee Hildahl and Daryl Huinink
  • US Staff:  Robin Knight

Please join us in celebrating their time and impact through COTP, and pray for God to lead and protect each of them into their next endeavor!