Operation Water Engineering: A Mission Trip to Haiti?

For several months now, shortly after I saw The Advent Conspiracy, I have wanted to be involved in humanitarian/missionary projects to bring clean water to places that don’t have it.

Last semester (Spring 2009), I was part of a group at Merge (Flatirons Community Church) that was looking for opportunities for college-aged people to be more active in mission work. It was at that point that I started developing more passion for using my engineering skills to serve other people, specially with regard to getting access clean water.

A specific idea I had was doing what I’ll call “emerging technology transfer.” The idea is that we would take some form technology and extract the emerging technologies out of it to be put to use in different ways. For example, technology in a Toyota Prius, could be used to design a wind turbine where the blades would be made using the same composite technology1, which would connect to a generator that is based on the regenerative braking system. The same motor-generator system would also be used to power the water pump. Excess energy would be stored for later use in NiMH batteries ius. And for the cloudy days, the efficient gas-engine could be used. There are other issues, such as: will they be able to maintain this equipment? So I digress.

Convergence, the Young Adult Ministry at University Presbyterian Church, is going on a mission trip to Haiti in January to “come alongside UPC ministry partners Bruce and Deb Robinson as they serve the Haitian people through various community development initiatives, mainly through flood control projects.”2

From upcconvergence.files.wordpress.com:

We will be doing a variety of work, ranging from irrigation projects, rebuilding structures damaged during hurricane season, and more. We will primarily work on construction projects. If you have specific professional skills, we will inquire to see if they might be useful to the community. In addition, you will get to see how God has been working through the Robinsons during their time in Haiti.

As it turns out, I do have specific skills that could probably be useful. I have a passion for the project, I can get the time off, and I can mostly afford the trip (if I decide to go, I may ask for some fund raising help). I’ve also never been to Haiti before, which would sort of tack on a bonus country to my Travel the World goal.

But there’s still that hint of reservation…is this what I should be doing?


  1. I actually don’t know if such technology is used on the Prius, just assuming here. 

  2. http://upcconvergence.wordpress.com/mission-trips/haiti/ 

6 Replies to “Operation Water Engineering: A Mission Trip to Haiti?”

  1. What do you mean, “is this what I should be doing?” This is one of those types of things that everybody knows they should be doing, but don’t because they don’t have the time or the inclination. Unless you’re selling crack in Haiti, I’m pretty sure this is what you should be doing there.

    1. …then there is the adage that ‘every need doesn’t constitute a call’. The word discernment seems to be
      surfacing in the various spheres I find myself in and it seems it may apply here as well.

    2. Well, I’m certainly a fan of discernment (Jesuit education did rub off on me somewhat). But I’m not so concerned about it in this case. I usually think of discernment in terms of long-term vocational calling rather than week-long mission trips. When faced with two or more good potential options, discernment is called for. When you’re deciding whether or not to spend a week doing something you’ve “wanted to be involved in” for “several months now”, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for me.

      Your point is well taken, that time is limited and we can’t just try to do everything that sounds good. But like I said, I’m not worried about it in this case.

  2. This sounds like a great opportunity to explore the desire to serve that has been on your mind for some time it seems. I won’t tell you to go, but I do think that many people don’t follow through with opportunities that the Lord sets in their path because they seem out of the way or hard. Just pray to know if this is an opportunity for you.

    1. Kelly, tagging onto the last thing you said – I have heard Dave Rohrer ask, “does it have your name on it?”. Sometimes things fall into place so well we assume we should go forward …without checking to see if it had our name on it.
      And to Jeff’s point,it’s something Andrew’s wanted so he’s gonna help put Andrew’s name on it!

  3. Andrew Ferguson. I read this post a few weeks ago but haven?t gotten a chance to comment until now. I think this is a FANTASTIC idea and I really hope you get to go! What a great way to use your talents/gifts/skills to help others and Haiti sounds like a great place to do it. So much need = so much opportunity for good! I?m really excited for you, and if you do send support letters?you know where to find me 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *