Grace Episcopal Church

Bath, Maine

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Grace Episcopal Church of Bath, Maine partners with a Haitian organization in Ouanaminthe, Haiti called Univers Chretien d'Haiti , sending mission groups to work in a school of over 2000 students and bring in supplies and medical personnel to work with staff in the newly-completed three-story medical clinic.


Grace Episcopal Church

1100 Washington St., Bath, Maine 04530



              Grace Episcopal Church Helps Instution Univers in Ouanaminthe, Haiti

Information for this summary and the two photos from Haiti came from the website of Grace

Episcopal Church:

On March 21, 2009, a mission team from Grace Episcopal Church in Bath, Maine, went to

Ounaminthe, Haiti, to offer their support and services to do health screening at Institution

Univers - a locally run, ecumenical Christian school and clinic on the Haitian border with

the Dominican Republic. 

Insitution Univers was founded by Hughes Bastien, who began the school in a rented shop

front, and has built it until now it has its own first-rate facilities, 1700 students, and in 2009,

its first graduating class.

The team from Grace Episcopal Church was made up of their Rector, Michael Ambler, three

nurses, one physical therapist, a doctor, an agricultural expert, and three non-medical People

of Grace (including Michael's then-12 year old daughter, Liddy).

During the week that the Maine residents were in Ouanaminthe, their team provided health

screenings for nearly 400 students, most of whom had never had a health exam in their lives. 

They offered vision tests, ear-nose-and-throat exams, blood pressure and pulse oxygen checks,

hearing assessment, general skin checks, and consultation about illnesses or other health

problems.  Minor medical issues were treated on the spot, while more serious concerns were

referred to the Univers Medical Clinic, with its regular staff of Haitian doctors augmented for

the week by the doctor who was part of their group.   Their team funded any necessary lab work

and prescription medications.

The Maine team took ten suitcases' worth of medical supplies, as well as a huge assortment of

items to give to students.  Items ranged from Bibles in Creole, to tooth brushes, stickers, and

band-aids.  They were able to give each student a "goodie bag" after their screening appointment,

which they loved!

The Maine team stayed in the mission house, on the grounds of the school.  They decsribed the

mission house as simple but comfortable, with bunk rooms and a few individual bedrooms.  They

ate their meals in the nearby school gym/cafeteria.  They explained that Haitian food uses a lot of

beans and rice, and very little meat.  They described that it was “delicious, and so graciously

offered.” They also commented, “Given the overwhelming poverty of Haiti, we were surprised

and humbled by how generously we were accomodated.”

The concluding remarks from the Team included:  “It was a wonderful week for all.  Not only

were we able to serve these children, but we also had a chance to get a taste of the culture of Haiti. 

The friendships we formed, and the glimpses into the lives of people who live so fully on so little,

have stayed with us ever since our return. Their 2010 Mission Team is now forming, preparing, and fundraising.”


Grace Episcopal Church

Bath, Maine

Hope for Haiti hats

Elizabeth Compton of Bath (on left)  and Marti Torbeck of Brunswick volunteered in Haiti last winter.

Marti Torbeck spoke of the spirit and passion of the Haitian people as she has experienced it during her numerous trips to Haiti over the past 12 years. Marti is a board member of C.O.C.I.N.A (Coalition of Children in Need Association), a non profit agency subsidizing a Haitian school and clinic in Ouanaminthe, Haiti.  She lives in Brunswick, and is a home care physical therapist with VNA. She is planning her next trip with Grace Episcopal Church in 2011.

Marti Torbeck generously donated five Bibles that are written in Creole to Maine Friends of Haiti for the lending library that is being set up for educational and cultural exchange purposes.  Anyone wishing to borrow one of the copies is encouraged to contact Mary Doyle at Maine Friends of Haiti by email :