Make It Rain grew out of Souderton Mennonite Church‘s young adult ministry. Julie & Austin Landes, youth group advisors, found one of the best ways to engage young adults was to build community while serving the needs of people locally and globally. Individuals from Souderton Mennonite Church and numerous others have participated in Make It Rain service projects.
With the help of Franconia Mennonite Conference’s Missional Operations Grant, Make It Rain was able to successfully accomplish thier fourth and largest trip to Haiti with 25 volunteers spending two weeks in-country. This trip was a Make It Rain-initiated collaboration with Water For Life and CitiHope International with big plans to impact a school and multiple communities. The “rain made” was a downpour!
- Medicine was needed for mobile medical clinics spear-headed by Water For Life was spear-heading. Make It Rain initiated a partnership between Water For Life and CitiHope International, a non-profit dedicated to medical distribution. CitiHope was able to procure and fly in over $3 million dollars’ worth of medicines and volunteers on this trip, including a pharmacist, were able to assist in the preparation and ground work of one of these mobile medical clinics in Roche-a-Bateau.
- The team returned to Water For Life’s “Help From Above School” in Passe Bois d’Orme where they had built classroom desks last year. This year they built several large cabinets from scratch to add to the classrooms. They also were able to unload the large playground set, donated by Ridgeline Community Church in Souderton, they had packed and shipped in the month leading up to the trip. It was an incredible sight to see the little ones move, explore, and get their energy out as they played on a jungle gym even kids in America would love the opportunity to go crazy on!
- Over 400 toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes were handed out to the children during a dental hygiene education class also at “Help From Above School” in Passe Bois d’Orme.
- A majority of the health problems in Haiti are caused by the lack of clean water and malnutrition. Less than half of the Haitian population has access to clean water,
according to a 2004 study by the Pan American Health Organization. After months of stateside preparation, Make It Rain’s skilled volunteers were able to put their trades to use installing a solar well pump in the woods in Cotes-de-Fer. This particular well was strategically placed at a higher elevation to not only provide clean drinking water, but also irrigation for the local farmers; combatting two of the most prominent issues inhibiting good health. In addition to the local community, approximately 30 farmers will greatly benefit from this water source.
- The Make It Rain skilled volunteers were also put to work at Water For Life’s campus in Les Cayes on various projects such as local road grading, security lighting, carpentry, siding, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, even a hand welded railing for the guest house staircase. This was a huge blessing for Water For Life’s staff as they are constantly meeting the needs of others and putting their own needs second.
“We were honored to have Franconia Mennonite Conference’s support this year for our recent community projects in Haiti. Make It Rain was able to once again bless many individuals in various Haitian communities by matching people’s gifting with the great needs in-country.” – Austin Landes, Founder/President
“The most impactful moment of the trip for me was flipping the switch to the freshly installed solar well pump. It was a beautiful site as 30 Haitians gathered around to see it instantly start pumping out 12 gallons of water a minute to revolutionize the way the community lived, all thanks to free energy from the sun!” – Eric Sirianni, Project Manager
“Over nine churches were represented in our group – it was such a blessing to work alongside a broad community of believers.” – Julie Landes, Co-Founder