In February of 2018 La Nación, one of the main national newspapers of Costa Rica, interviewed Costarican Erika Chaves who has served as a missionary in Haiti, along with her husband David, since May of 2016. The purpose of the survey was to highlight not only the work Erika Chavez is doing in the Caribbean country, but to highlight the diversity of the people and culture – while also addressing some common stereotypes.
Erika is an industrial engineer and works as a missionary and administrates programs for the country through Compassionate Ministries for the Church of the Nazarene. In addition to her previous studies, she completed her work on the Ordination track program (ETED) in 2015, and is currently enrolled in courses for the online Master in Church Development degree through SENDAS.
Explaining her work, Erika says: In Haiti we have different programs, like the clean water project, microfinancing to help with economic development, child sponsorship offering scholarships to schools, to better the practices in agriculture, and to respond to emergencies when required. These projects are financed through donations and help from the Church of the Nazarene and functions much like a humanitarian aid organization.”
Before God called her to Haiti, Erika had worked as a missionary in the Dominican Republic. Her training in engineering made her move to Haiti possible. After having lived there for almost two years now, she says, “Haiti is unique. It has a beauty highlighted especially in the color of its culture, from its “tap taps” (mode of transportation similar to buses), to the clothes full of bright and vibrant colors – of both men and women. Additionally in its music, which is part of the culture, there is always music that someone is listening to, el konpa dirék is the most famous music originating from here.”
At SENDAS, we are proud of students like Erika, who are cooperating with the Holy Spirit in changing families forever and transforming their communities with the message of hope.
Erika discusses the blessings and challenges of living and working in Haiti. You can read the article (in Spanish) here:
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