June 15, 2020 / Source: Amber Grim
While a worldwide virus may have surprised many of us, God was already at work. Never has that been more evident than through SonLight Power’s solar installation at Back2Back Ministries in Haiti.
In early 2019, SonLight Power partnered with Back2Back to install a 43-kilowatt solar microgrid at their 6-acre campus outside of Port-au-Prince. The campus includes multiple buildings to accommodate mission teams, staff, outreach programs and more. It is the hub from which Back2Back provides critical care and support for vulnerable children and their caregivers in Haiti.
Prior to the SonLight Power solar installation, Back2Back relied on inconsistent electricity provided by the government-run utility company.
“City power is unreliable,” explains Matt Ellis, Back2Back Haiti Site Director. “Previously, we could receive power anywhere from 5 minutes a day to 8 hours. Maybe it came every day, maybe every other day. It was difficult to plan on anything.”
Due to the power inconsistencies from the electric grid, Back2Back Haiti relied heavily on generators to fill the gap. While the generators provided essential power, they were loud, expensive to fuel, and broke down continuously. Fuel shortages became a constant stress on the mission.
“Early in 2019, Haiti went through a political gas riot,” explains Brent Fudge, long-time Back2Back Haiti staff leader. “We stocked up on what fuel we could and lasted for a month.”
But all of that changed when SonLight Power equipped the Back2Back Haiti campus with a solar microgrid. Now the campus runs almost exclusively on solar power – saving on fuel, maintenance costs, repairs and time.
“Our gratitude for the solar provisions SonLight Power installed is incredible,” says Brent.
With the extra cost savings, Back2Back Ministries was able to hire additional staff in Haiti to help shoulder their immense load where it counts most—serving children.
“The solar power has been an unbelievable blessing to us,” adds Matt.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Haiti closed its borders and went on lockdown forcing Back2Back to work remotely. But the blessing of solar power made the switch to remote work easier, attainable and less stressful.
“During this pandemic, solar electricity allows us to continue functioning,” says Matt, reflecting on how the microgrid installed by SonLight Power proved crucial to daily operations at Back2Back Haiti. “We have electricity and the internet; we don’t need to worry about fuel.”
Looking ahead, Matt sees Back2Back leveraging the resiliency provided by solar power to invest in educating adults and children living in Canaan – the sprawling hillside visible across the road where an estimated 300,000 people still reside who were displaced from their homes in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.
“God has good things for us as we enter times of crisis like this,” Brent adds, recognizing how the struggles we all face stretch us to be more like Jesus. “Our families can grow closer. God can highlight areas of our life He wants to eliminate that were not easily seen with the routines we created. Resilience is an outcome of pressing on through these times.”
Find out how your church or mission could become more resilient through solar power – visit the Equip Your Mission page or email us at Info@SonLightPower.org
For more information: Back2Back Ministries Powered by SonLight in Haiti