Haiti Experience by G. Meister

Our classmate Gregg Meister has added pictures, videos, and a commentary of his time in Haiti as a producer-videographer.  I contacted Gregg and asked his permission to drive classmates to his profile, and he agreed.  When going to the NSHS1963 webpage, click on the profile tab at the top of page and select Gregg Meister.  I encourage you not only to view his videos, pictures, but also his webpage. He captured the reality of life in Haiti and how compassionate professionals are committed to improving lives of the Haiti people.  Below is Gregg’s summary that will introduce you to his world. 


BY Gregg Meister 

Including the guard with his weapon securely on his lap there were six of us in the back of the pick-up truck. Our luggage obscured us from seeing each other, which would have been nearly impossible anyway on that moonless night on a barely passable road with no electricity within miles. Nor was there any other traffic. I thought there were no inhabitants near-by either until, as our truck crawled over a muddy pit in the road, a young man tried to leap onto the back of our vehicle, only to be pushed harshly aside by the guard.

"What is an Indiana boy doing 30-miles outside Port-au-Prince in the dead of night with a group of total strangers?" I distinctly recall asking myself. Just hours earlier, and shortly after the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, I had landed at a decrepit airport with my video camera gear. My assignment, through the Foundation For Peace, was to produce a videotape encouraging other Americans, specifically Christians, to volunteer both time and money to assist in rebuilding Haiti.

Since our 25th North Side High School reunion my service to Christ has primarily occurred through the production company I started after a marvelous 11-year parish ministry in San Francisco. That's not as entirely odd as it may first appear, as I earned a Master's in Radio and Television Production from San Francisco State prior to becoming a parish minister. To transition into fulltime production work seemed a natural segue. The Lord appears to have blessed this style of ministry. In any event its certainly been engaging as I've been able to produce Christian programs in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and Israel. That's involved a fair amount of script writing. This would shock Miss Greenwalt, who struggled mightily to get me to distinguish between an adjective and an adverb. Actually, she just gave up.

My wife of 41 years, who studied at the Sorbonne for a year, while seldom traveling with me for the productions – the exception being Israel – is fluent in French and loves to travel. So we've frequently visited Paris, enjoying our times with Steve and Marie-Eve Pence, and dozens of other countries. Last year we spent three months walking around Europe, again seeing Steve. I remind him that I consistently beat him in tennis. Oddly, he has a slightly different memory of those times.”

The most fulfilling part of my life has been also in a sense the most "mysterious," namely my daughter Miriam. A few years ago she earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Texas, Austin. I could not comprehend the title of her dissertation (I didn't understand my wife's Ph.D. dissertation either, perhaps confirming both Miss Greenwalt's and Miss Bowen's assessment of my capabilities).

What was this Indiana boy doing in Haiti, or living in San Francisco, or visiting countries I barely even knew existed? I have often wondered that, and have no complete answer. I believe that in large measure, however, it's because of the values I absorbed in Fort Wayne, and the importance of education impressed upon me by me high school teachers. Seeking to live under the umbrella of God's Providence has proven most fulfilling.”

Greg has also published a book titled The Psalms: The Prayer Book of Jesus.  It can be purchased on Amazon for $13.09 in paperback; $2.99 in Kindle format.