RVers think of the Mercedes Sprinter van as a great motorhome. Indeed, the resurgence of the RV industry and the boom in Class B sales can largely be traced to the popularity of Sprinter-based RVs, like those sold by Roadtrek and other RV makers.
But for the past several months in in the service bays of American RV in Grand Rapids, MI, a stripped down Sprinter van has been converted into something much more: A mobile medical suite to be sent to Haiti as part of a church mission project.
jonandhank“This is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever undertaken,” says Jon Sikkes, one of several American RV technicians who have spent over 200 hours on the project.
His partner, Hank Nuiver, says the van has had two examination rooms built for doctors, as well as sinks, and fresh and waste water tanks. A diesel generator will provide power in remote locations and help the rooftop air conditioner make it comfortable and cool to work in.
The project is spearheaded by Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Holland, which has been sending mission teams to Haiti since the great earthquake of 2010. The medical needs there are huge. In Haiti, there is one doctor for every 10,000 people and most people have no transportation. So, the church raised over $150,000 to purchase the van and American RV did the build-out.
“This was something we were delighted to do, using our talents to help people who desperately need medial care,” says Chad Neff, general manager of American RV. “To be a part of such a great undertaking is very humbling. We’re honored to be a part of this project.”
Calvary is partnering with STEP Seminary, located in Fort Mercredi, Haiti.Fort Mercredi has approximately 23,000 people and is a slum in the southwest area of Port-Au-Prince. The community is extremely poor and in desperate need of health care. There are two Haitian Doctors and two Haitian Nurses that will staff the clinic. The medical team is part of the Seminary’s Community Development that is done in this community. Besides the medical clinic there are literacy classes and micro loans that are given.
The work is now complete and the van will be shipped to Haiti by the end of April. The church is seeking support in equipping the van and providing all supplies and fuel for two years. Details can be found at http://calvarycrc.org/medical-van-haiti.