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Rotary Club 2011 Vocational Service Award

Observed each October, Rotary Club members nominate non-Rotarian, distinguished members of the community that exemplify service above self through their careers, and who meet the 4-Way Test in their professions, upholding high ethical standards. Clubs then select at least one candidate from the pool of nominees to receive the prestigious Rotary Vocational Service Award.

Pastor Des Starr, Superintendent for Calvary Murrieta Christian Schools and Assistant Pastor of Calvary Murrieta, was chosen to receive the 2011 Vocational Service Award from the Rotary Club of Temecula for the work he has done in Haiti.

Pictured from left to right:  Karen Schneider, Pastor Des Starr, Jan Starr, and Debbie Herrera, President of Rotary Club of Temecula

This last year, Pastor Des traveled numerous times to Haiti on behalf of the Haiti Endowment Fund. HEF is an organization whose mission is to raise up and train local Haitian Pastors and assist them in planting churches in remote villages. HEF uses the village churches to launch projects which include:  building schools, creating feeding programs, meeting the medical needs of the people in the villages, providing clean drinking water by drilling wells, building hydroponics to raise tilapia and various agriculture projects.

In June 2011, Pastor Des and a team of 13 Administrators and Teachers from various schools in Murrieta and Temecula headed up the 2nd Annual Teachers training in Haiti. The Annual Teachers training takes a whole year of preparation. The team obtains the education curriculum the Haitians presently use, they have it translated from French into English, they expand the various subjects, translate it back into French so it can be taught to the Haitian teachers, then hold a conference to show them how to teach subjects that have been expanded. Most Haitian teachers only have an 8th grade education at best, so this is a big project. During the 3-day conference, 120 Haitian teachers from surrounding bush schools received training in Bible, Science, Geography, Health and ESL. Each Haitian teacher received a French Bible, a conference book and a bag of needed materials to teach the expanded lessons to their students.

In the fall of 2010, Pastor Des took a team of high school students and parents to Haiti to hand out 3000 backpacks, lots of soccer balls, and a generous amount of school supplies to the Haitian school kids. In June 2011, Pastor Des took a team of 20 high school students and parents to Haiti. They hosted 6 Kids Clubs in the bush schools of Hinche, Laby, Raven Cave, Papaye and the HEF compound. They also visited 2 orphanages and toured the U.N. Base.

In April 2011, Pastor Des traveled to Haiti with a medical team of doctors, nurses, and dentists. They hosted medical clinics on the HEF compound, in remote villages, and in the prison of Hinche. Pastor Des assisted in assessing the needs of the people desiring to see the doctors, and handed out de-worming pills to every person in line to see a doctor or dentist.

Finally, this past year Pastor Des met twice with the United Nations World Food Program to help establish a feeding program for 4000 kids sponsored by HEF. To date, the food program provides one cooked meal at lunchtime everyday to 4000 students and each student takes home 3 uncooked portions to their families. With the help of the UN World Food Program, HEF provides 16,000 meals a day to the students!

Thank you, Pastor Des, for “exemplifying service above self” through your career and upholding high ethical standards. You are a great example to our students, staff and parents at Calvary Murrieta!

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