Thursday, September 21, 2017

Post-Election Update from Haiti

It has been an eventful past several weeks in Haiti.   We have faced many obstacles yet God has continued to prove that He is in control, bringing us through them all.

Pastor Dicksent’s heart surgery saved his life and a follow-up visit to his doctor last week showed that he is in good health and fully recovered.  The surgery has enabled him to continue to take care of the kids at Helping For Christ Victory Center (HFC).  The fact that he is there with our kids means they have a much better chance of survival.  He is using every breath he has to spread the Gospel and care for the kids.

We were able to get word to HFC and warn them about Hurricane Tomas and how to prepare for the storm. We had to do this because, while the hurricane was heading toward Haiti, Pastor Dicksent was in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic for his heart surgery.

After just a few days of recovery from his surgery on October 30, Pastor Dicksent traveled across the Dominican Republic border to make it back to HFC just as the hurricane hit. We had over four feet of water inside the compound and our children and staff had to retreat to the second floor and the roof to stay safe.  They also took in 50 people from the neighborhood that were getting washed away in a torrent of water and had them huddled on roof of the compound with the rest of our team.  Thankfully there were no injuries and very little damage to the Center.

Our 77 kids at HFC have been spared any deaths or sickness from the recent cholera outbreak, mainly due to the water filtration system at the Center.  We unfortunately lost two children who were staying at the Bethel Baptist Mission in Jimini in the Dominican Republic. We had to leave a number of children with the Bethel Baptist Mission when we moved from the camp to our current location due to limits on space and food supplies.  There are currently 80 kids that are at the Bethel Baptist Mission that were originally part of our school before the earthquake.

The elections were held on November 28 and predictably they did not go well which has resulted in much violence. The neighborhood where HFC is located has had ten murders and two kidnappings since the elections.  The supply lines for food and water have been cut off due to the violence.  We anticipated this would happen so we made plans to have about a week of extra food and water at the compound.

Now that it’s a little over a week since the election it appears that both World Vision and Food for the Poor will temporary discontinue operations until the security situation improves.  This puts us in a position to have to ration food so we won’t find ourselves in a position of running out and being unable to leave the Center to purchase our supplies.  We are very grateful to our staff at the Center for their willingness to donate their salaries this month to insure the continued supply of necessities during this critical time.  Although food is being carefully rationed, there is enough for everyone through the end of the month thanks to the generosity of our staff.  They also agreed to use the $5 per child we sent to purchase Christmas gifts for the same reason.

When we last communicated with Pastor Dicksent, he and his staff were staying inside the compound to remain safe.  They are without electricity; however, they have the solar generator which was donated by Solutions From Science just after the earthquake.  Without the solar generator, there would be no way of filtering water or communicating with them.  The solar generator continues to be a blessing in so many ways … the generator makes it possible to operate the water filtration system, computers, satellite (internet), and cell phones.  Although we’ve said it before, we continue to be extremely grateful for the generosity of Bill Heid and Solutions From Science!

Despite all that has happened over the past several weeks-Pastor Dicksent’s heart problems and surgery, the hurricane, cholera outbreak, the increased violence after the elections, and finally the breakdown of the supply chain of food-the people and children at the Helping For Christ Victory Center are exceedingly grateful for all they have been able to do as a result of your generous support of this ministry.

Below is an email from Pastor Dicksent (with only minor editing) expressing his sincere appreciation for each of you, your prayers and support you have shown him.

Please keep the safety of everyone at the Center in your prayers.

Thank you for all you do for our people in Haiti!

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