Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Overcoming Obstacles In Haiti

Haiti experienced an action-packed year in 2010.   We had numerous obstacles placed in front of us yet God continually established that He is in control and has brought us through them all.

During 2010, our children and team in Haiti have witnessed earthquakes, hurricanes, cholera, a major life threatening medical emergency for Pastor Dicksent, a failed election, civil unrest, a breakdown in security, and a disruption in their feeding programs.  Just this month, when we thought we had seen it all, Baby Doc (Jean-Claude Duvalier who was the President of Haiti from 1971 until his overthrow by popular uprising in 1986) showed back up on scene in Haiti. This has caused a bad situation to quickly grow worse.

From a secular point of view, the events of this past year would have you believe the situation with our group of people in Haiti is hopeless.  However, we rejoice in the fact that the gospel of Christ brings hope. We have seen our Haitian team bring the gospel to a population that is in a desperate situation..  Gradually, as the Truth and Light of Christ enters their lives, a transformation begins as their hearts are changed – their spiritual life affects their physical life, and the evidence of God’s presence leads to hopefulness with anticipation for better things to come. Christ does it through them; it is not forced on them from outsiders from the United States.  This is why we feel it so important to empower Christian leaders in Haiti to minister to their own people … they know the culture and the challenges each one faces, something we only know as a distant observer.

Through the gifts of many donors the lives of 300 people were saved; our destroyed school was relocated and has now been converted into a center that serves as an orphanage, school, church, community center, and medical clinic.  It is because of the hand of God working through your generous support that we have all made it through this past harrowing year.

Just before Christmas we received word that Helping for Christ Victory Center was awarded a “Certificate of Excellence” from the Haitian Department of Social Affairs for having one of the best orphanages in the Port Au Prince area and for the life saving actions of Pastor Dicksent and his team during the earthquake.  They were also recognized for their actions during the hurricane, allowing 50 people to take refuge at the Center, saving them from drowning.  Furthermore, they were showcased for using their Center to filter water and give medical attention to the people in the local neighborhood preventing many in their immediate area from succumbing to the cholera outbreak.  This all was done without any government program or assistance from the United Nations.

Thanks to the staff and children at the Genesee Country Christian School, our children were able to enjoy some small Christmas gifts. For many of them, this was the first time in their lives they had ever received a Christmas gift.  The children at Helping for Christ Victory Center sang a song for us on Christmas day.  Click here to see video.

After the first of the year, Madeleine (age 16), one of our children who was badly injured during the earthquake, started to experience severe headaches and had to be taken to a clinic in the Dominican Republic.   We are so thankful for the reports we have received indicating she is responding positively to the therapy they are giving her and is improving each day.

We recently purchased two goats that the children have named Popeye and Olive; we also now have chickens that are producing eggs.  Because of the unrest in Haiti, World Vision and Food for the Poor have temporarily discontinued their food distribution programs in the area where the Center is located.  We are incredibly grateful for some very timely unexpected donations; because of them we have been able to feed all our children without the benefit of these programs.  However, it is vital to the success of our long-term operations to have World Vision and Food For the Poor continue their food distribution program as the cost of food alone for the children and their caretakers is $3,000 a month, about $1 per day per person. This does not include any other expenses such as water, electricity, supplies, and other monthly costs.

On January 12th our children and staff took part in a full day of remembrance for the anniversary of the earthquake..  On that same day I was interviewed by two local TV stations, WROC and YNN.

Since our last update Jan Ross (President of Heart of God International Ministries) and I also had the pleasure to meet in person with Bill Heid, the President of Solutions for Science, as well as his amazing staff.   While we were there, Mr. Heid and Brian Brawdy interviewed us on Off the Grid News.

We are looking to move the location of our Center this upcoming year.  We realize this may not be possible, but it is one of our primary goals to find a safer location with land in the countryside.   If we are able to find the right location under the right conditions, it will be a major endeavor.  We will keep you posted as we work toward achieving this important goal.

Lastly, according to current news reports, February 7th is going to be an important day for Haiti when the term of President Rene Preval, the current President of Haiti, is supposed to end.  It is unclear if he is going to leave and this could cause a significant flash point. Although we are hoping the potential problems do not materialize, please pray as our team readies the children and staff to live in an environment of increased unrest locally and throughout an already unstable country.

In response to several requests, I have attached the video our team made upon our return from Haiti in April 2010.

I have also attached a link to recent video that was made for Heart of God International Ministries; I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you again for your faithful and prayerful support over the past year.

Click Here

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