Thursday, April 17, 2014
From the director's corner
Hi from Hait.....Florida,
I currently am in Florida resting and preparing for some big months ahead. The past few months have been stressful on one hand, but very exciting on the other.
The construction of our new school is underway, as well as a wall around it. Thanks to all of you, from all over the United States, for your donations which made this wall possible, which makes the school possible.
For four years we have been using tents for some classrooms that are now nearly shredded. Nate, our school superintendent, has done a great job patching them together and finding spaces at our mission for 13 classrooms. We can't wait for the new school buildings.
Lighthouse Children's Home: Lauren Neal is doing a great job heading up our 9 kids and we are excited for what lies ahead.
Victory Bible Church, under the direction of our new pastor, Jean Robert, is growing in many different directions. Pastor Jean also is doing a great job with our assistant pastors.
I am also going through some changes at home. In the past year, four of my boys have moved on to college and work, and four more will be leaving, the Lord willing, in the next six months. An exciting time of transition for us.
I'm very proud of the young folks God has placed in my life and the adults they are becoming.
Reggie just moved to the Dominican a month ago to begin engineering school. He is a great young man, but was a challenge at times.
Today I received this email from Reggie, word for word, which greatly encouraged me:
"6 years ago I failed to understand how to obey. Poppy you always said Reggie you must obey and respect your parents, sometimes I said yes but I dont do it... poppy said if you can't obey me or respect me as someone you can see, how will you say you obey or respect God as someone you can't see,
this morning I know what it means to obey by reading Hebrews 13:17 obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves.
Cause God wants us to obey and show respect for all those in authority over us, We are to especially respect and honor those who are God's workers... thank you poppy for all that you had done for me, love you so much
Your son Reggie"
Train up a child in the way they should go........
Some prayer requests:
Thanks again, I hope you enjoyed a short update on what God is doing,
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Our Points of Light Keep Shining Bright
Hi from Haiti,
I trust for you northerners the snow is gone and spring is peaking in. It is spring here in Haiti, the awful 70 degree December/January weather is leaving and we are getting back to the 80s, the wonderful 90s are coming.
I know you haven't heard from me much lately, and that is NOT because I have been watching the soaps and sleeping. The past couple months have been a real challenge for myself and our American staff and Haitian staff. I could spend the next five pages letting you know all the frustrations, the fears, the discouragements, and there are many.
I won't. Instead let me share what God is doing, because "God so loved Haiti, He sent me, and you."
Our new full-time pastor, Pastor Jean, has been amazing. Since starting in January, he has organized the church, Sunday School, kids church, evangelism and every other part of the church. We have added Sunday night church and several different ministries during the week.
Additionally, last week Pastor Jean told the congregation they needed to build a wall around the inside of our church. Right now it has open sides, which presents lots of problems. Our pastor issued this challenge: "This is our church and we need to build it, not the Americans. So, who will donate a cement block, and who will help build the wall for our church?"
Isn't that cool? He gets it, and now the folks will begin to bring blocks and build the wall themselves, giving them ownership of their church. This past week he took a collection to buy materials to get started.
Please pray for Victory Bible Church, Pastor Jean, the pastoral staff and our congregation.
As you know, more exciting news is that contruction of our new school will begin THIS month. This week the security wall is starting to go up that will surround the new school and the rest of JiHM's property.
You remember our goal was $100,000 to build over 1,400 feet of wall. Well, after just a couple short weeks YOU have come through to the tune of over $75,000. Another anonymous donor is still matching donations. What a testimony to what God's wonderful people can do!
Not only is this money building into the future of our 260 students who will be part of changing Haiti in a positive way, it's also being invested in a Haitian wall-building company that provide jobs for Haitians.
Pray for this project to be complete and ready for our next school year.
Many exciting improvements have taken place at our Lighthouse, thanks to several wonderful visiting groups this winter. Painting, screening, new dressers for kids, fixed cupboards, doors, and much, much more. We also have our new house parents, Jony and Richna, doing a fabulous job with the kids.
The older boys (one girl) are down to 14. Reynaldo left last month and Reggie is leaving TODAY to college in the Dominican. It is very exciting to see these young men come into my life, to be able to pour into them for so many years, and then see them leave as men, ready to make their own mark.
Very exciting to see living proof of what God has done with this ministry and your help for 16 years. Programs and buildings are fun, but we are JESUS in Haiti because of people.The above are people who were given a second chance, people who gave their life to Christ, and are striving to follow God's call for their lives. That is exciting.
These are just a few of the hundreds of lives that this ministry touches, through God's grace. We will be making some changes to how we communicate our ministry over the next couple months and I hope you will see a more clear picture of what God is doing through our Lighthouse, church, school, and outreach, and missions teams.
After a couple very tough months, I went away for a couple days this past weekend. I just needed some peace and quiet and time to rest. My second night I received a text from my son Derson:
"Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let NOTHING move you, always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is NOT in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Have a good night, I love you poppy."
That was a real pick-me-upper and a great reminder of why we do what we do. God is blessing this ministry in a great way.
Keep shining your light in your little corner of the world, thanks for all you do for me, and this ministry.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Back Where He Started
|Hi from Haiti,|
Fifteen years ago, a 15-year-old boy came to my youth group. He had lost his parents when he was 12, both within a couple of months.
When I met him, he was living with three other orphaned boys. They had one small bed. Two would sleep one night in the bed and then switch for the next night.
For meals they would all walk different directions begging for food. Some days they ate, most they didn't.
This young man became friends with one my boys. He stayed a Friday night.
I noticed the next day after he left that he had left some clothes behind. The next weekend he stayed two days and left some more clothes.
He was a great son, and became one of my ministry staff. He had a couple tough years, left my home and our ministry, but God brought him back.
For the past couple years, he has been my ministry assistant. I'm very proud of this young man and the life he is living.
Last week, Jony, his wife, Richna, and their two kids moved to the lighthouse as the new directors and caregivers of our Lighthouse Children's Home.
How exciting is that? An orphan boy coming back to the same house he was raised, to be the papa of 9 children.
We are all excited. A new era has begun.
Please pray for Jony and Richna as they begin this new journey with JiHM.
On a side note, I'm thrilled to have gained two grandchildren, Sheika and Douglass, in our yard.
Last week, you received an email with very exciting news about the 15-classroom building coming soon for Grace Emmanuel School, and inviting you to give towards the security wallwe need to fund and construct.
The afternoon after we sent the email, we got a phone call from the organization building the school. They want to begin construction in early March.
This is a few months ahead of schedule, and makes it even more urgent to get that wall built. Currently we are 13% funded of the projected $100,000. There is also an anonymous donor matching the next $20,000 given to the wall, so your giving will be doubled.
Folks, we hope you'll get involved in this project. Let's get this wall built quickly.
$70 builds 1 foot of wall. $700 builds 10 feet of wall. $7000 builds 100 feet of wall.
For all the details and to give, go to www.jesusinhaiti.org/buildGES.
A wall might not seem that exciting, but in Haiti it's necessary and if you could feel the excitement at the school right now over the promise of this construction just around the corner, believe me, you would get excited about building this wall.
Thanks to those of you who gave right away. Can't wait to send the email saying we're 101% funded.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Exciting news for the future of Grace Emmanuel School
It is our distinct privilege to share exciting news with you about the future of Grace Emmanuel School and what this news means for our students. We also want to invite you to be part of building this future.
After a decade of growth beyond our school's physical capacity, at just the right time the Lord has made a way for the construction of a school building for Grace Emmanuel School.
An organization out of Cincinnati, OH, has graciously offered to provide up to $500,000 in capital projects for Jesus in Haiti Ministries over the next 3-5 years.
The first phase of this capital project will include a 15-classroom school building, slated for completion for the 2014-2015 school year.
This means next year our students won't be trying to learn under a hot tent, or with only a chalkboard separating their classroom from the next. They will be sitting at desks in well-constructed classrooms, surrounded by walls where their teachers can hang visual aids and mount chalkboards that won't be knocked over whenever the wind blows.
There is, however, one necessary part of this construction project that the grant does not cover.
Our partnering organization requires that JiHM fund and build a security wall around the land where the school will be built, and preferably before any construction begins.
Due to recent wall reconstruction on our property, we estimate the 1,433 feet of wall will cost JiHM just over $100,000 to construct.
But the good news continues - an anonymous donor has offered to match the next$20,000 in donations given towards the wall.
We'd like to invite you to be part of this great work by making a donation towards the wall today. A gift of $70 will build one foot of wall; $700 will build 10 feet; and $7,000 will build 100 feet. Because of the matching grant, if you give soon, your giving will be doubled.
How to Give:
We need to get this wall completed quickly, so that construction can proceed on schedule, and we don't have to put our students back in tents next year.
Not only will the wall enclose the school, but it will also enclose the rest of this capital project - eventually including 10 houses, two 10-pit latrines, a kitchen, an open-air eating facility, and a community center!
Will you join us in praising God for this incredible opportunity, giving to make this project a reality, and praying for the wall funds to come quickly?
God bless you!
(Specify Capital for your donation.)
"But you do see!
You do see troublemaking and grief,
and you do something about it!
The helpless leave it all to you.
You are the orphan's helper."
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Arrow Through the Heart
I realize only one month is in the books for 2014 but boy, does it seem longer than that.
I once saw on the news a story of a man shot through the heart with an arrow. As long as he didn't move he was okay. If the arrow would have come out, he would have died. I felt like that man the past couple weeks. Afraid to move with the arrow in my heart.
Life and ministry here is very stressful and very intense at times.
Three weeks ago one of our most trusted leaders and his wife left the ministry under not so good conditions.
This has left us without house parents for our 9 Lighthouse children. New missionary Lauren and I have tried to fill that void, but it is very tough to do.
The situation was very discouraging, and brought several sets of new problems. The stress of this and other situations kicked my arthritis up a notch and my left foot and left hand both were swollen. Getting around was tough.
This past Sunday I went to church a little discouraged. Then God does what He does so well: He gives you exactly what you need when you need it.
I walked to the back classrooms to peek in on a couple of Sunday school classes. I stood and watched my son Derson teach, and I saw and felt the hunger these young men had for God's Word.
I then watched the girls' class. A young lady was asking a question, and Pastor Duviert answered. More hunger for the Word.
I then went to the children's Sunday School hour, with over 100 kids hearing God's Word.
Then to the main sanctuary to get my seat, and it was about the last one left. Our church was packed, folks standing even in the back.
Part of this was due to one man.
I met a man named Joe when we did our ministry in the garbage dump before they closed the dump. Joe became a trusted friend and now travels the 10 miles by taptap every week to church.
Last Sunday I said to Joe, "Joe, if you can find a taptap to drive you to church, I will pay for the ride and you can bring some friends."
Well, Joe did just that. He brought 83 people in the truck he hired, the truck making two trips.
I then worshipped God with 600 people with an intensity that had to shake heaven.
At one point I had tears running down my face, realizing that my simple "yes" to God about coming to Haiti, produced what I was experiencing. The thrill of having a small part in the great works God is doing satisfies my soul in the deepest.
My discouragement started to fade, my joy began to return. I know that "for such a time as this," God placed me here and with every dying breath until He calls me home, I'll be Jesus in Haiti to these precious folks.
I've been called a plodder, which I think is a compliment. I just keep pushing forward no matter the difficulties, no matter the issues, problems or situations. We just keep preaching the gospel. Making disciples and loving these wonderful folks.
My dad used to say of them, "Not only do they step to the plate with 2 strikes on them, they don't even have a bat to swing at the pitches."
Through the wonderful love of God, we are giving them a bat.
Thank you for your part. May God turn to gold everything you touch for your help to this ministry.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
2014: Very Exciting Stuff
Friday, January 10, 2014
New Year, New Additions
Greetings and Happy New Year,
I know, you have not heard from me for a month and you thought I died. Well, no such luck, I'm alive and kicking. This past month has been a little slower as we take a break for Christmas and the New Years holiday.
Dickie: Most of you know about Deckenson, the 11-year-old boy I met when I moved here who I raised. Well, he had a child that was not planned, my grandson Dickie. Then Mom abandoned ship. Four-year-old Dickie was then shuttled between his dad, his grandma, and neighbors for a couple years. His dad works nighttime security for us, so when he's with his dad, he is by himself sleeping. You could tell he had a real feeling of abandonment, thinking nobody really wanted him.
Well, for the first time, his dad asked if I would keep him for a few days over Christmas, 3 to be exact. I thought sure, I can handle a 4-year-old for 3 days. Well 3 days turned into a week, turned into two weeks, turned into now a month, and seems like could turn into 15 years.
Dickie just loves it with me, is so happy, is safe and being loved by so many. Deckenson asked if he could stay with me, go to school and be part of our home. I did not want this to happen, a 15-year commitment at my age (103) seemed like too much. I prayed, sought counsel, and thought about it. My wise counsel and God made it very clear this little guy was supposed to be with me. What has happened in the past month has been nothing short of a miracle. He has given me energy and purpose like I thought I had lost.
My job here has turned into managing, administrating, fundraising, and overseeing. Having to care for this little guy has been very special, despite rolling over in bed on a toy, taking care of a wet bed, feeding, cleaning up spills and all the stuff that goes with a 4-year-old. I'm honored that God would choose me to take care of this precious little guy.
Side note: Dickie's dad Deckenson was in a pretty serious motorcycle accident this past week and was just released from the hospital today. Please pray for him.
Another new addition: I am very pleased to introduce Lauren Neal as our latest on the ground missionary. She has joined our staff and will be responsible for working with Anderson at the Lighthouse as we strive to improve living conditions and spiritual growth with our children.
More about Lauren in later letters...
Victory Bible Church: In mid-December I began to develop a relationship with a local pastor who, as an evangelist, had no church. I asked if he was interested in joining our team. He was. After several interviews, and preaching a couple times, and even a staff interview, I turned the church over to Pastor Jean Robert for a two-week interim basis. He led us through the Christmas services, New Year's Eve service and on January 2, I decided to make him our full-time, lead pastor.
Jean is 36 years old with a wife and two young children. The entire staff and church are so excited to have this pastor. He is a strong leader and a fiery pastor, as well as a person who genuinely loves people. Pray for Pastor Jean as he helps us continue the work God has called us to do.
Reunited: Was thrilled to have Haslom from the Dominican and Shadrach from college in Fort Wayne back for the Christmas holidays. Shadrach left Tuesday and is back in Fort Wayne, Haslom left today. I will miss them but am so proud of both of them and the men of God they are becoming. Reynaldo and Reggie will be leaving in two weeks to live in the Dominican, first to take Spanish classes, then in the summer to start college, business for Reynaldo and engineering for Reggie. Please pray that the funds will be available to get this done for these two young men. It will cost me about $2000 to get them moved and settled and then about $260 a month to support them there. If you are able to help with any of this, please, please contact me, we gotta get this done.
In the past people have actually stopped supporting us if they don't hear from us, when in reality it usually means we are busy. Even with a holiday break we have church and most activities, and 25 young-uns in our home, as well as all the other survival type things we have to do to live here. Thanks for understanding the lack of an email. Please email me and tell me how your holidays were and what the new year has brought. I love email and do try to answer them all.
Thanks for your support for a very good 2013. Sometime in the next couple weeks I will share what is on tap for JiHM for 2014. We are very excited. Since beginning ministry here, my job has been to replace myself. Didn't think it would take 16 years, but in our 4 areas of ministry--Grace Emmanuel School, Victory Bible Church, the Lighthouse, and Outreach--we have a very strong leader for each one. Please continue to send your prayers up, your emails down, and your checks to Fort Wayne, Indiana. We really are making a difference.
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