Friday, June 13, 2014

 

UPDATE: Help Move the Lighthouse

The Lighthouse moves tomorrow!
 
Thank you for your quick and generous giving to set the Lighthouse move into motion! Yesterday we were able to purchase a refrigerator, oven and water cooler for the kitchen with funds that came in. A group from Indiana and Ohio has been cleaning and painting this week to prepare for Saturday's move.
 
To continue to make the Lighthouse a home, we are still looking for donors to give towards these remaining needs: 
  • Paint
  • 8 twin mattresses
  • Washing machine
  • Fix electric wiring
  • 4 dressers
  • Living room furniture
  • New battery for generator
Due to the high cost of furniture in Haiti, we estimate we need about $5900 more for the rest of the set-up costs in the new home. Please consider giving toward these needs today.
 
Again, this transition will have lasting benefits on the Lighthouse kids and their caregivers. It will allow them more personal space, it will create a more structured and intentional family unit, and it will provide them with a new sense of permanency. 

To give towards the Lighthouse move, you can give online using our online giving form(designate the funds towards The Lighthouse) OR you can mail a check written to Jesus in Haiti Ministries, with a separate note to put the funds towards The Lighthouse, to:

Jesus in Haiti Ministries
c/o Hartley Tax and Accounting
6066 E State Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46815

If you have any questions about the Lighthouse move, please contact Lauren Neal at laurenlouisan@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

 

A Place To Call Home: Help Move the Lighthouse

 
We are thrilled to announce the Lighthouse Children's Home is moving to a new location, the home where we previously housed guests. 
 
Jony, Richena and their son Douglass
After prayerful consideration, this move seems to be the best opportunity for both the nine Lighthouse children, as well as the older boys, altogether thirty people currently living on .5 acres. The nine kids are now in two bedrooms, the six boys in one and the three girls in the other. They are growing quickly and need more space. Jony and Richena Louis, the caregivers of the Lighthouse kids, will also be moving with their two kids to the new location. They are excited about the possibilities this new home will provide.  
  
In order to make this move possible, we need your help. The estimated start-up cost to move by our goal date of June 14 is $10,000. This start-up cost includes fixing the electrical wiring that was vandalized during the time the property sat vacant, a new refrigerator, mattresses, fans, a water dispenser, furniture, kitchen supplies and more. We are hopeful these needs can be met by next Saturday, and we are asking you to prayerfully consider being a part of this exciting opportunity. 
 
Last week Lauren Neal, director of the Lighthouse Children's Home, walked through the old guest house with the kids and Jony and Richena. Her reflections on the walk-through give a glimpse of the excitement this move is bringing to the Lighthouse kids:
 
We walk through the front door of the house and the kids scatter, laughter lingering in the empty rooms, a thick layer of dust covering the concrete floors. Lovely grabs my hand and leads me to a room to the right of the entry where Richena is articulately examining her family's future bedroom. She swings her head around to face us and gives me a look of approval, a look that says, this is home. 
 
I walk toward the stairs, still with Lovely by my side, but she bolts up the steps toward the sound of the giggles above us. I reach the top and Adriano averts my attention to the left, as he excitedly tells me this is where he will sleep. They run back and forth, peeking into the doors of the empty bedrooms, imagining the space they can soon call their own. Anne Marie shouts my name and I follow her voice across the hall. I find her looking out the window and she tells me this room will be painted pink for the girls. I find Jony, Richena's husband, sitting in a rocking chair on the veranda and I join him. The kids are talking a mile a minute, their voices full of excitement and enthusiasm. And in this moment, joy fills the air. 

Jovens
We walk out of the gate, anxious for the day we will soon call this place home. I take Jovens' hand in mine as we begin to make our way back down the road. I glance down at him and his expression exudes life. "Lauren," he says, "that is a really beautiful house. I cannot wait." He leaps a little off the ground with exclamation as he enunciates every word. Here is a boy who cannot even see the rooms of this home, who cannot see the colors on the wall, who cannot see the view from the veranda, yet senses the beauty of finding joy with his family in the simplicity of moving. 
 
As we walk home hand in hand, I can't help but smile, thanking Jesus for this precious boy and for his future.
  
This transition will have lasting benefits on the Lighthouse kids and their caregivers. It will allow them more personal space, it will create a more structured and intentional family unit, and it will provide them with a new sense of permanency. 

To give towards the Lighthouse move, you can give online using our online giving form(designate the funds towards The Lighthouse) OR you can mail a check written to Jesus in Haiti Ministries, with a separate note to put the funds towards The Lighthouse, to:

Jesus in Haiti Ministries
c/o Hartley Tax and Accounting
6066 E State Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46815

Thank you for already investing into this ministry both prayerfully and financially. We hope you come alongside of us again in this next step toward a brighter future. If you have any questions about the Lighthouse move, please contact Lauren Neal atlaurenlouisan@gmail.com.

Friday, May 23, 2014

 

May Update



Hi,
   
The past 6 weeks has been: different, busy, discouraging, uplifting.........and about 10 other adjectives. The first of April I went to the states for a short R&R and some fundraising/meetings. The first two weeks was spent with my daughter and grandkids, having fun. Problem was I had been through such a stressful few months in Haiti, and when I got to their house, I kind of collapsed in bed and was sick the entire time. It was still good to see the kids and do a few things but I was mostly just trying to get better. 
 
Then I flew to Fort Wayne (and were my arms ever tired) where I spent a final week at the dentist, doing some fundraising, and meeting with several board members plotting strategy. I felt very good and it was a great week.
     
Then back to Haiti. When I pulled in my yard, the generator was running, and literally broke five minutes after I was home. For the past 24 days we have had no real source of power. With no power, you can't pump water which means no showers, no flushing toilets, no washing clothes, etc....With no power you have no fans which means you have lots of mosquitoes. Food not properly refrigerated, no way to charge phones, iPads, etc... and much more.
     
We have city power a couple hours every couple days. It has been a struggle to just survive but we have. Also we have a Kia truck overheating and boss after boss tries but can't fix it.
    
Needless to say it's been a "fun" 6 weeks. The good news is, ministry continues. Pictured here are progress on our new school and wall that is going up so fast. We are so excited that part of the new school will be ready for the fall session. 
 
The administration building
2 blocks of 3 classrooms
 
 
 
We have more exciting news. Many of you who visited remember the "old" guest house we used. It is huge and beautiful. When we partnered with Back2Back Ministries, we rented a new guest house and we share that, along with the expenses. They get to use it two weeks a month and we use it two weeks a month for groups.
      
We have decided to re-rent the old guest house and we will move our 9 Lighthouse kids into that so they can have their own space, and the older 14 I have can have their own space. After much thought and prayer, this made the most sense. We will still be one family, eating some meals together, and much more, but this made better sense for the care of all 23 of the young people in our care.
       
We will be sending out separate information soon as we will have to raise some funds to make this happen. Please see how you can help in this new exciting move which will benefit all. 
 
 
       
Our church, as the foundation of our ministry, is going strong. Our new lead pastor, Pastor Jean, is doing great and leading in a very Godly way. His goal matches ours: preach the Gospel and make disciples. Attendance is not as high as once was but disciples are being made and that is what makes a difference.
    
On the home front, my son Derson, who is one of our pastors, had a radiator explode on him last Saturday and received 3rd degree burns over much of his chest and shoulder. Praise God it missed his face. He has been to the hospital several times getting it treated and bandaged up. He is very sore and has missed church and school this week, the first time for both. The amazing thing is he has handled it all with a smile and NO complaining. Pray for complete healing please.
      
I have much more to share but will stop here. I am committed to get more frequent emails going again and so expect emails updating you on our church, school, home life, groups, outreach and so much more. Lives being changed is why we are here. Thank you so much for your prayers, your financial support and your friendship. God is working here and I am thrilled to be a small part of it. Electtricity or no electricity, lol
     
Never forget, keep being Jesus in your neck of the woods, your folks need Jesus just the same as ours, tominhaiti 
  

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.

foundation of the wall
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
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:
  • School project finished by fall
  • Continued spiritual growth at Victory Bible Church 
  • Staff unity
  • Monthly funding

Thanks again, I hope you enjoyed a short update on what God is doing, 
tominhaiti 

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."
 
Weekenson sings at church
Victory Bible Church: Building Their Own Wall 
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.
 
  
Pastor Murph and I present the first check for the wall to Hanebutech Construction
Grace Emmanuel School: Building To Begin
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.
 
  
The boys enjoying the new chalkboard wall at the Lighthouse
Lighthouse: Improvements Underway 
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.
We have: 
  • Shadrach attending college in Fort Wayne 
  • Claudy married in Minnesota, attending college 
  • Haslom, Reggie and Reynaldo going to school in the Dominican 
  • Jony returning here to run the children's home he grew up in 
  • Deckenson and Claismay working for the mission 
  • Manel working full time in Brazil 
  • Marco and DeAnna, married, both working full time, with 4 kids in Florida 
  • Sonson and Matthew getting ready to leave for college.
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. 
 
tominhaiti 

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.

Jony and Richna
Well, after a couple months, he was staying every night and all his stuff was at my house.

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.

tominhaiti 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

 

Exciting news for the future of Grace Emmanuel School


Dear friends,
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.

Current classroom at GES
New school classroom model
Oh, how we have all prayed for this day, and the Lord has answered our prayers! We are amazed at how God has orchestrated all of this for the benefit of those that the world forgets about, and for His glory. 

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: 
  • ONLINE: Go to www.jesusinhaiti.org and choose your preferred online payment method. Specify "Capital" for your donation. (Building the wall is the only capital project JiHM is currently involved in.) 
  • MAIL: If you prefer to mail in a check, make it payable to "Jesus in Haiti Ministries" and enclose a separate note requesting your funds be applied to the wall project. Mail to: Jesus in Haiti Ministries, c/o Hartley Tax and Accounting LLC, 6066 E State Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46815.
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."
Psalm 10:14

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