February, April, June, September, & November 2005
Thanks to all of you who helped make Christmas very special for the children here at House of Compassion. The kids were overwhelmed by the wonderful gifts. Also, we want to say a special “thank you” to all of you who helped us with the financial need we told you about in our last newsletter. We are pleased to report that the rent is paid for the next six months! It is wonderful how the Lord always provides for our needs.
Many exciting things are happening here at Missions in Haiti. Our Wednesday afternoon Children’s Church has grown to over 300! It is very exciting to see all the new faces and to work with people who are hungry to hear the Word of God. Because of this explosive growth, we are being flooded with requests for funds to help more Haitian children go to school. There are no public schools here in Haiti and most Haitians simply cannot afford to send their children to private school. We are in the process of starting a school just down the road from where we live and we hope to be able to open next September with around 100 students. Please pray with us as we undertake this new project. This school will be an addition to the 90 children currently attending Haitian schools thanks to your support of our school sponsorship program, which we plan to continue.
While the Good Hope School was closed for Christmas vacation, we were able to get a concrete floor poured inside the building. Let me assure you that attending Church or school at Good Hope and not coming out with your feet covered in mud is a wonderful blessing! The members of Good Hope Church are excited about the continual improvements that are being made to their Church building. The next project at Good Hope is an outdoor toilet. Pastor Fanes Alty has started enrolling students for the next school year and plans are to increase enrollment to over 100 students!
February is Carnival or Mardi Gras time here in Haiti and Voodoo worship reaches its peak during Mardi Gras. A “Voodoo revival” was held in the rural area near where Good Hope Church is located. Reports are that the Voodoo revival was well attended and the effects were obvious to us when we went out to Good Hope Church for services on February 13. We were verbally threatened and there were threats to tear down the Good Hope Church/school building. Pastor Alty had his life and the lives of his family threatened to the point that we are concerned for their safety. The Altys have a little boy who is handicapped and people were making fun of the child, which would be extremely difficult for any parent to face. Please join us in prayer for this family and ask God to keep them and give them strength to face the trials ahead. God is making a difference in the area around Good Hope and satan is mad! We know that our God is able to deliver, but the stress on this Pastor and his family is a very heavy load to bear. Pray that God will build a wall of fire around this family.
Praise report--thank you for the many prayers that you have prayed with me during the past five years regarding my permanent residence card. As you recall, this document is required in order to be able to purchase property here in Haiti. I finally met the right person last November and in one week, I received my card!
We have been looking for property and we recently found a parcel of land for sale here in Port-au-Prince that is large enough for us to build a children’s home with separate wings for boys and girls along with living quarters for ourselves. There is also room for a Church and school building. Parcels of land this large are a rare find here in Port and they are very expensive. We plan to proceed cautiously, but unless there is a problem with the title, we strongly feel that we should proceed with the purchase of this property. We will need $75,000.00 U.S. to purchase the land and then we will need additional funds to build the facilities. This is a huge step. The Lord has met all of our needs to this point and we know that he will continue to meet them. Please pray with us about this, we want to do everything that the Lord wants us to do, but we don’t want to do anything against His will.
Thanks again for all your prayers and support, we really appreciate all that you do for this work!
Our newsletter that went out last week told about the need for $75,000.00& to purchase a parcel of land here in Port-au-Prince. On the day that the newsletter was mailed, we met with the landowners to verify that they had clear title to the property and hopefully negotiate a lower price. Upon studying the survey of the land, we discovered that squatters built houses and are living on the property. In order for us to actually get all of the property we would be paying for, there would be numerous court battles and legal fees involved in getting the squatters to move. We realized that this was not the Lord’s will for us.
We have been diligently looking for property the past four months and we keep going back to a piece of land that we looked at last November. I think we knew all along that it was the “one for us” but we just wanted to make absolutely certain. This week we decided that this 1 ½ acre parcel is definitely the one. We contacted the landowner and began negotiating the price. The amount that we finally settled on was $35,000.00. The land is actually worth around $45,000.00 so we are very pleased with the price. We asked the landowner what kind of payment plan we could work out and he told us $20,000.00 down with the $15,000.00 balance due within six months. The immediate problem is raising the $20,000.00 down payment. We currently have $5,000.00 so we need to raise an additional $15,000.00 as soon as possible. We already paid $3,800.00 for taxes and legal fees and as soon as we have the $20,000.00 we will be able to sign papers and take possession of the property. As soon as we take possession of the property, we will need to build a wall around the 1 ½ acre site and the cost of building the wall will push the final price for the land and the wall to near the $75,000.00 that we mentioned in our last letter.
We are very excited about this big step. House of Compassion will have a permanent location and we won’t be paying rent. This property is large enough to allow us to build facilities that fit our needs exactly. Once facilities are completed, we plan to increase the number of Haitian children living at House of Compassion to 36, 18 boys and 18 girls. There is a lot to be done, and we feel that right now is the time to move forward. We are seeking the help of our faithful supporters. If you are able to help us purchase this ground that will used for the House of Compassion Children’s Home, a school, a church and possibly a clinic, we would appreciate your help. The owner of the property needs to hear from us as soon as possible and we would like to be able to sign papers within the next three weeks.
If you are unable to help with this project financially, please hold us up in your prayers as we take this next big step.
We appreciate all that you do for us and we really appreciate all of your prayers.
In our last newsletter, we told about finding a parcel of land here in Port-au-Prince. We decided to purchase the property only to find that the Lord had closed that door. Squatters had moved onto the property and the legal proceedures involved with getting them moved would have been a long, drawn-out and very expensive process.
We took another look at a property that we had been considering since last November. This property is 8 miles from our present location, a little further out than we originally wanted to be, but we discovered that there is a great potential for our ministry in this area. We contacted the landowner and told him we were interested in the property and asked what kind of payment options he would be willing to offer us. He agreed to a $20,000.00 down payment with the balance of $15,000.00 due by September. We sent out a newsletter telling of the need to raise $20,000.00 in three weeks. Many of you responded and within three weeks we received $19,945.00 earmarked for the land purchase! Missions in Haiti is now the owner of 1½ acres of land here in Haiti! We are very excited about the many doors that this will open.
We are currently having plans drawn for our home/children’s home. We are planning a two-story facility, which will be built in a “U” shape. One of the downstairs wings will eventually house 18 boys and the other wing will eventually house 18 girls. There will be a large kitchen in the middle. We will live in one of the upstairs wings with a kitchen and living room in the center. The other upstairs wing will be used for “guest quarters”.
Before we can begin building on the property, we must build a wall around the perimeter. We have met with a builder or “boss” to discuss construction of the wall. We are praying that the funds will be available so that the foundation for the wall can be completed before July. According to our boss, we will need 200 bags of concrete @ $5.50 per bag, 35 loads of rock @ $60.00 a load, 15 loads of sand @ $80.00 and two tons of steel @ $700.00 per-ton for the foundation. If you can help by purchasing a load of sand, a load of rock, some steel or concrete, we would appreciate your help.
This year we were able to send 159 Haitian children to school, thanks to you, our stateside sponsors. We took a giant leap of faith and promised to help over 300 Haitian children attend school next year. We are opening a new school here in Port-au-Prince to handle some of this growth.
We enrolled 50 more children in the school at Good Hope Church in the province of Thomazeau and this will bring our enrollment to 100 next year! On Friday, March 25th, we spent the day at Good Hope measuring students for uniforms and enrolling children for next year. It is such a blessing to see the enrollment at Good Hope School double! We are now in the process of having uniforms made and we are purchasing educational materials so that everything will be ready to go when school starts in September. Many of the children at Good Hope come from Voodoo homes. They are learning about Jesus for the first time and they are sharing the good news with their families. Only God knows what great things are in store for Good Hope School and Church.
We want to thank all of you who remember us in your prayers every day. In present day Haiti, crime is out of control. Several times a week we hear gunshots in the distance. When we are on the road, we are constantly looking ahead to make sure we are not driving into a hotspot. Someone surely had a burden to pray for us on Tuesday, March 15th at 2:30 P.M.. Several of our children were playing in the yard when a gun battle broke out in the street, right in front of our house. One of the bullets came through our iron gate and went between the children playing in the yard and hit a wall. Alicia hurriedly got all the children inside the house and the gun battle moved down the road. When I got home, I found that the bullet came through the gate about 3’ high. Without God’s hand of protection, one of the children could have been seriously injured or killed.
Please continue to hold us up in your prayers every day. We need your prayers more than anything else. Our God definitely answers prayer! Thank you for all you do for us!
In our last newsletter we reported that with your help, we were able to make the $20,000.00 down payment on 1½ acres of land just outside Port-au-Prince. We also reported that we needed to begin building a foundation for the 1,400’ wall, which will completely surround the property. A wall serves several purposes here in Haiti, the main purpose being to show ownership of the property, which in turn keeps people from moving onto the property. We stepped out on faith and began construction of the foundation. The foundation was completed in May and now we are ready to begin laying the blocks for the wall as the Lord provides. Thank you for your generous support and for all the prayers that you have prayed on our behalf.
While building the foundation for the wall, I learned a lot more about life here in Haiti. People warned me that when we started construction, there would most likely be people claiming that the property was theirs. Four weeks into construction a man named Fenix claimed ownership of our property and we were forced to defend our claim to the property in court-twice! Fenix is known as a troublemaker and many people in the area fear him. We requested special prayer and numerous churches joined with us praying about this situation. As a result, Fenix hasn’t given us any more problems during the past six weeks. Prayer works! Satan is doing his very best to keep us from building this orphanage. This is spiritual warfare and we really need everyone to keep praying diligently so that this work can continue to move forward.
Our school year has ended and now we are busy getting things ready for next year. We promised over 300 Haitian children that they will be able to attend school next year. We will need 300+ uniforms and schoolbooks for each child. Alicia has been very busy making preparations for the start of the next school year. With the Lord’s help and much planning, Alicia is nearly ready for September! Praise the Lord!
The next challenge that we are facing is a financial one. The balance due on the land is $15,000.00 and we must pay this balance on September 1. Please pray with us, we believe that our Lord will meet this need just like he has done for us faithfully time after time!
Thank you for your financial support and for all your prayers. With your prayers and financial support, Missions in Haiti has made several giant steps forward this year.
We are praying that our Lord will richly bless you for all that you have done for this work.
During July, the Lord opened doors for us to speak in 19 Churches. We drove over 7,000 miles and we shared news about Missions in Haiti with a lot of new friends. The Lord knew all about the tremendous financial need that Missions in Haiti faced and the needs were met! Praise the Lord! We were able to pay the $15,000.00 balance due on the land and $10,000.00 for construction of the wall around the property as well as $3,250.00 for the next six months rent on our present facility! We serve a big God and he is meeting every need. We praise the Lord for his faithfulness and we want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of you who contributed to this effort.
On August 4th, I arrived back in Haiti and my first priority was to help get Morning Star School ready for the first day of classes on August 16th. Morning Star is the ACE School that I have worked in the past five years. Again this year, I am the Assistant Principal. We have 180 children from pre-K through the 12th grade. We really need 200 students, so we are praying that another 20 students will join us this month.
My second priority was overseeing construction of the wall. The wall consists of approximately 10,000 cement blocks, which had to be moved to the jobsite and assembled into the wall. Construction of the wall was completed during the last week of August. Finishing this project was a huge relief. The property is now secured and we won’t have to be as concerned about squatters moving onto and claiming ownership of the land.
Alicia has been busy getting the items that the children here at House of Compassion as well as all the children in our school sponsorship program needed in order to start to school. This year Missions in Haiti is sponsoring over 300 Haitian children and this sponsorship will allow these children to attend Haitian Christian Schools. Your contributions to this sponsorship program are definitely making a big difference in a lot of young lives! After the monumental task of fitting 300 children with a uniform and making certain they have all the proper books and supplies, Alicia is glad August is over! The children are thrilled to be able to go to school.
In Haiti, there is an old saying; “there is always room for one more.” When you see the way Haitians pile into and onto public transportation, you suddenly understand where this saying may have started! It looks like we have adopted this theory for House of Compassion. I keep telling Alicia that we are FULL and not to take any more children until the new facility is built. But, from time to time a special situation arises that we just can’t say no to. In August we accepted another child into House of Compassion. Her name is Alexandra Mascary and she is seven years old. Alexandra is an orphan and there just wasn’t anywhere else she could have gone.
Now that Alicia and I have tended to the things that needed immediate attention, we are focusing on getting the new House of Compassion built. We are in the process of having plans drawn and we are getting the soil tested in order to determine what type of foundation we will need. As soon as the Lord provides the funds, we want to be ready to move full-speed ahead. Any undesignated funds that come in to Missions in Haiti will go to the building fund. We are excited and anxious to get started on this building project. When the new House of Compassion is completed, our children will have lots of room to run and play, something that they don’t have at our present location. We planted fruit trees on the property so that our kids will have a supply of fresh fruit. Please pray with us about this need, we know our Lord is able to provide and we are putting our trust in him.
Thank you for all your prayers for Haiti. As a result of all the prayers, the crime rate has noticeably declined and people are feeling a little more secure. Presidential elections are coming up in December and most Haitians are putting their hope in what the new president will be able to do for them. Pray that God will put the man that he wants in office and that Haiti will be taken back from satan.
Thank you again for your faithful support and for all your prayers. We love and appreciate you.
A Miracle From God!
October 29th and 30th proved to be the most difficult days of our lives. During the twenty hours that Davy, Hannah and Miriam were in the hands of kidnappers, Alicia and I did some serious soul searching. We knew that there were prayers going up all over the world for the kids and God gave us strength during these dark hours. We resolved in our hearts that no matter what the outcome, the devil wasn’t going to be victorious and run us out of Haiti. We looked back over this year and all of the great things that God has done for us and for this ministry. It became very clear to us that the devil isn’t happy with Missions in Haiti and he is doing his best to stop God’s work here in Haiti.
BUT WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, and the return of the children, without ransom being paid is a true miracle! We know that God has great things in store for Haiti, and we will continue to walk according to His Will. Thank you from the depths of our hearts for the prayers that you prayed for the three children and for us. This great miracle is proof that God still answers prayer! We will never cease to praise Him for what he has done for us!
Please continue to pray for the children and for us. In Haiti, violent crime is out of control and it doesn’t appear that this will get better anytime soon. Davy, Hannah and Miriam are dealing with some natural fear as a result of the kidnapping and they have to constantly be reassured that this won’t happen again. We now realize how much more careful and prayerful we have to be. It is very stressful for us now when we are out on the roads. Please pray that God will put his angels around us so that we will never have to experience anything like this again.
We now know how important it is for us to move forward and get the House of Compassion’s permanent home built. God has met our needs in wondrous ways this year. Let me recap some of the “financial miracles” we have witnessed; God provided $35,000.00 to pay for the 1 ½ acres of land where House of Compassion will be built, the He provided $25,000.00 to build the security wall all the way around the property, plus He provided another $5,000. to pay lawyers fees, permits and taxes that had to be paid before work could move ahead. All this was accomplished because of your generosity and your willingness to do what God laid on your heart. God is so good!
Today, the plans for House of Compassion are being drawn and will be available for us to bring to the U.S. with us at Christmas. We have the design and measurements for the home, it will be a “U” shape with one wing for 18 boys and the other wing for 18 girls. There will be a “community kitchen” in the middle. Upstairs, on one side, will be our living quarters and our kitchen and family room will be in the upstairs middle. The other side of the upstairs area will be for guests and individuals who want to come down to Haiti and work with us for a season. Each floor will be 3,080 square feet for a total of 6,160 square feet.
I have sought counsel regarding the best approach to moving forward with this project. Everyone I talked with has recommended that we have a company here in Haiti build the foundation and frame of the structure and then bring in teams from the U.S. to finish the home. Most all of the buildings here in Haiti are constructed of steel, cement, sand, stone and cement blocks. Construction techniques here are different than in the U.S. and we want to be sure that we get the proper amount of steel and concrete in order to ensure that we have a good solid foundation and that the walls are built to withstand the forces of nature that we experience from time to time.
We requested that the Haitian construction firm that we are working with provide a bid for building the foundation and shell. After much discussion, they submitted a bid for $132,500.00. We have requested bids from two additional firms, but I believe that $132,500.00 will be close to the amount we will need to build the shell. Materials are extremely high here and over $100,000.00 of the price tag is for material alone, while the remaining $32,500.00 is for labor, engineering fees, etc.. Here is the breakdown of funds needed; foundation $45,900.00, 1st level exterior wall and column system $10,920.00, 2nd floor slab with some plumbing and electrical $40,742.00, 2nd story exterior walls and columns $9,600.00, concrete roof $25,338.00 for a total of $132,500.00.
I feel that we should begin fundraising activities by raising $45,900.00 for the foundation and we would like to begin building in February.
God was preparing hearts even before we sat down to put our thoughts together for this letter. The first $20,000.00 is on it’s way and with the $4,500.00 that we received this past summer, we have $24,500.00 committed to get this project moving.
Please pray with us that this tremendous need will be met. The need for these new facilities is becoming an urgent matter. The present House of Compassion is located in an area that is now considered one of the most dangerous areas in Haiti! Many people have told us that they won’t go near this area because of the continuous problems. We have outgrown this home and the building is now in constant need of repair. As soon as the new location is finished, we will be able to bring another fifteen children into House of Compassion and give them a home and a family to grow up with.
While I was writing this letter, I became aware of the fact that we are going to have to trust God for another miracle. There isn’t any doubt in our minds, God wants to see this project completed and we know that once again, he will make a way. We have come so far this year and I know that God will take us the rest of the way. In this letter, I have included photos of some of the things that God has done in 2005.
Friends, time is short and there is so much to be done. Please continue to pray for us and with us. Thanks again for all your prayers, e-mails and generous support. With all of us working together we are making a difference for the Kingdom of Heaven.