February, April, June, October, & December 2008
Greetings from Haiti in the name of Jesus!
Christmas was extra special for the kids here at House of Compassion and for the kids in our child sponsorship program thanks to all of you who sent Christmas gifts. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated. We used some of the Christmas funds that we received to purchase more heavy-duty playground equipment and with the addition of the new playground toys we now have a much larger play area that the kids will enjoy every day of the year. The children appreciate your gifts more than you will ever know! Also, we would like to say a special thank you to all of you who contributed toward the purchase of the new 3-ton flatbed truck. The financial need was fully met and the truck was purchased. We had an enclosure built to cover the 14’ bed of the truck and seating installed for the children. Now, we have a great people hauler and we are able to transport all our kids to school and to church. Thank you so much for your help with this project!
In the last week of January 2008, House of Compassion grew by three more children. Gregoire-9 years old, Clarissa-7 years old and Matthieu- age 6. These kids came to us from the Gonaives area. As you may recall, Gonaives was devastated by Hurricane Jean in 2004 and many children were left homeless and with out parents or anyone to care for them. A Haitian Pastor in the Gonaives area took in several homeless children and provided them with food, clothing and shelter during the past three and one-half years. Now, due to the skyrocketing cost of living here in Haiti, (the price of rice has doubled within the last 6 months!) he is no longer financially able to care for the children. He came to Port-au-Prince looking for someone who would provide proper care for the kids and who would be able to pay the tuition required for them to attend school. A friend here in Haiti, who also operates an orphanage, contacted us and explained the gravity of the situation and we agreed to take the three children. The “new kids” are small for their ages due to malnutrition so our first duty is to provide balanced nutrition and then get them started in school so that they can eventually catch up with other students their age.
January 19 is always a special time of year for us because January 19, 2001 was the day that we brought the first Haitian child into our home, officially opening House of Compassion. Micah who appeared to be about two years old at the time, joined us on that day and since we didn’t know what his real birthday was, we gave him a new birth date of January 19th. Now, every January 19, we celebrate Micah’s and House of Compassion’s birthdays.
Looking back over the past seven years, we are amazed at what God has done for us and for Missions in Haiti. Today, we have 33 Haitian Children living with us in this beautiful home that has a large yard complete with sturdy playground equipment for the children. We have a new vehicle that is large enough for the whole “family” to ride to school and Church. We serve an awesome God and he has always met our every need! I am pleased to report that Haiti is enjoying a period of relative calm. Today, there is not a lot of violence or political unrest and as a result of this, a lot of the middle-class families who left Haiti during the recent “bad” years are returning.
The ACE school where I am Principal has 225 students this year, up from 135 at this time last year. Praise God for bringing these children to this school. This gives us a great opportunity to share the Gospel with them. Many of them are taking the good news home to share with their friends and relatives. Pray that our efforts will bear fruit and that many will be saved and become productive Christian citizens here in Haiti!
Thank you for your continued financial support and prayer support for this work, we truly appreciate each one of you and we appreciate all that you are doing for Haiti. As I have said many times, we couldn’t do this work without your support.May God richly bless you!
Greetings from Haiti in the name of Jesus!
The new House of Compassion is officially full! Since our last newsletter, we added three more children, giving us a total of 36. The new kids are; Jennyfer, age 3 from Thomazeau, Samuel, age 5 from Gonaives and Goevanny, age 3 from here in Port-au-Prince. The House of Compassion was designed to accommodate 36 Haitian children, 18 boys and 18 girls and now that we have reached full capacity, we must be careful not to adopt the Haitian philosophy, “there is always room for one more”! As I mentioned in past newsletters, no matter how overloaded a Haitian bus or “tap, tap” is Haitians will tell you “there is always room for one more”. Having said all of that, I have a feeling that at some point in the future I will hear Alicia say, “come on David, we have room for just one more”!
Along with getting all the new kids settled into their new home, the boys and I have been busy trying to learn how to become farmers. We planted many different varieties of fruit trees and we built a small vegetable garden. We have had success with certain types of plants and we found that other plants just don’t do well in this type of soil or this climate. We also decided to try our hand at raising “livestock” so we started small-with chickens. So far we have 14 hens and 3 roosters. The hens are starting to lay eggs and the kids are excited about gathering eggs and they want to try to raise some baby chicks. Our biggest farming venture is raising Tilapia. As you probably know, Tilapia is a mild tasting fish that is relatively easy to grow. Tilapias quickly multiply and this allows for the production of a large number of fish in a small area. Several other orphanages here in Haiti are raising Tilapia to supplement their children’s diets and after observing their facilities and how the fish thrive in this tropical climate, we built a 7,000 gallon concrete tank. With a couple large tanks, we should be able to raise all the Tilapia we will want to eat. It will cost around $1,500.00 for a second concrete tank and filtration system. The Lord blessed us with 1 ½ acres and I believe it is our duty to put this land to the best possible use.
As you might imagine, we use a tremendous amount of groceries each week here at House of Compassion. During a typical week, we go through 12 large boxes of cornflakes, 6 jars of peanut butter, 10 dozen eggs, 20 loaves of bread, 100 hot dogs, 30 pounds of potatoes, 50 pounds of rice and 20 pounds of spaghetti in addition to many other staple items. Becoming self sufficient will not only benefit House of Compassion now, teaching Haitian children how to raise some or all of their food will pay dividends long-term.
After living here in our new location for eight months, we discovered that there are hundreds of people who don’t attend Church simply because there aren’t any good Churches in this immediate area. We hear the Voodoo drums beating almost every night and we know that these people are in desperate need of a good Church where they can go and hear about God’s love. Alicia and I have been praying about this need and the Lord helped us find a house that is available for us to rent. We will use the house as a Church on Sunday morning and Sunday evening and we will use it as a school during the week. In March, the owners of the property allowed us to use the yard to hold Children’s Church services. Our first Children’s Church was held on Thursday, March 20 and we had 65 kids and 40 adults in attendance! The owner of the home agreed to rent the property to us for $2,000.00 (US) per-year, beginning in May. We need to have benches and desks built. A Church bench costs $100.00 (US) and a desk designed to accommodate four to five children costs $50.00 (US). Please help us pray that the Lord will provide so we can pay the rent and get the benches built for the Church and school. We are looking forward to accomplishing great things in our area through this school and Church.
We will be travelling stateside from June 16 through July 30 and we are planning to be in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri and Oklahoma. If you would like for us to schedule a visit to your Church, please contact us via e-mail and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
Thank you for your continued prayer support and your financial support. There isn’t any way we could do this work without you. We love you and deeply appreciate all that you have done for us and for this work. God has richly blessed Missions in Haiti and we pray that He will richly bless you and your family
Greetings from Haiti in the name of Jesus!
The past three months were hectic and we thank our Lord for the strength that He gave us to get through them. We wrapped up our school year and the children, like children everywhere, were excited to have a couple months of vacation from school! Now it is time to get ready for the 2008-2009 school year, which starts the first Monday of September.
We were stateside this summer for six weeks travelling, visiting with friends and meeting new friends. We were blessed by all of the hospitality that we were shown along the way. We were on the road for four weeks and then we returned to Oklahoma and hit the ground running. We planned to ship a 40’ container filled with supplies for the House of Compassion, the schools that we work with and for the new Church that we are starting in September. We had seven days to gather and pack all the items and have them ready to load into the container. With the help of some very good friends, we were able to reach our goal and we shipped the container on the morning of July 25. The container should arrive in Haiti on August 2nd, a couple days after we return. We are so thankful for everyone that provided the supplies to fill the container. Several Churches took this on as a missions project and brought the items we had on our list while other Churches provided funds for us to purchase supplies with. I must admit that our faith was tested a few times but as always, the Lord met the need! Like I have told you many times in the past, there isn’t any way that we could do this work without the financial support and prayer support of our faithful partners. Thank you again, we love you and sincerely appreciate all that you do for this work. We especially appreciate all of your prayers.
After the last newsletter, many of you were interested in our efforts to get into gardening and especially in our efforts to raise Tilapia. I am happy to report that the fish are doing very well, they are multiplying and growing rapidly. Our first mess of Tilapia should be ready for harvest in October, when they are six months old. So far this has been a lot of fun for the kids, they enjoy feeding and tending the fish.
We were blessed to have a group from Neosho, Missouri spend a week with us the first part of June. This group came focused on ministry. Before this, all the groups that visited us were primarily focused on our various building projects. This group was well received. They were involved in children’s ministry out at the Church in Thomazeau, the school in Port-au-Prince and here at the House of Compassion.
People in this area are always excited when we have visitors and around 400 people showed up the first day to see what was going on. We were thrilled by the turnout and the interest shown by the people in this area. Our neighbors are excited about our plans to open a school and a Church. The building we are renting for this purpose can only hold 100 children and we already have that many enrolled. The obvious problem is that there is no room for growth, but the Lord knows our every need and He is working things out! After I shared my burden for building a school and a Church with the owners of the facility we are renting, they took us across the road and showed us a piece of property that they own. The parcel is around ¾ acre and it already has a concrete block wall around it, complete with a gate! Having the wall around the property obviously makes the property more valuable. I discussed the price with them, negotiated a little and we were able to agree on $25,000.00 U.S. dollars. This is a great buy and priced below what the property is worth. We have been praying about this for the past two months and we feel that it is time to move forward with fundraising for this project. As soon as we complete the purchase, we need to get started erecting the building. We would like to build a Church and school that would accommodate 500 people. This is another major project and we ask that you to join with us in prayer. It would be easy for us to look at all the things that we already have on our plate and say, “we have so much to do, let’s wait a while before we take on any new projects”. But friends, it is obvious that things are wrapping up quickly and we do not have a lot of time left. Signs of Jesus’ soon return are everywhere. We must do all we can to reach the lost world while there is time. Pray with us and for us, we need your prayers.
Thank you again for your continued support and for your prayers.
Thank you for your prayers and your concern for us and for Haiti during the recent storms. Haiti has really been through the ringer! Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike all hit Haiti--August 15th through September 6th, four storms in a three week span. Many of Haiti’s main roads and bridges are gone and parts of the country were completely cut off because of the high water. The only way in and out of these areas was by helicopter. The United States and United Nations had helicopters in the sky for days trying to get food and water to starving people. MAF and other missions organizations were also flying into the hardest hit areas. Praise the Lord, we were able to provide a diesel generator to one hard hit area and it was put to use pumping clean water plus a group of Doctors used it in their clinic during the day. The Doctors were kept busy treating infections that resulted from people drinking and walking through contaminated water for several days. Many homes are gone or were severely damaged by the storms. The Prime Minister of Haiti estimated one million of the nine million people in Haiti are now homeless. Many are living in churches and schools throughout Haiti and this prevented Haitian schools from opening the first of September as scheduled. Schools were re-scheduled to open October 6th.
I went out to the Good Hope Church that we sponsor as soon as possible and I can tell you that a lot of Haitians’ livelihood was completely destroyed by the storms. Their farms, gardens and livestock are gone. The UN predicted that there will soon be famine throughout Haiti and there is a very good probability that there will be more food riots. Missions In Haiti will increase the feeding programs in our schools in order to relieve some of the suffering of our school children. I heard an estimate that 800 people lost their lives because of the storms, but everyone I talk to believes that the death toll was much higher than 800. Nearly everyone has a story to tell about someone they knew that was washed away, buried in a mudslide, or simply vanished. This left many children orphaned or left families without any means of feeding their children. Alicia and I decided the best way to help was to open an orphanage for up to 25 boys. Since House of Compassion is full, we opened The Good Hope Boys Home on September 16th. Already, there are 12 boys, 1 year to 10 years old living at Good Hope! As we told you in our last newsletter, we rented a house that is serving as a Church House until we can get the Church facility built. Now the house is doing TRIPLE duty as Good Hope Boys Home, Church on Wednesdays and Sundays and school during the week. We have over 200 children attending school in the house. As you can imagine, it is a lot of work switching from boy’s home to school and to Church! From beds to desks to pews! Please pray for us and ask God to give us the strength and wisdom we need as we take on these new projects. Also, please pray that extra support dollars will come in to pay for the added expense of the 12 new boys (plus, we will most likely take in 13 more boys) including three meals a day, clothing and school supplies.
In spite of all the storms and the torrential rains, we were able to open Good Hope Church the first Sunday of September as scheduled. Even though it was still raining hard, we had over 25 people attend the first service! We are currently running around 80 on Sunday morning. There are additional new people coming to every service to see what is going on. We are truly excited about the possibilities that this Church holds for this area. The house can only hold 100 people so we desperately need to get the new Church building constructed on the land that we purchased for the Church. Yes, Praise the Lord, the ¾ acre parcel that we told you about in our last newsletter is paid for! After the newsletter went out, one of our faithful supporters sent the funds to pay for the land. Now we are working on getting the road and driveway into the property built and we have started cleanup work, some wall repairs and we made application for permits. We plan to get started on the new building just as soon as there are enough funds. The current plan is for a three story building without inside walls on the bottom floor (at this time). The bottom floor would serve as a sanctuary for the Church and the top two floors will be used for the school and boy’s home. Alicia and I are excited about the great potential that the property holds. We picture a Church with 500 people attending and a school with 500 students plus the Good Hope Boys Home. The task ahead is huge, but we know that our Lord is able to bring everything together in his perfect timing, just like he has done for us so many times before!
Please continue to pray for Haiti every day. The people of Haiti are suffering beyond belief. Pray that the people will turn away from satan and from voodoo and give their hearts to Jesus. That is the only hope that Haiti has for a better future!
Thank you again for your prayers for us and for your financial support. We couldn’t do this work without you! You are in our thoughts and our prayers daily and we love you!
Christmas greetings in the name of Jesus!
In our last newsletter, we told you about our plans to construct a new school building on the property purchased in October. As soon as the newsletter went out, the Lord began moving us in a different direction—building the Church first! The Church, in its present location is running around 120 on Sunday. We are out of room and we are growing. In November, we had 12 people come forward for salvation!
I contacted one of our supporters who erect steel buildings and we discussed the possibility of putting up a steel building that would serve as a Church house. After much discussion, we decided that the steel building made very good sense because it can be erected quickly and because the price for conventional construction has skyrocketed here in Haiti. The first order of business was to build the foundation for the 50’X100’ building. Now the foundation is complete and we are finalizing details for shipping the metal building from Tulsa on December 13. The container should arrive in Haiti the week after Christmas. In January, we have two teams scheduled to come to Haiti to erect the building. We are planning to have our first service and Church dedication on the last Sunday of January 2009! Words can’t express how excited we are about this tremendous opportunity that the Lord has given us. We would like to start construction of the school in February as the Lord provides the funds for us to build.
During the last week of February, it is Mardi gras week in Haiti. During Mardi gras, Haiti is more wicked than usual as the nation indulges in sin to celebrate this satanic holiday. We are planning a Crusade to combat the evil and we hope and pray that many souls will be saved during this Crusade. I visited with Church members and they believe the Lord will fill the building during the Crusade. Please pray with us about this important revival. To complete the Church construction project, we need the following; electrical, including light fixtures, ceiling fans, air conditioners and a generator--cost $15,000.00. Septic system and restrooms, cost $5,000.00. And of course we will need church pews so the people will have a place to sit.
There is a company here in Haiti that builds church pews. I contacted them and they quoted me a price of $360.00 per-pew. We will need at least forty pews.
We needed $100,000.00 to build and furnish the Church and in just five short weeks the Lord spoke to people and we are down to the last $30,000.00 that is needed to complete the project!
Please help us pray that the Lord will supply the remaining $30,000.00 so that we can finish the construction phase, furnish the Church and purchase a generator which will provide electricity when power is not available from the Haitian electric company.
The new Good Hope Boys Home that we started due to the need created when four hurricanes tore through Haiti this year is doing very well. The 12 boys have adjusted to their new home and they are doing well in school. We know that God has a purpose for each of their lives and we know that they came to us for a reason.
On October 20, Edline, the lady that cooks for the House of Compassion, had a baby boy and Alicia helped with the delivery! Early on the 20th, Alicia got a call from Edline and she told Alicia that her labor had started. Alicia told her that she would meet her at the hospital in a couple hours. Alicia arrived at the hospital to find Edline outside along with several other ladies who were also just about ready to give birth. The hospital was closed due to the doctors being on strike! There were not any public hospitals open in Port-au-Prince. Alicia called me and told me that she would be bringing Edline to the house with her. We hastily assembled a delivery room and we found a nurse in the area who agreed to help. The newborn arrived at 4:30 that afternoon. Alicia was very excited and now she has decided that we need to open a maternity ward to give Haitian women a place to go to have their babies. I told Alicia that we need to wait a while before we consider opening a maternity ward!
So many things have happened this past month in Haiti and the United States as well as in the rest of the world. The signs are everywhere, THE LORD IS COMING SOON! We must keep working as hard as we can to share the Good News with as many people as possible, time is very short.
We want to thank all of you who faithfully support this work. Without your prayers and financial support, we couldn’t do our work here in Haiti. We love you and we really appreciate you and all that you do for us.
Thank you and may you and your family have a beautiful Christ Centered Christmas!
P.S. Tilapia update-the fish are growing and reproducing at an unbelievable rate. The kids have had five meals which included a nice piece of fish with their rice and beans. They enjoyed the fried fish and they are all looking forward to the next tilapia meal. They ask me almost every day if we are having fish for dinner. I am teaching the boys how to properly clean tilapia so I don’t have to clean 60 fish by myself. A couple of them are catching on real well.