January, April, August, & December 2010
A group from Westside Holiness Church, Claremore, OK which included my brother-in-law Travis McCrate, his wife Jenny, their two year-old son Trevor, Misty Brown and Liberty Henegar were conducting a Kids Crusade at Good Hope Church here in Lizon when the earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday, January 12. The group returned home safely on Saturday, January 16, Praise the Lord!
The children here at House of Compassion were playing in the yard or making their way across the road to Good Hope Church for that evening’s Kids Crusade when it hit. I was upstairs in our bedroom helping Samuel get dressed when I heard a sound like hundreds of kids on a playground making lots of noise. Then things began to shake violently. I grabbed Sam and ran from the bedroom into the kitchen just as the big shockwave hit. We were thrown to the ground but managed to get up, get down the stairs and into the yard, where we waited for the shaking to stop. As things settled down, I began to notice the devastation all around us and we could hear people screaming. I was in shock, but managed to make sure that everyone was safe. Our water pipes burst and water was running everywhere. Everything inside the House of Compassion moved at least two feet and the mess inside our home was almost beyond description. The ground shook so violently that it tossed at least one foot of water out of the large concrete tanks that house our Tilapia farm. It appears that all the Tilapia survived! Water ran from our water well throughout the night even though the pump was off.
The House of Compassion which is constructed of concrete and concrete blocks, miraculously survived the quake but we found some hairline cracks in the walls. Good Hope Church-Lizon, which is a metal building was unscathed with one small exception, the door sticks a little bit. The two houses behind House of Compassion that we use as a combination boy’s home and school suffered damage. The boys are sleeping in the Church along with around two hundred Haitian people from this area who lost their homes. We don’t know of any serious injuries among our staff and students at this school. Most of the people out here have a small yard they were able to run into when the tremors started , a luxury most of the people in Port au Prince didn’t have. People in the city didn’t have anywhere to go to get away from the falling debris and that is why so many were killed. Our security walls which were around 10’ tall and constructed of stone and concrete block are down at House of Compassion, Good Hope Church and around the Good Hope boy’s home. We need to rebuild these walls as soon as possible.
The original House of Compassion located on Delmas 33, which we later converted to Bon Espoir school is most likely damaged beyond use. I haven’t been able to get into the area to see the damage for myself, but that is what we are told. We confirmed that two of our teachers from the Bon Espoir school were killed and at least one of our students was killed. We fear that the death toll among the 350 kids who attend Bon Espoir was much higher.
The school and the Church out at Thomazeau didn’t suffer any damage and the mud homes in the area are still standing. No one was hurt in this remote area because it was far enough away from the epicenter of the earthquake. We plan to re-open the school at Thomazeau on Monday.
What now? We have gone into survival mode. At the time of the earthquake we had enough supplies to last four to six weeks. We must make the most of everything we have on hand because we can’t run to town and buy what we need. Hopefully, by the time our supplies run out, stores will have reopened and food and fuel will be available.
On Thursday, January 14, I drove into Port au Prince and I was shocked at what I saw. I never imagined things being as bad as they were. I saw sights I wish I had never had to see and I wept all the way back home for Haiti. Haiti as we knew her is gone, all the stores we shopped at and friends who worked at the stores are gone….our normal routine-gone! Please pray for us and ask God to give us the strength and the wisdom that we need to do the things that we must do in the coming days. One of the most difficult things we face now is deciding who to help and who we cannot help. The need in Haiti is unimaginable and our goods are very limited.
People are asking what they can do to help. We are filling two containers to ship to Haiti, one in Richmond, Indiana and one at Tulsa, Oklahoma. The drop off point in Richmond is Glassworks and in Tulsa the drop off point is Tulsa New Holland, 11919 East Pine St. We are needing basic hygiene items such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant and foodstuffs such as rice, dry beans, dried eggs, powdered milk, ramen noodles, Spam, cooking oil, etc.
We also need lots of money. We estimate that it will take between $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 to repair things to pre-earthquake condition. Many of our employees and Church members no longer have homes and I would love to be able to help them rebuild. If I had a million dollars, I could easily spend it in the next twelve months and I assure you none of it would be wasted. Every little bit helps, even if you can’t give a lot, give what you can and God will bless you for helping his children in this desperate time of need. Please send your checks to: Missions in Haiti, P.O. Box 2996, Claremore, OK 74018. Our stateside contact is our Secretary, Wanda McCrate, her phone number is 918-341-8911 and if you have questions about the container in Tulsa, OK please contact Mike McCrate at 918-438-5665.
Please pray for us and pray for the people of Haiti. Even in this time of chaos and great sorrow, God still has everything in his hands!
Last Updated: Jan 19 2010
We are completely overwhelmed by the way our faithful supporters and first-time supporters dug deep in their pockets and gave sacrificially to help Haiti during her time of greatest need, THANK YOU! Alicia and I want you to know that we really appreciate everything that you do for Missions in Haiti. There is no way that we could do our work here in Haiti without your prayers and your financial support.
Dealing with the things we have faced since the earthquake has been a nightmare at times, but your prayers and your generosity have lightened the burden. The most difficult thing for us was comforting our grieving Haitian friends as they told us about loved ones who were killed or seriously injured and about homes that were destroyed. Their losses were unbearable. Everyone we know lost friends or family members.
After living through one of the greatest natural disasters in recorded history which took the lives of one in fifty Haitians, we imagined the terrible things that we would have to deal with in the weeks and months following the earthquake. I am relieved to report that many of the bad things we anticipated didn’t happen, praise the Lord! With all of the international aid that poured into Haiti, the people of Haiti have been able to work through the first stage of recovery, it has been amazing! The clean up phase is underway and cleaning up this mess is going to take a long, long time. The rebuilding phase will come next and Haiti will need lots of financial help and lots of prayers.
Most of the 8’ concrete block wall around the House of Compassion compound fell during the initial earthquake and rebuilding the wall and restoring security was one of our first priorities. The wall was completely rebuilt within three weeks after the quake! The two houses that we rent for our boy’s home were badly damaged and are unsafe to live in, so we decided to change the three-story school which was under construction into a two-story boy’s home. Now our focus is on completing the boy’s home and we have a team coming in from the U.S. to help with the plumbing and electrical work. Lord willing, the boys will be moving into their new home the first of May.
Pastor Hubert, my assistant Pastor here at Good Hope Church also needed a place to live. The house he was renting didn’t collapse during the earthquake, but when the wind blows the building shakes and obviously it is not safe to live in. Pastor Hubert has been living in the Church along with the boys since the earthquake, so we decided to build a parsonage on the Church grounds for him and his family. We are planning to have the four room house ready for the Hubert family to move into in April.
There are hundreds of families in this area that need a place to live. Obviously we can’t help all of them so we decided to start with twelve of the neediest families. We will use what we can of their old foundations. Our teams will construct new masonry walls and then build a roof out of lumber and steel sheets. These homes will consist of two 10’X 10’ rooms. The families we are helping are extremely grateful. When we are finished helping the first twelve, we will select another group to help and we will continue this process as long as there is a need and we have funds available. Pray that earthquake relief funds will continue to come in so we can continue to build modest homes for people in this area.
After the earthquake we received two containers of relief supplies, one from Tulsa, Oklahoma and one from Richmond, Indiana and thanks to your generosity; we are feeding 400 meals per-day to our students and teachers. The children are very thankful and for many of them this is the only meal they get each day. The container from Tulsa had some tents in it and we passed them out to the people who were still sleeping in the Church and they are using the tents for temporary housing. We also received tarps which will be used as shade and shelter for some of our school children until we can find suitable facilities.
There is a lot to be done; the recovery is going to be agonizingly slow. The security wall around the Church is still down and we need a location to put a school building on. I am praying that the Lord will supply a piece of property and another steel building.
Through it all, God has been faithful to Missions in Haiti! He not only met our needs, He exceeded our expectations. We will never cease to praise Him for all of the wonderful things that He has done for us.
Politicians from all around the world stop off in Haiti to look at the devastation and they promise financial aid for Haiti. This makes the Haitian people feel better for a day or two, but what the Haitian people really need is for Christ to come into their hearts and change their lives forever!
Thanks again for everything you do for Missions in Haiti and for the Haitian people. May God richly bless you for your prayers and your financial sacrifice.
We returned to Haiti on August 9, after spending the month of July stateside. We visited several Churches and got some badly needed rest. Since the earthquake on January 12, our lives have been very hectic. We were so busy with visitors, with rebuilding, repairing and building projects that we didn’t slow down long enough to rest! We thank the Lord for the season of rest that we had stateside, we are recharged and ready to hit the ground running!
Since our last newsletter many things have been accomplished. The new Good Hope Boys Home building project was completed in June and the boys are excited to have a nice new place to live. We have room for 10 more children in the new facility and room for expansion is always a good thing at Missions in Haiti!
On Friday, July 30, we shipped the last container of donated relief supplies, along with school desks and teacher’s desks that were donated for our schools. This was the fourth container of goods shipped to Missions in Haiti since the earthquake. Thank you so much for all the supplies and for the money that you donated to purchase supplies and to pay for shipping the containers. You have been a tremendous blessing to Missions in Haiti and the people of Haiti. As I have said many, many times, our work in Haiti is a team effort; we couldn’t do what we do without you. We know that God will bless you for the things you do for his Haitian children!
I am happy to report that the wall around the Church has been completely rebuilt with some of the funds you sent for earthquake relief. We are able to sleep better knowing that the walls around our compound and around the Church are back up. We also built or rebuilt 12 houses for Haitian families who lost their homes in the earthquake. Now over 100 people have safe, secure, dry structures. It is amazing to see the use that these simple homes are getting. The first house we built is home to a family of five plus two additional families sleep there! There are wall to wall people sleeping in most of these 10’ X 20’ homes every night! Thank you again for your generosity, you helped provide security and shelter for these families. We exhausted all earthquake relief funds and we still have several families who need help rebuilding their homes. If you are interested in helping provide a 10’ X 20’ home for a Haitian family, the total cost for one of these homes is $1,400.00 and any amount you send will be greatly appreciated. Please note “Haitian Home” on your check and the funds will be earmarked for this project.
I am pleased to report that things at the House of Compassion, Good Hope Boys Home and the Good Hope Church are back to normal or as normal as things can be in Haiti! Now we are refocusing our efforts on providing a good Christian based education for the kids who attend our schools. Our schools have been operating and our students were able to complete the school year. We are so thankful that our students didn’t miss a year of schooling because of the earthquake. We did lose a few students due to the fact that they were forced to relocate as a result of the earthquake. We are now enrolling students for the new school year which begins on the first Monday in September. We are looking forward to the new school year. All three schools will be at full capacity. With the help of all of you who sponsor a child and/or sponsor our efforts here in Haiti, we will be educating over 700 children again this school year, thank you so very much!
Our biggest need now is for property on which to construct two steel buildings similar to the Good Hope Church building. These steel buildings will house two of our schools. We would like to get started on this project as soon as possible. Please pray with us, pray that God will direct us to the right properties, one out here in our area and a second in Port au Prince. We anticipate the price for these properties will be from $20,000.00 to $25,000.00 each, so please pray that God will give us wisdom and direction and that He will provide the needed funds when we find the right properties.
God has been moving in our Church! During the month of May, 20 people came forward for salvation and three demon possessed young women were delivered from satan’s bondage. Praise God! We are thankful for His mighty power and we are excited about what the future holds for these young ladies. Please pray for the Good Hope Church. We desire a continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our services.
Many people have asked us how things are really going in Haiti. The news media has covered the earthquake from so many different angles and everyone in the media his/her own opinion about what needs to be done. Haiti is a huge mess and it will be a huge mess for the foreseeable future. There is no quick fix for Haiti and we are greatly troubled by the fact that many people have already forgotten the tremendous need in Haiti. Things were bad in Haiti before the earthquake and now things have worsened beyond belief for most Haitians. Haiti needs a lot of prayer, only God can turn things around.
Thanks again for your prayer support and for your continued financial support, we really appreciate all that you do for us and for Missions in Haiti.
We have a new updated video on our website at www.missionsinhaiti.com please take a look at it when you have a chance.
Thank you and may God richly bless you!
It has been nearly a year since the earthquake that changed our lives forever. 2010 went by much faster than any other year of my life and I am praying that things will slow down in 2011 and give us a chance to catch up!
I can’t count the number of times during 2010 that people asked me, “How are things going in Haiti?” My response every time was, “Haiti is a Mess, but God has been faithful through it all and I am grateful that we have been able to advance our work in Haiti during 2010!”
We opened all three schools right on schedule. The rented buildings behind the House of Compassion that housed one of our schools were damaged by the earthquake. Since then, the landlord made minor repairs and we were able to move the classrooms back inside. The building that housed our school in Port-au-Prince was badly damaged and the landlord would not make necessary repairs so we had to move the school to a vacant lot. We set up a temporary school outdoors using tarps to protect the students and teachers from the elements. This is working for now, but it is extremely warm under the tarps and major repairs are needed every time it storms. Please pray with us, we need to find a suitable property in Port-au-Prince and build a school as soon as possible. As you may recall, we provide a Christ-centered education to over 700 Haitian students with the help and support of our stateside sponsors. We are certain that this will make a positive difference in Haiti’s future, Praise the Lord!
We also need to purchase land out here near the House of Compassion to build a school on. There are a lot of children in this area who desperately need an education, but we are unable to help them due to our lack of facilities. I located a property that has the remnants of a house that collapsed during the earthquake. The owner moved to the states and he will sell the property for $25,000.00. That is a little high, but the location is good and given that we could add on to what is left of the original foundation and it would work as the foundation for another 50 X 100 steel building makes this option very attractive. I am praying that the Lord will help us purchase this property and build the school. Please be in prayer with us about these needs.
I wanted to say a special “thank you” to all of you who donated funds to help us get Haitian families out of their temporary tent homes and provide small, simple, but sturdy houses for them. With your contributions, we built 15 of these little houses since April, Praise the Lord!
Please continue to pray with us for Haiti. Since the earthquake, severe storms killed many Haitians and wiped out many Haitians ability to provide for their families. There is a tremendous amount of political unrest in Haiti and the recent Presidential election made things worse. Now, the biggest obstacle that Haiti faces is the outbreak of cholera. Cholera has spread like wildfire through Haiti and infected thousands of people. It is confirmed that over 2,000 people have died from the disease. One of our employees recently lost his brother to cholera, please pray for this family.
The UN predicts that in the next six to nine months, over half a million people in Haiti will become infected with Cholera and thousands more will die. Please pray that cholera doesn’t touch our home and pray in the name of Jesus that He will stop this disease in its tracks and not allow it to claim any more Haitian lives.
We will be stateside for a couple weeks to enjoy Christmas with our families and while we are in the U.S. we will ship a container from Richmond, Indiana. This container is filled with Christmas gifts for our Haitian kids and supplies needed for the coming year. Several churches and individuals are gathering supplies for this container and if you would like to help with the cost for shipping and customs fees which will be around $10,000.00, please send your donation to our Claremore address. Shipping containers into Haiti is still makes good sense, especially in light of the extremely high prices for goods here in Haiti. It takes a lot of groceries to feed 70 people three meals a day, seven days a week. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness; He has always met our every need!
Thank you for your continued support of our work here in Haiti. We truly appreciate your sacrifice. There is no way we could do what we do without your prayers and your faithful support.
May God richly bless you and your family in 2011.