January, March, September, & November 2004
January 1, 2004 marked Haiti’s 200th year of independence from France. Haiti was the first Black Nation to win independence. The people of Haiti literally sold their souls to satan 200 years ago and they give him credit for helping them obtain independence. As the 200th year of independence approached, it was reported that many Haitians re-dedicated the nation of Haiti to satan.
Last year we reported that Haitian President Aristide, who was formerly a Catholic Priest, officially recognized voodoo as a religion “like any other”. Aristide said “an ancestral religion, voodoo is an essential part of national identity, and it’s institutions represent a considerable portion of Haiti’s 8.3 million people”. Voodoo practitioners believe in a supreme God and spirits who link the human with the divine. The spirits are summoned by offerings that include everything from rum to roosters. Voodoo is an inseparable part of Haitian art, literature, music and film. Voodoo hymns are played on the radio and voodoo ceremonies are broadcast on television along with Christian services. Millions in Haiti place faith in voodoo. The religion evolved from West African beliefs and developed further among slaves in the Caribbean who adopted elements of Catholicism.
The 200th anniversary celebrations have been overshadowed by chaos and turmoil caused by anti-government demonstrators. In the past four months, such demonstrations have left at least 46 people dead in this impoverished nation and more than 100 wounded. Today, Haiti’s future looks bleaker than any time during the past several years. It’s hard to believe that things can get worse here in Haiti, but things have literally gone from bad to terrible. Pray for Haiti and especially pray for the people of Haiti, many of who suffer unbelievable and unbearable conditions every day of their lives.
January also marks the third anniversary for the House of Compassion children’s home. We are pleased as we see how far the Lord has brought our “children”. It is deeply rewarding to see them maturing. Our burning desire is for these children to develop a deep burden for fellow Haitians. This would accomplish so much more than we would ever be able to accomplish ourselves. Please join us every day in prayer for these children, they are dear to us and their souls are precious to Jesus!
Our Children’s Church has grown to the point that we no longer have enough benches to hold all the children who attend. For additional seating we are using cement blocks and boards. We held a Christmas celebration and we had nearly 200 in attendance for a time of worship, games and food.
The Good Hope Church and school that we built out in the province is growing slower than expected. We have witnessed only one good breakthrough in church services and that was the one time that the local voodoo priest wasn’t standing outside the door. The school children are having trouble learning and we attribute this to malnutrition. David takes food with him on his trips to check on the school. The students toss breadcrumbs to other children outside the walls of the building and we have seen a number of fights break out as the children try to grab the crumbs! Torrential rains late last year devastated the crops and livestock and the people in the area are becoming increasingly desperate. We plan to implement a feeding program this month for the people who attend Good Hope on a regular basis. The Calvary Assembly of God Church in Winfield, Missouri plans to help sponsor the feeding program on a monthly basis. As you recall, the Calvary Assembly of God was instrumental in the construction of Good Hope Church. We wish to thank the people of the Calvary Assembly of God for their help. If you would like to join this worthy cause by helping sponsor the feeding program, we would welcome your help. The needs in this provincial area are tremendous.
Please pray with us every day for Haiti. It is impossible for outsiders to understand how terrible things really are here in Haiti. Only those who have actually lived here know just how desperate the people of Haiti are. Haitians are literally starving to death physically and they are starving inside for Jesus and a better way of life. Only Christ will be able to turn this country around.
Thanks for all that you do for us. We love you and appreciate your prayers and your support.
As you probably know, the past few weeks have been extremely volatile here in Haiti. Tension has been building ever since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was re-elected in 2000. Aristide lost popularity because he failed to improve life for Haiti’s poor while his aides lived lavish lifestyles reportedly fueled by drug trafficking. Aristide fled the country February 28, when rebels prepared for a final push on the capital and the United States and France urged him to step down.
Just before Aristide’s departure, violence here in Port-au-Prince escalated to the point that we became very concerned for the safety of our children. We decided that it would be best for Alicia, Davy and Hannah to return to the United States until things cooled down. I remain here in Port-au-Prince with our 12 Haitian children. By the next day, February 25th, we would not have been able to get to the airport due to burning roadblocks that were set up all over Port-au-Prince. President Aristide’s supporters built the roadblocks in an effort to slow the movement of rebel forces into Port-au-Prince. Aristide’s people also used the roadblocks to hijack vehicles at gunpoint. Motorists were robbed of cash, cell phones and anything else of value. In some instances, the motorist’s vehicles were taken from them. With very few police to contend with, people were taking justice into their own hands. I stayed inside our compound here at House of Compassion for several days as wholesale looting, violence and executions on the streets of Port-au-Prince made travel outside extremely dangerous. To give you an idea how bad the looting is, even the hospital here in Port-au-Prince was ransacked!
Through it all, the Lord kept his hand on the House of Compassion—Praise his name!
The day after President Aristide left Haiti, peacekeeping forces from the U.S., France, Canada and other nations arrived and things began settling down, but things are still far from normal, even for Haiti. Just today, a crowd of Aristide supporters estimated at more than 10,000 marched on the U.S. Embassy here in Port-au-Prince chanting, “long live Aristide” and “down with George Bush”! Aristide supporters also called President Bush a terrorist. Heavily armed U.S. troops watched from the embassy rooftop as the crowd marched past. So far our Marines have met little or no resistance, but some Aristide supporters are threatening to attack our troops in operations patterned after the guerilla actions that our soldiers face daily in Iraq. Haiti’s future looks very bleak. This country needs a leader who will work hard to help the Haitian people by building schools, creating jobs and cleaning up the drug trafficking and lawlessness. This would allow the Haitian people to build a better life for themselves and their families.
The main purpose of this letter is to let you know that Missions in Haiti is intact and that our work here is ongoing. With our Lord’s help, we plan to continue all of our projects including our church in the provinces just as soon as conditions permit. I am really looking forward to Alicia, Davy and Hannah’s return, they are planning to come back to their “adopted home” just as soon as conditions permit and American Airlines resumes service to Haiti (as of Friday, March 05, American has not resumed service to PAP).
We received a large number of phone calls and e-mail letters during the past several days inquiring about this work and about our safety. We really appreciate your concern for us and we know that a large number of you have been praying for us and for Haiti. Please don’t stop praying, the needs here are much greater than ever before. Haiti needs Jesus more than anything else!
Thanks again for all that you do for us. Without your prayers and support our work here would be impossible.
Greetings from Haiti! 2004 has been a difficult year for the nation of Haiti. At the beginning of the year, the Haitian government disintegrated and President Aristide fled the country. Aristide is now living in exile. As the government unraveled, there was widespread looting and rioting, resulting in total chaos. The United States sent a peacekeeping force of U.S. Marines and the Marines were able to restore order. An interim President was appointed and the United Nations sent troops to help stabilize things. I am pleased to report that conditions have improved. We now have electricity 12 to 14 hours each day, which is a great improvement over the 3 hours per day we were getting. Prices for essential items have dropped a bit and the Haitian currency has stabilized. The new U.S. backed government is filled with Christian men who are seeking God’s guidance for Haiti. We want to say a special “thank you” to all of you who spent many hours praying for Haiti. Believe me, your prayers made a big difference. Please don’t stop praying for Haiti and for our work here. There is so much to be done; it will take years to bring this country out of the pit of despair that it slid into. Haiti’s only hope is Christ!
We have been very busy this summer here at Missions In Haiti. Our work continues to expand and we seek God’s guidance each day. Again this school year, I am part of the Administration of the Morning Star Christian Academy, which uses the A. C. E. curriculum. Our first day of school was August 16. We have 180 students enrolled and many of the new students have never heard the Gospel of Christ. I presented the Plan of Salvation to several of the new students and their parents as I enrolled them in school. Davy started school this year and he is excited about being part of our pre-K program, in fact Davy is so excited about school he doesn’t even want to take recess!
The Church of Good Hope continues to grow. Many Haitians have learned about Christ for the first time at Good Hope. Please pray that God will open minds and allow these people to fully understand God’s plan of salvation. Classes at the Good Hope School will begin September 13. We have 52 students enrolled. These children are very excited! Thirty of them have never been to school before and they wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to school at all if it weren’t for the Good Hope Church/School. Here in Haiti, all schools charge tuition and the typical Haitian family simply cannot afford to send their children to school. Please pray with us as we seek additional funding for this very important work. As you can imagine there are a lot of expenses: uniforms, teacher’s salaries, books, supplies, benches for the church/school and the Pastor’s salary to name a few. Good Hope is currently holding two services on Sunday and a mid-week Bible study and prayer meetings. This work is making a difference in the area and Good Hope has great potential.
Another area that is growing is our Child Sponsorship/Children’s Church program. With the help of our stateside sponsors, we are sending 90 children from here in Port-au-Prince to school this year. This is double the number we were able to help last year! This work is extremely important and we ask that you pray with us about our School Sponsorship program.
Since our last newsletter, we have taken our 14th Haitian child into the House of Compassion. In May, 21 month-old Rosemitha joined us. We saw Rosemitha for the first time last November. She was 15 months old and weighed only 11 pounds. We took her to a clinic that treats malnutrition and after spending three months at the clinic; she was healthy enough to return home. Rosemitha’s mother does laundry for people in order to earn a meager living and she completely ignored the baby while she worked. Rosemitha’s health began to decline rapidly and in order for the baby to have a chance for survival, we agreed to let her join us here at House of Compassion.
Our newest member here at House of Compassion is 4 month-old Daniel, he arrived three weeks ago. Daniel was running a fever and vomiting continuously. He wouldn’t eat. Daniel’s mother and three sisters live in downtown Port-au-Prince in a tin shack the size of a closet. Daniel’s mother just didn’t care if he lived or died. With intensive care and intensive prayer, we began to see improvement in his condition within the last few days.
During the past two weeks we have been bombarded with requests to take additional children, but lack of space and lack of qualified helpers prohibit us from doing so. Turning these children away literally tears our hearts out, especially knowing that our decision may well be the difference between life and death for that child. There are so many children here in Haiti that really needs someone to take care of them and to care about them. As badly as we would like to be able to help all the children who need help, it is just impossible to do so. Pray for us, we need God’s guidance and strength.
We were fortunate to be able to see many of you while we were stateside this summer. We really appreciate the hospitality that everyone showed us. Midway through our summer travels; I had to return to Haiti for a week to take care of things here at House of Compassion. During that time, Alicia carried on and shared the message about what God was doing here in Haiti. The theme of her message was “I want to live my life so that when my life is over I will have no regrets”. That should be the thing we all strive for every day of our lives. Alicia said that she has no regrets about working for God. She said that if we had not answered the call of God on our lives, when we got to Heaven, we would have regretted the fact that we did not do everything we could for God. The challenge is for all of us to live a life of no regrets. One of Alicia’s favorite songs is the old Fanny Crosby hymn, “My Savior First of All”; As you probably know, the song says:
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see;
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.
Oh, the soul thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face,
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye;
How my heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace,
That prepare for me a mansion in the sky.
Oh, the dear ones in glory, how they beckon me to come,
And our parting at the river I recall;
To the sweet vales of Eden they will sing my welcome home;
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.
Through the gates of the city in a robe of spotless white,
He will lead me where no tears will ever fall;
In the glad song of ages I shall mingle with delight;
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.
I shall know him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.
Please continue to pray for Haiti! If this nation has ever needed God’s intervention Haiti needs it now. The past sixty days have been unbelievably difficult for the Haitian people and that is saying a whole lot given the terrible conditions that most Haitians exist in every day. The flooding from Hurricane Jeanne totally devastated Gonavies, a city in northern Haiti. This area was already suffering from flooding that occurred earlier this year and from political unrest and violence, when it received the knockout punch from Jeanne. We have been bombarded with requests for assistance due to the devastation. We distributed food to families in our Children’s Church for their family members who lost everything because of the hurricane.
Last month we were asked to take a brother and sister into House of Compassion. They were left homeless by hurricane Jeanne. The children were suffering from extreme hunger and they were in shock because of the incredible things they had witnessed and lived through. Jouseline age seven and Ninick age six have joined us here at House of Compassion.
Including Josueline and Ninick, we have added five children since our last newsletter. Miriam, age six, an orphan, was in a child slave situation. Miriam’s brother brought her to us. He was looking for a better life for Miriam. We agreed to bring her into House of Compassion. Franske, age three, arrived three weeks ago. His mother died just over a year ago and his father is an elderly man who suffers from dementia. Fridson, age two, came to us on a temporary basis. He was suffering from a severe lack of protein and his arms and legs were swollen to the point that his skin was ready to burst. Fridson would have died very soon if it weren’t for intervention. He is now on the road to recovery. Since his family doesn’t have the means to properly care for him, they decided to leave him with us permanently.
Please pray with us regarding our finances. To accommodate our new kids, we purchased beds, a table, clothing, paid for medical exams and school enrollment. These unexpected expenses, combined with the cost of the food distributed through our Children’s Church have eaten up the $3,250. 00 set aside to pay our rent, which is due at the end of the year. It costs $100.00 per-month to provide proper care for a child here at House of Compassion. If you are able to sponsor one of our new kids or help with a portion of a sponsorship, your support will be greatly appreciated. Believe me, there is a whole lot to be done here in Haiti and I assure you that everything that you invest in this effort will be used for God’s work and nothing will be wasted.
We are thankful to report that the street violence that flared up recently has started showing signs of calming. The downtown portion of Port-au-Prince has been shut down for weeks. Several people have been kidnapped and beheaded. Haitians that work in downtown Port-au-Prince have not been able to go to their jobs due to the riotous conditions. These folks are joining the rapidly growing number of people who are begging on the streets in order to survive. There are no government welfare programs here in Haiti and the only hope that many of these Haitians have, is to find a Missionary who is willing and who has the means to help them exist until they are able to return to work. Words cannot express the horrible conditions and the look on the faces of the masses of people who are looking for a small ray of hope here in Haiti. Jesus is the only answer!
On the last Thursday in October, we were blessed to be able to provide a clinic at our Church-school out in the province. Nearly 200 people were treated for malnutrition and various illnesses. Satan is really fighting the Pastor at the outpost we are working to establish. There are three practicing witchdoctors in the area. Please hold this Pastor up in your prayers every day. He is toiling for the Lord in one of the most difficult environments imaginable, but our God is able to keep him safe and allow the work to go forward.
Have a blessed holiday season. We love you and thank you for your prayers and support.