This April marks the 15 year of our “journey” here in Haiti! That time has flown by and it is difficult to believe that we have been working in Haiti 15 years! People often ask how we describe our journey in Haiti and my response is, “it has been a wild ride, looking back at all God has done for us, through us and all that He has accomplished is breathtaking.” We have been planting seeds for 15 years and now we are excited that two of our “kids” Richard and Nancy will graduate from High School in June! We are in the process of enrolling them in the Free Gospel Bible Institute in Export, PA. There is a lot of red tape involved in obtaining all the documents required to allow them to leave Haiti on at student VISA. Please pray with us for Nancy and Richard; these two young people have a lot of potential. Pray that God will open the doors that He wants them to go through as they move on to the next phase of their lives. We would like for Nancy and Richard to return to Haiti after Bible School and work with us here at Missions in Haiti, if that is God's will.
Good Hope Church is moving forward! We had a one-week revival the last week of December. Ministers in our Church shared from God's word each evening, it was great to see different ones being used of God.
We do a Mardi Gras (spring break) crusade in February of each year. This year's crusade was the week of February 11 and it was a huge success. Brother Darrell Meadow and Brother Lendell Birdsong preached Tuesday through Friday nights. There was a move of God each evening and we had a wonderful time around the altars. We had a good number of visitors and three of them came forward for salvation. We really appreciate Brother Meadow and Brother Birdsong taking time from their busy schedules to come to Haiti and share God's word here at Good Hope Church. We also enjoyed having Alicia's father, Mike McCrate and her brother, Tim McCrate with us for the crusade. It was Mike's fourth trip to Haiti and Tim's first time in Haiti.
We were also blessed to have Rachel Prihoda return to Haiti for the month of February. Four years ago when Rachel was working with us fulltime, she started a Youth Revival the week of our crusade. Even though Rachel has not been with us fulltime during the past two years, she has returned each year for Youth Revival. This year's Youth Revival was the best one ever! We were expecting about 50 to 60 young people from the area and we had around 120 the first day and that increased each day to 190 the last day! This Youth Revival is a real blessing for the young people in this area. Mardi Gras is a wicked holiday and we provide a Christ based alternative to the sinful partying that is going on across Haiti during Mardi Gras. Rachel and her helpers had games, songs, scriptures, Bible lessons and we fed the young people each day.
Everyone who attended the 2013 Crusade really enjoyed themselves. Many of the young people attended the Youth Revival in the mornings and returned for the evening services. Only God knows everything that was accomplished for His kingdom!
Our greatest need today here at Missions in Haiti is a piece of land and a building to house our elementary and high schools. Property around us is rapidly being bought up and is increasing in price as people move to this area. We have identified three pieces of land around us that would work and we are trying to locate the owners and negotiate a price. Please pray that God will open a door for us so that we can purchase the right property and build the building. Having a nice school building will be a blessing! Today we are holding school in an unfinished house that we are renting.
We are seeing some improvements in Haiti. The government has hired people to clean up the streets and they are doing some road work here and there. We are getting around eight hours of electricity each day instead of the four hours we were accustomed to. I thought this was a blessing until I got our electric bill! The electric company sent me a notice that they were cutting off my power because I owe them more money. I paid over $7,500.00 during 2012 and they say I owe $8,000.00 more!! That breaks down to $1,250.00 per- month for eight hours electricity a day. That is way too much; at those rates, it is actually less expensive to generate our own electricity. I met with a solar power company and they offer a simple system that includes a control “brain” and a few solar panels for $5,000.00. This system is modular so we can add more solar panels later. A complete system that would provide enough power for House of Compassion will cost $20,000.00 but it would save us a lot of money long term by reducing the expense for diesel fuel to power the generator. Pray with us about this need. We sincerely appreciate all of our faithful supporters and those of you who send special offerings as the Lord lays it on your hearts. It takes both monthly support and special offerings to cover our monthly expenses. We also appreciate your prayers for us and for God's work here in Haiti. We pray that the Lord will bless you for your faithfulness.
P.S. We have a new video on our website at www.missionsinhaiti.com that was produced last fall. The video is about Haiti and our work here and if you haven't seen it, I invite you to take a look.
P.S.S. The evening of February 25 at around 7:40 PM ET we had a 3.5 magnitude earthquake and there was a 5.1 magnitude earthquake reported on February th26 in the Dominican Republic, which shares this island with Haiti. There were no reports of damage or injuries, but the earthquake caused panic in and around Port au Prince. Please pray that God will stop the shaking and that He will protect and keep us!
It is summertime in Haiti which means temperatures over 100 degrees during the day and 80s at night with tropical humidity. With the arrival of summer, we wrapped up our 2012-2013 school year. Our students and teachers are excited about the summer break and their time away from the classroom. Summertime doesn't mean break time for Alicia, Jude and myself because there are a lot of things that must be done in order to be ready for our next school year. We prepare curricula, gather large quantities of school supplies and obtain all of the fabric that the Haitian seamstresses will need to make school uniforms for our 61 kids so that they will have fresh new uniforms for the new school year.
The end of our school year also means graduation time. Kindergarten graduation is the most celebrated graduation in Haitian culture and it is a very big deal for both the child and the parents. On Friday, June 7, we had a beautiful graduation for our Kindergarten kids.
Also, this year marked a huge milestone for me and Alicia, our first High School graduates, Nancy and Richard! At their graduation I mentioned how difficult it was to believe that the last 12 years flew by so quickly. I said that Alicia and I did our best to raise Richard and Nancy properly and that the most important thing for them now is to listen to God and follow Him wherever He may lead them as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.
In July we obtained VISAs for Nancy and Richard and we are stateside now. Traveling to the USA for the first time was full of firsts for them, first time to fly, first time in the USA, first time in Oklahoma, first time to go to Walmart and their first time to eat at McDonalds! Think about that and let it soak in – it is hard to imagine what their first trip to McDonalds and Walmart was like for them! Nancy and Richard didn't have a whole lot to say their first few days stateside as they were experiencing culture shock big time! During August we will be working our way cross country from Oklahoma to Export, Pennsylvania where Nancy and Richard will be attending Free Gospel Bible Institute this fall. Please keep them in your prayers.
As soon as Richard and Nancy are settled at Free Gospel Bible Institute, we will head back to Oklahoma and then return to Haiti in early September to get the 2013 – 2014 school year underway.
As I mentioned in our last newsletter, Missions in Haiti's next project was to obtain a piece of property on which to build our Haitian elementary and high school. We located the property – it is right between the Good Hope Church and the House of Compassion, a perfect location! It is just the right size for the school and there is plenty of room for a playground for the children. We are actually purchasing two lots from two different owners and we have agreed on a price for both properties and have started the process of purchasing the properties. Nothing moves quickly in Haiti!
As soon as we have closed on the land, we will build a security wall around the property – the wall will cost around $10,000.00. Please pray with us that the finances will be in place to pay for the security wall and for the foundation that the new steel school building will sit on.
God has been real good to us over the years; we have so much to thank Him for and so much to praise Him for. Things haven't always gone exactly the way we would have liked, but God's mercy and His Grace have been sufficient to carry us through every trial. God has met every need and we are so thankful for the opportunities we have to work for Him here in Haiti. We are also very thankful for all of our loyal partners in this work. Thank you for remembering us in your prayers each day and thanks for your financial support. May God richly bless you for all you do for Missions in Haiti.
In the 10th chapter of Luke, verse 2; Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
The harvest truly is great here in Haiti, please pray that Missions in Haiti will always be in the center of God's will and that we will accomplish the Mission that our Lord has sent us to Haiti to do. God bless you!