March, June, & September 2012
It is difficult to believe it is the middle of March, 2012 is flying by!
We returned to Haiti on December 29th and hit the ground running. We praise and thank the Lord for all the things that have already been accomplished this year. A new house for our man Jude is almost finished and he should be able to move in by the middle of April. We are pleased that Missions in Haiti was able to help Jude build this nice home. Jude and his fiancée have set the date; they plan to marry on the 30th of June! They are anxious to begin their lives together as husband and wife. Jude is a huge part of our work; he works long days here at the House of Compassion, in the schools and at the Good Hope Church. Without Jude's help our lives would be much more difficult. Thank you Jude for the eight years of faithful service that you have given to the Lord!
God has really been moving and working here at Good Hope Church. While we haven't had a big increase in attendance, the Lord is leading the Church into a deeper walk with Him. We had special services during the past couple months in which we reached out to the community. First, there was our annual New Year's Eve “Watch Night” service to usher in 2012. Then, on the first Sunday night in February we had a special music service with visiting choirs from area Churches. Haitian people love music and the Church was packed with both Saints and sinners. I challenged the sinners to get right with God and I challenged the Saints to draw nearer to Him during 2012. I know that God ministered to many souls that night.
On February 20 – 24 we held our annual “Mardi Gras Crusade”. We were honored to have our Pastor, Brother Darrell Meadow from Claremore, Oklahoma here to preach our fourth Crusade. Brother Meadow preached our first crusade three years ago. Brother Meadow preached powerful, timely messages every night and the Word of God touched many hearts and lives. We had over 200 first-time visitors attend this year's Crusade! We know seeds were sown and we are praying and believing that God will continue to stir hearts and change lives here in Haiti.
Alicia's father, Mike McCrate accompanied Pastor Meadow. Mike really enjoyed the Crusade and he had a great time with Davy, Hannah and Sam.
We have been telling you about the great need for a new school building in the area where we are located. After the earthquake destroyed much of Port au Prince, many families moved out to this area creating a tremendous need for more schools. We know that there are two things needed to transform Haiti into a productive nation; Jesus Christ and a good Christ based education.
Alicia came to me last month and told me that we really need to have a school building ready to go by September when the new school year starts. Each year as our children get older, we add a higher grade to our school program and we will eventually need to add four more grades so that we can provide the 15 years of schooling required for Haitian children. We are completely out of room in our present facilities. We have a small unused parcel of land next to the Church and we decided to put a small two story building which will serve as preschool on it. Brother Meadow and Mike shared the need for the building with their Church and the funds were raised to pay for the foundation. I contacted Frank Reeder, who helped us obtain the metal building that houses the Good Hope Church and we decided to go with a 42' X 21' metal building which we plan to ship from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Port au Prince in a container this summer. The building will have two classrooms upstairs and one downstairs. We decided to leave the room downstairs undivided and we will use it for Children's Church on Sundays. All three rooms will also be used as Sunday School rooms.
We are excited to get this project underway, we plan to pour the foundation this month and we will raise funds for the building when we are stateside for six weeks beginning mid- April. Projected cost of the building plus shipping is $35,000.00. Please pray that the Lord will provide the funds needed so that this building can be completed by September. If you would like to be a part of this worthwhile project, all funds marked “building fund” will go toward purchasing and shipping this building.
Thank you for your continued prayers for us and for Missions in Haiti and thank you for your financial support. You are a valuable part of the Missions in Haiti team; we genuinely appreciate all that you do for us and for our Lord.
Please remember us in your prayers every day.
By the time this newsletter reaches you, we will be back in Haiti going “full steam ahead!” This April marks our 14th year in Haiti and this was the first time in 14 years we were stateside during the month of May. We really enjoyed the spring weather; normally it is blazing hot in the summer or freezing cold in the winter when we are stateside!
Please pray for us! During the month of June, we will be winding up the school year at the Good Hope Haitian School. Our 400 students are very excited that summer vacation is almost here! Alicia, Jude and I will be very busy during the next two months getting the curriculum, uniforms and new building ready for school to start the first Monday of September. I want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who participates in our school sponsorship program. Without you, these children would not have the opportunity to attend school, much less a Christian School! Thank you and may God richly bless you for all you do.
We really appreciate Andrew Hill coming to Haiti and working with us as a teacher for three months. Andrew was a tremendous help, he freed me up to work on other projects that needed attention such as getting the slab poured for our pre-school. The kids really enjoyed Andrew he was a positive influence on their lives. God bless you Andrew, thank you very much!
Pray with us that we will find a teacher for our ACE school for the next school year. Praise the Lord, we are rejoicing! In our last newsletter I mentioned that we needed $35,000.00 to purchase a metal building and ship it to Haiti. I told you about our plans to erect the new twostory building, which will be utilized as our preschool learning center. It will be built on the same lot where the Good Hope Church is located. This financial need was greatly reduced when a very generous supporter donated the building. Back in 2008, this same man donated the metal building that is now the Good Hope Church! We are humbled by this man's tremendous generosity and we are praying that God will bless him for everything he has done and is doing for the Kingdom of God and for God's children!
We still needed to raise funds to pay for the shipping of the 40' container that we shipped out of Tulsa on Wednesday, May 30 and for electrical supplies and flooring for the second floor of the new building. During our time stateside we itinerated and raised part of the needed funds. We still need $4,500.00 for fees and customs charges that we have to pay to get our container out of Haitian customs. We also need $750.00 for electrical supplies (wiring, circuit breaker box and ceiling fans) and we need $1,100.00 for the subflooring sheets. I put these charges on my credit card so that we could go ahead and purchase the supplies and load them on the container. The bill will come due in 30 days or less! Pray with us that the Lord will supply this need!
We have two groups scheduled to come to Haiti the first two weeks of August to help erect the new building. The building should be finished by mid-August. Our preschoolers will be very excited and proud of their new school building!
Praise the Lord for all that He has done, for all the needs He has met for us and for all that He is doing here in Haiti!
Thank you for your prayers, please continue to pray for us every day, we couldn't accomplish anything without the Lord walking by our side and giving us strength and wisdom to deal with the situations that we face daily! We realize that many of you give sacrificially to support God's work, thank you very much! As I have mentioned many times, we couldn't do what we do for God without your help.
Thank you and God bless you. Pray for us and pray for Haiti!
P.S. The container we shipped out of Tulsa turned out to be a major challenge! A volunteer crew showed up as scheduled around 7:30 A.M. on Friday, May 25. We staged some of the supplies so we could load them on the container as quickly and efficiently as possible. Then we waited, waited and waited but the truck carrying the container never arrived. The container finally arrived in Tulsa on Wednesday, May 30 and it took us between five and six hours to load it. It was warm in Tulsa on Wednesday and it was HOT inside the container. After we finished loading, the driver “scaled” the load and found that it was within the total weight limit, but we had too much weight in the front of the container. Many of the crew that loaded the container was exhausted but two or three of them stayed and we found some fresh volunteers to unload and reload the container. The load finally rolled out the gate at around 7:10 P.M. I followed the driver to the scales and I was very relieved when he told me that we were “good to go!” We had our tickets to fly to Haiti the next day, Thursday, May 31, so this turned into a very stressful situation for everyone involved. We thank the Lord for helping us get the container loaded and reloaded without anyone being injured. We were thankful to see the big red truck headed down the highway toward Miami, Florida!
Greetings from Haiti in the name of Jesus!
We returned to Haiti in May and the summer months flew by! We wrapped up our school year in June and spent July and August preparing for the upcoming school year.
Creating textbooks for our 400 Haitian students is a labor intensive project. Alicia and Jude developed the God-centered, Christian curriculum that we have been using in our Haitian schools for several years.
This curriculum is a tremendous tool for reaching Haitian children with the gospel while providing a great education. I am very thankful that the Lord anointed Alicia and Jude and helped them with this huge undertaking. We use a whole lot of paper in the production of our textbooks, but creating and printing textbooks instead of purchasing commercially available textbooks saves us about 50% and we don’t have to worry about the textbooks being infused with teachings about voodoo! Each textbook is used for five to six weeks and each child receives eight textbooks during the school year.
We had to rent new school facilities and move the Haitian schools, both here and in Triano. That turned out to be a big job, but thank the Lord, it is behind us and both of the “new” facilities are much nicer than the ones we moved out of. We really appreciate the Lord’s help with finding these properties.
The container we shipped from Tulsa containing the steel two-story “kindergarten” building arrived here in June. A team from Denton, Texas and Zack Rash from Inola, Oklahoma came to Haiti the first week of August to erect the new building. This turned out to be the busiest week of the summer. It was a hot, sweaty, humid week and the work was tough, but when it was time for the team to go home the building was nearly ready for the kindergarten classes to move in! The kindergarten students, teachers and parents are very excited and pleased with the new school building, but the person most excited is Alicia. The Christian schools are Alicia’s passion! During the past 14 years she has had to make-do with broken down, inadequate facilities. Praise the Lord for supplying this need and we know that God will richly bless the building donor and the team that gave their time and money to come to Haiti to erect the facility.
Going forward, our dream is to find a piece of land and erect two more steel buildings. One building will serve as elementary school and the other will house the high school. The two buildings would contain 16 classrooms and would be one of the nicest Haitian schools in Haiti. Please pray that we will find the right property and that God will supply the funds needed according to His perfect will.
We need an ACE teacher, please pray with us about this need.
We are entering a new phase of ministry here in Haiti. Nancy and Richard will graduate from high school at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. We are excited about the ways that the Lord is using these young people. Richard and Nancy have been with us over 12 years and have grown into wonderful young people who dearly love God. They are part of our family and Alicia and I are beginning to feel our age as Richard and Nancy start their senior year! Richard and Nancy have been a tremendous blessing to us. Pray that God will guide and direct them as they make crucial decisions about their futures and pray that God will use them as workers in His harvest field here in Haiti!
Please continue to pray with us for Haiti. As we predicted a couple years ago, the aid that flooded into Haiti after the earthquake was a mixed blessing. We lost several staff members to better paying jobs and to promises that we weren’t able to match. I tried to explain that many of the groups would be in Haiti for a short time, until the earthquake funds were spent and then they would be gone. Now, financial aid is no longer pouring in, the earthquake is yesterday’s news and the rest of the world has moved on. Haitians are knocking on our gate every day asking us to take their children, help them with housing, food, schooling or a job. It is really sad, but at the end of the day Haiti is much worse off than it was before the earthquake occurred.
Recently, the World Bank identified the 10 countries with the highest poverty rates and Haiti was #1 on the list. Today, 77% of Haitians live in poverty. The World Bank notes that more than half of Haiti’s population lives on less than one dollar a day, while about 80% of the country lives on less than two dollars a day. The country’s estimated unemployment rate as of 2010 was 40.6%. I know it is difficult to believe that anyone could live on $1.00 a day and even more difficult to believe given that prices for most things here in Haiti are double what we would pay for the same things in the U.S.!
Please pray for Missions in Haiti. Our finances have taken a direct hit as a result of the sluggish economy in the U.S. Our monthly support has dropped a little each month and the cost of everything we buy has steadily increased. God has met every need, but each month things get a little tighter. Some projects are on the back burner because the funds are not available.
Our God is an “on-time God” and we know that he is able to supply every need!
Thank you for your financial support and for your faithful prayer support. We really appreciate your concern for reaching lost souls for Christ. Reaching the lost is truly our Mission in Haiti, please pray for us!
Thank you for all you do for God’s children!