May 2010 Lifeline News

Highlights from the May, 2010, Lifelines  

     Rice, Beans, and Clothing Bring Relief to Earthquake Refugees

 

 


     Thanks to all of you who sent funds for our relief efforts to earthquake refugees in northern Haiti.   Approximately $3,000 was donated to pay for buying rice and beans in Haiti, and for shipping the used clothing which had been donated.  Below are some photos of some of the needy families receiving this aid.    

     The photo at the left show families receiving rice and beans at the Bas-Fosse church.



     This photo shows families at the Cap-Haitien church after receiving some of the clothing that was donated.

 

News from the Ministry’s Churches

Compiled from monthly reports from Rev. Claude Saintil

 It is a great blessing and joy to communicate to you the blessings from our church people of Haiti, and I do also take this opportunity to thank you from the depths of our hearts for your true love and great consideration toward us all.   We do always appreciate and love all your efforts and sacrifices.    We do thank and praise God for the good work He allows us to accomplish for His glory, and for our precious brothers and sisters in Christ.            First, let me tell you that all our churches are going well.    Sunday worship has been full with people.   Bible studies have taken place according to schedule, training for leaders is not stopping and evangelism is going without any stumbling block in the way. 

            At Bas-Fossé our church people are very interested in all of our spiritual works.   The church is meeting with some 156 people on Sunday divided into four Sunday school classes.  We have new converts waiting for baptism soon.   The only serious problem to show Christian films was rain.   It rained hard and often during the month of April.   Due to your financial help the latrine is fixed, and our school students and church people do feel great thankfulness.   The place was really bad before being fixed [See page 5].  Pastor Pierre had an accident when coming to the church in April.   A big pig crossed the road in front of him, and he could not do anything else but hit it.   He was not hurt, but his motorcycle was broken.  It is now fixed.   Rice and beans have been given away to church people at Bas-Fossé, and shoes and clothes and T-shirts also.

          The Cap-Haitien church has always been beautiful and full with people.   There are many active groups inside it: ladies group, young adult group, children’s group and young men’s choir.    Along side with all these there are weekly bible studies, morning prayer, evangelism, training of church leaders and house-to-house visitation.  At last report there are some 139 members in the church.    Among the members there are 12 widows and 1 widower.    Pastor Bastien has not yet gone to the Dominican Republic for his eyes, and he does not show interest in Haitian doctors.     We are waiting for his brother and family members to decide when to go to the Dominican Republic.    Rice and beans, clothing and shoes have been given away and shared with the church people.    The Jesus Film has been shown often in this church.    The church does need more bibles, song books and bible study materials for the leaders.

          The La Suisse church is going and growing nice every day.    On Sunday the church is meeting with some 160 people.    According to schedule there are bible studies, evangelism, home visitations, morning prayer, open-air meetings, classes for new Christians and training for church leaders.  The young people at this church love to be taught and are very interested in spiritual works. There are many earthquake refugees at La Suisse, and we do always share everything with them, especially rice and beans, clothes and shoes, but there are still more in need.    They always show thankfulness to you all.    Window blocks have been set in the vacant spaces for them.    Now only five windows are reserved for the iron bars.     The latrine at La Suisse is in very, very bad shape.    We are praying for a one as good as the one at Bas-Fossé.

 

 

Following Up on Some Recent LifeLines Articles

 

 Wedding Dresses:  Thanks to some ladies who support the ministry, four wedding dresses were donated and have been shipped to Haiti.    As we described in the last LifeLines, Haitian culture is such that couples will put off their weddings until they can be dressed “properly” for the ceremony.  Having these dresses to loan out to engaged couples will ease some stressful situations.            

 Repair of Church Latrine at Bas-Fossé:  


     The ministry’s church at Bas-Fossé had a latrine which had deteriorated over the years (see photo at left).   This is a very poor community, and when the church had a little extra money they built a new baptistery in preference to repairing the latrine—perhaps a good indication of their priorities.   In a newsletter last year we listed this as a work project available for a work team to repair.   

     In January of this year, a work team was at Bas-Fossé working on repairing wells.   While there, a team member was moved to donate the funds to have the repair done by a local workman.    The repair has now been completed (see “News from Our Churches," above)

 

The Ministry has a New Vehicle for Haiti: As reported earlier, the ministry’s Jeep has been undergoing a series of problems, to the extent that we have been praying for a new, more reliable vehicle.  Thanks to donations designated for this purpose, a 2001 Toyota Tacoma truck has just been purchased for the Ministry.  Pictured at the left is our new (to us) vehicle.    This truck is a 4 X 4 Crew Cab model with a V6 engine and automatic transmission.    Besides having the best reliability record, Toyotas are the manufacturer of choice in Haiti.    Nearly all of the “tap-taps” are Toyotas.   We now are in the process of arranging shipment to Haiti via ship-board cargo container.   

Proclaimers bringing God’s Word to non-readers in Haiti



     The literacy rate in Haiti, according to the most recent survey, is only about 40% for Haitians over 15 years of age (see www.nationmaster.com).   This is, of course, a huge deterrent in people knowing God’s Word.  Late last year the ministry learned of the existence of the Proclaimer program sponsored by the Faith Comes By Hearing ministry (www.FaithComesByHearing.com).     

        We contacted them to learn the details of the units and the cost to use the units in our ministry, especially in the rural communities where illiteracy is highest.    We learned the Proclaimers normally cost $125, but through an affiliated ministry, they would send us four Proclaimers at no cost providing we send in periodic reports on their use.    We received the four units in January, and have been using them in all three of our churches in the manner they recommend; i. e., having 30-minute weekly sessions to listen to a portion of the New Testament.

         

 



Below is a description of these remarkable devices:

An installed microchip contains Scriptures in Haitian Creole. The chip will not erase or wear out from frequent playing.

∙ The battery will play for 15 hours and can be recharged enough times to play the entire New Testament more than 1,000 times.

∙ The Proclaimer has a built-in generator and solar panel to charge the battery.

∙ The solar panel, in addition to charging the battery, will run the Proclaimer without battery power as long as there is sunlight.

 ∙ The sound is digital quality and loud enough to be heard clearly by groups as large as 300.

                            A Proclaimers listening session at Bas-Fosse 

Highlights from the February, 2010, Lifelines 

 Ministry Work Team Works Through Rain and Earthquake

      The ministry had a work team of six men from Tennessee and one from Indiana in northern Haiti at the time of the earthquake on January 12. Due to the 120-mile distance from Port-au-Prince, the tremors were not destructive (but were definitely felt) in the Cap-Haitien vicinity.

     These set-backs did not prevent the team  from accomplishing several other valuable tasks, including repair of the ministry’s Jeep, purchase of three light-weight motorcycles, upgrading the video projection equipment, delivery of a 6,500 watt generator to the Bas-Fossé church, and participation in the ministry’s church services (when the weather permitted), including two baptism sevices.   The team returned on schedule, and all seven expressed what a blessing the trip had been to them despite the problems with the wells.

       The team’s prime objective was to reclaim water wells near the Bas-Fossé church (see photo at left).   There were heavy rains throughout the team’s week in Haiti, but they worked valiantly in difficult conditions on three wells, alas unsuccessfully.  The wells could neither be cleared of either debris or the well rod, nor could the well casings be pulled.   As a consequence, it appears the only thing to do is to get operating wells is to have new ones drilled by an experienced driller.

 

 

 

 News from the Ministry’s Churches

Compiled from monthly reports from Rev. Claude Saintil

           All of our churches are going well.   We still keep our regular schedule for worship, Bible studies, training and evangelism.  From December to January we have had more than 30 new converts.    Please, we would like to offer each of them a Bible and a song book.   We are in prayer so that God may open a door and provide for these needs.  We have shown the videos The Jesus Film, The Story of Jesus for Children, God’s Story and The Hope many time, and always many people come to see them.   

     Fourteen new converts were baptized at La Suisse (see photo at left).    The school activity at La Suisse is going well.   Many of the school children come and attend our Sunday worship, and parents have witnessed the good behavior of their children since they have been our students.    At the Bas-Fossé church we are also adding new Christians, and have reconciled two others.   Six were baptized there when the work team from the U. S. in January.  We do continue to train our young Christians in the Evangelism Explosion program, and Pastor Maneson’n is training the church leaders.

     Many people have been added to the Cap-Haitien church, and many young people really love their church.  Pastor Bastien still has problem with his eyes [see update, page 3], but with the help of his wife, he has been able to keep preaching in this church.

     Rice and beans was given to all three churches in December and we are now giving rice and beans to earthquake refugees.   I cannot tell you how much people appreciate it.   They pray for all of the fine people of God who have wholeheartedly contributed to provide it for them.     We are also very thankful for the many boxes of clothes that have been sent.

The La Suisse Church Has a New Concrete Floor 

    Thanks to  generous donations received last year, the ministry had the necessary  funds to pour the concrete floor in the church building at La Suisse.   This is an answered prayer for the ministry as this church has had only a dirt floor since its construction some 4 years ago.

     The donated funds were also sufficient to have four doors installed. Still needed to complete the building is the installation of windows in the openings in the concrete block walls.  These are needed to provide security for the building’s church and school supplies.

    Two types of windows are typically used in Haiti: (1) an iron grillwork, or (2) ventilated concrete blocks.  The grillwork allows more light to the interior, but the cost is considerably higher.
 


Three Motorcycles Donated to the Ministry

    

     Our ministry has been blessed to receive the donation of funds to purchase three, new light-weight motorcycles for use by our pastors and evangelists in Haiti.   These vehicles will greatly reduce the cost of transportation by our staff there.        The ministry’s older Jeep Grand Cherokee has been our only vehicle.  It is wearing out fast, plus it is a “gas hog.” Since the cost of gasoline in Haiti sells for about 50% more per gallon than in the U. S., this has greatly curtailed travel, especially to our two rural churches.  


     Please pray for the safety of our staff as they maneuver these motorcycles through very congested city traffic and around potholes on the rough country roads.

 

 

Highlights from the November, 2009, Lifelines 

Our Appreciation Banquet Was A Blessing to All


         On Saturday, A
ugust 29, Light and Life Evangelical Ministries hosted its first annual appreciation 
   banquet at Cannon Community Church in Woodbury, Tennessee.    Our special guest was Rev. Claude
   Saintil, who traveled from Haiti especially to attend the annual meeting and the banquet.

       Ladies, and one gentleman of the church prepared a delicious meal. and the youth of the church served
   a sit-down meal in the churche's fellowship hall.


       Following the meal, the attendees adjourned to the sanctuary where Ministry President, Gerry Molitor
   reviewed for the assembled guests how God had brought the men on the Ministry's Board of Directors
   together to found the mission in January, 2008.  He reviewed the many years of experience in Haiti
   missions by the three directors, dating back to 1986, and their long association with Rev. Saintil.


       Rev. Claude Saintil followed President Molitor with a
report on the past year’s activities and narrated a
    Power Point slide show.  His report highlighted the Ministry’s evangelism outreach in Northern Haiti, the
   growth of the Ministry’s three churches; the distribution of Bibles, clothing and food; and the repair of the
   well near the Bas-Fossé church.   He thanked everyone for their support of the Ministry’s work in Haiti.




A New Pastor for the Bas-Fossé Church

                                                
     As a result of a monthly donation to pay the salary, and of the inclusion in this year’s budget at the annual Board of Directors meeting in August (see article below
) the Ministry has hired a pastor for the church at Bas-Fossé.   Pastor Maneson’n Pierre was highly recommended by our National Director, Rev. Claude Saintil, and had already been filling the pulpit at the church, part time, on a volunteer basis.z

     Following review of his application for affiliation with the Ministry, the Board voted unanimously to employ him.    Pastor Pierre has a part-time job as a clerk in a government office, but will spend Friday through Sunday ministering at in the Bas-Fossé community.    Pastor <?Pierre is married to Joseph Myrlande, and has three sons: Davidson, 18; vladimyr, 15; and Kelly, 13.   Please pray for him as he begins his ministry in this very needy area of Haiti. 

Results of the Annual Board of Directors Meeting 

The Board of Directors of the Ministry met in Marianna, Florida on August 24, 2009.   All Board members (Gerry Molitor, Jim Leftwich, and Clyde Nevins) were in attendance as well as Rev. Claude Saintil, the Ministry’s National Director in Haiti.   One guest, Mrs. Imogene Dixon, founder and Director Emeritus of Good Shepherd Ministries in Haiti, attended the meeting as well (Light and Life Evangelical Ministries is an outgrowth of Good Shepherd Ministries).

         The most significant actions of the Board were: (1) Approving the hiring of a pastor for the Bas-Fossé church. (2) Increasing the salaries of all Ministry employees in Haiti by 10%. (3) Adding a monthly benevolence allowance for Rev. Saintil to administer when a serious need arises. (4) Adding a fourth grade to the school at Bas-Fossé, and initiating groundwork for a new school at La Suisse. (5) Planning for work-teams and a seminar teaching team for 2010. (6) Approving the budget for the coming year.

 News from the Ministry’s Churches

The Church at Bas-Fossé 

Our usual scheduled activities are going well: the gospel has been shared twice a week and Bible studies every Friday.   There is morning prayer every week day.    Many groups have been trained in the church, and visiting with sick people has taken place very often.   Pastor Pierre is preaching, but his job schedule has been revised so he has only the weekend to work with.

The school is going very well.   The church has added an additional grade, so now there are four classes (see photo of teachers at left).  About one hundred students enrolled; eighty-two of them come to school.   Others are struggling for books, school uniform and school supplies.   They are very hungry during the school days without any food.

They people are very happy to get the rice and beans every three months.   They are happy and thankful for those who contribute to the food program.   It is very important and helpful for our church.

The Church at La Suisse 

In the same week two old ladies and one young girl died in October.  La Suisse is not a big community, and it seems everyone is related to each other.   Everyone felt to visit the mourning houses, and our Sunday services were almost empty.    We were not happy about it, but we also visited the mourning families after the Lord’s Service on Sunday. 

            The church has Bible studies every Wednesday, morning prayer every weekday, and evangelism outreach three times a week.  The schedule of church activities has been changed because of the school periods in the church building.   The school has been doing well.   Eighty students were enrolled in the four classes, but only about half of them come to school.   Many parents are unable to provide books, school uniform and other school supplies for their children.    School is a very easy and sure way to reach children and parents with the gospel.   Every Sunday the school children come and worship with us.   There is an urgent need for school benches, blackboards, and other school supplies.

 The Church at Haut-du-Cap

The church in Cap-Haitien is doing very well, with about 115 worshipers in the Sunday morning service.   There is morning prayer every day except Sunday, Bible study on Tuesday, praise and thanksgiving on Thursday evening, and night watch on Friday.  There is also visiting houses on Friday. Many young people who come to the city for school are worshipping at this church.   Its congregation is growing day after day, and there are a lot of spiritual activities   A baptism service is scheduled for December.   A young man who is very artistic in music joined this church in October.  He is a big help with the musical instruments, and the youth groups of the church do appreciate and love him a lot.

 Pastor Bastien has been still preaching, but now he has a young assistant pastor, Modelin Merius. Pastor Bastien has difficulty to see quite well.   He can do things and walk about, but his vision is much worse than before his cataract surgery.

 

Highlights from the August, 2009, Lifelines

 

The Ministry Completes Its First Year

On May 31, 2009, Light and Life Evangelical Ministries, Inc., completed its first full year of serving God in Haiti. Preliminary talks on starting a new ministry in Haiti began in January of 2008, and from that time the necessary steps to name the ministry, organize a board of directors, generate the Ministry's bylaws, prepare a Development Plan and to file the incorporation papers were undertaken.

The Board of Directors took an exploratory trip to Haiti in April of 2008, at which time they surveyed the churches that had expressed their desire to affiliate with the new ministry.     Haitian pastors and evangelists were interviewed as well, and salaries were established for the four men who joined the ministry.    A target date of June 1, 2008, was set to begin operating as a ministry, and this was subsequently met.

 God has done amazing things through the ministry this year.   We praise Him for the many people who have contributed both time and money to support the goals and accomplishments of the ministry.    We have generated an Annual Report to give all those who are interested a comprehensive overview of this first year.   Included is a summary of how your contributions were used by the Ministry.  We will gladly provide one to you at your request.    The report will also be available to attendees at the Annual Meeting and Banquet (see story below).

             

          Annual Meeting & Appreciation Banquet August 29

          Light and Life Evangelical Ministries, Inc., will hold its first Annual Meeting and Appreciation Banquet at the Cannon Community Church in Woodbury, Tennessee, on August 29, 2009.   Our special guest for this meeting will be Rev. Claude Saintil, the Ministry’s National Director in Haiti, who is making a special trip to the United States for these events.

         You are cordially invited to be our guests at this banquet and hear first-hand from Rev. Saintil the many things God has done through the ministry in Haiti.   We will have a Power Point presentation showing photographs of the year’s highlights as well.

                                  

                                  News from the Churches in Haiti

Compiled from monthly reports from Rev. Claude Saintil

The Church at Bas-Fossé

       Christian and spiritual activities are wonderful.   Our current activities such as Bible studies on Wednesday, evangelism on Sunday evening, home visitation and prayer, fast on prayer on Friday morning, training new and young leaders, are all working wonderfully well.   Last Sunday there were about fifteen aged persons, both men and women, who split into little groups of two or three in order to visit and pray for those who could not take part in our worship service on Sunday morning.  

     The school is going very well.   Teachers are doing a good job with our kids.   The teachers and others join together to say thank you to the board and other contributors to the school.  We now are focusing on a special spiritual program for this summer.  

     The Mobile Medical Clinic will soon start.   We have received the $75 donated for this, and we have bought some medicines.   All told we needto fully stock the clinics at Bas-Fosse and the one at La Suisse. 

                                                The Church at La Suisse

     The church at La Suisse has been doing very well.  In April a new group of thirty-eight children started club to be taught Bible verses, Bible histories, and especially to learn about Christ.  Now there are fifty. They are going to be used as seed for the coming generations.   We will do our best to invest them with spiritual treasure that God will use in due time.  

     The last weeks of May brought very wet weather, and church activities were considerably reduced.   Praise God that we have some local leaders who are able to carry on activities when we cannot be there. When weather permits we still have home visitation on Sunday afternoons, outstation service on Monday and Friday, fasting and prayer on Tuesday, leadership training and Bible studies on Wednesday, and open-air meetings on Thursday afternoons.  People keep asking about the mobile medical clinic.      

     The church building is still in need of windows and doors, and we pray for the money to buy them.

The Church in Cap-Haitien

The Haut-du-Cap church has the same activities as the other two churches, except on a different schedule.   The people in this church are very serious about their church activities.   The church is always full of people and is growing in number, and there seven different active groups cooperating to the benefit of the church.   Many Christians from different churches ask for affiliation with this church.

     On the last Sunday of May there were nine new-born Christians baptized.   The church, Pastor Bastien, and her relatives thank the Board and the precious brother who donated the wheel chair for the crippled lady.   She is now able to come to the worship service on Sunday.   We are in prayer for a crippled man in this church.   He had a very bad accident which caused his two legs to be broken.   It is now time for him to take out the iron which has held them together but he cannot go to the doctor because of money problems.

     Pastor Bastien and the church are also in prayer to start a school for the children of the church, and we are asking God to provide the resources for a school here and also at the La Suisse church.   It is up to the Lord.

                     120 More Bibles Bought for Needy Haitians

Thanks to the contributions of three supporters of the ministry, three cases of Haitian Creole Bibles (24 per case) and one case of French Bibles (48 per case) have been purchased.    These Bibles are hardback editions with both the Old and New Testaments.   Because these Bibles are printed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the cost for these Bibles was very reasonable, and the shipping from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien is much less costly than shpping them from the U. S.   As a result, the average cost, including shipping, was only about $5 U. S. per Bible.    These Bibles will be distributed to the poorest people in the churches--the ones who would otherwise go without them.

                             The Ministry’s Jeep Needs Repair

The ministry’s Grand Jeep Cherokee is out of commission at this time mainly due to the need for new tires.    Roads and streets in Haiti are generally unpaved, and those that are paved are full of pot holes that do more damage to tires and suspensions than the unpaved roads.   The Jeep is used extensiely in ministering to the rural churches in the ministry since they do not have full-time pastors at this time. 

Quoting from Rev. Saintil’s recent monthly report: “The Jeep had some more troubles.   The brakes are worn out and some other parts are needed.   There is still a need for tires and tubes.   I did buy three tubes and have the tires fixed, but another tire is crooked and can no longer be used.   So I am going with no spare tire.   To help with the other parts, Herve [a Haitian mechanic who works on the Jeep] makes the following recommendations: Two stabilizer bar bushings, a steering damper, a rear wiper, horns, one or both, five bolts for the wheel.”

 

Highlights from the March, 2009, Lifelines

A New Well at Bas-Fossé

             In early January, a small work team from Cannon Community Church in Woodbury, TN, traveled to Haiti with the intent of repairing up to three wells in the vicinity of the Bas-Fossé church.   The team consisted of Mike Mitchell, who did all the hard work, with a little help from Gerry Molitor, Pastor Eric Hinson, and Clyde Nevins.

The first task was to obtain the necessary pump hardware which entailed an all-day round trip to the mountain village of Pignon to buy three sets of surplus pump hardware from Missionary Fred Wall.   Next came visits to several hardware stores in downtown Cap-Haitien to buy PVC pipe, pipe cement, nuts, bolts, and washers.

The following day, a survey of the three well sites within three hundred yards or so of
   the church revealed only one well to be repairable on this trip, another needing concrete
   work and clean-out, for which the team was not equipped, and the third not repairable.

Thankfully, all the parts needed were on hand to get the one repairable well back in
   operation.   This took the better part of a hot Haitian day, which made it all the sweeter to
   see cold running water coming from the repaired well.

            We thank God for giving the team beautifully dry weather to perform this task
  
Typically, early January in northern Haiti is the beginning of a rainy season and a good rain
   would have not only prevented the repair, but likely prevented even getting to the work
   site.

            We hope to repair two more wells in the Bas-Fossé area once the necessary funds
   become available. The pump hardware is in hand (although not paid for), but we will need special equipment for hole clean-out and the concrete work.

 

Ministry News from Haiti

Compiled from the monthly reports of Rev. Claude Saintil, National Director


     We do praise and thank God for you every morning.   We do appreciate your determination to firmly stand with us in the fight to remove the heavy dark satanic cloud over Haiti.    Your love, your words of encouragement, your prayer, your financial support, and your visits with us mean a lot to us all

     We began the new year of 2009 in an exciting way.    Many people, Christians as well as non-Christians, attended the first services in the churches.   They were all concerned about starting the new year with Christ, and excited about the visit of the Light and Life Evangelical Ministry team.   We were happy to welcome them and work together to accomplish each day according to God’s will.  We wish these experiences may be taken over again more often within the year.

     Within one week many things were accomplished.   It was wonderful to be able to help our country brothers and sisters in Christ to have fresh and drinkable water again.  We cannot forget the precious souls who were saved during the neighborhood visits at Bas-Fossé and La Suisse churches, and all the hours devoted to visiting and praying with the members of the Haut du Cap church.  

     We cannot forget the wonderful seminar given by Pastor Eric.    Many pastors and others called to ask me when there could be another one.    We pray we could have them at least twice a year.

     We have started a training program in evangelism activity.    Every fortnight we train some fourteen young men from the three churches.    We also feed them.    Each month we tithe part of our salaries just to have money to provide food and other materials they need.

     During the month of January, a total of 19 people were saved and added to the La Suisse church.   A total of 37 were saved in the country around the Bas-Fossé church.    Both of these churches have had baptismal services in the past two months.    There have also been four new born-again believers at the Haut du Cap church.   Pastor Bastien is waiting for more before he plunges them into water.

     We continue to distribute rice and beans to one church every month when the weather is good.   In January, because of heavy rains and flooding, only a few church members could come to church.    We kept the money in the bank until more people could be there to get their rice and beans.

     Because of the cost and the distance from the hospital in Cap-Haitien, many sick people in the country do not get treated.  Two young men who attend two of the ministry’s churches are certified in first aid.   They have volunteered to treat the minor ailments there if they could get the medicines and supplies they need.  They asked for things such as band-aids, alcohol, pain tablets, worm medicine, and stomach ache medicine.

     Together we say thank you to all of you who made it possible through your love, prayer, and financial support.   Your contributions to this ministry are not in vain.    With help from above, many are saved and joining the church today.    Our greatest desire is to win Haiti for Christ.    We are fighting day and night through prayer, evangelism, teaching, preaching, and studying the Word.    Thank you, thank you, in Jesus’ name for every and all things you do for us.


HAITI MISSIONS: A FIRST-TIMER’S IMPRESSIONS

By Rev. Eric S. Hinson. Pastor, Cannon Community Church, Woodbury, TN

     My first visit to Haiti proved to be an interesting and very rewarding experience. I had never before participated in an International Mission venture such as this, so I really did not know what to anticipate. I only knew some bits of information concerning the conditions in Haiti, having seen some pictures and video of the work there. I had been told of their great need for food, clothing, and jobs, but became more acutely aware after experiencing the culture for myself.

     Our week was spent in planning, local travel, purchasing parts for well repair, locating potential well repair sites (and replacing one well), visiting in the Haitian communities with the Pastors, Evangelists, and Deacons of three Churches, conducting a Leadership Seminar and three Worship Services, and seeing 57 people pray to receive Christ, with another five making a recommitment to Christ or praying for a stronger walk with the Lord. We prayed for many individuals, anointing them with oil, and praying for their healing or release from demonic oppression. God blessed us with wonderful weather, enabling our home visits to be completed easily.

      One of the most surprising things about Haiti to me was the terrible condition of most of the roads. Because of the frequent rains and recent hurricanes, maintaining the roads there is extremely difficult. We discovered that even the “paved” roads were filled with potholes which made navigation difficult. Some of the roads leading out into the communities where the Churches are located went through shallow rivers, or were basically goat trails. The roads were shared by animals, loaded mules, people walking, or pushing long, fully loaded wheelbarrows, scooters whizzing in and out of traffic, and the frequent tap-taps or busses hauling people wherever they needed to go. Trying to find sufficient gasoline to keep going was a constant problem, as well as the three successive flat tires on Pastor Claude’s Jeep!

       On a more positive note, I found the Haitian people to be very gracious, polite, and loving; they were very accepting of us blancs (white people), and we drew a crowd wherever we went. The most amazing thing to me was their apparent reception of the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ; as noted 57 people prayed to receive Christ during our brief visit, indicating to me that “the fields are truly white unto harvest.” We need to continue to “pray for laborers to be sent into the harvest.” 

     Perhaps God may be calling YOU to go and serve in this very fruitful land: Light and Life Evangelical Ministries would certainly welcome your involvement. People are always needed to go and serve there, providing a Christian witness as well as sharing food, clothing, and other items needed. Please see other articles in this newsletter outlining the crucial needs of the Haitian people, and how you can help share Jesus’ love with them. If God calls you to go and minister, or to give to support this Ministry, obey His voice. You, and they, will be blessed, as I was!


 Bas-Fossé Church Starts a School

             During our visit to the Bas –Fossé church in January, we learned that the church had taken the initiative to start a small school without any outside support.     The Bas-Fossé community is in a rather remote rural area east of Cap-Haitien.   The nearest school is about 6 miles away by way of a road that is but one step up from a goat trail due to almost no four-wheel vehicle traffic in the area.     To complicate the matter further, the road crosses a small river which often floods during the frequent heavy rains in northern Haiti. 

The parents in the Bas-Fossé community, and especially those in the church there, want very much for their children to get an education.     As a result, they recently started a school within the church.   At this time, due to lack of funds, they have only three grades: kindergarten, first grade and second grade.

           There are currently two teachers in the school, who are paid a very small wage by the church.   The school furniture is the typical benches used in Haiti which do double duty as pews during church services. The ministry has made the expansion of this school through sixth grade a priority item.  The first step is to pay the existing teachers a proper wage.   We hope to add more teachers and more classes each year.  Additional funds of about $500 will be needed to provide additional school benches and more blackboards.

           A donor has pledged the $100 per month for salaries.    Please, could you help with the school furnishings? 

Education in Haiti

             Although education is compulsory by law in Haiti, attendance is not enforced.   A survey taken in 2005-2006 revealed that only about 65% of urban children and 42% of rural children attend elementary school.  Attendance in secondary school is much lower, with only about 34% of urban children and 10% or rural children in middle-school or high-school level classes.   Less than 2% of Haitian children finish secondary school.   

Cost and transportation are considered the two principal factors preventing wider access to education.   Even though education is technically free in Haiti, it remains beyond the means of most Haitians, who cannot afford the supplemental fees, school supplies, and uniforms required. The average family income in Haiti is less than $1.00 U. S. per day, which leaves nothing for “luxuries” beyond food and clothing.    For rural children, the “free” Government schools are often too far for small children to walk on foot, and there are virtually no other means of transportation for them.  

Another factor contributing to the education difficulties in Haiti is the lack of school materials in Haitian Creole, one of the two official languages.    Although French is also an official language, only an estimated ten percent of the Haitian population speaks French, and these mostly from higher income families.    As a result, school materials for classroom use are generally mimeographed, hand-written lessons

 
 

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