Dear Friends and Family,
Praise God for His mercies! We have been on the ground fighting for the Lord and for people's lives from the first minutes after the great earthquake. I think the trauma period is ending and we need to brace for the post trauma situation as people are going to start dealing how their lives are going to go forward. After the many weeks of living in tents and in the streets, they must move on with life. Port-au-Prince has not been cleaned up and the vociferous smell of dead bodies is causing many to be sick. People are leaving the city in droves to settle in many of the communities where GVCM has churches and schools. Many people will need counseling and pastoral care along with housing and food. The first month we spent working with the traumatic reality of the earthquake, now we need to find a way to address these post traumatic issues and transition communities and individuals to a long-term solution.
A great revival has taken place in the hearts of the Haitian people. There is an opportunity now for the church to do what the church has been called to do! Here are some of the victories we have seen:
• We have seen voodoo priests come forward to accept our Jesus and burn the items that have connected them to the evil one for so long.
• February 12 – 14 the government called all to a time of fasting and praying. Public places and churches were packed with people praying and praising the mighty one.
• Pastor Remy from Colora reported 36 accepted Jesus there.
• In Fedja, 20 people accepted Christ to be the king of their lives.
• The feared voodoo priest that has been responsible for most of the bad deeds in the Fedja area came forward with tears in his eyes asking for forgiveness. He even sang a solo of praise to the Lord who holds all power. It was moving and our souls were deeply touched.
• Carl Thompson, who has a YWAM ministry near the border of the Dominican Republic, has guided several teams from the airport in Santa Domingo to the Haitian border. He has been a tremendous help.
• Groups have brought in tents, tarps and medical supplies.
• We set up a clinic in Mirebalais. Many have helped and Dr. Brandon from Joplin, MO has worked tirelessly. Roger Graham has been working with him and other medical people. The severely sick have been taken to the University of Miami hospital.
• The little boy with hydrocephalus has not made it to Miami. They sent him home with an appointment for the month of April.
• Pastor Kurt from Cherokee Hills is arriving on Feb 20.
• Pastors John and Judd from Trinity Bible will come in March.
• The Christy team from Cherokee helped and recently went home.
• The Christy team from Texas has been here helping and is hoping to leave via the US military soon.
• Sherry Thacker is leading a group in mid-March to help with the deaf school and also a medical team.
• David Davolt is bringing a group of Boise Bible College students and others in the middle of May.
• Tyler Wright is planning to be over in early April with a group from Ginghamsburg Church.
• Tyler is also working to coordinate many individuals that are requesting to come and help.
The United Nations is reporting that over 500,000 people are leaving Port- a- Prince for the provincial cites and many to the central plateau. Mireblais, near Fedja, has already had an influx of over 10,000. All of GVCM churches are reporting an influx of people moving into their areas. In the small town of Thomassique more than 1,800 have moved in. This will present many opportunities to love, teach and share Jesus with them but it will also bring challenges to already crowded schools and tax the food supply everywhere. We welcome the coming of our pastor friends to help plant the eternal seed of salvation in many fertile hearts here.
There are many needs and it is hard to know where to start. GVCM has always had the mission and vision to establish churches and schools in the rural regions of Haiti. Several years ago we established “All God’s Children’s Orphanage”. Our vision has not changed but now we find so many of our church families in great need it is hard to find the means to help them directly. Here are some of the projects we need to consider taking on immediately:
• The walls of the school in Thomassique have cracked and will need repair, we have no cost estimation yet as we have not been able to make it there yet.
• The admin house at the orphanage needs some major repair to fix the structure. We are working with Boss Val and an engineer to make sure it is done well. Val has an estimate but we want to make sure the engineer is in tune with him over the cost and the method.
• Pastor Remy from Colora has reported the need for food as many people have come under his care.
• We need to increase our security around the orphanage as 5000 prisoners, many of them with strong criminal records, have escaped from prisons. We need to finish building the walls around the orphanage.
• We need to hire an additional security person ($100/month) to watch the parameters of the orphanage.
• Our vehicles have not been working and I have had to keep at least two rentals for the teams that have been here. We need help to fix the school bus and the Kia.
• We are moving the small church of Fedja from the building as more people are skeptical about getting inside the concrete building. We need to build a church building near the campus.
• The school has been meeting in small numbers under a military tent that Pastor Dana brought to us a long time ago. (People just don’t trust being in a building!)
• Many people are asking for tents as the rain has started to come down on PAP people are desperate.
• The church in Dondon has structural issues and Pastor Eli wants to move in from the rented site so that he doesn’t have to deal with the cost of fixing a building we don’t own. The cost to move and purchase land is $5000.
• Food is becoming an issue as we are spending quite a bit of money to feed 60 refugees and our 76 kids. Many people from the community show up with the hope that we will feed them and at a time like this we cannot say no. We are still using some of the rice from Feed my Starving Children that brother Randy Mortensen gave us. We have been able to give some of it to churches in the surrounding area which have people coming to them to be fed. The UN Nepalese base in Mirebalais has brought us some food.
There are many individuals that have had damage to their homes that could use our help including:
Yves has been in Haiti since before the
• Brothers Eric and Ticoma from the church in Fedja need help to rebuild his house cracked by the earthquake, the cost is estimated at $3500.
• A widow from the same church is also looking for some help to have her house rebuilt for $3000.
• The house we have been building for Wiwit, the old man living at the entrance of the orphanage, fell down and we need to rebuild it again for him, $4000.
• The wife of a feared voodoo priest in Fedja has accepted Christ. Some of the walls of her house are down and some are cracked. Needs repair for an estimated $2000.
• Another couple of girls from the church here also need some wall repair estimated at $1000.
• Mevoix, our former security guy has lost his home as well and would need $3500 to fix something for his family.
• 19 people from the Church in Peligre, by the dam, have lost their homes and are staying in the small church structure they have. The UN gave them a large parachute that they are using as extra space.
• One of our helpers, Miracle had his house damaged and needs repairs for about $3000.
• Two sidewalls of the house of sister Roseline have fallen and will take $650 to fix it.
Our refugee camp has stopped growing, but I anticipate that the post traumatic period will drive more here. We have been thinking about a possible exit strategy at least for the people we have as refugees on campus. Many of them have no place to go back to and are planning to remain in Mirebalais. Many of these people have formed a good pool of resources for GVCM already as we count among them, a lawyer, an engineer, a school manager and more. These people need five things in order to give their lives a good start again:
1. A home to raise their children.
2. A business to earn a living.
3. A school for their children to attend.
4. A clinic to take care of them when they are sick.
5. And a church to serve and praise the Lord.
We are dreaming of how we can develop an exit strategy to bless these people. Here is some of our thoughts:
Mirebalais is an attractive area for people to immigrate to for several reasons.
It is a town located at 45 minutes drive from PAP.
1. It is the only town in the central plateau with full utility services with running water, electricity, and telephone.
2. The schools here seem to be a bit more advanced
3. It is the first town reached as one moves northbound from PAP.
4. It is located on a strategic crossroad for business connecting the 4 major points of Haiti.
5. According to the experts the central plateau of which Mirebalais is part of is the safest area to build against earthquake in Haiti.
All of this explains why 30,000 people have moved to the central plateau and 10,000 of them are in Mirebalais.
We are dreaming about finding land near Mirebalais. (We have located about 15 acres that could be available for purchase. I am also talking to the mayor of the town and the government delegate to see if they would give some land that belongs to the state for this project.) We are considering building at least 100 homes in the Mirebalais area. We anticipate that it will take $15k/house to make them earthquake proof. We would require that the perspective home owner would sign a note for the house and be given the deed to the property when he or she has paid back the principal. We could recycle the collected principal to build more homes.
Along with this plan they would need some funding to developing small businesses. Other parts of the world have been able to organize some type of a small loan business program to equip those people with the means to pay back both the money borrowed and the money used to build the house with no interest. This will also give them a sense of pride that they have worked some what they own and in turn build a community.
We also need to consider restructuring our school in Fedja to meet the level of the challenge for those moving into the area and offer a program through the High School level. We need to build those. The church also has to be given a chance to accommodate the new reality with so many people desiring to attend. It needs to be moved out of the children’s living area for good and be equipped with the means to grow. We did build a tent with Tarps and worshiped there for the three days of fasting and prayer. It was a wonderful experience and the many new people showed up because they could see it and hear it from the main road.
We would also need to consider building a clinic to meet the needs of this new group of people. We have had friends of GVCM step up with ideas and a willingness to make this happen.
As you can see, God has been working in miraculous ways as people turn their lives over to Jesus. But the challenges are huge as we try to rebuild a hurting and destroyed country. We need your prayers and gifts for even the smallest of these needs to be met. We need you to find partners for GVCM – individuals with funds and abilities to share, groups that come and help, and organizations that can help providing food, building homes or helping set up small business loans. Please contact the GVCM executive board through me email@example.com or our president, David Davolt firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and help.
We have planned a “Summit” meeting on March 12th at Westlink Christian Church in Wichita Kansas. Please notify David if you can attend. This will be an opportunity for many to see the needs and for us as a community to commit resources to help Haiti in her time of need.
God is Merciful,
earthquake. He has given his heart and soul
to providing for his fellow Haitians but
he is still smiling and praising the Lord!