January Team, Orphanage Projects, VBS and Blessings!
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Weston, FL started our ministry year with a bang; actually lots of bangs, when the team came with a “build a wooden toolbox “ project for the boys at Faith Boys Home. Team members helped the boys glue and nail and put together their own toolbox from a kit from Home Depot, who donated great orange carpenter aprons for each boy. Everyone had a great time and learned new skills!
God has a way of inserting his plans into ours when we are available. One of the unexpected blessings of the week in Haiti was Carlo and his family. Carlo came to the Guest House hoping for a little help for his family. He lost both legs when a building he
was painting fell on him during the earthquake in Port-au-Prince. The team decided to sponsor a microloan for the family to start a business and give them a month of food to help them get started on a new track.
The greatest joy for the team though was the completion and butterfly painting of the new Laurie Hartner Butterfly Pavilion. The funds for this great covered space for the boys to eat, do homework and play games was given by the congregation in honor of Laurie Hartner’s 20 years of service to the St. Paul Pre-School. The week was busy with storage shelf building, Pastor Tim
doing Theological Education and VBS at a different place every day with more than 400 children and parents hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you, St. Paul!
January Medical Team
You might think that medical teams only treat patients and address the medical needs of communities, and it does that well, but there are a lot of other things that happen during a medical mission week. Dr. Nancy Swisher, our Medical Director, takes the time to educate pregnant women and new moms on health care for themselves and their little ones. Besides receiving needed parasite, skin condition medication, and vitamins, children and parents coming to clinic receive instruction on hygiene, hand washing and other health related issues. The doctors and nurses of the medical clinic are often the only opportunity these villagers have to receive health care, medicine and instruction. Burns like the one seen here on the arm of a 7 year old boy is not uncommon. This was one of 4 burns the team saw in one day. It was the result of an overturned cooking pot. The red on his arm is tomato paste, an ill-advised home remedy. The arm was properly cleaned, treated and dressed by a doctor and the grandfather who was with the boy was shown how to care for the burns. The boy was also given an antibiotic. The other 3 burns that were seen were the result of a motorcycle muffler and candles catching fabrics on fire. Most burn victims do not seek help for lack of money.
Medical teams are always in partnership with the local church. Elders, leaders, and pastors share the Gospel, listen to physical and spiritual needs and connect people with the local church.
Clinics are an opportunity to share the Love of God by meeting physical needs, including clothing or shoes. Home and family problems come to light and people are identified for many different kind of assistance, counseling, microloans or follow-up by local nurses or pastors.
Clinics also provide employment for a number of individuals. Mission: Haiti hires local medical professionals, helpers, translators and drivers.
All the while we keep in mind that we are in Haiti to build relationships. The tasks we do and the services we provide are only to show the Light of Christ in the places where the darkness of voodoo has too long held hostages.
Microloans and Self-Sufficiency Projects
The sewing school in Jubilee is a great study in partnership. The community leaders saw the need to teach a skill to young women who had no way to support themselves. With the help of the Lutheran Church of Haiti, who pays the teachers, The Lutheran Church of Canada, who sent the sewing machines and mission: haiti who brought fabric , more than 20 women are learning tailoring, from patternmaking through finished product.
Microloans are changing the lives of more than 40 families.
Businesses continue to grow and develop and several are expanding in uniquely Haitian ways. One lady who is building and selling box springs, is now also raising ducks.
Orlando, who now employs others in his mattress refurbishing business has opened a little store where he sells milk, batteries, hot sauce, ketchup and other condiments.
Several families have inexpensive snack stands, so someone with just a little money can get something to eat. One lady buys raw peanuts, roasts them and makes peanut butter. She says she sells out every day. It is amazing that a microloan of $50-$100 can change lives so dramatically. Thank you Lord for these hard working people who give you the glory for changing their lives!
It was only a year ago that the people of Jean-Louis and mission:haiti agreed to pray for an irrigation system so that this small rural village could feed its self.
The village prayed and a memorial gift to mission: haiti provided a generator, pump, pipes, and hand tools so that now there are rows upon rows of beautiful vegetable plants. Pumpkin, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, melons, plantains, bananas, callilou, and beans will provide not only food but also produce to sell at market.
Microloans and self-sufficiency projects are administered by responsible members of the local Haitian communities where the projects are. Administrators help with planning and execution of businesses, collect payments, teach and counsel as necessary. We are so very proud of all of the recipients of loans or grants for businesses or self-sufficiency projects. If you would like to sponsor or support any of these you can donate through PayPal, by check to our mailing address or call if you would like to use a credit card or have questions about any of our projects.
Outreach and On-going Projects
As always our primary focus is to give glory to God through all that we do. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is central and foremost. In March, thanks to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Riverside, CA we were able to give out 70 Creole Bibles to new believers in Jubilee. The lady giving Mission Director, Helen Roenfeldt a hug is 65 years old. She cried as she told us that she never thought she would own a Bible. The young lady in orange was a slave to voodoo until January 2015 when she came to faith and was freed from the bonds of darkness and evil.
Mission: Haiti assisted an evangelism team from California and Tennessee in March that brought the Good News of Jesus to several different areas, planted a new church and heard over 150 new believers confess their faith in Jesus Christ. The team also met with women’s groups to talk about their issues, share encouragement from the Word of God and pray. What an amazing blessing it
was to see the Kingdom of God grow!
Mission: Haiti continues to help support Faith Boys and Girls Homes in Gonaives as well as other projects. While some are listed here, we will be happy to discuss them and others with you or your church.
Let us know if you feel led to help support:
- Food for 30 children $2,700 a month. Sponsorships available beginning at $25 per month. Provide tuition assistance for children in secondary education.
- The implementation of The Community Health Project which includes clean water wells and sanitary latrines for the community of Jubilee and the orphanage school.
- Continuation of the microloan project. Provide funding for loans of $50-$100 to help families begin self sustaining businesses.
- Provide medicines for medical clinics. $1,000 per trip.
- Assistance with general/administrative expenses. Any amount. The administrative account pays our phone bill, travel, paper, mailing and the salary support of our Mission Director, our only employee.
Please consider giving monthly to Mission:Haiti so we can continue to District’s hands-on ministry give glory to God and be your hands and hearts in Haiti.