Updates from Haiti

Haiti President Assassination

Greetings in Jesus’ Name,
 
Many of you have heard by now of the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise. The populace had never accepted his election and his ruling style was ineffective, arrogant and damaging to the country socially and economically.  
 
The US embassy in Tabarre, Haiti has closed for the day and ordered all personnel to stay in their compound there. No travel within the country is recommended and they also encourage all American citizens there to establish evacuation plans. No word on whether the airlines are honoring or canceling flights at this time.
 
There has been a plan in place for some time for an orderly transition of power in the Haiti government, since Jovenel had agreed to leave office on February 7th, 2021, though he failed to do so. That further aggravated an already volatile situation. The country was a tinderbox due to declining conditions and rapidly escalating inflation. Food and fuel was becoming increasingly hard to find at any price.
 
There is a Premier in place to guide the country through the elections planned for later this year. Let’s agree in prayer that the country will allow the powers that be to establish order without further bloodshed or any other forms of violence. The gangs that have been terrorizing the country must be brought under control. Jovenel was either unable to accomplish that, or unwilling. It was widely rumored that he was even complicit.
 
It seems Haiti goes from one crisis to another. Last week the country was hit with storm Elsa, which caused major damage to homes. buildings and crops. Our compound in Les Cayes was hit hard with winds blowing down the sliding metal gate that protects from unlawful and/or unwelcome entries. It also ripped parts of the metal roof off the kitchen and play areas and destroyed the banana trees and other crops which help feed the children there.
 
We still have a truck filled with over four tons of food sitting in PA waiting for the customs depot (which Jovenel had closed since Easter 2021) to reopen for receiving shipments. We optimistically are believing that the interim government will immediately open the country to resume trade and the flow of goods and food into Haiti.
 
Please continue to pray for order to be restored and a sound, biblically-based government to be formed in Haiti. The people there have suffered for years because the wealth that should be shared and used to improve conditions in the country has largely lined the pockets of those elected to leadership.
 
Our website was recently rebuilt because it was compromised by malicious hacking. It is now available to view, access information, and receive donations through the PayPal link. That website address is www.TeamOne27.org
 
If God moves you to help our friends and loved ones in Haiti with a special financial gift, you can either use the PayPal link or mail your gift to:
 
TeamOne27
PO Box 78
Wernersville, PA 19565
 
Thanks for the many ways you have, and continue to support the children at Divine Ministries in Hope for Children through TeamOne27,
 
Mark Gillette
 
NOTE: TeamOne27 has no paid employees. All donations are forwarded in their entirety to Divine Ministries in Haiti,

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June 2021 Visit Update

Bon swa Team One 27 Supporters:                                                                                                                          June 23, 2021
 
It is hot here in Haiti this week, though nothing like what we are hearing to be true in the USA southwest.
 
There has been a significant decrease in the number of kidnappings (that is the good news), but the gangs have moved on to taking over businesses; killing the owners and stealing everything in the store. That has resulted in businesses that are needed in their communities simply closing their doors. So goods and services that were already getting more and more expensive have become unavailable at any price. At the time of this writing, Pastor Daniel Jean is out scouring his regular supply sources trying to buy enough rice to last for the next two to three weeks. We have been told that current supplies of all basic necessities will be exhausted within the next two weeks.
 
The gangs have also taken over entire communities, burned houses, killed indiscriminately, and generally terrorized the already hurting people. The government seems powerless to combat the crime; some say, even complicit. Somewhere between 2–3,000 people are now temporarily housed at the Centre De Sportif in the Carrefour District of Port-au-Prince because returning to their homes could be a death sentence.
 
Yesterday, Tuesday, June 22nd, a gang in one of the more dangerous sections of downtown P-au-P “upped the ante” by robbing a branch of the Soge Bank, taking everything of value. We pray that this will not become the next phase of the gang modus operandi.
 
School is now over for this year so Pastor Daniel Jean is arranging to move all the children at Divine Ministries that currently live in P-au-P out to our compound in the countryside of Les Cayes. They will spend the next two to three weeks there to enjoy its fresh air and relatively safe environs. Our hope is the government will find a way during that time to mitigate, if not eliminate the terror that is being inflicted on the populace.
 
Haitians don’t trust the brand of Covid 19 vaccine that has been made available, so very few have been vaccinated. They say they are waiting for “the good vaccine.” In our areas Covid has not been a major issue, though we hear that other sections of the country are in a battle with it. For now, travel in and out of the country continues with a negative Covid test within three days of travel the primary requirement.
 
Solar power has now been installed in the girls’ house in P-au-P, the third of our four locations. The boys’ house in P-au-P is the final location to have solar power installed. Thanks to two families that have responded to God’s prompting, the two new solar systems have been completely funded up front – Praise God! We have been called to be “a light to the world,” and these donors are making that possible here in a tangible way (pun intended).
 
Now that we have electricity, we need to install a total of seven ceiling fans in the two orphanages in P-au-P. A good quality ceiling fan can be purchased here for $100. Perhaps God would make a way for you to provide one or more of these fans. You can probably imagine how hot an closed in room can be in 100 degree daytime temperatures, and 80’s and 90’s during the night.
 
Another needed project is to resurface the future kitchen floor in Les Cayes and replace the metal roof that is weather-worn and leaking. The floor will require rebar, cement, and labor – total estimated cost $600. We don’t have an estimate yet for the roof, but expect it to require the wooden rafters to be replaced, as well as the metal.
 
We mentioned last month that there is land available in Haiti near the Dominican Republic border where we hope to build a new compound to which we could move all our children and staff. The cost of land is less there, as well as food and other items that are regularly shipped from the DR into Haiti. Another important reason to relocate is to escape the danger that is rampant in the Port-au-Prince area. We realize this is a big project that will require time and large resources, but we serve a BIG God, and He loves us. Please agree with us in prayer that this project will be financed without any debt.
 
The large truck we bought with proceeds from the school buses in which we shipped food and supplies to Haiti is now making two runs a week into the countryside to haul charcoal back to the city. The profits from this small business will help generate income to meet the daily expenses here at Divine Ministries. This is one more profit center we have created to fund the ministry to the hurting here.
 
We are so thankful for your faithful prayer and financial support that God has been honoring in ways that bless the children and staff at Divine Ministries as well as the communities that surround our various locations. We look forward to working together to continue to meet the many needs here in Haiti. If your church, your family, or organization is interested in helping with any of these projects or sending a work team here to work alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters, please contact me and we will help you organize and complete your project.
 
May God continue to bless you mightily as you partner with Him to reach the Lost for Christ.
 
Sincerely,
Mark Gillette, Team One 27

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May 2021 Visit Update

Bon jou Team One:27 Supporters:                                                                                                                                  May 7, 2021
 
Kidnappings continue to escalate here in Haiti. Pastor Daniel informed me upon my arrival here on Wednesday that the incidence of kidnappings has doubled since my visit last month. The government is either powerless to combat this scourge or, as some say, complicit.
The house we rent for the girls in Port-au-Prince as had to also accommodate the boys for the past 5 months as we have been waiting for the owner to make the needed repairs on the property to which we planned to move the boys. The owner has “escaped” to the USA and, though he promised to arrange for the repairs to be made, has yet to accomplish them. Pastor Daniel has found another property for the boys very close to our headquarters where we expect to move them very soon.
 
On Good Friday we drove a large truck holding over four tons of food to Port Newark, NJ, to ship to St Marc, Haiti. The office was closed so we drove back to PA. We now know why we didn’t get to ship the truck as planned. The Haitian government has basically closed the ports to incoming goods because they found guns and ammunition were being shipped into Haiti. It is now possible to ship vehicles into Haiti ONLY if they are empty. That doesn’t help us at all. We do ship vehicles to be used as a profit center or sold for profit, but to ship them empty is unprofitable and worse, doesn’t get the food that is so desperately needed to our orphanages. Pleaase pray for this situation to be resolved quickly so we can ship this truck of food to Divine Ministries.
 
On the brighter side, we now have a good working solar-powered system installed at our headquarters in Port-au-Prince. The next project will be to install a similar system at the girls’ house, where they now spend nearly all non-daylight hours in the dark, as the government rarely supplies electricity to much of the city. This project can be accomplished for just $1,000 USD. If you, a Sunday school class, church, or other group would like to be a BIG blessing to the children and staff, please consider contributing to that effort.
 
Growing Pains: Life continues on and we now have six grown boys who will be transitioning out of Divine Ministries. We trust they are now prepared to fare well in the world with the education and dedication to Christ they have learned and seen modeled during their growth years with us. Most of these boys already have jobs in their chosen field that will provide for them. Milo will be given one of the treadle sewing machines we purchased and some startup funds to create a sewing business. Gilbert is receiving a motorcycle and enough money to get him started in a transportation business. Stanley and Souveur have secured positions that offer lodging along with their pay. All six have been educated and prepared for success. Please pray for these young men, that they will continue to trust in God and serve Him faithfully as He supplies their needs.
 
One impetus for having these boys move out is that we will be accepting fifteen new little ones: five each at Les Cayes, and our girls’ and boys’ houses in Port-au-Prince. Little ones cost less to house, but they eat more than you might imagine. It is amazing how much food they can pack away! Add to that medical costs and education and we exceed the breakeven point, but are trusting God to supply for them.
 
We are still pursuing the purchase of a large plot of land near the border with the Dominican Republic. Sufficient land for our needs can be purchased for $100,000, though we may be able to start the project for $50,000 down. We hope to purchase of some of the buildings that were built by the German Unicef Ministry in preparation for the projected Covid-19 Haitian epidemic. In retrospect, none of the buildings were ever used – not even one patient was ever admitted there! They were solidly built of wood framing with a metal roof and could be easily disassembled and relocated to whatever site the Lord provides for us. We would welcome donations and/or mission teams to help in the construction of this new orphanage site. It would relieve us of the annual rental charges we have always paid in Port-au-Prince for two locations: one for girls and one for boys.
 
Last month we told you about the hacking of our website. It has since been rebuilt and you will find it more informative and up-to-date. Going forward, it will contain information about current needs, successes, God-sightings, and financial information. We have taken the colon out of our website address as it served to confuse our ministry with a similar name of a ministry in Kansas. Our website name is now www.TeamOne27.org and the link to PayPal is working again for those who wish to contribute using that method.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and other forms of support for this ministry. May God richly bless you, your families, and your relationship with Christ, through the power and presence of His Holy Spirit.
 
Your brother in Christ,
Mark Gillette, Team One27

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April 2021 Visit Update

Bon swa TeamOne27 Supporters:                                                                                                                                      April 8, 2021 
 
Kidnappings continue to escalate here in Haiti. One of the most recent involved the capture of four members of the Diquini Seventh Day Adventist Church, across the street from our Port-au-Prince orphanage, including the Sr. Pastor. The original “asking price” for their safe return was 2 million dollars USD. Their return was safely arranged, but the final agreed price is unknown to us at this time.
 
The elementary school we hold weekdays at our P-au-P facility continues each day, but Marjorie Jean does her duties as principal from a distance, as it is not considered safe for here to be seen in public. She could easily become a target for kidnappers due to her recognition as the wife of Pastor Daniel Jean.
 
Travel within the country is problematic but not impossible. One must carefully choose time of day, mode of transport, and number of people in travel party. I have been able to travel to Haiti safely each month since the Covid restriction was lifted back in September 2020. The costs of travel have increased, both due to rising airfares and covid testing requirements. One must test negative within three days of departure from the USA and again within three days of returning to the USA. Testing alone creates an additional cost of $ 224.00 USD per person.
 
Mission teams from outside Haiti continue to come here, but only with increased security and solid faith in God’s continued protection.
 
Our Les Cayes facility is safe and productive, with school for the first six grade levels being held daily. Life in the country provides cleaner and more relaxed living conditions than here in Port-au-Prince. Our children thrive there.
 
We are in the process of shipping our 28th vehicle (photo below) full of food and school supplies to Haiti. The project was largely funded by Genoa Baptist Church in Ohio. It is a stake truck that will eventually be added to our growing fleet of vehicles in Haiti that create local employment and cash flow to help fund Divine  Ministries in Hope for Haitian Children.
 
One major project we are pursuing is to purchase a large plot of land near the border with the Dominican Republic. Land is cheaper there and food and other items can be purchased more economically, as they have a shorter transit cost from their origin in the DR. The Port-au-Prince airport is still accessible from there and it will provide a more urban environment for our children and staff.
 
We are pursuing the purchase of some of the buildings that were built by the German Unicef Ministry in preparation for the projected Covid-19 Haitian epidemic. In retrospect, none of the buildings were ever used – not even one patient was ever admitted there! They were solidly built of wood framing with a metal roof and could be easily disassembled and relocated to whatever site the Lord provides for us. We anticipate needing about $100.000 USD to purchase the land and would welcome donations and/or mission teams to help in the construction of this new orphanage site. It would relieve us of the annual rental charges we have always paid in Port-au-Prince for two locations: one for girls and one for boys.
 
We recently bought two treadle sewing machines (no electricity needed) so those of our students who have continued their sewing studies can create income by accepting outside sewing projects. The Taptap (think pickup truck taxi) we purchased last Fall is now operational on a limited basis, and will be increasingly utilized as conditions improve and protests abate.
 
President Jovenel is still in office, but elections are planned for later this year. By God’s grace, the future administration will be more acceptable to the local populace and more dedicated to the needs of the hurting masses.
 
If you have tried to access the TeamOne27 website lately you will have discovered we have been the victim of malevolent hackers. In response, our website has been completely wiped out and we are in the process of rebuilding it with additional protections against hacking. Unfortunately, those who are skilled in technology but lack decent morals will continue to attempt to destroy things they can not appreciate as helpful, productive and good. But God is our defender and we know how the story ends!
 
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and other forms of support for this ministry. May God richly bless you, your families, and your relationship with Christ, through the power and presence of His Holy Spirit.
 
Your brother in Christ,
Mark Gillette, TeamOne27
 
 
 

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