Updates from Haiti

Christmas 2021 Update

Joyeux Noel TeamOne27 Supporters:                                                                                                                         December 25, 2021
 
First off, thank you for all the various means of support for the children at Divine Ministries in Haiti that you provided so far in 2021. The children and staff there are extremely grateful that you listened to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to help meet the needs of these dear ones.
 
 
You probably heard that all 17 of the missionary hostages that were kidnapped in October are now free and back home with their families. We praise God for their safe release. You may not be aware that the last 12 to be “released” actually escaped during the night. Either way, we are grateful that they were unharmed, though they will doubtless bear some emotional baggage for some time to come from that ordeal.
 
The gangs are still nominally in control of the country and continue to regulate the amount of fuel that is accessible to the public, including hospitals, banks, businesses, etc. Gasoline fluctuates between $4 and $20 per gallon USD, depending on whether the gangs are permitting gas to be distributed. In the times when fuel is being held back, hospitals, banks, and other businesses can only open for business on certain days of the week because they have no fuel to run the generators needed for electricity. We continue to pray that the Haitian government can gain enough strength and manpower to subdue the gangs and end this reign of lawlessness.
 
In happier news: A non-government organization (NGO) named OIM has provided 500 tarps and 500 hygiene kits to Daniel for distribution to those hard hit by the August earthquake, You probably didn’t hear about the additional “shakings” that our loved ones in Les Cayes experienced earlier this week. Any time these occur our children, staff and neighbors are brutally reminded of the devastation and loss of life that happened earlier. No rest for the weary!
 
The wall around our compound in Les Cayes is now restored to its pre-earthquake condition; and even better, since it is all new. Operation Blessing has offered to help finish the guest house on our orphanage property, but the requisite government paperwork must be acquired before funds can be disbursed. Please pray for the speedy handling of the paperwork that Pastor Daniel Jean has submitted.
 
Another NGO, named AVC, has asked to use our Les Cayes compound to offer training to the locals who have specific skills that need further development. Education is so important to supporting one’s family and for upward mobility. Praise God for this additional resource!
Here in the USA we celebrate Christmas with church services, many gifts to loved ones, lavish meals – even beyond what is good for our health. In Haiti, a meal of fish and rice is considered a blessing from God, and if possible, an article of new clothing makes for an extra-special Christmas. Marjorie Jean is putting on a small Christmas party in both Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes for our children and staff. It might seem to us to be “meager,” but I have seen how excited the children and staff get over any special occasion.
 
Lord willing, I will return to Haiti sometime next month, for the first time since late July 2021. Gangs are still an issue, and travelling in a large group could make one a target, but Daniel Jean believes that we can be safe together by circumventing the areas controlled by the gangs. My (usual) monthly visits to Haiti serve as more than simply a courier of health and beauty aid items that are so expensive in Haiti; it is important for clear communication and encouragement for both those at Divine Ministries and those who support the work from here in the USA.
 
We realize that for the past two months most of us have received repeated and varied requests for donations from many worthwhile organizations. But we also know that for many donors the end of the year is when they consider to whom they will send a contribution, as good stewards that are aware of tax burden considerations. So we would be remiss if we did not remind all interested that every penny donated to TeamOne27 is conveyed directly, in its entirety to Divine Ministries in Hope for Haitian Children. Please ask the Holy Spirit to direct any yearend giving you may consider, as there are many “areas of the vineyard,” and only the Lord knows where it would be the most useful. And as my former pastor used to say “Give until it feels good!”
 
Please periodically visit our newly rebuilt website www.TeamOne27.org to stay connected to the ministry of which you are so vital a part. We are trying to utilize the website in a way that keeps you more informed of what God is doing in Haiti through your prayers and support.
May God continue to bless you mightily as you partner with Him to reach the Lost for Christ and help alleviate the suffering of many of the hurting around the world.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mark Gillette
TeamOne27
PO Box 78, Wernersville, PA 19565

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November 2021 Update

Bon swa Team One:27 Supporters:                                                                                                                          November 5, 2021
 
Haiti’s schools are open and the enrollment at our Les Cayes facility grows each week. We are educating many of the children in our neighborhood in addition to the children at our orphanage. Operation Blessing, a non-profit ministry outreach of CBN, has partnered with us and has provided school books, supplies, and has covered other school expenses for many of the children at our school in Les Cayes. They also bought construction materials so we could continue/finish the guest house we started building in Les Cayes after the 2010 earthquake. That facility is intended for housing short-term mission teams that come to Haiti to help in reconstruction and reaching the Lost.
 
The ministry group YAM has also helped us recently by providing 300 hygiene kits and 300 tarps for Pastor Daniel to distribute among the 50 churches we help shepherd in the Jeremie area (the northwest region of Haiti’s southern peninsula). The Haitian government has not provided any relief to date, but other NGO’s (non-government organizations) have been visiting the areas hardest hit by the August 2021 earthquake(s). That event was not one single earthquake, as many believe, but continued for weeks with powerful “aftershocks” which kept the fear level up among most of the populace in that area. After one loses loved ones, or sees the destructive ability of an earthquake first-hand, it is difficult to sleep under a roof; especially if it is constructed of cement and rebar, as most buildings are in Haiti.
 
We have received financial aid from many donors to help in the rebuilding process and have utilized those funds to rebuild the wall surrounding our Les Cayes compound and make needed repairs to the buildings which house our children and staff. That created jobs for many local workers so they could in turn provide for their families. We have also been able to provide food, shelter, and other assistance to many families in our immediate area who lost their homes to the earthquake. At one point more than 45 local families were living on our property. We did our best to keep them covered with tarps, tents, and other temporary means, and feed them enough to keep them alive.
 
We had recently accepted 15 more small children to our orphanage immediately prior to the August 17th earthquake, but have been pressed to accept even more children who have been displaced by the earthquake. There is no shortage of people of all ages who are in desperate condition, so we continue to look to God to meet these needs. The resources we hold in our hands are limited, but our God is not!
 
Gangs continue to rule in Haiti. Not officially, but in reality. You have probably heard of the 17 person mission team from the USA and Canada who were kidnapped several weeks ago and who are still waiting to be released (we pray safely). We learned this week that the word on the street in Haiti is that several countries, including the USA, are working together on a plan to get these hostages released and to bring an end to the tyranny these gangs have been inflicting on the already hurting citizenry. Please pray for the souls of the kidnappers and that the Holy Spirit will illuminate their understanding of their need for a savior and introduce them to Christ.
 
I have not been able to physically visit Haiti since late July because of the gang activity. There are ways to travel there, but not with a comfortable margin of safety. Instead, we have been focusing on raising funds for the ministry there and gathering non-perishable food and other supplies for future shipment to Haiti.
 
Port-au-Prince has become increasingly more dangerous as a place to house our children and staff. We have located land near the Dominican Republic border that is available for sale where we could build a compound away from P-au-P to continue our ministry in a safer area where food and supplies are more readily available, and at lower costs. More information will follow, but for now we know it will cost $100,000 for the land before we can begin to build. Please join with us in prayer that God would open a door and make a way for us to move forward on this project. The lives of our children and staff may well depend on it.
 
As always, 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 in Haiti. If your church, your family, or organization is interested in helping with any of these projects or sending a work team to work alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters, please contact me and we will help you organize and complete your project.
 
Please periodically visit our newly rebuilt website www.TeamOne27.org to stay connected to the ministry of which you are so vital a part. We are trying to utilize the website in a way that keeps you more informed of what God is doing in Haiti through your prayers and support.
May God continue to bless you mightily as you partner with Him to reach the Lost for Christ.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mark Gillette
TeamOne27

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Pray for multiplying miracles!

Daniel went to Jeremie to distribute 250 water treatment buckets provided by another NGO to members of the 50 churches we have been helping there.  The effects of drinking polluted water may well be the next crisis.  They are glad for the water but are crying for food.  Daniel provided some food as he could but we must pray that it is multiplied to the benefit of many more.  TeamOne27 still has several tons of food waiting to ship to Haiti but the ports have been closed since just before the Haitian President was assassinated.  Pray the interim government realizes that closed ports are hampering efforts to provide food and other aid.

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Earthquake Effects Update

We are blessed to report two items of good news; Madame Dumas was traveling when the earthquake occurred so she was not in her house when it was flattened – praise God!  Also the staff woman injured when the kitchen wall fell sustained severe bruising but no broken bones so “Again I say, rejoice!”
 
Other news requires us to continue to exercise our faith.  Since the quake, 45 families have moved into our Les Cayes compound to share our space, food and water.  Money was sent to provide tarps since a lot of our children and our guests are afraid to sleep inside the buildings while the aftershocks continue.  When it is only raining or sunny the tarps are a blessing.  When there are high winds due to the recent tropical storms, it creates a different challenge.  Please pray that God provides some calm weather and access to more food and water.  Also pray that the generosity and caring of our staff is a strong witness to our guests so that many may come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  

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August 17, 2021 Quake Info Update

Hello Fellow Supporters:

 
I just got off the phone with Pastor Daniel Jean, who was on the ground (literally – he was knocked down three times!) in Les Cayes last Saturday when the initial earthquake hit that area. We spoke 20 minutes after that first event and have kept in frequent contact ever since. He has been giving us a detailed account of the situation there and sending photos as well.
 
Attached are two photos Daniel took right after the initial earthquake of houses right across the street from our Les Cayes facility. One of the houses belonged to Madam Dumas, the lady who graciously donated the land on which we built our orphanage,
 
If you have been following any of the recent reports regarding Haiti you already know that the earthquake that struck the southern peninsula last Saturday devastated the areas of Les Cayes, Jeremie, and virtually all the towns in between. The orphanage we built in Les Cayes was hit hard. Most of the security wall surrounding the compound was destroyed, and the school building we recently built sustained damage as well. One wall of our kitchen fell, injuring one of the women that work there, and the orphanage building itself now has a crack in one wall.
 
All the above damage happened when the initial earthquake struck, but aftershocks have continued, and Daniel reports that no one was able to sleep last night due to the pounding rain and continuing tremors. No one is willing to sleep indoors due to the fear of further collapse. We have a large area covered by a roof attached to the orphanage wall where our children and staff are huddled, along with 20 local families that lost their houses on Saturday. That number will likely continue to grow because we offer shelter, medical aid and food, to the extent that we can.
 
Pastor Daniel is well known as a local leader and people instinctively come to him there to provide for basic needs and reassurance that God will protect and provide for them. 
 
This morning we sent funds for Daniel to purchase tarps and other tent-making supplies to expand the capacity for shelter at our facility. The solar-powered water treatment system we have at our compound will be very important in the days ahead, as earthquakes can play havoc with water tables and stir up sediment, etc. not normally included in the local drinking water.
 
There are always basic needs at our orphanages, and seasonal events like school uniforms, tuition, and annual rent, but there is no way for us to plan ahead for events so devastating as the earthquake with which we are now dealing. If you, your church or civic group would like to help relieve the hurting that Haitians are experiencing right now, we have a network in place to forward all funds to Pastor Daniel Jean in Haiti and promise to get all donations quickly to Haiti in their entirety.  
 
There is a Paypal link on our website www.TeamOne27.org or you can mail a donation made payable to Team One27 to:
 
Team One 27
PO Box 78
Wernersville, PA 19565
 
Thank you for any support you can give at this time of crisis,
 
Mark Gillette
Team One27

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August 14, 2021 Quake

Daniel’s report today on the earthquake: 
 
None of our children or staff were seriously injured, but many in the neighboring city of Les Cayes are dead. (Confirmed death toll has risen from 300 to over 700 in the last 24 hours). Entire buildings are down in Les Cayes, but we only lost one wall of our kitchen.  It fell on one of our workers and hurt his leg.  Children were thrown to the ground, but sustained minor injuries only.  Our security gate is down as well. 
 
We have further learned that the home of our Les Cayes benefactor Madam Demas was completely destroyed.  We are awaiting an update on her well being.  Picture of the damage to her home included below.
 
The total number of persons killed or injured will take a while to determine.  ALL our churches in nearby Jeremie (in the mountains) were flattened, and that area is extremely hard to reach by vehicle. 
 
We will provide updates as more information comes in.
 
 

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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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