Bread of Life to the physically hungry, Living Water for the spiritually thirsty.

January 2022

Bon swa from Haiti!
I finally made it back to “The Pearl of the Caribbean!” Gangs still control the main route(s) through Port-au-Prince, but there is a roundabout way to get past the dangerous area, so all you need is a four wheel drive vehicle and four more hours each way to reach the airport from Diquini. I still would not recommend a mission team to plan a trip here in the near future, but if one keeps a low profile, travel is possible.
For those of you who look for “God sightings,” we had one the day I arrived. Pastor Daniel was on his way (through the mountain passes) to pick me up at the airport when his vehicle’s muffler was torn off. He wired it onto the roof and drove (very loudly) to the first place where repairs could be made. He only had 1,000 gourdes ($10 USD) with him after buying food earlier for the children, and needed much more for the muffler repair. There was an ATM nearby and although he knew he had already withdrawn all the funds I had put into his ATM account earlier, he put in his card and found there was $200 USD in the account. No one other than Pastor Daniel and I have access to that account…Oh yeah, I was forgetting that God still has access too! No other explanation presents itself. We have a rich Father, and He loves us!
I arrived on Tuesday during a 5.5 earthquake in Les Cayes. It was also felt in Port-au-Prince, but only weakly. Our buildings in Les Cayes continue to stand, but have suffered cracks that reduce/eliminate trust in those who intend to shelter there. Three schools near us in Les Cayes have closed completely because their buildings collapsed. Our school enrollment has tripled already to overe 100 full-time students and unless the other local schools can make needed repairs, we expect our enrollment to double again this Fall.
We don’t have an estimate yet for what building repairs we need to make, but we know we need more benches and tables for our school, even as we hold classes on the expansive front porch of our orphanage building. Sometimes classes are also held under tarps when more space is needed. Pastor Daniel estimates we will need $1,400 USD to build the needed furniture.
The large solar panel that was destroyed in the August 17th earthquake must be replaced to provide all the electricity for our compound, including the power to run our water purification system; a very basic necessity for life and health in Les Cayes. The support system for the solar panel must also be refurbished due to age. Pastor Daniel estimates those repairs to require $1,000 USD.
Many of you know of Madam Dumas, the women who donated the land in Les Cayes for us to build our orphanage. Fortunately, she was not in Les Cayes back in August because the earthquake totally destroyed her house. With help from her children, who live outside Haiti, she is currently rebuilding her house in an even larger “footprint.” God is blessing her too. (See Proverbs 19:17).
It puzzles me how some buildings were destroyed, while others nearby escaped damage. Even along the roads there were landslides that spread rocks and other debris onto the road. Some of these materials will be used to fill in potholes and some will be used as materials for buildings. No need to mine for the materials; it is lying there already available!
The road that all traffic west of Martissant (Gang-controlled territory) must navigate to reach the east side of Port-au-Prince is extremely rough and requires a four-wheeled vehicle to traverse. It also adds three or four hours to each leg of the trip. Although this route used to be navigated primarily by animals and motorcycles, now repairs and improvements are being undertaken quickly to provide even this difficult path to connect the east and west areas of Port-au-Prince. In many places, locals with only shovels and picks are smoothing out difficult patches of the route. They hold their hands out to each vehicle passing that way to be recompensed for their efforts. It is a good idea to carry a large number of small bills or other loose change to reward these workers and show appreciation as you pass. It would seem easier, quicker, and much more cost efficient to irradicate the gang activity that makes these efforts necessary, but for now the government is treating the symptoms and not the problem. 
Another “God sighting” involves the boys’ house in Port-au-Prince. The issue of resettling the boys into a new place has been ongoing for over a year. We had paid one landowner for the year ahead and waited for many months for him to make the needed (and promised) repairs to the building and grounds, Eventually he conceded that he was unable/unwilling to make the repairs, so he returned our funds. Pastor Daniel found another building for the boys further from the rest of our locations. This building also needed some repairs, but an attempt was made to prepare the building and the boys moved in recently only to discover additional problems that could not be easily rectified. The owner agreed with Pastor Daniel to rent another of his properties to us that is directly across from our girls’ house, which makes travel very convenient. This second property is much larger and was our first choice, only the rental price was beyond our budget. As recompense for the mix-up, the owner is allowing us to rent the property for the same amount we were going to pay for the smaller and more distant property. God made a way!
In other good news we now have plenty of chickens in Les Cayes: both layers and fryers, and the children are able to have both eggs and chicken for meals on a more regular basis. Our thanks to the teams and individuals who both seeded the money for the chicken raising project and built the chicken coop. Another donor bought two pigs a couple years ago that have been generating piglets that grow up and are either sold or eaten at the orphanage. Three adult pigs survived the recent earthquakes and are back in business creating an income stream for the orphanage. Additionally, a cow was donated several years ago that is producing milk for the children. This cow had a bull calf last year that is being raised until big enough to sell. He will be replaced with another heifer calf and “Mommy cow” is again being bred so she can continue producing milk for the children.
Operation Blessing has committed to help finish our guest house on the Les Cayes property for visiting mission teams to use when working in Haiti. Government paperwork is required before these funds can begin to flow and Pastor Daniel has applied for this certification and is working closely with the government office that processes these requests.
Another NGO (non-government organization) that has been helping us and others in both Les Cayes and Jeremie is called IOM. They provided 400 tarps and five gallon buckets containing basic tools that will help individual families rebuild and provide a temporary roof over their heads in the meantime.
Lastly, we are in the process of adding three more rooms to the solar power generating building, Each room is of sufficient size to house a small family, One is intended for our on-site gardener, one for a teacher that teaches in our Les Cayes school during the week, but whose family home is in Port-au-Prince, and the third room will be a “depot” (a place to store food, equipment, and other needed supplies).
Yesterday a group referred to as “Mystics” tried their own brand of justice on the gangs that control the major route connecting east Port-au-Prince with the western sections. They loaded a vehicle with food supplies and drove it through the contested area. They were stopped by one particular gang and subsequently surrendered their vehicle and all it contained. The people were allowed to leave when they left all behind. Unknown to the gang members was that the supplies were poisoned! Several gang members have already died and many more are in serious distress. The Mystics (who are decidedly NOT Christian, but reportedly have healing powers) have offered to pray for healing for the gang members for a fee of $25,000 USD for each gang member that wants to be healed. They don’t guarantee healing; in fact, they have told the gang members that they will still die for being “bad people,” only they may not suffer as much.
The road through the contested area was open yesterday, as other gangs are now afraid to intercept travelers for fear a similar fate will be theirs. Although this may not be a Godly solution, it certainly made an impact; at least temporarily.
Hopefully, there was enough good news in this update to keep you reading through both pages. God is working for, in, and through us and we are sure He is pleased when we trust Him enough give to a work that only He could complete!