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

Sept 22 Newsletter

Haiti continues to struggle against gang warfare, government ineptitude, increasingly high prices for all goods, import restrictions and the extra effort needed to accomplish any task without consistent access to electricity or the internet. None of these factors are new to Haiti, but they don’t normally happen all at the same time. I was in Haiti last week to visit Divine Ministries and experienced first-hand the limits imposed on travel and the lack of available goods and services. Fuel was practically nonexistent, and crowds formed around any gas station that had any fuel to sell. On our way from the airport to the orphanage we saw an altercation between police and a crowd of locals who were just trying to purchase a little fuel for their motorcycles or other vehicles. The police had filled (aka commandeered) two large barrels of fuel for their personal use while others watched helplessly while their chance of getting any fuel diminished. One young man shouted, “You are stealing from us!” For his efforts he received a severe beating and was loaded into the back of the police pickup truck to be transported to the police station, where he could expect a further beating before his release.
How long will the populace put up with this situation before exploding into action? It’s anyone’s guess. Because of the lack of fuel and the continued gang activity, the government has announced the delay of official school opening until October. Many local schools, our two schools included, plan to open next week, but for schools whose students must travel any appreciable distance to attend, school will have to wait for the situation to improve.
The younger children at Divine Ministries attend our schools. They already have their uniforms thanks to profits generated by the charcoal truck business we started last year. However, the funds needed for tuition for the older students who attend other schools, school supplies for all our students, and costs for exams are still needed before we can
get all our children off to school.
Pastor Daniel estimates that $6,000 is needed to accomplish the initial school startup.
Additionally, our schools lack enough benches/tables to accommodate the influx of
students that have switched to our school since the August 2021 earthquake that destroyed so many other schools in the Les Cayes countryside. Daniel estimates the need for 20 such benches at a cost of $80 each ($1,600).
Many of the students at our school in Les Cayes are “scholarship” students; meaning their parents have no money to pay for their children’s education. They also lack the funds for uniforms, shoes, books, and school supplies. Even sadder is these children come to school each day without breakfast, which makes learning even more difficult. Pastor Daniel would like to start a school meal program so these students can be fed prior to the start of
school each day. On an ongoing basis that would require additional funds for the food and its preparation. Initially, a propane stove is needed for the school to prepare the food. The current cost of an appropriate stove would be $750.
While talking school needs, we are still believing for God to provide the $3,500 still needed to finish the roof over the three rooms we built last year for the school administrator, teachers, and a storage space. We are thanking God for the provision of a 2014 truck in beautiful condition for use at the Les Cayes facility. It provides transportation for the various day-to-day business of the school and orphanage and is a safety feature as well,
as it provides transportation in the event of any child or staff member who is sick or injured.
Next week we will be transferring the food and school supplies into a container from a truck that was loaded last year for shipment to Haiti. The Haitian government closed
all ports early last year to vehicles filled with any food or other supplies because they feared the influx of armament and ammunition. They have only accepted empty vehicles since Easter of 2021. That has severely limited the availability of food and other essential supplies that NGO’s (non-government organizations) have routinely sent to help the hurting in Haiti. This limited the business at depots to the extent that the government eventually closed the ports in both St Marc and Port-au-Prince. The government has reopened the port in P-au-P and will now accept containers (though still not trucks) of goods because it is possible to palletize the goods being shipped for easy off-loading
from the containers for inspection prior to its release into the country. Finally!
We hope to get the more than four tons of food, plus school supplies that we have been waiting to ship (on the truck mentioned above) into a container and headed for Haiti. Hopefully, there will even be room for additional needed goods, as the container will be larger than the truck. God always makes a way!
We are grateful for your continued support in its many forms. Divine Ministries thanks you for your prayer support and trusts that God will reveal to you whatever He may have you do to partner in reaching the street children in Haiti with life-saving support, education, and the message of The Gospel, lived out in tangible ways.
Mark Gillette
P.S. Thanks to all who responded to our request for financial report just last week – $2000 was received in just a few days toward these identified needs!