June 19- 26th. In the past, we have written about this group. We were delighted to work with them again. They are such a joy! We cannot adequately express what this group means to us. They have the joy of the Lord and a heart for Haiti!!
We can think of no greater blessing than the love and support God has provided since the earthquake.I can't believe it has been over 6 months. There have been many people passing through the doors of JoyHouse, and when you watch the video, you will know, we hope we continue to see this team for many years to come!
I have included a link below of the video done by this group. Please take the time to watch this special presentation. What a wonderful and moving testimony of the work that this team, and many others are doing in Haiti!
Eddy said” We have been trained well. We are not children anymore.” And that is so true, but I responded they “act like” children so much, it’s hard to tell sometimes, but now I see it! We both laughed!
When I first got back to the US, I had to adjust. No bug spray after every shower, hot showers, no malaria meds every day! I couldn’t believe how grateful I was just to soak in a hot tub! Of course we Americans suffer through the daily luxuries as best we can. It didn’t take long for me, as a spoiled American, to expect things like a great place to eat, TV 24/7, a great internet connection, no mosquitoes in the bedroom every night, a nice comfortable home with A/C, green grass, clean clear water to drink and even water the lawn, or as my daughter found, to power wash the house.
My trip home was a whirlwind of meetings, paperwork and administrative duties for the ministry. I had some time to catch up with friends, family and my life in the states, but I will have to say, there was a great and almost unexplainable joy to arrive back in Haiti. I think Roland was sorry he was the one who had to pick me up at the airport. I talked 90 miles an hour the whole way back. I think I gave him a headache.
On the way back, we made several stops for ministry business and supplies. Soon, we were on the way to JoyHouse. What a joy it was to come up the hill and into the driveway. Such a reception! Everyone hugged me and welcomed me back. Matthew hugged me so tight I could hardly breathe.
Everyone had done so well with their individual duties. I was so excited to see how well they had done. I was a little puzzled about how excited they were to see me. Then as I listen to them talk, I heard things like “Roland was a lot harder than you and Papa Joe” and “ You are easier on us than Roland” and I realized that was a part of the reason for my welcome! They were also excited to hear about the plans for JoyHouse and what new things were on the horizon!
There was a lot of laughter and conversation in the house last night as each one filled me in on their area. I learned about the challenges and blessings each had encountered in my absence. It has been so good to see how they have stepped up and risen to the occasion. It was exciting to hear what each one had accomplished.
Nadie, Roland’s wife, has taken over managing the kitchen and the house. She has done an excellent job.
Matthew was in the field with a team. Matthew is such a perfectionist. He was ready to report on everything that wasn’t perfect. He’s doing a great job, but I always know his report will be less than perfect. He always finishes with “Ahhh, we do the best we can!” Yet he is so awesome at his job!
Roland was a great “overseer” of the entire ministry. Some say he is more of a “task master.” He managed to get everything we needed done and more!
Eddy preached at Jesus Church of Santos on Sunday. He also held a 3 day revival at a church in Carrefour. He had 6 salvations there! Roland preached at Eddy’s church in Carrefour on Sunday. Reginald baptized 3 yesterday.
Daniel is preparing for a team of 3 to come from Canada to work in the field on the Daniel Project next week. They will also be working in the Women’s Ministry. Due to the box embargo right now, we were very limited on what we could bring into Haiti. Pray that we can find the supplies we need to carry out the plans we have for the women’s ministry next week.
Maggie, Rosemary and Zet have done a great job in the house and kitchen! Right now, Maggie is away at the market, Charlie is getting water and supplies, Eddy is studying and praying. Nadie is doing inventory and planning. Lucee is back in his hometown searching for his birth certificate so he can start school here in Gressier next month. I miss him!
Samuel is working on the bus. I brought back magnetic JoyHouse signs for the bus and the gate. He was very excited. It was funny to watch him circle the bus and try to figure out exactly where to put the signs. I had Eddy take a picture!
Princess is playing with some magnetic numbers. She is putting them on the gate and arranging and re arranging them. I asked her if she had fun at JoyHouse while I was away. She said “Oh Oui (wee)!” and then added a loud “yes!”
Roland planted 3 more trees. He also finished the plaster on the outside front wall. It looks really nice.
We had a team of 10 with Florida Disaster. They are mostly from Louisville KY. They are great young people. As usual, they love the food. We had a lot of laughter and joy in the house last night! They built 3 houses yesterday. They have also done a lot of demo. They have accomplished a lot since they arrived on Sunday.
The leader of the team and I found we have a friend in common in Louisville. He goes to the same University as Drew Griffin. I had breakfast with Drew while I was back in the states.
Lisa rode a tap tap after school out to JoyHouse. She got so involved in a conversation about the bible, that she missed her stop at JoyHouse. She ended up riding a few miles too far. She had to get off and catch another tap tap back to JoyHouse. They were laughing at her as she told her story last night!
Reginald has 2 couples ready for the Joyful Wedding project. We are setting a date in August sometime for the weddings. This will be three couples since Cheryl Thomas answered God’s call and started the “Joyful Wedding Project”.
We met with Pastor Donnie and Bernie from Mena, AR while back in the states. We are looking forward to seeing another team from there in December.
Pray for Daryl Yerton. He is beginning to lay the groundwork for a great vision he has involving JoyHouse.
We heard from Christine (summer intern). She is out of the country, but sent a box of supplies for the women’s ministry and the Daniel Project. She also sent some cookies for Matthew. The cookies looked so good, I ate most of them before I got here! I replaced them with some other cookies. As I confessed to Matthew what I had done, he shrieked “Oh no!” but I said I couldn’t help myself, so he forgave me!
Christine sent some great pictures we have used on the blog for the Daniel Project. Oh my how blessed JoyHouse was to have these 2 interns! We miss them so much. Kristen will be married soon and Christine will be off to NYU. We will continue doing what we do… a little sweeter and better since they were here.
This seemed like a good time to drop another short note about the Daniel Project and share some recent photos of the work we are doing.
We have been so fortunate to have teams bring things to help support this ministry. Any items for infants and expectant mothers are helpful. We have received things like pre natal vitamins, formula (powered), baby blankets and even things like gloves to help with the medical needs.
The program needs funds to help train people to assist in the care, educate the new mothers, provide supplies and to help hire midwives to ensure safer delivery of the newborns. There is much to do for these women. This is such an important project.
If you are interested in donating and supplies or money, please contact us via the JoyHouse website at www.haitijoyhouse.org and we will make sure it gets to the Daniel Project.
That was the goal! However, we serve a very BIG God! As women hear of the program, they are flocking to where Daniel and the other caregivers go! We have seen 200 babies and 100 women since the program began!
We are maintaining records and tracking on the original 20, but as always ask for your prayer and support for this valuable program! It is so necessary for the women who are pregnant to learn about how to care for themselves and the baby, even before it is born. They are hungry for this knowledge. It is such a worthwhile program.
Gail Bright is the director of the program. She has such a heart for this ministry! We are so thankful that God has directed her to help in this area! If you want to direct a gift or contribution to Gail, you can do so on the website. Just send a note along with your information about how you would like to GIVE, GO or PRAY! We will make sure Gail gets the message!
Thanks to all who have given toward building transitional homes. To date, enough funds have been received to build 11 structures. If you have been thinking about giving toward this cause and have not yet done so, I encourage you to make a donation as soon as possible. We will continue building these homes every time a team goes to Haiti and we have funds available. Joe has returned home from Haiti this weekend and we will get an update on the progress made the past week. The goal was to build the remaining 9 homes.
(note to readers, I will get an update as soon as possible out on the actual number of homes we have received funds for and built)
Well, we are behind (as usual) in getting news posted here. It seems like we stay so busy that we only have time to update about a week later, when folks come home and start reflecting on their visit and sharing theie photos and stories!
This is no exception. Here are a few photos sent our way from last week. Sook was kind enough to share a few words about each as well!
The first two are a couple of examples of the gorgeous sunsets in Haiti! More to come later, stay tuned as we try to keep up!!
There are kid's clinics, pastor classes and all kinds of activities being planned for the community! In the past, they have been great witnesses as good Christians, so we are happy to have them here to minister again in Haiti!
We are excited to see what this group has in store. They have been here before (at least some of them) and have been one of the best groups ever!
We can't wait to see what God has planned! More later...
Sook arrived from Canada on Sunday. She has been holding a grief counseling class in the mornings for a few of the women and then at night for Daniel, Fito, Matthew and Jerald. The girls wrapped up last night and received their certificates and the boys are finishing up right now. They have all been really excited and involved in the process. Sook is great to have around, she is very wise and a great person to talk to.
The florida disaster team came Monday and worked very hard! They had a lot of wisdom and great things to share. They left early yesterday morning to head back to Port Au Prince to help with the Buckets of Hope that were collected by the Southern Baptist Conference and finally released.
We are still seeing a lot of fruit from the FBC/PCH team and all the great work that they did! Samon's man who accepted Christ last week when Pastor Ryan came to talk to him, was in church Sunday! He seemd very excited to be there and it was great to see the transformation made in both his and Samon's lives. Continue to pray for strength for him as he makes changes to his life upon dedication to Christ!
We also received word that Cheryl Thomas has acquired another wedding dress! Joyful Weddings is going to bless so many people, t is incredible to see it all coming together!
Kristen and Cristine have been working with the women more this week and it was extremely exciting to see that all the women from last week, brought a younger woman to learn this week! We had asked them to be thinking of someone they would like to learn what they were learning so it was incredible to see that fruit! Ty made some absolutely beautiful head scarves...
Matthew, Fito and Daniel took Kristen, Cristine, and Sook to see the beach yesterday and Matthew even got them all to try cooked snail! It was definitely interesting...!Today Charlie took Sook, Cristine and Kristen to the market in Port Au Prince where they got some delicious fruits. It was great to get to see more of Port Au Prince but we were happy to get back to Gressier.Last night we taught Eddie and Daniel how to play "spoons" although, in order to conserve dirtying utensils, in Haiti we play "pens." It was such a fun time! I don't think we have all laughed that hard in a LONG time!
We can't believe it is already time for our team from Living Hope to arrive tomorrow! It seems like just yesterday that we got here. We are so excited to see them and to get the kids club undereway!Keep the kids club this week in your prayers and safe travel for Joe as he comes to join us on Wednesday
We have decided that Charlie , one of the boys, has a new nickname....: the "phantom." He's got a soft walk and a gentle touch! Whenever something breaks, needs repairs, or even when city power goes off, Charlie has already fixed it, restored it and gotten things running before you even realize he's been there! We had a sink break the other day and before we even knew we had gotten a new sink, there was already one installed! He is such a blessing to have and just one of the kindest spirits!
OH! I forgot to mention, we got the washing machine all set up and running, this has made laundryjust a tad easier! We loved seeing everyone's mezmorized faces as they walked by the tumbling and whirling of the big machine..
Fito and Norma were planting her new flowers the other day (which are just lovely!!) and for those of you who don't know, Norma is quite the avid gardener back in Arkansas! Well, some worms popped up in the dirt and sweet Fito was just aghast! But Norma just dug her hands in the dirt and picked those worms right out...which Fito could not believe!! Now, the flowers have brought on a small battle between Lucy and Norma of how much to water the plants.
Meema (Norma) always has to remind the boys to wear their JoyHouse shirts whenever they go to the airport to pick up teams. A few weeks ago she took the boys to a nice restaurant while they were waiting for the team and had some great food. A week later when it was time to go to the airport, every single boy was outside in his JoyHouse shirt, ready to go. Needless to say, there has een no further problems with them wearing their JoyHouse shirts!!
God is doing great things in Haiti...He is so good! Arriving in Port Au Prince, throughout our drive and as we have been in and around Gressier, we have seen a greater sense of hope. The destruction is still very real, but the path to rebuilding seems to be more evident. Kristen and I have been enjoying every moment here, working with teams, getting to know the Haitians and everything in between. We hope you are preparing prayerfully and getting excited for the 19-26! The JoyHouse team is very excited for the "Texsa team" to be back. In fact, Matthew was asking about "Pastor Butch" the other day...I think they've missed him!
Kristen and I have been working a lot with Daniel on his project, which is taking care of women and babies in Haiti. It is a hard sight to see the malnutrition that sweeps the hills, but Daniel is able to show them Christ's compassion through seeing them and taking special time to care for each one. On that note, if any of you have access to women's or kids vitamins, or any sort of baby/ children's medicine (we've seen a lot of fevers and coughs). I know that is something he was prescribing pretty frequently. It could be a great blessing to him!
Yesterday we started the women's ministry and are excited and encouraged by how eager they are to share and learrn! We also registered kids for the kids cllub and got OVER 300 from Grand Savone and Gressier alone! We will most likely register again tomorrow...
I'll leave you with a verse from a song we heard the other day that has been very meaningful to us, its called "compassion hymn." I'd encourage you all to listen if you get a chance. it truly painted such a vivid picture of Christ's mercy and the call we have to share that compassion He has shown us to those without hope.
"How beautiful the feet that carry
The gospel of peace
To the fields of injustice
and the valley of need-
To be a voice of hope and healing,
to answer the cries.
Of the hungry and helpless
with the mercy of Christ
What boundless love
what fathomless grace
You have shown us,
O God of compassion!
Each day we live
an offering of praise
As we show to the world
In Christ's abounding love,
Cristine and Kristen.
Yesterday the Arkansas team, Kristen and Cristine all went to Carefour for the morning where they played with lots of kids at teh school, shared the gospel and then went to play with kids at the Lifeline orphanage. Afterwards they evangilized around the area and the number of salvations for the week ended up being well over 200! The Lord is moving so much with so many decisions for Christ!
The Arkansas team left early this morning and we were very sad to see them go. They were such a wonderful group of people with huge hearts for the Lord! They left such a mark during their time here with their zealous spirits and passion to serve and love the people of Haiti! All their friends and family should be very proud!
Norma and Joe are busy today running errands and picking up our newest addition from Canada! Kristen and Cristine have been busy around JoyHouse with the Haitians (althought now they are all watching the World Cup and getting very excited from the other room!) We also had some visitors from the CMBH in Port au Prince earlier this morning. It is so encouraging to hear what other members of the body are doing in and around Haiti!
The disaster team from Florida gets here on Monday and we will be doing a lot of planning for the kids club while they are busy building houses. Continue to pray for the women's ministry ythis week as it is moving in big ways!
Lots of new and exciting things have been going on at JoyHouse this week!
The team from FIrst Baptist Springdale has been busy at work putting together temporary housing.They get up early and work dilligently. What a blessing those houses are! Pastor Ryan led a great lesson Sunday at church and the team had a great skit to go along with it. The entire team went out today around 6 am to work on houses so that they would have time to go to the tent cities to evangilize (which is where they are now). In their past days of evangilism they have already seen many decisions for Christ!
Yesterday we registered children for the kids club that the Living Hope team will be putting on the 21-24 of June. We registered over 300 children alone in Grand Savone and Gressier at Pastor Benito and Pastor Reginald's churches. The kids seem very excited and we are looking forward to registering more this week!
Kristen and Cristine from the Texas team have been working with Daniel on "the Daniel project." They have gotten to see many babies and mothers, and what a true need it is for them to receive proper nutrition and care It seems the word has n out about Danie's project as many times the mothers will come to him when he is isut and helping other moms! Gail Bright should be very proud and excited to see how it has grown. We have received so much support and supplies from the states. Many diapers, vitamins and medicine, all of which are being used heavily. What a blessing it is to those mothers when Daniel is able to treat their baby and then present them with a new set of clothes!
Yesterday we also began women's ministry. We are focusing on the Titus 2 model of teaching and leading the older women so that they may be able to teach the younger women. We were very excited to see how eager they are to learn. Maggie and Rosemary were great examples yesterday as they helped the younger women work on their embroidery.
Donisha is very excited to be sarting a community garden project, her and Norma spent quite a while today looking ffor seeds, but came back successful!
Cheryl Thomas has already collected several wedding dresses and suits to start the "joyful weddings" project. This is soemthing that will really bless the members of the church, and be a beginning to finding a solution to the unwed mothers in Haiti.
Sunday night we had a torrential downpour that sent a stream of rushing water down the stairs. It flooded the girls' room and under the stairs but the teams worked well to get it all mopped up. Hopefully it is fixed and the next torrential downpour will not mean another flood!
All those at home can be very proud of the energetic and hard-working team from Northwest Arkansas! What a blessing!
April 16-24, 2010
Bill and Paul Ussery
Paul and I had an opportunity to travel to Haiti in April to work with the Joy House Ministry in Gressier, Haiti. We left early Friday April 16th from XNA. There were four of us on this flight and we met up with the other members of the team in Miami. There were a total of 13 plus Joe Patterson, co-founder of Joy House. Most of the team members had never met before this trip. We had a contractor/part time pastor from East Texas, a pastor and his assistant from Mena, Arkansas, four people from the church at Pinnacle Hills, Rogers, AR, five people from First Baptist Springdale, AR (one an RN) and a Paramedic from South Georgia.
When we arrived in Haiti, Norma Patterson, wife of Joe, met us at the airport. Just getting through the airport was quite an experience. The airport in Haiti is relatively small and was damaged by the earthquake. We rode a bus to a large warehouse where our suitcases were in a giant pile. We had to find ours and push through the crowd to get to our bus. The trip through town was very depressing. There is massive destruction from the earthquake and tent cities everywhere with 1,000 tents or more in some locations. There are between 3 to 6 million people that live in Port Au Prince the capitol and most of the people are now living in tents. Joy House is about 20 miles from the center of town and it took us close to an hour to get there. The roads were terrible, with most not paved and all very rough. When we first arrived we were overwhelmed by the poverty and destruction. In the area we were in 80% of the homes were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake.
We arrived at Joy House and selected which tent we would be staying in. The tents we slept in were located on the roof of Joy House. The meals were flavorful and nutritional and we always had fresh fruit. While Haiti is a very poor country it is also very beautiful with many banana, mango and coconut trees.
We started each day with breakfast around 7:00 a.m. We were up early since the roosters, chickens and goats were our alarm clocks. They usually started up around 3:00 a.m.
Saturday we started building our first house. It was for a pastor whose house had been destroyed by the earthquake. We had to clear part of the rubble to make a place to put the house. It was a learning experience for all of us as we tried to make sense of the drawing we had for building instructions. We figured out what talents each one had and came up with a plan on how to use them. There were at least twenty or more Haitians that came by to check out what we were doing. There were a large number of children that just hung out with us. Several of the guys on our team played soccer with them while we were waiting on supplies. We got most of the house built by the end of the day.
Sunday we went to church in the morning. The Joy House church was destroyed in the earthquake. The old building had been leveled before we arrived by a mission team that came from Oklahoma. They leveled the lot and built a temporary church that had a tin roof and tarps for the sides. There were about 150 or more there Sunday morning and they spilled out of the building. Pastor Donnie from Mena did the sermon. Sunday afternoon we rested and planned for the week. We came up with a practical design for the houses and a game plan.
Monday we finished the first house. While 4 of us worked on the house the medical team – one RN and a Paramedic and one helper went out into the town. Paul helped with them most of the time. They went out and visited new mothers on a follow up plan that Joy House had prepared. Two of our members played soccer with the kids while we finished the house. They just gave the children some attention they desperately needed. They also handed out tracks to the kids in their language (Creole).
While we were finishing the first house a couple of the guys were making a saw station for cutting the lumber for the houses. They cut all of the lumber for the next house in short order once they got the jig set up. Once we figured out a plan to do the houses they went up quickly. The last house we built on Friday took 4 ½ hours from cutting the first board to hammering the last nail. The last house was our best.
I helped build houses all week. Paul usually went with the medical team. We build 5 houses, added onto the tent church so the side and back flipped up to more than double their space and let the air flow through to keep them cool. Most of the houses we built were for pastors of the local churches. Some were for church members. They were made out of wood and were the sturdiest structures around. There is no question these will not only help keep families out of the rain but are also a real testimony for the church. They all know who built these houses.
We had a revival meeting on Thursday with well over 200 people in attendance. There were at least 60 or more that raised their hand to indicate they had received Christ during the invitation.
Over the course of the time we were there we completed 5 houses, set future teams up for success with jigs and building plans along with tips to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.
The medical team was able to minister to a large number of people with at least 44 people accepting Christ as their Savior. The evangelism team lead over 100 people to Christ and ministered to many others. They also worked with the local pastors and are set to do on-going training with them.
This trip was life changing. Even after several weeks I am still trying to get my head wrapped around all we saw and did.
When we first arrived in Haiti I was not sure there was any hope for these people. When I left I knew we had brought hope to one village and that it would be on-going after we left.
One thing that really impressed me was the way our team was full of very diverse backgrounds and yet we worked together like a well-oiled machine. There were no bosses or “in-charge” people – we all did whatever was needed. It was a very real picture of 1 Cor. 12:12 about how the Body is made up of many parts but works as one unit. We saw God move in our hearts as well as those we went to minister to. It was also a blessing to get to spend a week with my son and see him grow and be an integral part of the team. Paul had decided before he left Haiti that he would be coming back.
Looking back on the trip the major items accomplished, apart from the many Haitians that came to Christ, were leaving Joy House in a position to be more successful and the making of many lasting, even eternal relationships. We are grateful for the opportunity.
Paul Ussery, Springdale, AR May 27, 2010
They left at 7 everyday and returned home late everyday! They came here well trained and ready to work. In partnership with Samaritan's Purse, they built 14 Transitional Houses. What a blessing!
I think the heat was hard on them, but they were real troopers! They liked the food too! We were glad that we could make the stay better with good food. We even had fried chicken one night!
I am so grateful for all Americans do! What a blessing to be a part of such a great country!
I see a man riding a bike, birds flying around and the sea is calm. It's a great day!
I see the temporary church. I remember all the work the teams have done. From the Texas and Oklahoma teams that helped demo the old church, to the Arkansas teams that helped build a new temporary place to worship, we are thankful to you all!
I am looking toward going home-but when I get their I will be looking toward coming back. Going home to Arkansas is like a short vacation and then, back to work!
I told Eddy yesterday that home is not here in Haiti or there in Arkansas, my heart is both places, but my eyes are on my eternal home. I am restless for that home!
I am so grateful to God for the Haitian team He brought together for JoyHouse. They each have such unique gifts. Each of them does what is asked without fail! I am watching Charley as he goes through the tools organizing them. Maggie and the other women are starting the massive pile of laundry. Lucy refills the fridge with water. Fito is picking up the grounds. Francie takes the trash to burn. Eddy and Matthew have gone to deliver the team safely back to Florida house. Reginald is meeting church members outside to deal with whatever issues and concerns they bring.
I reflect how far we have come. At one time, we would have had to tell each one of them to do what they just know they must do now. The struggle isn't as great. The pace is less hectic today. It is a very good day, in a "lazy day" kind of way.
JoyHouse, under the power of the Holy Spirit, has made a difference! I am witnessing the difference today as I see each one doing what he is to do with the joy of the Lord on their faces.
Thank you all for your part in making JoyHouse a reality. Because of this, they can live with peace and full stomachs. More later.
We go in Jesus name.
The news of revivals, salvations, discipleship and transitional housing are blessings indeed! We are so grateful for all God is doing through the JoyHouse Ministry! We have certainly met some lovely Chirstians these past few weeks. We know that will continue throughout the summer months too.
The weather is getting hotter every day. The Haiti heat can make you tired really quick. Pray for continued health and strength for the people working here throughout the summer.
There are a few nights every week where it rains so hard, everyone gets wet. Even those brave enough to stay indoors battle the elements! Haiti can be a challenge, but there are so many rewards!
It's so important to see and hear the things that are happening there. We are trying to keep you updated with as many facts about the work as possible. We want everyone to remember and to pray for what God is doing here. Please pray that others will not lose enthusiasm for what is happening here. We don't want this opportunity to be lost on folks as they go about their everyday lives. While much has been accomplished, there is so much more left to do.
When you meet the members of the board, you see immediately this special love for the people of Haiti. Remember, this isn't just something they started after the earthquake, many of them have been coming here every year for 15-20 years. Amazing when you consider that vacations, extra income and resources have been directed towards this JoyHouse family for so long.
On the website, there are names and photos of each member of the JoyHouse board. The photos/videos page has a special video of John Rodgers shot only 3 weeks after the earthquake. You can see and hear the love John has for the Lord and for the Haitian people. We invite you to watch this video too.
Let's pray this week for the board of JoyHouse. They have sacrificed so much for the vision of creating this special place in Haiti. They certainly would never ask for this and may even be embarrassed by it, but if you know them, you know how truly special each of them are! Let's pray God will continue to bless them with strength, resources and vision to continue His work in Haiti!
The rains coming now are the biggest concern. The greatest fear now is of disease now because of the living conditions.
This makes the transitional housing more important than ever. We have funds to complete about 7-8 of these transitional homes. Thanks to the many people that are supporting the ministry and the wonderful teams coming to Haiti, we have been able to help build transitional housing for 4 families.
We had a visit from a group early last week. They were amazed that we had already completed so many of the transitional houses. They have had assistance from some MUCH bigger organizations. They expressed some interest in working with us on transitional housing. It's hard not to be excited about the prospect of being able to provide more transitional housing for people in such desperate need. Join us in prayer about this. We want to trust God's leading as we always have in these matters.
Before Roy left, he was able to go to Carrefour to see Eddy's House. He says it is so badly damaged, he estimates it will cost somewhere between
$20-30,000 to repair.
Eddy is such an integral part of the Joyhouse Ministry! If you haven't met him, take a minute to look at the video on our webpage under the video photos link! You will see what a great inspiration and joy he is!
as you know, Eddy has been ill recently. He is feeling better, but still has some pretty tough days. Matthew has been ill as well. He wasn't as sick as Eddy. Eddy has had a more difficult time getting well. We ask that you continue to pray for both of them in their battle to regain their health.
Roy also went to look at Maggie's house to see what can be done there. Unfortunately, I don't have any specifics on her house at this time. I will try to tell you about that another time.
The range on the repairs is great due in part to the fluctuation of prices and availability of materials. We have a lot of local merchants we work with to purchase food and materials, so we have a pretty good idea of how to get the MOST for the money and make the best use of the time we have people here to help!
We originally priced transitional housing at about $875. At that time there were plenty of tarps. Now, we can't find tarps anywhere! Because of the rains, many of the tarps that were available have been used for existing tents/structures that are now leaking. So, we have to substitute materials. Now the cost has risen to almost $1000 per transitional house! But, like the weather, that will probably change again too!
We are used to being flexible! We have learned in Haiti not to get too attached to the first plan, because in all likelihood, it will change a few times before it becomes a reality!
We have now completed at least 4 transitional houses. It's a great feeling to know that some of the families are out of the weather and in something a little more stable.
We had over 200 salvations last week. As teams went into the field, ministering to both the physical and spiritual needs of those in the community. Take time to share our resources and the Gospel with those we encountered.
We had a one night revival at the church on Thursday! It was short but so incredible. There were 412 people in attendance. God is working in Haiti!
So many people attended the revival, we had to expand the transitional church. Can you imagine having to expand the church after only a couple of weeks? We were able to take the tarp sides from the 20x25 size tent we originally had and come up with a design to extend the back and the side out to a type of awning using additional tarps. The church is now expanded to 27x32 with this new design. We were also able to build some new pews and rebuild some of the old ones! Everyone was able to have a little shade and worship! What a blessing!
Another group of 3-4 helped provide medical care to many of the women we identified to work with on the Daniel project. We had an RN from GA, a paramedic from and others from NW Arkansas that went visiting and providing follow up care. We think they saw over 250 people in the visits.
We were able to complete 5 transitional houses this week. We completed the one for Benito (we will get photos from that soon), one for Roland and his family, the one for the twins and their family, one for Samuel (our bus driver) and another one for a woman in the church.
The people we had this week were very mature and so sharp. We had people from Arkansas and Georgia nostly. We have appreciated their commitment and the help they have provided in the community.
Shortly after getting back from the Haiti visit, Matt Palermo contacted JoyHouse. He wrote of this family "Ever since we saw where they are living, I have been burdened for that particular family, along with a few others from the group."
Happily last week we were able to complete transitional housing for that family. We know
the Living Hope church family wanted to know the status. Norma followed up with Matt earlier this week thanking him for his help in making this transitional home a reality for this very needy family!
Again, this College Station team is making a difference! We can't wait to see you guys again in June! We know the Children's ministry will be blessed! What a wonderful opportunity to make an impact that will no doubt last a lifetime for these children! Just think about how many of us had our lives touched through vacation bible school and children's programs. To be able to provide this opportunity at this time for these children will truly be a life altering event for so many able to be a part of it. We continue to pray for you as you prepare for this journey!
This week we will host 2 teams from Florida Baptist Disaster Relief that will be working with Samaritan's Purse to build transitional housing. They have one team to tear down the damaged house and a second that builds a transitional home designed to last up to 3 years for families in the Leogane area. Pray for this team as they come and dedicate their time to this effort!
One thing we can count on is that we can't count on anything, except God! In Texas they say "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute". In Haiti if you don't like the price, wait a minute. On second thought, don't because it will probably go up!
We arrive to find things changing! Prices are way up. Gas is being rationed! You can't buy more than a few gallons and the prices are way up. Tents are torn down or leaking! There was a storm last Friday night. It did quite a bit of damage around our compound to the tent city we had. Some of the tents blew away literally! Roland said Leogane was flooded pretty badly.
Thankfully, God has helped us get JoyHouse almost inhabitable. Either way, some of us are moving in. Norma says she barley slept last night and it was like being waterboarded. She admits she was ready to tell them whatever they wanted! Ha! God prepares us for lots of challenges in Haiti, but that wasn't really one we aniticipated!
Eddy is better. His family is back in Haiti now, so that probably helps. We got a prescription Thursday for him. It was $100. Pray for God's provision here.
We are getting everything ready for the team arriving here soon! We cut some bananas from the tree today. They were awesome! Pretty cool to eat bananas from your own tree.
Jean Claude spoke at a church in Bella Vista Arkansas and they contributed money to help build another transitional house! That donation gives us almost enough for 9 homes, plus the two we already built!
We will start on the transitional houses when the team arrives. Thank you all so much for your giving to this project.
Work is waiting, We go in Jesus Name
In addition to the transitional housing, we were also able to do the bathroom for Benito's community! We wrote of it earlier. People were coming all the way from Gran Savon to thank us for this building. It was done after contacting a donor for who made a contribution for building. After graciously agreeing, we were able to use the their contribution for this!
If you want to donate to something specific, as we have many people do, just send us an e-mail or write a note with your donation. We will make sure that your donation goes to food, buildings, or whatever the designation. We know the Lord often leads your hearts in giving and we want to honor that leading!
Update on Matthew and Eddy. They are both feeling much better. Eddy has had malaria for sometime. His recent illness was a relapse of the malaria. Matthew is feeling better too! He now has malaria, but he is feeling better. Thank you all for your prayers and concern for them. It made a difference. They felt your prayers!
And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive. Matthew 21:22
We know so many of you join us in prayer daily! We ask that you continue to pray as we have more teams coming in the next few weeks. We pray God's safety and guidance on the leadership of JoyHouse and the teams! As always, we pray for the "fruits of our labor", souls won to Christ! For we know that is what matters most and the reason for JoyHouse!
The work on JoyHouse continues! What a wonderful site to see the building looking somewhat solid again! No huge hole in the front! You can see that the building is coming together! It's awesome to see the work continuing. The building should hold plenty of people just in time for the HOT summer! It will help serve as a place for teams to regroup during their work here!
Here are just a few examples of the hard work and dedication shown by the Ok and TX teams that recently came to JoyHouse! What great groups! They served with such wonderful hearts. They brought such humor and JOY into the daily routine! Thank you again for answering God's call to help during this time in Haiti!
We are preparing this week to return and begin building the transitional housing! The month of April, we will be focused primarily on getting as much transitional housing in place as we have funds and workers to do.
We have completed two so far. We have raised enough for at least 5 more houses. We will begin work on the 5 as soon as we arrive. We have promises of funds for an additional 3 or 4 more. What a blessing to these families.
The rain is coming almost every day or night now. This housing provides much needed protection from the elements. It's a start, but as we all know, there is much work to do.
At the end of April, they will no longer allow any mass food dsitribution to take place in Haiti. Please pray for the Haitian government. We hope they make good decisions for the people of Haiti as they try to rebuild their country.
We ask for prayer regarding the rebuilding of the church. The church has been an important part of the community. We pray that God will provide the funds to make rebuilding possible.
We are so thankful to the TX and OK teams for the work they did getting the rubble of the church cleared so that we could even consider this. The work brought hope to the people in the community. Many people have remarked about seeing the work here and how it has inspired them to get started on their own homes.
Pray for the Daniel project. We have so much going on with this project. We have over 100 babies and mothers that are already wanting to be a part of the project. Pray for guidance as we begin the project. Pray God will provide the talent and resources for the project.
Pray for the Kid's Club coming in June! We are so excited to be able to have this team in Haiti again! We know from the work they have done before, it will be a blessing. Pray for their focus as they plan and coordinate the trip. What a great opportunity to minister to these children that have been through so much. We pray it will be a time of healing for them. We know God is working and we pray they will be instruments of God as they work with these kids.
A couple of quick updates. First, Matthew does have malaria. He has been very sick, but he is getting better. He had some IV fluids and meds and is responding well. We can't wait to hear his laughter again soon. He has such a contagious smile! Roland and Eddy had some sort of "bug" going around but they are both feeling better.
We had a "bake sale" in the Dallas area today that raised over $1000!! What a tremendous blessing that money will be as we prepare to return and build more transitional houses.
Many people have expressed an interest in helping fund transitional houses! We have finished two so far. One for Zet as we said in earlier blogs and another we are building for Benito and his family!
We want to thank Norma's Sunday School class! What a wonderful group of friends in Christ! They were there late to meet her at the airport. They left a wonderful "comfort" basket of goodies for her return and they have ALWAYS been so faithful in prayer! Thank you so much for your spirit, commitment and love of our Lord!!
Please continue to pray for the health of the JoyHouse team. We ask for your prayers as we prepare to return. There is so much to do and so little time!
Please continue praying for the needs of the people of Haiti. We will report soon on the salvations during the revival held this week. Pastor Eddy has been teaching and preaching as we prepare to celebrate Easter! What a wonderful story of Resurrection!! A celebration of life!
He is Risen!!!
In April the transitional housing projects will start back up. We have finished two so far. God has provided enough to do 5 more!
We will post photos of Zet's house soon. It is small but she loves it! There wasn't much room to build, but at least now she and the baby (1 yr old) are out of the rain and the open air! It's a great relief for her!
We are excited to have Gail Bright of Birmingham, AL taking on the new "Daniel Project". This is a project for new and expectant mothers and infant care. Daniel has really wanted to begin a ministry for this group, so we named the initiative, "The Daniel Project". How wonderful to begin to impact this vulnerable group!
We are committed to continue the postings here. We want to keep you updated about the progress. We would love to get the video from Living Hope on the site too. If anyone knows how to get it, please email us! The video is wonderful!! We love you guys and miss you already!
Today Roland, Eddy and Matthew all went to the doctor. Each of them has been ill. They did some tests today, but will return tomorrow for results. As many of you know, Matthew has been very sick. Most likely it is malaria. We pray he will get what he needs, have a quick recovery and have no long term problems. Join us in praying for their health. They are so important to us and if you have had the pleasure of knowing them, we know they are important to you too!
We will be coming Home Monday 29 for a rest. I will probably not be able to sleep.I may need to set up a tent in the front yard just in case!
Being able to take a shower without waiting in line, being able to find my toothbrush, and soaking my feet may seem strange to me. I don't know if reentry training I have had will kick in. Many of the girls from College Station are still crying.
Rita is already missing the JH team. She will struggle pray for her and Daina. My challenge is much still to be done. But, even the Lord rested!!
It's a well deserved trip back home for some much needed R and R! After 9 weeks in Haiti, she has seen a lot! Somehow, she never loses her energy and enthusiasm! She has been tireless, as have the other JH team members, in their faith and love for Haiti and their desire to serve God by ministering to these people!
The Doctor and his wife, are so grateful that we cared enough to help them start again. What good neighbors they said we were! They did not know what they would do,now they say they will begin to work to rebuild. Of course we are only the hands of Jesus who is supplying the funds and people. Thank you for the answered prayers to help provide this relief!
This is one example of the work here that is so important. Many Haitians are still in shock and don't know how or where to start to rebuild their homes, their lives, even their country. These teams have hit the ground running to provide a much needed "jump starts" to so many worthy communities and families! We are so grateful!
The New Life Team paid for the dump truck to haul off the debris. They also donated food to the orphanage. They have paid for some repairs to JoyHouse. They have donated around $6000 to help here! We are so thankful for all they have done to help!
Additionally, they have done many things to bless Gran Savon. We hope they will be able to go there and finish putting tents for some people before they leave.
We have been challenged much this week saying good bye to more friends. Teams have come and gone. I know I will get home and reflect on the wonder of it all. But for now, we are to busy to think.
The heat has been exhausting. We are still buying and hauling 15-5 gallons bottles of water 2 times a day, plus 10 cases of small bottles for the teams and the workers.
One young man on this team is from Dominican side of the island. His name is Byron. He speaks Creole and he is a remarkable young man. He is studying for his PHD at University of Arkansas (Go Hogs!).
Byron is planning to come back to Haiti and work with us. I have grown to love this young man as he has served tirelessly, even while sick,to make a difference. He has been a real hit with our JH team. He has spoken to me about his future and how Haiti will fits in.
Another young man, Curtis, came to me to talk. I was overwhelmed by what he had to say. These are just some of the fine young people we have been blessed to work with.
God is moving in this place.
Roy Downs and our Haitian workers finished one transitional house yesterday. It was for Zet and her small baby (pictured above). She is so proud of it. She wanted to leave early to go fix it up!
Pray for health. We have had some sickness in our troops. We had a great track record but the conditions are very difficult and it's hard to to protect everyone from the stomach ailments! Pray we can get and keep team members healthy!
Gail Bright from Birmingham, AL has agreed to be Director for the Daniel Project.!! What a great blessing!! Gail we are so excited to watch this develop!
We will began working on Benito's transitional house soon. Roy and Joe left on Thursday! Roy has been such a blessing. It's like saying goodbye to an angel!
I don't know how God is so good to us but He is!!
Much of the media and the world have moved on with life, and the problems in Haiti seem to be behind them. But, for the people of Haiti, those problems are still very much a part of every minute of their life right now…and will be for many days and months to come. Thank you to all who have donated to Joy House over the past couple of weeks…God has blessed and Joe was able to return to Haiti this past Thursday with enough money raised to build SIX houses!! God bless those who have given sacrificially to help the people of Haiti. Most of the conversations we have had with Daina and Rita over the past week, it was either raining at that time or there had been rain overnight. These houses are going to get people out of the rain and save lives. Joy House has also just finished building a latrine for the tent city in Gran Savon. This will be a big help in preventing the spread of disease in a small area where there are a lot of people living so closely together.
Two teams – one from Living Hope Baptist in College Station, Texas and the other from Baptist Collegiate Ministries in Oklahoma have spent the past week working at Joy House, and when I say work, I mean WORK! They were able to completely clear away all of the debris from the church and also helped feed people from Jesus Church at Santos, Gran Savon, and Pastor Edie’s church. Thank you teams for all your hard work and for accomplishing SO MUCH in such a short time!
Pray for the current team of 23 that is from Northwest Arkansas as they continue the work at Joy House this week. They will continue repairs and construction as well as helping with the doctor’s house, which is right next to the compound.
Continue to pray for Norma and Rita as they are both not feeling well and pray also for Daina. Pray for their strength and endurance as they will be providing meals for the team this week.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and gifts…for being a part of what God is doing in Haiti. The passage from James asks the question “what good is it if we talk, but don’t do?” Well, so many of you through your prayers and giving have not just had words, but actions behind your words…Thank you. Matthew 25:34-40 describes you well. “Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.' "Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
Thank you for reaching out to people who have been “overlooked” for a long time.
John & Kay
Zig Ziglar says "When you see a turtle on a fencepost, you can bet he had help getting there!!" Well that's how we feel and we saw that with this group too! They had people gather for over 1.5 hours one night to pray!
How wonderful to know the people they are and the people they have surrounded themselves with! We know about surrounding yourself with great people! And even more important, surrounding yourself with prayer!
Before anyone comes to Haiti with JoyHouse, we always ask that they have at least one prayer partner to pray for them while they are in Haiti! We know how important that is. This group had many people willing to lift them up in prayer! How wonderful!!
This group of people from College Station were so sweet, kind and willing to help! They had such a love for the mission! They were not selfish or spoiled. They were there for one thing, to glorify God and work hard for the Kingdom. They did just that!!
Parents be proud of the young adults you have raised. They are among the best we have seen! We are excited to have this church sending another group later this year! We can't wait to see what God does!
This group evangelized, distributed food and worked hard every day! We are so thankful to them! We serve a great and wonderful God. Thank you to this team for everything!! It was such a joy to have you all here!!
They are all such gentlemen, sweet, kind and so handsome! They were such low maintenance, we hardly knew they were here, (except for the tremendous amount of work they are doing). What an absolute privilege to work with this great group of guys!
2 leaders and 8 young men who answered a call from the Oklahoma Missions Board for Disaster Relief Workers to go to Haiti for Spring Break. Many of them met for the first time at the airport on their way to Haiti?.Yet, they managed to all work together so well!! Isn't God great!!
There are morew than one universities in Oklahoma represented by this group. I had the priviledge of speaking with Andrew Wade, from the group. He said that "because they were considered disaster relief they knew what their mindset needed to be, but they weren't sure what they would be doing or how they would offer relief, but that's what JoyHouse is all about right now, offering relief!"
When asked what he would take away from this experience, he replied " The people. I will be thinking about the people. They are so selfless. We can learn so much from these people."
I tried a few times to talk to Cale Freeman from the team, but we got disconnected every time. We have determined he has a "magnetic personality" because we got cut off every time!
Norma says "If you ever have any doubt or lose faith in our next generation, you need to meet these men. They will help restore your faith"!! Just like they have been restoring the faith and ministering to the people here in Haiti!! Thank you Oklahoma Baptist Collegiate Ministries for providing such a committed group of Christain men! Know that you made a difference!! God bless all of you!! Come back soon!
Notice the big ship offshore! Thank goodness for our troops that helped in Haiti too!
A few updates for you:
First, the church demo is complete!! What an amazing group of people from Texas and Oklahoma. At the risk of offending others, we LOVED these teams!! Thank you so much for just being who you were here in Haiti!
The teams started demo on the house next door (the doctor's house). They said today it was about 80% complete. The doctor, his wife and 10 yr old daughter were home at the time of the earthquake. The doctor was hurt, and his daughter was killed. I don't remember hearing any details the wife. One of the boys at JoyHouse, Fito, was finally able to get the young girl's body out of the house. He carried her down the hill to her mother and father.
This is the kind of thing that starts to heal a family overwhelmed with grief. We can never replace the loss, but we can show God's love and provide a helping hand. This is such a great act of kindness and Christian love!
In addition to all this, they have finished a few more columns and some work inside JoyHouse. They are also in the process of completing some work outside the house. What a blessing these teams have been!!
They worked together so well. They accomplished a great deal while they were here! We are so thankful for them!
Roy and Vic have been just SUPER!! They have organized the work and kept the teams going!
I spoke to Roy tonight and thanked him for all he has done. He mentioned that every time he talked to his wife, she commented on the blog and said she really enjoys hearing about all the work that is going on in Haiti. Thank you for reading and thank you for your comments!
The purpose of the blog has been two fold:
1. To share what we are doing in Haiti. We want to help you feel a part of the ministry share the blessings too!
2. To keep Haiti on your hearts and minds!! As Andrew Wade, from the Baptist Collegiate Ministry said tonight on the phone, "Even though the earthquake is over, the problem isn't over".
We will keep making frequent updates! Thank you for reading and thank you for GIVING, GOING and PRAYING!!!
The team from College Station went to Gran Savon early and were then able to evangelize and had people saved. Not sure of the number but I think 3.
The Church is almost demoed! These guys from Oklahoma have stayed on it everyday. It is hard work but they do not complain. Many of them have said it's the hardest they have ever worked. I know they will be tired when they get home, but it will be a good tired!
I hear a lot of conversation and laughter in the other room tonight. It is a good sound. (Now you know how JoyHouse gets it's name!)
We fed 92 today with the Haitian workers, the Americans and others who are helping carry off the rubble. Thank goodness for Rice and Beans!
Some of the people in the community come to watch or even to help. We hire a few of the local workers. The only salaries we pay are for the Haitian workers. Paying the workers is very important because it give them a sense of accomplishment and hope.
The monetary donations made to JoyHouse are spent primarily in Haiti with local merchants too. This is also an important part of helping get Haiti back on it's feet. If we can get the local merchants going again, it will help to create jobs and that's good for Haiti.
We are making great progress on the Mission Center. The entire building will be enclosed by the time I go home (end of March) or at least that is the goal.
We also gave out blankets to babies made by a lady who has taken this as her project for Haiti. We are blessed by the people who have special interest and put their actions to work for the people in Haiti.
One last note, we had a question about the condition of the man from Gran Savon with Typhoid. All I know right now is that he is still in the hospital in Leogane. I will try to find out more and let you know at another update.
Jeri Lane's little girl she sponsors came for her family. Ticket in hand, smiling ear to ear. She hardly ever smiled before Jeri got involved in her life.
We go to Gran Savon today. Pray for all to go well there. Friday the College Station team will go to Carrefour and do a lot of one on one with Haitians. Pray for us.
I noticed there's not much chatter and singing at night after we get in our tents like before. Everyone is totally exhausted! But the faces still reflect the Joy of it all.
Ron Harris' Teen Challenge team will be here tomorrow. Pray for the addition of 24 more people for one evening. It's goign to be crowded! Joe Patterson will be arriving with them. Then, the next day the College Station team will leave.
Hot dogs for supper last night! They were a big Hit!
We have many things happening in construction. The church is almost cleared!! I can't really believe what God has done. Thank you teams!!!
The people around the area come to watch everyday. This is a good thing, because it will encourage them to move forward.
Pray for the water situation. With so many people, we are buying water constantly. This is very time consuming and expensive. Pray that God will provide a long term solution to the water problem! We can use the well for bathing and it is safe for drinking, but the taste of the water (not actual bacteria) keeps people from being able to drink it. This was not the case before the earthquake.
Pray for the food distribution. We pray that everything will go well as that begins today at Jesus Church of Santos, Wednesday in Gran Savon and Friday in Carrefour. Pray for salvation in these areas as the teams minister to the physical and spiritual needs in these communities.
Pray the unity of the teams continues. We are so fortunate that everyone here, even under difficult conditions, is getting along so well.
Pray that everyone stays healthy. Matt Palermo has felt a little sick this morning, but seems much better now.
Pray for the spiritual renewal of all teams members. Pray for the JoyHouse team and the Haitian team members there helping and staying at JoyHouse. Eddy, Roland, Matthew, Reginald, Benito, Charlie, Fito, and Samuel.
Pray for Norma and Joe. Joe will be traveling to Haiti Thursday. Pray for safe and uneventful travel for him. Pray that they will continue to have the same resources, strength, focus and perseverance that is required to continue to answer the call at this critical time in Haiti.
Pray for the continued spirit of revival in Haiti.
We appreciate the prayers of the faithful who answer the call to GIVE, GO or PRAY!! Your continued support is so critical. Thank you all!
Reginald and Benito, the pastors for these two churches, have worked for days to get tickets to the most needy in the churches. How exciting to be able to help meet this tremendous need! Many of these people are so hungry. It's beyond description! Even in this despair, we know God is working to help meet the needs of these good and faithful people!
Reginald and Benito have been working hard to find beans and rice to buy! They already brought in 3 trucks worth and went back out again. Many times, buying anything in quantity means buying from several places. Most places will have only a small amount or will want a higher price if they see you want to buy too much! Pray they will be able to get good availability and make each dollar go a long way!!
The bathroom for Benito's church is now being used. There is a little more work to be done, but it is usable. Norma said that many people have walked a long way just to say thank you for this facility. We knew it would meet a serious need in that area! We are so grateful to the people who helped with this project!
The Oklahoma group with Denny Freeman and Charles Lillard from Baptist Collegiate Ministry in OKC is a group of ten strong Christian men. We know many of you are watching and tracking their progress and we want you to know they are really doing a great job! They have been a huge help in the construction projects so far.
The Texas group from Living Hope Baptist Church in College Station Texas aren't slackers either! Butch Smith and the group he is with have jumped in and they are working hard to help with these important projects too! We have another group from this church coming later in the summer! We are so thankful for them and their willingness to serve in Haiti during this difficult time!
Many Americans are so surprised at the Haitian ingenuity! If you have ever been, you know how cool it is to watch the way they work construction and are often able make something from almost nothing! It's truly a learning experience for most of the Americans. I'm told they are watching some of it in amazement today too! No matter how they make it look, the work is very hard. We know it takes real commitment and a servant's heart to be in Haiti, even in good times!
I am hearing they look like their own tent city with over 21 tents right now! I know with the 20 Haitian workers, 20 JoyHouse people and 31 Americans, they are certainly busy around JoyHouse today!
They had to spend the night in the airport. Their leader Denny Freeman is ready to go with hard work for the kingdom.
The College Station team are beautiful people. They sang special music for the service at Jesus Church at Santos today. Butch Smith preached on Daniel and it was awesome! "This world is not my home" was a big part of the message. It helped me to remember why I am here. He also spoke on being "convicted of having a personal relationship with Jesus" if we were on trial. The Haitians loved it.
We prayer walked today. Both groups went to the beach to cool off a bit. The heat has returned to us.
We look like tent city here on the grounds. I think we have 21 tents. It is nice to have all the Americans.
Roy and Vic are miracle workers. We had a water sisuation and I did not even have to deal with it. I am so grateful to the KING of KINGS for these 2 men. Vic leaves tomorrow. I will be sorry to see him go. Chris is leaving tomorrow also. We will miss him.
I am usually in my tent by this time but many here for showers, so I am up a little later.
We had brown beans and spam and instant mashed potatoes for Sunday lunch. Tonight, we had PB & J. The young ones liked it.
We are so grateful for those at home for thier prayers and donations. We have started laying the ground work for the transitional housing. Well, I am very tired tonight. I will write more later.
On behalf of the 600,000 homeless people in Haiti, thank you to the Youth Ministry of Grace Point Church. During their annual discipleship weekend (One Weekend), Jn. Claude was able to share his testimony about a friend who gave him $50 to help him with his personal needs because he was in Florida during the earthquake and could not return home to Haiti. He had no source of income and did not have any money at all. Instead of using the money to take care of his own needs, he sent the money to a pastor friend in Haiti to help him meet needs in his church. Jn. Claude later learned the pastor was able to feed 60 people who had nothing to eat following the earthquake!
Following John Claude's testimony, the Holy Spirit laid it on the hearts of the students to take up an offering to help build transitional shelters in Haiti. As a result, they raised over $2,000 which will build 2 shelters for families who desperately need them! Thank you Wade Bryant for being sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. By allowing the students to be obedient to God's call on their lives, He has used them to bless people who are in desperate need!
Following is an email we received from Kay's sister, Daina Kennedy who has been in Haiti for 2 weeks and is currently seeing the overwhelming needs first hand. Please prayerfully consider what she has to say and ask God how he would have you respond to the needs.
John & Kay
NOTE FROM DAINA: (currently at JoyHouse) The destruction here is massive. The poverty level was great before the earthquake but now it’s completely overwhelming. The average Haitian makes $30 a year. We have children that come to the gates of the compound we are staying in and beg for food every day. Food is hard to come by in Haiti, even for us Americans, however because we have money and transportation we are able to drive the many miles it takes to buy some food. We see UN helicopters and transports taking food to the south of us and into Port AU Prince but nothing comes to Gressier. While most of the damage was in Port AU Prince the people living in Gressier have lost their jobs or even businesses in Port AU Prince, which has left them without a source of income. That makes it very difficult for them to buy food.
The ministry that I am working with is Joy House Ministries. It was started in 1996 by Joe and Norma Patterson. They work with teenage orphans, providing shelter, income, and education. Since the earthquake the amount of Haitians that they are housing has more than doubled. For Joe and Norma it is impossible to turn them away. These boys have nowhere to go, so they are working here to help make needed repairs and in turn they are earning a small wage as well as receiving food and shelter each day. For Joy House, feeding these boys is a burden; but not taking care of them is not an option.
While being here I have experienced many aftershocks, plus the rainy season has come early for Haiti. Most, if not all Haitians affected by the quake, are living in tents or tarps. Please for one moment imagine with me what it must be like for a mom and dad living under a tarp with their babies during a rain storm. The other night I laid awake during a storm thinking of the babies that are cuddled by the moms as their dads try endlessly to keep the single 10'x10' tarp from flying away in the storm. Even as I write this, I am having problems trying not to cry. We had a medical team in last week and they saw around 1200 people. Many children were suffering from respiratory problems caused by the rain, cold, and windy nights due to improper or no shelter.
I don't beg people for money; but now that I am in Haiti and have witnessed firsthand the extreme poverty and unthinkable living conditions, I can think of no other way to help the overwhelming amount of people in need. Please, the Haitians need food, shelter, and medicine. Joy House is set up and ready to help with these things but do not have funds. Many organizations have promised large amounts of money to Joy House but have backed out or just have not sent it. Joy House is a non profit (501c3). 100% of the money donated goes to the people of Haiti. None of the money goes to Joe and Norma or for administrative costs.
Please!! go to haitijoyhouse.org...you can make a donation via credit card and pay pal.
Your donation is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use, also I will be here to see the benefits of your generosity.
One person can help and many can make a difference!
Serving God in Haiti,