Gressier, Haiti

Founded in 1996, our mission is building young champions for Jesus Christ!

Our Website

Friday, April 30, 2010 Update for the Week

Last week we were able to finish 6 transitional houses. We still have the funds to do another 2! That is great news for the 8 families that will have a safe and dry place to stay at night! What a difference that will make! Thank you to all the contributions and contributors so far. Your gift is changing lives. We pray you will be blessed!

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.

The fields are white with the harvest of souls with eternal needs.
The problem is the laborers aren't ready for the deeds.
So, Father, make us ready for all there is to do.
Help us be prepared so that others may know You!
Our prayer is that we are ready. We heard God's call to Haiti a long time ago. We still hear it today in the sounds of the morning, the busy people throughout the day and the most of all in the evenings! The Haitian evening is a glow of fires burning in the far off fields, the sounds of revival in the night air, the stars shining so brightly overhead, and in the laughter (and the occasional rooster) from the ones fortunate enough to be here and be a part of this beautiful place! The blessings are ours!

Thursday, April 29, 2010 JoyHouse Board

When you look at the devastation in Haiti, I am amazed at the unique ability Norma has to keep everything in perspective, keep her "eye on the prize" and not lose hope! She and Joe have committed constantly they will "do whatever God provides the resources to do". How they manage to hang in there and fight through the details everyday is beyond me. Personally, it can seem overwhelming. I know God is leading them and they are following. Literally, there can be no other explanation for it.

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!

Wednesday April 28, 2010, Transitional Housing Update

The house on the hill is across the way in front of JoyHouse. There were 4 deaths here. One body is still inside the house. This is all too common in the damaged areas of 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.

Tuesday April 27,2010 Pastor Eddy and his house

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.

Monday, April 26, 2010 Update from last week

Pastor Edwards and his team from Mena, Arkansas were so helpful during the time they spent here at JoyHouse. The group was really focused on discipleship and evangelism. They have ministered to everyone in the compound. Pastor Edwards has expressed a desire to continue to disciple the pastors in our group. We are so excited that he has committed to this effort. It is an answered prayer for us to have someone help lead these pastors.

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.

Sunday April 25, 2010 Transitional Housing Update

Earlier in the blog, I spoke about a transitional house we built for a family with 6 month old twin boys. They live near Pastor Benito. I said at that time that one of the OK team had been burdened to help provide a transitional home. That was not correct. It was in fact the College Station, TX team members.

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!

Friday April 23, 2010 Medical Team Photos

The left is the medical team at work. The center is the line at the clinic we held in March. The right photo is Dr. Rhonda Powell giving a baby a breathing treatment. There were so many sick babies at the clinic. We saw almost 1200 people in the 4 days we had a medical team available!

Wednesday April 21, 2010 JoyHouse Damage

Here are a couple of photos as we started to tear down the damaged area of JoyHouse. We are working hard to restore the house and build transitional houses for some of the people from the church.
Monday we started and finished one house for a woman with very young twins. One of the guys from the OK team really wanted to be sure they had a place to stay out of the weather. They were able to complete that house and start another one.
We are so fortunate to have people give up their time and talents to come and help. The blessing will be yours when you come and meet these people.

Monday April 19, 2010 Baptism

Pastor Benito performing a baptism

We haven't talked lately of the many souls won to Christ through the work done here in Haiti. While the houses built and the medical care given are important, our mission has always been about sharing the Gospel of Christ.
What a day today was. Before noon today, we had the great privilege of leading 31 souls to the Lord. The medical workers we had here had 20 salvations in their group. Pastor Edwards had 8 more. Even 3 people who came to JoyHouse looking for medical assistance were led to the Lord. What a great day!
We had 152 people in church yesterday! Can you believe 152 people in that "transitional" church? I didn't know you could get that many people in the old building, let alone the new "tent".
God is working in Haiti! Continue to pray for revival in Haiti!

Friday April 16, 2010 Back in Haiti

Well, back in Haiti now. We are safe and the luggage made it fine! Thank you for the prayers.

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

April 15, 2010 Transitional Housing

You have seen the photos of the transitional house built for Zet! Benito's has been finished as well. We now have the funds to do 8 more. We hope that teams will continue to come so that we have the labor to build these transitional homes. We also hope that we will continue to receive donations to build the houses. The generosity of the teams and people that have supported the ministry have made this possible!

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!

Wednesday April 14, 2010 Transitional Church

Temporary Church

We have been fortunate enough to have materials to build a temporary place of worship! It's wonderful!! The Haiti JoyHouse team worked on it and completed it this week! We have been worshipping on the yard in front of JoyHouse, or anywhere else we could find room. This temporary shelter will make worshipping more comfortable in the heat!

We wanted you to see it! Thank you again to teams that helped us demo the old Church and get the site ready. We hope through donations we will be able to build the church back, but in the mean time, we will use this building to sing and worship! God is good!

Tuesday April 13, 2010 JoyHouse Work Continues

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!

Friday, April 9, 2010 Working

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!

Thursday, April 8, 2010 Transitional Housing

In the next week to begin building 5-6 transitional houses. We hope to receive additional donations to build more homes, but this in addition to the two we have already built are a great start!

Here are some photos of the first one. It was built at JoyHouse, then moved and set up onsite. That's the idea for each of these going forward.

Join us in praying for the team coming in April. Pray for good weather, good health and God's guidance as we embark on this phase of our ministry.

Wednesday April 7, 2010 Prayer Requests

Eddy has been hospitalized. At this point we aren't sure what is wrong, we only know he is sick. Matthew is getting better. Roland is getting better. Those are answered prayers!

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.

Tuesday April 6, 2010 Food Distribution

Living Hope Baptist Church of College Station, TX prepares food to distribute!!

Just look at all that beans and rice! There were over 450 bags of rice and beans to distribute to the areas most needy families! The team from TX worked so hard along with the OK team to prepare and distribute the food! We wrote about it in earlier blogs, but thought you might enjoy seeing some of the photos! Isn't God good?

Saturday April 3, 2010

Sorry for missing a couple of days. We thought it was hard doing updates from Haiti, it seems even harder here! Ha!

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!!!