Gressier, Haiti

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Friday, July 23, 2010 Living Hope Baptist Church

The team from Living Hope Baptist Church in College Station, TX was with us again
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!

Thursday, July 22, 2010 Back in Haiti

I’m back in Haiti at Joyhouse. What a joy to see how the team has performed in my absence! Each doing so well in the areas they are assigned. I see my Savior’s hand on them so powerfully!

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.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010 The Daniel Project con't

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 and we will make sure it gets to the Daniel Project.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 The Daniel Project

When we started the Daniel Project, the idea was to have 20 young babies and 20 pregnant mothers in the program. We would provide education and support, along with a certain level of care for the women and children in the program.

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!
While in Haiti in late January and early February, Norma's daughter Sherry interviewed me regarding the earthquake which had happened just 3 weeks prior. In the hectic pace of things following the earthquake, I had totally forgotten about the interview until browsing the Joy House website a couple of weeks ago. After watching the video, I realized it captured not only my thoughts and feelings related to the disaster, but also one of the many aftershocks. The video can be viewed at:

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)

John Rodgers