Jul 17 2015

Many Significant Updates from Mark in Haiti

Jacmal Boys July 2015

I [Mark Gillette] am here in Haiti again this week and seeing first-hand some of God’s most recent blessings.

  • 1. Yesterday we received four more little boys from the Jacmel area (southern coastal mountains) who had walked out of the mountains to reach us. Their trip began at 3:00 am and ended on our doorstep at 5:00 pm. Four very tired, thirsty and dirty boys and one adult leader; a pastor who has been sheltering the 25 children to whom we have committed; to rescue them from the slave market to which they were headed (picture attached).
  • Next Monday this same pastor is planning to make his way back through the mountains to us with an additional 5 little boys. He could bring more boys, but several of them are too thin and weak to make the trip. They need more time and food to grow their strength.
  • The reason they had to go “cross country” is due to the current protests over the mid-term elections in Haiti, scheduled for August. Protestors roam the streets and roads with shotguns, stopping vehicles at gunpoint and causing fear, bodily harm, and even death. On Pastor Daniel’s last trip to our facility in Les Cayes he was stopped three times at gunpoint.
  • So this week we elected not to carry out our plans to visit Les Cayes and Jacmel. Good choice, but frustrating. In Jacmel there are approximately 50 new believers that are waiting for Pastor Daniel to come and baptize them. I have been looking forward to that “adventure” for a few months. The nearest road ends three hour’s walk from their village and church.
  • 2. The boys’ house in P-au-P is coming along nicely, although we will need more beds for the children who are joining us from Jacmel. The landlord, Elvie, has become a surrogate  mother to the 50 plus boys already there. The boys pray for her and her health, finances, and her outlook on life have improved greatly since we moved onto the property. She is delighted to have our boys there and maintains a few rooms in the building as her house, so she can enjoy having a large family around her.
  • 3. The first building phase at the Les Cayes facility is nearly complete. We are just waiting on the glass to be fitted into the windows. The installer is ready to do the job, but the protests have delayed his work. We are trusting it will be completed very soon.
  • Before we can move any children into this facility, however, we will need (50) beds, mattresses, linens, etc. and a means to prepare meals there. Right now it is an empty building. Lots of potential, but lacking the necessary equipment.
  • 4. Current financial challenges are paying staff (we are nearly three months behind) and starting the process of preparing for school. Unlike the States, we cannot buy uniforms off a rack. Uniforms must be produced by hand and there are only so many qualified tailors available. If we don’t get on their work schedules soon (which requires up-front payments), our students will not have their uniforms to start school the opening day.
  • 5. Another matter for prayer is the Haitian elections. Certainly that God’s Spirit would prevail and that the unrest would subside. Additionally, a friend of Daniel’s who grew up with him at the orphanage is running for Congressman for the Carrefour District. Jean Claude Linidor is a Christian man with a 25 year plan for developing Haiti. He could be a tremendous benefit to Divine Ministries should he be elected. It is very unusual for a Christian to run for office due to the unsavory reputation most/all Haitian politicians have. In fact, Daniel has repeatedly been asked to run for Mayor of Carrefour, but he refuses to do so: partly because he is already so busy, but also because he feels it would ruin his reputation.
  • Please pray that God will soon provide for each of the pressing needs here at Divine Ministries. We trust in God’s promises to provide for all our needs (Philippians 4:19), but the timing sometimes stretches our faith!
  • 6. In more local news: the school bus we recently bought to carry donations of school backpacks and supplies, plus needed food, etc. is now at Zion’s Church in Hamburg, being painted in vivid colors and will be making the rounds of several local churches prior to its scheduled ship date of August 31st. Once filled, it will be driven to Florida for shipment by boat to Haiti. In addition to the school supplies, we trust there will be sufficient items collected to host our 6th annual Christmas Party(s) for Haitian orphans.
  • These parties are scheduled for next January, when West Lawn UMC is sending a missions team to Haiti from 1/23 – 1/30/2016 to prepare for and host the orphans. This has been an exciting and much-anticipated event each year it has been held. Sometimes the excitement has been overwhelming, but we trust our prior experiences have taught us how to manage the crowds for a God-honoring event.
  • The January trip is open to anyone wishing to participate. We are also planning a trip from September 5th through the 12th for those who like to man a paintbrush, trowel, hammer, or other tool. This trip is also open to those interested.  Please contact me if you or a group from your church or organization would like more information.

Thanks for caring enough for the hurting in Haiti to participate in whatever way God moves you.

Jul 14 2015

New Bus to be donated- Being transformed to Haitian a “Tap Tap”

The “Reach Out To Reading” kids’ work team are transforming this donated bus into a Haitian Tap Tap [a colorful, overcrowded, taxi in Haiti]!  This will be the 17th vehicle that TeamOne:27 has sent to Haiti!!!  It will be at Zion Church in Hamburg for the next couple of weeks to receive donations, be checked over by mechanics from stem to stern, and be modified from hydraulic brakes to full air brakes.  After that, it will be moved to the parking lot at West Lawn UMC for a few additional weeks for donations, etc. then off to Florida for shipment to Haiti.  We should be ready to ship it by the first of September, at the latest, so it has cleared customs in time for the TeamOne:27 anual Christmas party in January.


Haiti bus 1

For clarification, here is a concise list of what we are hoping to collect on this bus:
  • Dried rice
  • vegetable oil
  • dried beans
  • black leather shoes (for school
  • backpacks (for school)
  • children’s underwear
  • health and beauty items like: soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes (sometimes a dentist will donate these items, if asked).
The list of items not needed would be a lot longer. Basically, if donors just stick with the wanted items and don’t decide to clean out their attics, basements, etc. we should be fine. (please, no sleds, Jane Fonda workout videos or old encyclopedias).

Jul 9 2015

Two Mission Trip Opportunities: Sep 5-12 & Jan 23-30

West Lawn [PA] United Methodist Church is sponsoring two trips to Haiti in the next seven months:
1. September 5-12, 2015
  • This will be a “work team trip” to help finish the new orphanage building in Les Cayes. The types of work will include cement work, light construction and painting, which don’t require any advanced training or high skill level. In other words: ” You can do this!”
  • We will be working at the Divine Ministries’ compound and staying there for the week; living and working among the children and staff. There are flush toilets and running water, but no heated water for showering. For Haiti it represents wonderful conditions, but some of us may consider it slightly primitive.
  • We arrive in Haiti on Saturday, September 5th (Labor Day weekend); stay overnight in Port-Au-Prince at the Divine Ministries facilities; attend churchSunday morning at The Church On Fire, and head off for Les Cayes on Sundayafternoon. Monday through Friday will be spent working on the building(s) in Les Cayes. Friday afternoon we plan to return to Port-Au-Prince and return to the USA on Saturday afternoon, September 12th.
  • All food, transportation, and housing is included. You will only need to bring some spending money for things you want to bring home and/or buy on the travel days.
  • Driving across the width of Haiti between P-au-P and Les Cayes will give you a wonderful opportunity to see the culture and land of Haiti – an experience you will never forget!
2. The second trip is planned for January 23 through 30, 2016.
  • It will be the Sixth Annual Christmas Party for Haitian orphans. We will leave WLUMC early on Saturday, January 23rd; fly from JFK to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and stay in P-A-P for most of that week. The primary project for that week will be preparing for and hosting two separate Christmas parties: one in P-A-P for approximately 2,500 children, and the second in Les Cayes for about 500 children.
  • We recently purchased our 17th vehicle (a school bus) to ship to Haiti full of donations of food, clothing, school supplies, and items for the January 2016 Christmas party. We will be collecting donations between now and early September and shipping the bus to Haiti sometime during September this year. The January 2016 missions team will be using some of the items on this bus to prepare for the two planned parties.
  • This team will also have the experience of traveling across the width of Haiti to see first-hand the culture and living conditions of Haiti. We will stay overnight in Les Cayes at the Divine Ministries compound; host the Christmas party for the children who live in the surrounding countryside; and return to P-A-P the next day.
  • If you particularly enjoy working with children and seeing them receive the Gospel message, this trip was designed for you!
  • For members of West Lawn UMC the cost for either of these trips will be $350.00. Non-members are also welcome, but their contribution will be slightly more.
  • Please get in touch with Mark Gillette at 610-451-1996 or gillette175@aol.comif you are interested in either of these trips, or for more information.
  • May God grant you peace and clear direction as you consider participating on one or more mission teams this year.

Jun 1 2015

Daniel says “Thank You” for his new truck

Apr 28 2015

Progress on the Les Cayes Building

We want to thank West Lawn UMC for the infusion of the funds that has made the recent progress on the Les Cayes’ building of Divine Ministries possible!  More money has been pledged in response to the completion of this phase of construction, and we are prayerfully excited to see the next phase begin as funds become available.
“The ceramic floors are done throughout the facility, including the floors and walls in the bathrooms. The final smoothing of the completed portion(s) of the exterior of the building is finished; the metal framework in each of the windows has been installed; the wooden doors have all been fitted into their jambs; the wiring for the electric is installed, and the septic tank hole was dug and cement block frame constructed. All this was accomplished as of my last visit on April 1st, 2015… Pastor Daniel, Divine Ministries staff, and the children are excitedly anticipating the relocation of up to 50 children into this new facility.”  – Mark Gillette

Dec 19 2014


Yet another full school bus has been delivered to Monarch Shipping in FL at 9:15am this morning by Mark Gillette- for shipment to St. Marc, Haiti full of  donated clothes, food and medical equipment.

Thank you to so many who donated time, money, and supplies to fill the bus this year!

Thank you to Kidz Corner in Brookfield, PA for many many summer clothes and shoes they set aside for the children in Haiti.

Thank you to UMCOR warehouse (a Methodist denomination relief center located in Mechanicsburg, PA) for several pallets worth of essential supplies.

Thank you to CMTS (Christian Missions Technical Support) for all the necessary paperwork, including registration, title, bill of sale and insurance.

Florida next week and delivered to Monarch Shipping for overseas transport to St Marc, Haiti.

Thank you to friends at Genoa Baptist Church in OH as well as many other donors for making the $7,000+ in expenses for this project possible!  We hope to be able to sell or rent the bus once it is in country to cover it’s own costs and become an ongoing sustainable income for Daniel Jean and his family at “Divine Ministries”.  TeamOne:27 has sent over a dozen vehicles to Haiti for this purpose over the past 6 years.

Dec 15 2014

Les Cayes Progress

14.12.06 Les Cayes 14.12.07

14.12.15 Christmas Cakes

To All Team One:27 and Divine Ministries Supporters:
As promised, attached the pictures we took in Les Cayes of the progress made  on the new orphanage building since my last visit three months ago. The walls and ceilings are parged (smoothed with cement) and the floors are poured concrete in preparation for tile to be installed.
The next building phase is to install metal framing and grates over the windows; metal frames for doorways and the doors; and install three separate bathrooms: each with a shower, sink and toilet.
The cakes (separate pictures attached) were specially decorated for the Christmas party being held at Divine Ministries. The children were VERY excited! ps The cakes were also very yummy.
Thanks for all you contributed so this event could happen.

Dec 12 2014

WLUMC “New Bowls”


The Team from West Lawn (PA) United Methodist Church is serving in Haiti this week.  One of the highlights was getting new bowls for the kids’ mealtimes.  “We went to a local factory today and but 120 enameled bowls for only $140 USD. Incredible! They should serve meals to the kids here for many years”.  [Mark Gillette]

Dec 11 2014

West Lawn United Methodist Church Trip Update

Yesterday, Wednesday 12/10/2014, was a day where God accomplished much on behalf of Divine Ministries, Team One:27 and the missions team from WLUMC.
Because of current political unrest and rioting/protesting in the streets, we limited those traveling to our Les Cayes location to just the three men on our team, accompanied by Daniel Jean, Engineer Remon, and two other men from Divine Ministries’ staff. We left PaP (Port-Au-Prince) at O’dark thirty and arrived without incident at our Les Cayes compound at 9 am. We took photos and video clips of the progress on the orphanage building now under construction and the recently installed solar-powered water treatment system. We met with Madam Delmas, the woman who generously provided the land to Divine Ministries and discussed the completion of the necessary paperwork to legally transfer the property to DM.
On our return trip to PaP, we were intercepted by someone (an angel?) who warned us of trouble ahead in Petit Guave. Protestors had blocked the streets and were causing havoc. This man waved to us and indicated that we should follow his motorcycle through the back streets of the city. As we turned our vehicles around we were passed by police and UN personnel in riot gearheaded toward the protestors. He led us safely through the city, though we passed another site where the protestors had earlier turned over a delivery truck. The police were on site and men were working on transferring the freight onto another truck. We emerged safely on the main road past the danger zone. I gave the man a good tip and asked him if he could read (only 23% of Haitians are literate). He said “yes'” so I gave him a Gideon New Testament in Kreyol. The remainder of the trip was uneventful.
The three ladies on our team, who stayed in PaP that day, worked on decorating the seven cakes that were baked the day before in preparation for the two (small) Christmas parties we plan to hold this week. One on Thursday, for the DM kids, and one on Friday, for the children who attend the Church On Fire. We will not be inviting children from other orphanages, as we have for the past four years, so we can concentrate on more pressing financial needs/opportunities.
God wasn’t finished blessing us even then. We were pursuing the rental of a property for our boys’ house across town, but God brought to light a property directly across the street from our main PaP property that we didn’t think was available. The owner was delighted that we would consider renting the upstairs and part of the downstairs from her. Additionally, the compound includes a large undeveloped area (approximately 55 feet by 120+ feet that is available as a play area and site for special events.
We will be sitting down with the owner this morning to discuss the amount of rent we will pay. We are believing it will be less than the $4,500 we were prepared to pay for the property across town, currently under consideration. It’s proximity and usable space make it extremely attractive. It would also solve another problem: the local authorities have been troubling Daniel about the lack of recreational space at our current site. This new site would give us sufficient space for both the boys and girls to play and exercise.
I tried to attach pictures and/or videos to this email, so you could see the property in Les Cayes and some of the cakes (gateaus) that were baked and decorated for the children’s party planned for later today. Only Divine Ministries children will attend today. We know they are well behaved and we have sufficient gifts, candy, food, etc. to really celebrate the birth of our Savior. The internet here could not handle the load, so I will try again later to send the pictures. For now I thought it was important for you to know how God is moving on our behalf in response to your prayers.
Joyeux Noel!
Mark Gillette and the Missions Team from West Lawn UMC
Team One:27

Sep 12 2014

New Logo For TeamOne:27 – Thank you Christopher Weikel!

14.09.12 New Logo