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.