7/15/21 Update on Status in Haiti
Thank you for your many wonderful responses offering support and prayer for Haiti over the past week. It is difficult to see this country we all love so much struggle with turmoil and uncertainty.
I am glad to share with you that our colleagues in Port-au-Prince are all safe and have sent the following update:
- All our campuses and activities – health clinic, vocational school, clean water distribution points, construction, and MICECC offices – have resumed normal operations. The schools are currently closed for summer break.
- Things are calm around the campuses. There have not been that many people out and about, although traffic is slowly starting to resume.
- Getting gasoline is a bit of a challenge.
- Worship services were held at all three churches this past Sunday. Many people attended the services at Terre Noire and Repatriote.
- Approximately 200 worshippers attended church at Cite Soleil despite insecurity challenges which have existed in the area even prior to last week’s tragic events. To make it easier for Cite Soleil residents to attend worship, plans are underway to organize a second service for them at Terre Noire.
- There is confusion about the future leadership of Haiti, and the population is eager for answers surrounding the assassination of President Moise.
As you can see, our ministry continues to make plans in the midst of difficulty. The prayer below, written and shared by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II and the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), speaks to what is on HOM’s hearts as we join our Haitian brothers and sisters in hoping for a better tomorrow.
Grace and peace,
Gary W. Fulton
A Prayer for Haiti
Your children in Haiti have known so much pain and anxiety, and this news tightens throats and brings more fear.
Be with the family of President Jovenel Moïse, slain in his home early July 7, and First Lady Martine Moïse, who remains hospitalized with injuries. May his soul be at rest and her recovery swift.
This violence is an ominous sign of more unrest for an already volatile island nation.
How long, O Lord?
Even as most people in Haiti are living hand-to-mouth, they are left with more confusion.
What does this mean? they ask. Who will fill this power vacuum? What more trouble will come?
Accustomed to so many storms, Haiti is in the eye of the hurricane of violence. They wait with caution, too afraid to leave their homes, even to find their daily bread.
They are hungry for so much more than bread.
We ask you, O Lord, to bring long awaited peace to your people there.
Be with each and every one, whispering encouragement to draw on their deep faith in you.
They walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and though they fear, they know you are with them.
Your rod and your staff comfort them.
They depend upon you, O Lord.
Give wisdom to leaders to care for the weak and ill,
to lift up the poor and powerless,
to seek justice for all.
Make room in the hearts of those with power to seek your wisdom in all their actions. And above all, hold each of your children in the palm of your hand.
We pray all of this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.
7/9/21 Update on Status in Haiti
Update from Haiti: Pastor Leon reports the campuses are open today after being closed yesterday. The church leaders are meeting, and plans are underway for services this Sunday. A shed roof and benches are being built at the Terre Noire church to welcome extra worshippers from the Cite Soleil area. While the clinic is open, patients have not come today. Things are calm, but everyone is being careful. We are grateful that our colleagues are safe, and thank you for your continued prayers during this challenging time for Haiti.
Haitian President Assassinated
Please join us in praying for Haiti as news unfolds today about the assassination of their president. Pastor Profaite Medeus, President of our partner MICECC, sent this message earlier this morning: “We highly request your prayers for Haiti because the President, his excellency Jovenel Moise, was killed last night in his residence. The situation is still relatively calm, but such events usually lead to great violence. We strongly believe that God is in control. So, please for protection of all Haitian people, especially our staff, employees, church members, and campuses.” To all our friends in Haiti, please know that we are standing with you. We will share more information as it becomes available.
Teachers Recognition Day
The students were honoring their teachers today for Teachers Recognition Day.
Important Update about Team Travel to Haiti
I am writing today to share a status update on volunteer teams returning to HOM mission sites in Haiti. We currently expect team travel will resume no earlier than March 2022.
HOM Hosts Special Online Event
On October 1, HOM hosted a special 30 minute online event. The event was co-hosted by HOM Executive Director Gary Fulton and long-time supporter Jeb Jeutter, with many special guests taking part. Founding Director Leon Dorleans joined live from Haiti to provide an overview of the ministry and the impact of COVID-19. Pastor Leon shared that while COVID has brought hardship, it has also brought good things and even opportunity. Assistant Superintendent of Schools Nadege Gay gave an update on the schools, and Dr. Quency Etienne shared the latest news coming out of the medical clinic. Exciting plans to expand the Barye Fe secondary school were also shared, with opportunities for HOM friends to support this effort.
HOM extends a special thanks to White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC for helping sponsor this special online event and for providing technical support.If you missed it (or just want to rewatch!), the event can be viewed below. Note that the presentation begins at the 5 minute mark.
7/15/20 – We’re thrilled to share a bounty of blessings during this time when we could all use more good news in our lives! First, this past Sunday, July 12, all three of our churches resumed worship services after a four-month hiatus. Congregants, who were encouraged to wear masks and social distance, were happy for the chance to reunite in the house of the Lord. If you’ve attended worship in Haiti, you know that our Haitian brothers and sisters certainly know how to make a joyful noise, and this past Sunday was no different! During these past months when services were suspended, Pastors Profaite, Luc, and Jean-Charles developed creative ways to minister to their communities, including using WhatsApp technology to conduct daily morning devotions, noon and evening prayers, and Bible study. We’re grateful for their faithfulness.
On Monday, July 13, our community health clinic reopened on the Terre Noire campus. The clinic relocated from Cite Soleil due to community disruptions in that area and is now using the space formerly occupied by Family Health Ministries (who are now focusing their care on other sites). The clinic staff have been working hard for several weeks to get the new location equipped and set-up. Dr. Quency reports that Monday was a busy day in the new location with 59 patients receiving care. This includes new patients and existing patients from Cite Soleil.
Lastly, great progress is taking place on our Repatriote campus! We are constructing a 5th school building which will provide new classrooms, enlarging the library/computer center, and creating a supplemental bathroom for the older students. Construction is progressing on schedule, and the new spaces are on track to be completed in time for the start of school this fall.
For all of these blessings, we echo the words of our construction coordinator Bob O’Brien who always says, “Bondye ap travay!” (God is working!)
Together in Prayer – Reflections from our Team
During these uncertain times of COVID19, At Haiti Outreach Ministries we believe that the most powerful thing we can give and receive during these uncertain times is the gift of prayer. Although we cannot be together physically, we can be united in prayer.
In thinking of how we could best communicate our needs with you, we asked our mission partners in our ministry in Haiti to share their prayer requests. Here are their thoughts:
Leon Dorleans, our Founding Director, asks for prayers to thank the Lord for life and health and being. He writes, “I am very grateful that I could still be useful in His kingdom. Another prayer request I have is for the Lord to continue to provide ways for me to serve Him, also to protect the people who are living in the world who are facing the danger of the COVID-19, specially our supporters.” Leon also prays that the Lord would continually inspire us to find ways to make our lives more useful even through this difficult time. “This is my prayer for all.”
Jacky Dorleans, the Superintendent of our schools in Haiti, asks, “Please pray with us that the students and their teachers would be back to school, so I could continue to teach them to love God, and live the Christian life, and we could together pray daily for the blessings of the Lord to shower upon you, your family, and you could continue to share your resources for their education.”
Nadege Gay, the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, writes, “We're so quick to forget that prayer is one of the most powerful forms of healing. As we've learned from the pandemic so far, our lives are never as stable as we believe them to be. The lesson to be learned here is that it's best to be as prepared for anything as we can be and from there, just roll with the punches. Life can change in an instant.” Nadege has been coordinating the efforts to provide food for the primary students since schools are closed. We rejoice in the way Nadege has put prayers into action.
Quency Etienne, the Medical Director of our clinic at Cite Soleil, writes, “We of course need prayer for our spiritual and physical blessings because our Lord does many things for our clinic. We need to keep praying.”
Profaite Medeus, the President of MICECC and the Pastor of the Cite Soleil Church, writes, “We praise the Lord for enabling us to continue to serve Him despite that the Pandemic of COVID-19 has greatly impacted daily life throughout the world, especially the global health and economy. We express the highest gratitude to you because despite your personal challenge, you continue to support the ministry in Haiti.”
Gary Fulton, HOM’s Executive Director, writes, “I give thanks for Leon, Jacky, Profaite, Nadege, and Quency and all the staff in Haiti who work to care for the people we serve by providing spiritual care, food, and medical care. I ask you to join all of us at Haiti Outreach Ministries in praying for our world, for each other, and for the people in Haiti.”
We all give thanks for you and pray that God will bless you and keep you, be gracious unto you, and give you peace!
Former Cite Soleil Student Returns to Combat Coronavirus
While we are sad to report that Haiti has announced its first two cases of the coronavirus, we couldn’t be prouder of Dr. Benoucheca Pierre who is part of the medical team caring for these patients. Benoucheca was in the first class at our Cite Soleil primary school almost 30 years ago! She went on to study in France, returned to Haiti to serve her country, and today is one of just a handful of Haitian doctors who have studied intensive care medicine. The seeds that were planted many years ago are bearing fruit today – a testament to why our work in the schools and communities in Haiti is so important. Please join us in praying for God’s protection for Benoucheca as she treats these patients and for all those who are at risk of its spread.
News Update From Our Executive Director
I am writing to update you on two significant changes that are affecting the ability of teams to travel to Haiti and serve with our ministry. On March 5th, the US State Department raised the Travel Advisory for Haiti to Level 4: Do not travel. This is due to the ongoing reports of crime, civil unrest, and kidnappings. The second issue is the concern about COVID-19 and its effect on health and travel throughout the world. As of this writing, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in Haiti and our Haitian medical staff are educating themselves on coronavirus and are teaching basic handwashing and hygiene.
Because of these two factors a few teams have found it necessary to cancel their planned trips to Haiti. We are fortunate that we have been able to host teams and HOM leaders in Haiti since February 1st. They have had meaningful experiences. Our campuses are doing well. As one person said, “Rest assured, despite the craziness of the news here, things in Haiti just bump along like nothing is wrong.” To be sure, the people of Haiti are resilient.
The good news is that because we operate with an all Haitian staff, our churches, schools, and medical and dental clinic still operate. Even though we greatly miss the support, partnership, and work contributions of the US teams when they are unable to travel, our ministry continues to serve in Haiti. Here are a few highlights:
- Our three primary schools and our Barye Fe secondary school have been in session since December 2. Attendance is strong and our students are thriving.
- Of our 1,711 students in our four schools, 1,378 (80.5%) are sponsored by generous and caring supporters in the US. Of course, there is still the opportunity to sponsor the other 333 students.
- Construction on the last classroom building at the Repatriote primary school – pictured below – is going well. The classroom building is on schedule to open in September.
In closing, I want to say thank you for your wonderful support of the many aspects of our ministry. Because of you, we are able to continue in our vibrant ministry even in the face of difficulties. With so much going on I ask for you to continue to pray for the health and safety of the people of Haiti and for hope for the future. Please know of our prayers for all those affected by the coronavirus and for you as we all work for a brighter future.
Grace and Peace,
Gary W. Fulton
PS: The resources required to do our work in Haiti are quite substantial. Your donation now in any amount will make a very real difference in the lives of our Haitian brothers and sisters. Thank you.