For nearly 30 years, Haiti Outreach Ministries has been sharing the message of God’s goodness with the people of Haiti through evangelism, education, and medical care. Founding Director Leon Dorleans began preaching in Cite Soleil, one of the poorest slums in Port-au-Prince, in 1989 on a narrow street under tarps with raw sewage running in a ditch directly alongside. Despite the destitute conditions, Pastor Leon’s congregation grew as people responded to his preaching of the Word and his steadfast belief that God was with them in the face of extreme hardship. Pastor Leon’s vision was to address the spiritual, educational, and healthcare needs of the residents of Cite Soleil. While HOM was born through an initial collaboration with a Virginia-based Christian church, it has since grown to partnerships with a wide array of faith communities, foundations, and individuals.
HOM’s thriving ministry now operates on four campuses, serving with our Haitian partner, Mission Communautaire de l’Église Chrétienne des Cités (MICECC). MICECC staff lead and manage all programs, providing essential local expertise and deep cultural understanding to best address the needs of our Haitian brothers and sisters. MICECC is composed of a dedicated group of Haitian pastors, community leaders, and teachers.
Our ministry’s work is focused on four key areas:
Each Sunday over 3,200 people on average gather together to worship at churches on three of our campuses. HOM has raised funds to build these churches, provide pastoral stipends, and provide for Vacation Bible School. These churches are the meeting place where Haitians come together to worship, experience the presence of God, and speak their hearts to the Lord. Some cry out to God, some dance, some get on their knees and some clap their hands. In Haiti, worship is not about going through the motions.
HOM provides primary and secondary education for over 1750 students through three MICECC-operated primary schools and one secondary school, addressing a critical need in Haiti where public education is nonexistent. Another 200 students are supported as they continue in other secondary schools or attend university. Many more learn a trade or skill, in our vocational school sewing and computer classes. Education goes beyond impacting just the students themselves, but also their families, community, and country. Many parents have come to know Christ by seeing the love and knowledge their children are receiving through a Christian education. Through education, our young people can get jobs and help support their families. Female graduates are eligible for better paying jobs traditionally held by men, making progress towards balancing the male dominated workforce and nation. All of this is instrumental in the development of Haiti and its people.
Our goal is to share the love of Jesus by promoting wellness and providing quality health care to the communities surrounding our church campuses. Over 25,000 patients – many of whom are children – receive care in our clinic annually. Our mission is to improve individual and community health and quality of life through excellence in patient care, health care education, and health promotion services. The year-round MICECC medical and dental staff and the US volunteer mission teams who come to serve in our medical clinic are committed to meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people we serve. Our vision is a patient-focused medical center founded on a commitment to excellence, compassion, and respect.
The 2010 massive earthquake devastated water and sanitation systems in and around Port-au-Prince, and Haitians are still struggling today to find clean, safe drinking water. Most water sources are contaminated with human waste because of the absence of a sewage sanitation system. To address this need, each of HOM’s four campuses features a water treatment facility, providing over 900,000 gallons of pure water annually to the communities served.
HOM engages individuals and groups who have a desire to make a difference in Haiti through mission trips. Volunteers participate year-round to assist with construction projects, education initiatives, church leadership workshops, medical needs, and other special projects. Each year, an average of 70 mission teams provide invaluable service to HOM and MICECC, allowing us to further our impact while also providing real and tangible opportunities for individuals to put their Christian principles into practice through service to our Haitian brothers and sisters.
Eyes Toward The Future
Looking forward, while HOM’s purpose is to continue to share the Gospel, grow these communities, and plant new churches, it is our mission is to see these communities one day become independent. To this end, we are now beginning efforts to develop economic opportunities on a soon-to-be-developed centrally located fifth campus. This vocational campus will serve as a hub for on-site training, small business incubation, and other business development activities. We seek to develop economic development opportunities on both the community level – nurturing entrepreneurship and business growth through access to training, mentoring, loans/microloans, and other financial business services – as well as on the individual level, by preparing students coming out of our schools for meaningful employment through training in both life skills and technical skills.