Thanks to the many folks who have poured in support, the new school buildings are rising up off the ground! Many workers have put in countless hours, laying brick upon brick to bring it to the point it’s at now, with three enclosed rooms built, a covered walkway, and several other rooms in process of being built. Enjoy these photos just sent to us from Haiti
Praise God, our precious little Loujina now has a chair made especially for her needs. Dealing with cerebral palsy means she cannot sit up without support and can’t hold things in front of herself to build her motor skills and her mind. This chair helps solve both issues, as well as making it easier for her caretaker to feed and transport her. Praise God for this gift!
Thank you for remembering little Loujina with your gifts and prayers. She will be getting her new wheelchair soon! It is waiting in Port au Prince for her and will be brought up by a friend of ours. She is doing well with the family that took her in and they report she is growing and gaining weight. Praise the Lord with me as we remember this precious little one whom the Lord has not overlooked.
The school year in Haiti is winding down and soon the kids will be taking tests to see if they can continue to the next grade. If they pass they will move on, but if they fail, they will repeat that same grade. This would be sad for them, but probably for the best, so that they are properly equipped to take on the higher grades. The High School grades of Haiti’s education system have especially high standards for passing.
Currently our school in Nan wo goes through the 9th grade, and then the young people will have the opportunity to move on to another school that will provide the last three years of the equivalent to our high school. We would love for our school to grow and include these classes, but it becomes increasingly expensive to bring in more teachers at this level.
Pray with us that we would have wisdom concerning this vision to expand our Nan wo school. The Lord would have to vastly increase sponsorship and giving to make that possible. Currently about one in six students is sponsored in Nan wo.
We received word today that some of our dear friends in Haiti are suffering from illness.
Pastor Louinet, who works relentlessly for our schools and local churches in Haiti, has come down with an unknown ailment that keeps him in constant stomach pain. Unable to eat and experiencing a strange rash on his face, Pastor went to a doctor who was unable to stop the pain. Today, his wife reports the facial swelling has gone down but the stomach problems continue. He will go to a nearby city to have his stomach scoped on Wednesday. The initial assessment is that this is not Chikungunya fever.
However, other dear ones are not escaping Chikungunya. Pastor Louinet’s son Jefte seems to have contracted it, as well as many neighbors and school children across the valley. Locally known as “Choukoun fever,” it spreads by mosquito bites and subjects its hosts to days of difficult aches, fever, and nausea, as well as a rash.
Dixie’s recently “adopted” girl with cerebral palsy, Loujina, has also been infected with the fast-spreading fever.
Will you join us in praying for healing for Pastor Louinet and the many Haitians suffering with this epidemic? We in the USA can’t understand the gravity of being sick in Haiti, where almost anything can be lethal. We need to bathe our brothers and sisters in prayer and trust them to the Great Healer.
We have received word from our friends in Haiti that Chikungunya fever is sweeping across the country and is now affecting children in our schools.
Chikungunya fever is a mosquito-borne virus that is mostly spread in densely populated areas where mosquitoes will bite more than one person. Unfortunately, Haiti’s population is very dense–about twice the population of Maryland in the same amount of space. Most people who become infected will notice symptoms within a week of the mosquito bite, including fever, headache, joint pain, and sometimes a rash. It is not likely to result in death, but in Haiti, many things can go wrong. Malnourished children such as our students in Haiti also have compromised immune systems that may not be able to fight off the virus to preserves their lives. There is some research showing that Chikungunya symptoms will recur for years afterward, even with no re-infection, much like malaria.
You can read more about Chikungunya fever at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/
Please pray for the health and protection of our students, teachers, and families in harm’s way.
What do you do to motivate your school children to excel when you live in a poor Caribbean country and don’t have much to reward them with? You offer a trip to the beach!
On Friday, May 16th, pastor and school administrator Louinet Gilles hired two large buses and took 180 school children to the nearest public beach, which is about 1 1/2 hours away. What an incredible field trip for these kids! It’s quite a feat to plan for something like this, taking so many kids and many can’t even swim or even have bathing suits. But no matter, they wade up to their armpits wearing whatever they have and enjoy the sparkling warm waters. Some teachers and other chaperones also got to come along and enjoy the change of pace. The school went for the entire day, lost no one, and all arrived back home safely in Nan wo. What a day!
What can you do for the children of Haiti?
So often it’s hard for for us as North Americans, so far from the poverty of other countries, to feel useful in the fight to make an impact for the hurting world beyond our borders. We have obligations, expenses, and personal limitations holding us back. But one young man in Washington is not letting any of that stop him.
Ty is nine years old and just got back from his second trip to Haiti. Having a passion for the desperate needs of the kids he encountered on his first trip, he resolved to make a difference. But so many things need to be done in that needy country… what could he focus on? Ty decided to collect toothbrushes and toothpaste for the children of Haiti and personally give them to kids who needed them there. He shared this vision with his teacher and set a goal of 2000 toothbrushes. Imagine being able to instantly improve the health and quality of life of two thousand people!
With some organization and plenty of effort, Ty gathered a lot of toothbrushes. But he didn’t collect two thousand… Ty collected 6500 toothbrushes and many tubes of toothpaste! During his April trip to Haiti that he just returned from, Ty traveled to Dessalines and worked hard to help put on a camp for kids outside of the town in the Nan wo valley. He and the team personally gave toothbrushes out to everyone who attended! The smiles were radiant, and soon to be even brighter, thanks to Ty’s desire to make a difference and see that goal to its end.
Near the end of the trip, Pastor Louinet Gilles baptized several young believers in Christ. Like a flash, Ty was in the water, heading to Pastor Louinet. A year before at this same event, Ty had desired to proclaim his proclaim his identity in Christ and follow Him in this way, but he had wavered and held back. This time, there was no holding back in following Jesus.
So what is your vision? Could you be holding back from following Christ by not responding to the needs you see? Nine year old Ty knows that if he can make a difference in Haiti, then so could you. You don’t have to be a fourth grader to be a superstar for Hope in Haiti.
If you have a burden to help with needs in Haiti and would like to share it with our board, or if you’d like more information, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
I think I sort of just adopted another little girl. It wasn’t really on purpose and I didn’t realize exactly what I was doing until I reflected on it later. What have I done?
I’ve known Loujina for two years. We met one day when I was walking down the dusty country road outside of Dessalines, Haiti. Her young papa on the side of the road called out to me to take his baby. To humor him I went over to meet the man and his baby, and he soon passed me his child to hold. Her head fell to the side, and I immediately saw that she had something physically wrong with her. You see, it appears that Loujina has cerebral palsy. She doesn’t talk. She can’t walk. In fact, she can’t control her arms or legs. She can’t sit up without being supported or strapped to her seat. However, she can laugh and cry, and she communicates through her beautiful eyes. Loujina loves ‘this little piggy’ with her toes.
Maybe it was her family’s poverty, maybe it was her big beautiful eyes, but I knew from then on that every time I came to Haiti I would walk those extra miles and visit Loujina.
And so I have. Her parents have continued to ask me each time to take her, as they just didn’t feel they could care for her. Thanks to some friends, I was able to give them a stroller designed for a handicapped child. I was able to help connect them with a nearby orphanage to give them food, formula and vitamins. I asked if there might be someone who could take Loujina and provide her with better care, but found no one. Meanwhile, Loujina was becoming malnourished.
On my last visit to see Loujina, I became aware of not only her continued malnourishment, but some abusive treatment from her very frustrated parents. For some reason she doesn’t sleep at night, crying continually and keeping her mama, papa, and new little sister awake, as well as the entire neighborhood of huts. What do frustrated parents do but become angry with themselves, each other and those around them?
I talked with Pastor Louinet and we agreed on a plan… this is where it gets a little interesting! We finally took up the parents’ offer and took some legal steps to take responsibility for Loujina. Beyond that, Pastor and I hired a woman from the church to care for her day and night. When I left, the woman had her hands full, but she was doing well.
So I have a child in Haiti! And my mama’s heart wonders about her every day. I hear she is crying less at night and eating well. How my heart is with her! So far away, but I know Jesus is beside her, holding her close.
Please pray for little Loujina. She just turned three years old. I believe life can be good for her, filled with laughter and love. God can do mighty things in her life. Would you like to help? If you wish to donate to the Loujina fund, you can make your check out to Hope in Haiti, with Loujina in the memo line, or you can send us a note to learn more. Thank you for your support and may you be richly blessed.
People have been asking, “What trips are coming up for Hope in Haiti teams, and are there any spots available?” So here’s the scoop on what’s coming up next for HIH mission teams:
In middle February, we have a team of 8 people flying out for a regularly-scheduled student profile update project in the mountains of Kawo. They will be hiking across the rugged, barren mountains in the Caribbean heat for 6 hours each way to spend time with these precious ones, gather updated information, administer dental fluoride treatments, and help with a construction project. Unfortunately, it is too late to add more members to this trip’s team.
Please begin praying now for the safety and health of the team, for strength to endure the harsh terrain and conditions, and for hearts sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Coming up in early April, there is a special children’s event for the kids of Nan wo, put on by a Hope in Haiti team consisting of sixteen people. The team includes a number of moms and their kids. They will be putting on something of a Haitian-style VBS for 250 of the children of Nan wo and beyond. While tickets are not yet booked, there is physically no more room for additional people to join this team.
Please be praying for the safety of the whole team and for a tremendous impact in the lives of the young people involved.