On Sunday, June 10th, 2007 Hope in Haiti was launched. It is the realization of Dixie Montgomery’s dream to share the love of God with some of the poorest people in the world, through tangible gifts of food, school supplies and a program for childhood education. The dream has been carried by Dick and Dixie Montgomery for over 20 years and taking them many times to Haiti, nurturing relationships with individuals that share their vision, both Caucasian and Haitian.
On that pivotal Sunday morning in June, it was not known if others would be moved by the same things that had moved Dixie and those who have gone to Haiti with her to action – the utter lack of hope in the Haitian village Dixie had taken us to. Our hearts were touched by the beauty and intrinsic worth we saw in the eyes of each of Haitian man, woman and child we met, hugged and photographed. We realized that we have the ability to drastically improve the lives of these people with what is to us nominal monthly financial support.
We believe that by connecting the great needs we saw with the compassion of others together we would be able to provide hope to many people in the rural interior of Haiti. Our hopes and prayers to bring change to Haiti have been overwhelmingly realized because of your compassion and financial support! We are all now connected to one of the most amazing stories that are unfolding right before our eyes. Everyday I want to jump up and down in delight and say “Look what God has done! Look what these amazing people have accomplished!”
In 7 short months Hope in Haiti has sponsored 115 Haitian children that could not afford a simple education. In 7 months these children have gone from having lifeless, vacant stares to having enough energy to get themselves in trouble at school because they now receive 1 full, nourishing meal every school day! These children have received books, pencils, crayons and paper that they proudly learn and study with. In 7 months, we have changed the lives of the teachers by paying them a salary that allows them to feed their own families and proudly serve their community in a professional job. In these months, a young boy at our school received medical treatment for his eyes, preventing a life of blindness because his sponsor was able to send the needed funds.
In 7 short months, a very special Pastor living in a tiny 2 room home with a dirt floor who goes to bed exhausted from working in his garden to support his family and volunteering every spare minute to serve his community has now been sponsored himself. Pastor Louinet now receives monthly support so his family and health will not suffer as he works for the betterment of his country and his people. Pastor Louinet can now pastor and serve his beloved community more effectively. Well, time prevents me from giving a complete account of all the lives you have touched in big and small ways but the rumors of what you have done cannot be kept a secret! The news is spreading like wildfire along the trails and villages of Haiti and now we have the opportunity to do more.
As many of you have heard Hope in Haiti has the opportunity to build a school and church for the mountain village of Kawo in March of 2008. This remote mountain village with no running water, no electricity and mud homes currently has 315 children attending a make-shift school. Volunteer teachers and pastors are working diligently to teach the children the most basic of subjects, including reading, writing and math. The school currently consists of stick poles, two walls of palm fronds and no roof. With a rainy season that lasts 6 months of the year and temperatures year round in the 100’s, the current structure is not at all conducive to a learning environment and has no way of functioning in the rain. We have an opportunity to make the same impact in this mountain village as we have had in the valley, but we must build a school first.
With your help, we can raise the $8,000 dollars needed to buy building materials including gravel, 2×4’s and tin shingles for a waterproof roof. The materials will be hand carried by Haitian men, women and donkeys from the valley floor along a winding mountain trail to Kawo – a 9 hour hike! On March 3rd, a construction team will travel to Kawo with Dixie to work alongside the villagers to build a school, church and community gathering center. We will also identify and photograph the 315 children in the mountain village of Kawo. Most of these children are new to Hope in Haiti. Identifying and photographing them will allow them to be sponsored.
This project represents much more than a simple mud and stone building with a tin roof. The Kawo School Project represents hope and opportunity for a better future to the beautiful Haitian children of this village. The school will stand as tangible proof that the people of Kawo, deep in the mountainous wilderness of Haiti, have not been forgotten and they too deserve education and the good news of the gospel. It will represent an answer to years of prayers by Pastor Louinet and many other Haitian men and women. The Kawo School will be a standing reminder to them and to us that with God all things are possible.
To say that your contributions, prayers, compassion and support for Hope in Haiti have changed lives would be understatement. You have not only provided food, medical care, school supplies and hope to an entire village, you have also changed our lives with your generosity. Most of you will never truly know the impact you have had.
Help us tell the story of Dixie and Hope in Haiti. Together let’s all watch another chapter be written in this miraculous story. More than just watching this chapter as it is written, we have an opportunity to be part of it. What is your role? What is your contribution? This is Dixie’s story, yes, but we have been invited to make it ours as well. The God we serve is amazing. He will take our gifts, multiply them and bless not only the children and people of Haiti but us as well. I am excited to see what God has in store for all who partner together to bring Hope in Haiti.
Many thanks and blessings!
Rachel Claflin, niece of Dixie Montgomery and Hope in Haiti volunteer