Despite the relative silence on our behalf, the work is going strong to help those in Haiti. Caleb returned to Haiti after a week of rest with a clean bill of health earlier this month. He’s been busy ever since overseeing various aspects of the outreaches.
Help arrived in the form of a team from Brentwood Church from Lynchburg, VA who helped us build a second story to our couple’s dorm. It is now almost completed and this will add 3600 sq. feet of building space for meeting needs. Following this, Pastor Todd Van Zee led some carpenters from the Evangelical Covenant Church of Moose Lake, MN to assist with building school desks. This key project will meet several needs: 1) providing sturdy desks for schools destroyed in the earthquake, and 2) provide training/employment to several refugee men currently staying at the camp. The men from Moose Lake trained 20 men in residence at the camp in the use of power tools and how to prepare the donated lumber to build these desks. We know firsthand that the design is good because we’ve been using Pastor Todd’s work for several years at our own school.
The team and trainees completed 100 desks for distribution at schools in and around Port au Prince; we’ve received lumber to build 1,000 more so it is going to be a busy few months as the work continues. Hosean has hired the 20 trainees to complete the 1,000 desks. It has been really neat to see the pictures of the men at the camp being able to work in re-building the country and give to those students in need. There is a lot of healing in this work!
Another outreach going on the past few weeks is an English as a Second Language Class being offered to camp residents who want to learn to speak English well. Taught by former missionary to Haiti, Betty Tiede, the class has been a practical help to the attendees. Along with the rest of her Canadian team, they have been working to encourage all with whom they come in contact.
As our family reunites in Miami this week to prepare to return to Haiti with Caleb, I’ll share with you here a message sent out by Caleb today concerning what his future priorities will be:
We continue to be amazed each and every day at God's provision as we continue to face daily
challenges. I know that you have continued to receive our updates but I want as requested to send some of the goals that we have:
First, we want to continue to take care of the 350 people we have at our campus. Most of them are school age students with very little parental supervision. We are looking at keeping them there until the end of the school year which will be the middle of July. This has been extremely busy and challenging. It was costing us $450.00/day to care for them right after the quake but now it is costing us $750.00/day to do so. The reason for the increase is because at the beginning we were receiving food and other supplies but now we have to buy everything. In addition, we have accepted 500 additional students in our school and had provided these students with books, shoes, uniforms, one hot meal a day and free tuition. This has cost our ministry about $225,000.00.
Secondly, we need to focus on long term housing. Hosean International Ministries has received a land donation of 25 acres near the city of Leogane, the earthquake epicenter and 2nd most affected city nation-wide. We are partnering with Habitat for Humanity to develop a village with homes for 300 families. Habitat will take charge of the construction for homes. Our (HIM’s) role is to raise funds to build 2 churches, and 1 elementary school and a Mission House along with setting up electricity in the village. This will cost about $850,000.00. We are also in the process of purchasing a piece of property for $150,000.00 that will allow us to build a second village outside of Port au Prince.
Thirdly, we will focus on orphan care. This has been part of our outreach since 1989. We have about 45 unaccompanied children under the age of 12 years old. We are working with our lawyer to see how to keep those kids permanently. Four of them are legally already under our care and we need to renovate our children's home to be able to accommodate them. The renovation and purchase of furniture will cost about $75,000.00.
Fourthly we are going to expand our Micro credit programs to more refugees in our areas to empower them to take care of their families. Loans ranging from $250.00-400.00 are given to them interest free and they are to make payments monthly.
Finally, we are looking for churches to send groups to help rebuild schools and churches in and around Port au Prince or just find some institutions to finance a school rebuilding. It costs $20,000.00 to build 8 classrooms and 1 office space.
One of my College professors has told me that it does not cost anything to dream so if you are dreaming, dream big. We are trusting a Big God and I know He will get our beloved country out of the situation we are in.
In reality, we are still in the earliest stages of rebuilding, but we are excited to see so many willing to work together here in Haiti and also by many who tell us they want to help. Please do be praying for all of us here at Hosean International Ministries (HIM), especially for wisdom and faith as we seek to help over the long term. Also pray for helpers, any teams who would like to come in the coming year and help build up the villages mentioned above! Thank you for reading this long update and staying in touch!
Can you see the excitement as the first desk built totally by the workers was finished? We pray we see this excitement begin all over the country as restoration begins.