Everyone needs help, advice, guidance even as they themselves are helpers, advisers, guides. - Vorb Charles
While hiking in Furcy this summer, our Director of Economic Development, Vorb Charles, took this beautiful photo which highlights the beauty of his homeland. The following are his personal reflections:
Dèyè mòn, gen mòn!
This is an Haitian Creole proverb that could be literally translated: “Behind mountains, there are mountains.” Haiti has a lot of hills and mountains. Sometimes, you see a high one and you think there is no other behind but when you past it, you see many others and sometimes higher and stronger.
It expresses the idea of humility and challenge. For those who think they are all powerful, they are the smartest, the wealthiest, the strongest, the most beautiful… they should remember that there is someone bigger, even more powerful, smarter, stronger, wealthier, more beautiful than them. Maybe you do not see him/her yet, but he/she can challenge and defeat you.
It is the same idea for David and Goliath. Goliath thought he was the strongest, the most talented for war. But he was defeated and put to death by someone nobody could imagine being stronger and more talented for war than him.
Let’s be humble and thankful for what God has given us. Let’s use our wealth, talent, knowledge, and faith to serve others and not to oppress them because
Dèyè mòn, gen mòn
I think it’s easy to look at our social media and believe that somehow life at Kay Timoun is a fairy tale, that the children have been “rescued” and somehow they’ll just live happily ever after.
That is not real life.
The children have suffered immeasurable loss in their lives. Issues of abuse, neglect, abandonment are not easily overcome, and in many ways this is a daily struggle for all of us. The deep wounds and scars they bear are unique to each child, but they are there. And they are real.
This summer God impressed on my heart the need for us to find some familial connection for Idelmy, in particular. Idelmy and I talked a lot last summer about his family. We had similar conversations this summer. One of those conversations including him trying to explain himself by saying, “When a person loses his mom and dad, he loses a part of himself.”
It has been 7 years since Idelmy was abandoned, 7 years since he has seen a blood relative. And his heart has yearned to find that connection again.
We knew Idelmy was from Cap Haitian. We were going to Cap Haitian for Leadership Retreat. It made sense to see if we could find Idelmy’s extended family while we were there. And by God’s grace and in His Divine providence, we did.
Reconnecting with family for two days filled a void in Idelmy’s heart, and left him asking if he could possibly visit them next summer for an extended period of time. By God’s grace, we want to see that happen.
Please continue to pray with us as we seek to bridge gaps between the children and their families, bridges that will bring emotional healing and restoration.
As I sit here this morning thinking back over 40 days in Haiti, all I can say is “Thank you, Jesus.” My heart is full. The blessings of God, the favor He showed - “if I should declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” (Psalm 40:5)
The teams we hosted blessed us. They served us. They refreshed us. They came alongside us with unity of vision and purpose.
Words are inadequate to describe how God used these amazing young people to point so many people to Jesus this summer - myself included. These young people are the real deal. They love people. They love Jesus. They are self-sacrificing. And they are pursuing what it means to Seek Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. (Micah 6:8)
I thought I would pour into their lives this summer. Instead, they did that for me and helped heal some of the parts of my heart that had been hurting for so long.
Steeve, Vorb, Polo, Wesly, Big, Dieussait, Manoucheka, Alantah, Makendy and Donalson, you are dear to my heart. You are more than friends. You are family.
Our leadership retreat was far more productive than we could have anticipated, producing good memories and renewed focus for the days ahead.
Looking forward with great anticipation to the days ahead.
Disclaimer: This is not my usual, upbeat share. But this is reality.
“This is the promise that empowers us to take risks for the sake of Christ. It is not the impulse of heroism, or the lust for adventure, or the courage of self-reliance, or the need to earn God’s favor.
It is simple trust in Christ—that in him God will do everything necessary so that we can enjoy making much of him forever. Every good poised to bless us, and every evil arrayed against us, will in the end help us boast only in the cross, magnify Christ, and glorify our Creator. Faith in these promises frees us to risk and to find in our own experience that it is better to lose our life than to waste it.
— John Piper
On May 16, 2019, the dream that in essence birthed the ministry of Haiti Awake came to fruition. Steeve Derard graduated from seminary.
We praise God for His work in Steeve’s life, and we wanted to share what Steeve wrote on the morning of his graduation:
I want to start by expressing my gratitude towards God for His faithfulness, His abundant grace and His unending love.
This is a dream that God had put in my heart 6 years ago, and it becomes a reality today.
And, yes, after 4 years God has done it. I do not complete it with my own strength, but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"(Phil 4:13).
This is the end of a short journey, and a longer one will begin. But I have no doubt that He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6).
I want to thank all of you, friends and family, who have been praying for me.
I am so thankful for Haiti Awake and my family who supported me in this hard journey.
Thank you very much!
- Steeve Derard
We are anticipating great things in the days ahead, as Steeve is able to fully devote his time and energy to being the Director of Church Ministry Development at Haiti Awake.
Glwa pou Bondye.
Carine Robert is currently a junior at Madonna University, where she is completing her bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Leadership.
As a community service learner at Haiti Awake, she has been offering her time and talents as volunteer hours the last several weeks.
According to Carine, she has felt welcomed and supported at Haiti Awake.
Recognizing that our children’s home gives our children access to education and better living conditions, she has assisted in a number of tasks, as indicated by Saturday photos, including but not limited to, helping the children improve their French pronunciation, gardening, and assisting the children (especially the girls) in other activities.
This experience has made her aware of volunteering and the love of serving others.
As a service-learner, she is now part of the Haiti Awake family.
We at Haiti Awake are thankful for the diversity of viewpoint and experience Carine has brought to Haiti Awake.
Very unexpectedly on Monday, April 8, Davensky and Widecherline's mother, Benita Etienne ("Pauline"), passed away. We are all shocked and so very sad.
When we gained custody of the children in January 2017, Pauline came to us and asked if she could do laundry for the children each week. It was such a sweet, sincere request, and out of it grew a beautiful relationship and time of reconciliation and healing for their family.
Each Friday and Saturday, she has faithfully come to the children's home and done so much more than laundry. She has been a mother figure to all of the children - loving them well, doing little things for each of them that endeared her to all of us in the Haiti Awake family.
One of my sweetest memories of Pauline is watching her take candies and other treats from her bag to give to each of the children. On a personal level, she touched my heart in November when she made fresh juice at home and brought some to share with me. I also remember how well she welcomed Steeve and me to her Cite Soleil home the first time we went to visit - offering us chicken, rice, and bags of water. She had a heart of generosity.
There were so many good qualities I saw in Pauline. I had always hoped that one day she would be able to care for the children and take them back into her own home.
Of course, Kiki and Widecherline are incredibly sad as they have lost the only biological parent they know, but truly all of the children are suffering as she was a stable figure in their lives - someone they could depend on. The children have suffered so much loss. Sometimes it is hard to comprehend the heartbreaks they have already endured in their young lives.
Please pray for everyone in the days ahead. We are currently trying to coordinate funeral arrangements with extended family and hoping to be as involved as possible.
In Haiti people often say, "Lavi pa fasil" (Life's not easy.) With the losses to our extended Haiti Awake family in recent weeks, as well as the political unrest and other disappointments, this proverb seems even more true than before.
Please pray for hearts to find peace and healing as we trust the truth of 2 Corinthians 1:3, "God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort."
- Becky Graves, Executive Director
Friends and all of you who knew our dear friend " Antony", I want to let you know that he is with the Lord right now.
Antony was a good friend to us, a good friend to Haiti Awake's staff members.
Antony is the young man who used to come by and selling artisan products at Haiti Awake's yard when we have a team.
Antony is the one, where the last Haiti Awake team members who were in Haiti went to pray with at his house.
Antony was the one the Haiti Awake's team members went to pray with when he was at the hospital last year.
Antony was the one who always come by and make maintenance for Haiti Awake's generators.
Antony was the one who knew very well how to struggle with life after he had lost one leg about 11 years ago in a motorcycle accident.
Antony was the one who loved the Lord, his family, and his friends.
Please keep his family in your prayers.
We are going to miss you, Brother.
May your soul rest in peace! - written by Steeve Derard
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted - Psalm 34:18
Mission Made Jewelry Team
Jewelry production for MMJ begins
Creole Boot Camp
Moores Creek Baptist Church Team
Caleb turns 3!
Ansanm pou Ayiti Conference
Relocation to new children’s home
Hudson and Maken to Doko
Back to School
New members of our team:
Kelsey Stott, Child Sponsorship Coordinator
Vorb Charles - Staff Member
Erin Meyer Cuno - Creative Development Coordinator
Alexandria Augi - Board member
Happy Birthday, Haiti Awake!
Grace Community of Topsail
Launch of Haiti Awake Chauffeur Services
Polo to the US
Live Oak team
Haiti Awake Christmas party
Christmas for our Community - Doko
Anticipating great things in 2019. . .
Back in October, we first told you about our Christmas for our Community - Doko project. This evening, our staff and children who participated returned safely to Port au Prince.
Thank you to all who participated this year, and we look forward to more opportunities to show love in action in the future.
We love because He first loved us.
I John 4:19
I am in Arkansas for a couple weeks, helping my son and his soon-to-be bride prepare for their big day. Being here brings a pause from the normal and extra time for morning reflection.
This morning’s readings took me to Psalm 78:
May we always remember what God has done at Haiti Awake through the years, and may we never fail to remind the next generation of all we ourselves have seen and experienced.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.