Hurricane Matthew

Because He First Loved Us

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.

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There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one who helps to change theirs. And everywhere you go you will learn something different. For me going to Doko helped me see a lot of things in a different way. It was so good to see so much joy in people face and how they welcomed us. They were so thankful.
— Polo Charles, Director of Economic Development for Haiti Awake

Thank you to all who participated this year, and we look forward to more opportunities to show love in action in the future.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen. Thanks for speaking life this way to fill people’s hearts with joy.
— Louis Hudson, Photographer for Haiti Awake
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I was happy to know Doko and people in Doko. I was glad also to spend some of my time there for Christmas this year.
— Dieussait Dera, House Supervisor for Haiti Awake
Doko is one of the greatest place in Haiti, and people there are awesome . After receiving their Christmas gifts yesterday for the first time in their community, they were so happy.
— Steeve Derard, Ground Director
People were so happy to receive their Christmas gifts. They didn’t expect that, but God who knows everything sent our team on time to share hope, love, joy to people in that community which I am from and where my parents are living. They are very grateful for that and so are we!
— Makendy Lindor, Staff at Haiti Awake

We love because He first loved us.

I John 4:19

Doko through Hudson's Lens

Doko through Hudson's Lens

When I got to Doko, I met strong people who are struggling with life so that they can bring bread to their family every day.  Occupations include cultivators, farmers, vendors, and fishermen.  They can’t provide all the necessaries things to get all of the kids in school on time, but they are making all of their best to make them go to school even at the age of 13 years old. -Hudson

Knowing what you know, what will you do?

Knowing what you know, what will you do?

And because he saw himself in relationship to a people in a place, he saw himself as responsible for the way their world turned out, for the way it was and the way it ought to be.    Steven Garber

We have new friends

With all sincerity, I can say it was a wonderful week. Everybody was happy for this new house in Doko. It is one of the nicest houses up there. This week was an opportunity for several people to have a job, & some people just came by to help. Even children were able to make a little bit of money, & we have new friends.
— Steeve Derard
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It was nearly 11 months ago that Hurricane Matthew took aim at the southern peninsula of Haiti, and we first became acquainted with people in Doko.  We shared our experience from that first weekend here:  http://www.haitiawake.org/news/2016/10/9/the-heart-can-only-grieve-what-the-eyes-have-seen

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In January we returned to Doko.   Seeing the difference that three months had made in the reemergence of life and community was encouraging.  We knew at that time God was leading us to do more in Doko.

And this last week, Steeve, Fre Jacques, and Macken went to Doko for the week to work on repairing and expanding a home that had remained inhabitable, though damaged, since the storm.  What they saw was the beauty returning to the countryside.  The lush vegetation is back, and many fruit trees are already bearing fruit.

Doko needs the Gospel.  

We are praying that God will allow us continued opportunties to love people there so that we can build relationships, based on the Gospel, abounding in hope.  Please pray with us.

 

Welcome, Frè Jacques & Sè Cilotte

Since mid-January, we have been earnestly praying that God would direct us to a more permanent caregiver situation for the children.  With the sudden departure of their former caregivers, the staff of Haiti Awake banded together and "made it work,"  but we all knew that eventually we would need a more stable environment for them.

Shortly after Hurricane Matthew, God allowed Jean Fritz Jacques to begin working with us.  His spiritual maturity, his gentle spirit, his quick smile were things that quickly endeared him to me personally.

And over the last 9 months, I have watched him become more and more a part of our family here at Haiti Awake.

In June, we were intensely praying that God would provide a good woman to mother the children, and one night in mid-June, God made it abundantly clear that Frè Jacques' wife, Sè Cilotte, was that woman.

Steeve and I had several meetings with the Sè Cilotte and Frè Jacques in June and July, and after much prayer and discussion on all sides, they have agreed to join the staff of Haiti Awake and move into the children's home to assume the role of house parents.

We could not be any happier for the children and for them.

The rest of the Haiti Awake staff will continue to be part of the children's lives each week through intentional interactions.  For example, Wesly will continue to sleep at the children's home to provide security, and Polo will continue to administer many of the children's programs.  Maken is so good with the children in loving them, being a friend, and organizing games, while Big and Donalson are great homework tutors. 

I am happy to be a part of this team, Haiti Awake. I’m a teacher, and I am learning to sew. I have been married for 4 years, and I am a Christian. I used to teach to teach a Sunday school class, and I have been to training for Sunday school. I am a member of Patriarche Eglise Baptiste de Cazeau.
— Sè Cilotte
I am happy to be a part of this team, Haiti Awake. I am a carpenter and cabinet maker. I learned this profession in school. I have been married for four years, and I am a Christian. I went to seminary, and I am preacher. I am a member of Patriarche Eglise Baptiste de Cazeau.
— Frè Jacques

A Quick Trip to Haiti

When I am in Haiti, and we do not have a team, upon returning to the US people often ask me, "Well, what did you do?"  Many times it is hard to articulate because we at Haiti Awake seem to stay so busy and the time goes by so quickly. . . and yet, how can I even describe what we did?

I decided to briefly document this trip so that you can have some understanding of what goes on at Haiti Awake "behind the scenes."  

Thursday, April 13

Friday, April 14

  • Woke up at 4 a.m.
  • Took the bus to Aux Cayes.
  • Bought food and rented a tap tap to take us to Pestel, one of the areas hard hit by Hurricane Matthew.
  • Spent hours traveling through the mountains to Pestel.  Struck by the irony that people had bags of charcoal for sale on the roadside all along the way . . . another reminder of the effects of the hurricane.  Due to all of the fallen trees, it seems everyone decided to make charcoal.  So, there's a glut of charcoal.
  • Arrived in Pestel in time for dinner.  Was welcomed with the best cup of Haitian coffee.

Saturday, April 15.

  • Woke up early again.
  • Food distribution through community leader.
  • On the road by 9:30.  Had a flat tire less within the first 15 minutes of travel.
  • Stopped in Camp Perrin to visit a new friend
  • Arrived in Aux Cayes about 3.
  • Took a bus back to Port-au-Prince.
  • Arrived at the Haiti Awake house about 8:30.

Sunday, April 16.  Resurrection Sunday.

  • Attended church with the children.  Stayed with them in children's church.  Impressed by the teachers who were working with them during the long church service.
  • Lunch with a staff member.
  • Took the children to Cite Soleil with us to do our first outreach there, partnering with families.
  • Looked at a potential new location for Haiti Awake.
  • Met our new "guard-dog-in-training" at the children's home.
  • Had dinner with everyone and then began preparing for the team coming tomorrow.
  • Caleb fell asleep holding onto my toe.  I don't think anyone has ever fallen asleep holding onto my toe before . . . 

Monday, April 17

  • A busy morning making final preparations for the team's arrival. 
  • Went to have a heart-to-heart talk with the children and to tell them all about their new sponsors.  Some of the sponsors had sent gifts which  was exciting for everyone.
  • Dropped some vitamins off for a friend at another organization.
  • Quick lunch with a staff member.
  • Airport by noon.
  • Picked up the team.
  • Went to the market to get the cake for Idelmy and Migerlson's party.
  • Kids party at 2.
  • The rest of the afternoon is a blur, but I know the team did a neighborhood Bible school, and I visited with friends in the community.
  • The evening was filled with so much conversation with both the team and the staff.

Tuesday, April 18.  Happy 2nd birthday, Caleb Steven Derard.

  • Spent the early morning organizing supplies and thinking ahead to the four June teams.
  • Went with Wesly to Stop-and-Go to get a birthday cake for Caleb.
  • Sent staff members on a number of errands as I finished up my list of the daily to do's.
  • Birthday party for Caleb.
  • Airport by 1:45.
  • Flight through Atlanta (long layover!).
  • Home a little after midnight.
Sustained commitment, giving that goes beyond the crisis, giving that is not reactionary or emotionally manipulated, requires more. It’s love, not need, that fuels mission. Mission is more. It’s not crisis driven. It’s relationally driven. It’s not a gift but an investment. It goes beyond charity because it’s Kingdom work.
— Keith Stewart

It's been five months . . .

And there is still much to be done.


Saturday will mark 5 months since Hurricane Matthew took direct aim at the southern peninsula of Haiti and caused incredible harm to people's lives and livelihoods.

But life goes on.

We at Haiti Awake are so thankful for the many people who have supported our Hurricane Recovery efforts.  We wanted to share a few photos of work that took place last week in Les Cayes.

Our team distributed more water filters provided by the amazing 5th graders of Wilmington Christian Academy, and they continued rebuilding in the Gelee area of Les Cayes.

 


In just three weeks, the Wilmington Christian Academy Singing Clubs and Glee Clubs are excited to present a benefit concert for Haiti Awake called, Patch the Pirate Goes to the Jungle.

This musical is a fun-filled adventure that challenges each person to think about what we can give to others.

We would love for you to join us on Wednesday, March 22 at 6:30 PM in the Grace Baptist Church auditorium to experience the gift of giving through song, speech, and adventure!

Please continue to pray for Doko

Steeve and I returned to Doko last week.  We met some wonderful people and continued building relationships with people we had met on our first trip.  We are hopeful that the Lord will open doors of opportunity in the future.

2016 in Review

What an amazing year God once again gave us at Haiti Awake.  Here are a few of the highlights.

In January, God sent Hattie Pridgen to work with us.  What an amazing lady she is.  She worked harder than any of the rest of us each day . . .and was still looking for more that could be done.  How we enjoyed having her in Haiti!

February brought sadness as one of our staff members lost his godfather through tragic circumstances.  But we all came together to support and encourage him during his time of grief.

March and April allowed us the opportunity to host two separate spring break teams - one for Amplified Youth with Pastor Rusty Smith and one with a group from Wilmington Christian Academy.

June brought teams to Haiti Awake, as well as a new baby to Steeve and Manoucheka's home - Lorie.  One of the teams was from Mission Made Jewelry.  We are thankful for our partnership with Mission Made Jewelry.

In late July, The Bridge Church sent its first team to partner with Haiti Awake.  What a blessing!  We're looking forward to more teams from The Bridge in 2017.

Steeve began his second year at STEP, and Becky was able to spend a long weekend in Haiti in September, specifically focused on the children and their future.

October was difficult, but we saw God use Hurricane Matthew to expand our ministry . . .and open doors for 2017.

We had the privilege of hosting another team from Mission Made Jewelry in early November, and Rick and Becky also were able to go down in late November to visit the work in Les Cayes.

And, the highlight of December has been Steeve and Polo's US visit.  So thankful for the opportunities God is giving them.

We look forward to 2017 with great anticipation as we praise God for all that He has done in 2016.  Glwa pou Bondye.

Bruce Gethro

From Hudson:

"Bruce Gethro is a young man with three young children.  He is a car washer, and his wife used to sell used clothes ("pepe") at the market.  Their house was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.  They almost lost everything."


Could you help this man and his family rebuild their home?   Your year-end donation to Haiti Awake can help Bruce Gethro and people like him who are still looking to recover their lives post-Hurricane Matthew.

Checks can be mailed to Haiti Awake, 4630 Mockingbird Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409.  To designate a gift specifically for hurricane relief, please note this in the memo line.

On-line donations can be made through the Paypal button at the bottom of this page.

All donations to Haiti Awake are tax-deductible because Haiti Awake is a 501c3 organization.


Orestal Beauvoit

As I stood surveying the community we were in one week ago today, the remnants of one house caught my eye over and over.  Though most houses were at least partially standing, having lost their roofs, there was one dwelling that had completely collapsed . . . with a still-intact roof on top of the rubble.  It was almost ironic.

One Tuesday morning, Orestal Beauvoit came to me.  He explained to me that he is an old man, that he is sick, and that he has no way to rebuild his home.  He asked for my help.

And I offered him the same help I offered everyone else we talked to in Les Cayes last week.  I promised to tell his story and share his picture.

Orestal Beauvoit also has a physical ailment which he asked me to look at.  I explained to him that I am not a doctor, I am not a nurse, but he seemed to take comfort in me just looking at the problem... a problem he has had for almost 6 years.   I shared the photo I took of his issue with a number of people who are medically knowledgeable.  They all agreed - he needs to see a physician.   


Could you help this man rebuild his home and see a doctor?   Your year-end donation to Haiti Awake can help Orestal and people like him who are still looking to recover their lives post-Hurricane Matthew.


Checks can be mailed to Haiti Awake, 4630 Mockingbird Lane, Wilmington, NC 28409.  To designate a gift specifically for hurricane relief, please note this in the memo line.

On-line donations can be made through the Paypal button at the bottom of this page.

All donations to Haiti Awake are tax-deductible because Haiti Awake is a 501c3 organization.

 

Antoine Honneur

From Hudson:

Becky and I agree.  A picture couldn't describe how this house is built.  That's why we have taken a video to try to explain the trick this grandpa did, so that he can sleep at night.

He is a farmer, and his wife sells what he grows.  Their garden was destroyed by the hurricane.  It sounds difficult for them now.

Antoine Honneur, like so many in his community, needs help in rebuilding his home post-Hurricane Matthew.   Will you partner with Haiti Awake and give a financial gift to help repair his home?

Checks can be sent to Haiti Awake, 4630 Mockingbird Lane, Wilmington, NC 29409.  Paypal payments can be made through the button on the bottom of this page.  All donations to Haiti Awake are tax-deductible.  Please consider Haiti Awake in your year-end giving.

Grace Upon Grace

 The following is Hudson's report of the most recent work in Les Cayes.

 

We were back in Les Cayes, especially in "Gelee". This time God has made a path direction to Jack Charlie's house and his family.

Jack Charlie (far right) and a few members of his family.

Jack Charlie (far right) and a few members of his family.

We feel so much enthusiasm by how God uses our heart, our hands to make it work. Even everyday is a blessing day.

This family feels further blessed, and we got to feel the same way as them because God has touched our hearts and make us do the right thing.

They are so thankful, so happy, and they want to keep us in their prayers... We feel the same way too.

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All our acknowledgment to God, Haiti Awake, and you all that've made this work possible.

Do not forget that God loves us.

 

Editor's Note:  We will continue the work in Les Cayes as long as funds are available.  Please consider Haiti Awake in your year-end giving.

 

Keep your doubt away and hold onto faith, my friend. Because every day His grace doesn’t stop to fall on us, to fortify our lives, and make us feel we were made to love and be loved by Him (GOD). Believe, and be sincere in your acts. A heart that gives must always be happy and so for the heart that receives.
— Louis Hudson

Dredging Up Compassion for the Suffering and Desperate

The following is a guest post from our friend, Lisa Moore.

 

I'm sitting in a big comfy desk chair staring at my oversized computer screen.  Looking back at me is Haitian woman and her child whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.  My home consists of carpet, tastefully painted walls, and a solid roof to keep us protected.  Her home is no longer a home, but a thrown together shanty made of broken sheets of iron.

 

I look at the rubble and trash and rocky ground around her home, and I just can't understand as my home is surrounded by a pristine carpet of St. Augustine grass.  I see her shoeless feet standing on the concrete slab, and I think of my recently painted purple toe nails.  But then I notice in the picture her one year old son standing in the makeshift doorway of her dwelling.  He's naked.  And I think, "Where is his diaper?"  My western mind hasn't connected that a shoeless, nearly homeless woman would not be able to buy diapers.  Wow. 

 

I continue to stare at her but honestly, I struggle to have compassion for her.  I continue staring at the computer screen waiting for compassion to erupt from some deep place in my heart.  But it doesn't.  I wait, and still, nothing.  It' difficult for me to dredge up empathy for this poor woman because I cannot relate to her situation. I cannot comprehend her desperation.  I have shoes, a home, and children that are dressed head to toe.

I continue to read about this desperate mother, Moline, and her family.  She has three children.  She sells fish at the nearby beach.  Her husband is a fisherman.   And then I read a sentence that does produce a reaction in my heart:

We could not help her and her family...

 And I am cut to the heart.  Because, you see, while my heart may struggle with compassion and empathy to relate to a woman I will never know, God's Holy Spirit lives in me.  God knows this shoeless woman that I will never know.  He sees her ramshackle dwelling and her diaperless child.  He hears the hidden wailings of her heart that I will never hear.  He cares for Moline oh so much. 

 

And God sees me.  God knows that I have the means to help this woman.  He knows that I have some extra room in my budget and I've been waiting on Him to know what to do with it.  And God knows that when He speaks, I will listen.  Although I often resist and question, I will eventually obey.  Jesus, after all, is my example.  God hears the silent prayer of my heart, my surrender, “Not my will, O God, but yours be done.”

 

My heart is moved to action and these extra funds in my budget will now be sent every month to Haiti Awake, a ministry on the ground in Haiti that helps real families like Moline and her diaperless child.  I know that my US dollars - the amount my family of four would spend to eat out just once - will make a sizeable difference for families in Haiti. 

And even though I still may not understand or comprehend their plight, I will make a difference.  I will touch Haiti - not with my hands and feet - but with my heart.  God's heart. 


 

What about you?  Is God speaking to your heart to be a monthly supporter of Haiti Awake?   They need monthly support they can depend on, which allows them to plan, to grow, and to follow where the Lord is leading.  Whether you can share $10, $25, $50 or more, God will use it to care for the Molines and families like hers in Haiti.  Please prayerfully consider giving to this ministry.


 

  Lisa Moore has been married to Brian for over 20 years. A nuclear engineer by training, she homeschooled her two children, including her son that has autism.  Through her transparency, Lisa encourages struggling women by giving them the gift of “Me, too. ” Lisa loves Pride and Prejudice, Chapstick, and taking long afternoon naps with her stuffed bunny rabbit, Jessie.  Connect with her at CelebratingWeakness.com.

This is the Gospel

The following is the weekly report from Steeve Derard, Ground Director for Haiti Awake.

The effects of Hurricane Mathew on the south of Haiti (Les Cayes and Jeremie) will not be repaired in a very short period of time. It will take a long time - maybe years - for those people to get back to a normal life.

But God has not forsaken his children.

Thank you for all who have contributed to help in rebuilding several houses and a church in Les Cayes which had been destroyed by the hurricane.

Pastor Delpeche is one of the pastors in Les Cayes who called me to thank Haiti Awake for helping them, and he was telling me how people in the community were so happy .

Describing Haiti Awake's work in Les Cayes: 

This is the Gospel.
— Pastor Joseph Jeneve Delpeche, Mission Eglise Baptiste Sud d'Haiti

Lespwa Fè Viv (Hope Makes Life) - Part 5

This week's final installment from Hudson re: the work in Les Cayes.

Jack Charlie who is a very strong man, spiritually and physically, who helped us every day from the morning to the night and didn't expected to receive anything from us.  His family -  Yvena Cadet and their 5 children -  are also in need.

But through all their pains they don't stop to believe, to preach and hope that God always has a plan for their life.

We could have more samples stories from that community, the people that are living in that community have the same issues.  We noticed a lot of repetition seeing what they have been through.

But they are not desperate because they know someone who is awesome, powerful, amazing - a God that will never stop taking care of them.

They're are so thankful, and they ask us to pray for them, like they will always hold us in their prayers, too.

Thanks to God, to Haiti Awake, Fre Jack, and everyone who has made that trip possible by helping with prayers, love, and finances.  We are thankful that God always give us His hands for the broken-hearted, the ones that are far beyond our reach.

But they are not desperate because they know someone who is awesome, powerful, amazing - a God that will never stop taking care of them.
— Louis Hudson, describing the people he met in Les Cayes

Lespwa Fè Viv - Hope Makes Life (Part 3)

More in our week-long series regarding the work in Les Cayes as seen through the eyes of our co-worker, Louis Hudson.

Moise Marieta. A few words cannot tell all her story, but by the privilege we had to talk with her.

We know that she is a mother of seven children, and Hurricane Matthew destroyed her house. She used to sell food (Manje Kwit), but the life she is actually living now is to stay nearby the beach and wait until someone gives her some fish to sell . . .  if only they had a good day fishing.  This is most difficult.

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When we got to where she was supposed to live, we saw the place.  We can't call this place a house any longer.  Some of her neighbors told us that since the hurricane all that she does is to live nearby the beach.

We could not help her this trip.  There are so many people, so many needs . . .   Time and funds are limited.

More from Hudson tomorrow . . . 

Lespwa Fè Viv (Hope Makes Life) - Part 2

Yesterday, Hudson began to tell you about the work in Les Cayes.  Today he continues . . .

Let me introduce you to some of our fellowship here as we worked. 

At MEBSH,  Pastor and his wife were happy to welcome us in their house during these 4 days.

And we met different families at the church that are in need because of the hurricane.   Even though we couldn't help all of them, there were a few we have decided to visit.  Let me introduce you.

This is Guety Salomon.   She has six children, but she is living with two of them.   She used to be a vendor but right after the hurricane, she had to leave her home with her daughters, because she have lost almost everything.

But God always has a plan.

Look at what we were able to do thanks to your donations!  Thank you!

Tomorrow I want to introduce you to Moise Marieta.