We know God has big plans for those He has entrusted to our care.
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.
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
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
But one of the most beautiful, soul-sanctifying things God ever does for us is to bless our lives through those we’ve come to bless, to expose the pride and superiority that makes us think we’re in perceived control of them, and to realize that God is the one who’s truly in control of all of us. Sure, people learn and grow from what we do, but we learn and grow as well by being in their company.
— Joey Lankford
By far, the most common question people ask me is, “When are you going back to Haiti?” and since April 18, the answer has been, “June 14.” Over and over people expressed surprise. “But that’s so far away!” And it was. But now the date is drawing close, and last minute preparations are being made.
And my heart is happy.
On Monday, May 7, 2018, over 200 people gathered at Scotts Hill Baptist Church in Wilmington, NC, to celebrate missions around the world. On this night, 25 tables were set to share more about missions based in the Wilmington area but operating all over the world.
Two of the tables hosted by Pastor Roger Barnes, Sophie Leonard, Alexandria Augi and Jennifer Augi (all members of the March 2018 team) highlighted and told the story of Haiti Awake.
Sophie Leonard and Alexandria Augi were also able to talk with the children in attendance at this event about the Bible schools they led in Haiti while traveling with Haiti Awake. They encouraged the children not to feel limited by their age but to listen for God’s calling to go and serve being the hands and feet of Jesus.
The mission night was a wonderful opportunity to share in our local community how lives in Haiti are being changed through friendship, discipleship, community, teaching, resources, time, and most importantly the unifying love of Jesus Christ.
Steeve, Polo and Manoucheka attended the Ansanm Pou Ayiti Haiti National State of Health Congress which was held at the Karibe Hotel in Port au Prince May 10 and 11.
The Congress gathered over 200 policy makers, seasoned executives, public and private stakeholders, and knowledgeable pioneers in the health industry to discuss the state of health in Haiti.
Over the course of two days, attendees analyzed the current environment and health system in place, studied the role of public and private sectors in spurring innovation, discussed the challenges individuals and organizations face within the health industry in Haiti, and collaboratively examined the available opportunities for solutions, innovation, support, and systems for change to Haiti’s health landscape as we know it.
Our Haiti Awake staff learned so much and were so grateful for the opportunity to attend.
Exchange in the Atlanta airport last night.
Immigration agent: "Where are you returning from?"
Me: "Port au Prince, Haiti."
Agent: "Why were you there?"
Me: "To celebrate a 3 year old's birthday."
Agent: "Excuse me?"
Me: "To celebrate a child's birthday. He's 3 years old now."
Agent: "You went to Haiti to celebrate a child's birthday?'
Me: "Yes. That's right."
Agent: "That's an unusual reason to visit Haiti. But a good one. Have a nice evening."
Yes, it was an unusual reason, but such a good one! Going to Haiti this week was all about celebrating the goodness of God in the life of Caleb Steven Derard, my favorite 3-year-old. Caleb's birthday is something I hope to be able to celebrate with him each year because his life is a miracle.
In case you've never read his birth story, you can find it here:
The short time in Hait this week was very productive, however, beyond just sharing a meal and cake with Caleb on Wednesday.
To answer the question, "How was your week in Haiti?" I decided to share the schedule that we at Haiti Awake followed day-by-day. I know sometimes people wonder what we do when there's not a team. Well, this should give you some idea . . . at least of what we did April 16 - 20.
As I always say, no matter how long I am in Haiti, it's never enough time. This short trip was definitely no exception. Friday afternoon found us rushing to get to the airport and squeezing every last minute out of my time there.
Arrive on Delta 685
3:30 p.m. Meet with the children
Spend evening unpacking
8 p.m. Meeting with Polo re: economic development and more
9:30 p.m. Meeting with Steeve
Work out details of sewing project
Look at new places to take summer teams
Afternoon with the children
9:30 Meeting with Steeve
Shop for the children's home
Go to the market to get supplies for Caleb's party
Visit other missionaries
11 am. Caleb’s birthday
Gifts for friends in neighborhood
9:30 meeting with Steeve
8:30 Go to immigration to finish application for my permis
Noon Meeting at hospital with medical staff
Pack bracelets and other Mission Made Jewelry items. Pay everyone for a job well done.
3 pm April birthday party for children and staff
Meeting with the wash ladies
After dinner, rooftop meeting to close out the week
8:00 Meet with ladies again
9:30 Meet with Steeve and Polo re: children's home
11:00 Staff meeting
Noon Finish last minute packing, eat lunch, grab a shower and dress for airport
1 p.m. Say goodbye to kids
1:15 Leave for airport
Leave on Delta Flight 684 3:30. p.m.
The summer is coming up quickly. We plan to host 6 separate teams in June and July. Much of the next two months will be in preparation for hosting our friends and sharing more of what we believe God has called us to in Haiti - Community Development, Economic Development and Church Ministry Development based in Relationships, Gospel, and Hope.
Until next time . . .
At the same time, I came home with my heart once again tender toward so many things. Tears haven't been too far from my eyes on any given day. I often pray that as I continue to see and experience more of Haiti and her people that I will not become jaded, that I won't become callous, that the things that once broke me won't become routine and common. Like so many, I pray the prayer Bob Pierce once prayed, "Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God."