On-going projects

Happy Graduation!

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

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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.

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

We learn and grow

We learn and grow

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

“When are you going back to Haiti?”

“When are you going back to Haiti?”

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.

Celebrating Missions

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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.    

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, 
the people he chose for his inheritance.
— Psalm 33:12
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Ansanm pou Ayiti (Together for Haiti)

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.

96 hours in Haiti

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."

Caleb's last day as a two-year-old.

Caleb's last day as a two-year-old.

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.


Monday

  • 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

Tuesday

  • Work out details of sewing project

  • Look at new places to take summer teams

  • Afternoon with the children

  • 9:30 Meeting with Steeve

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Wednesday

  • 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

  • Visit children

  • 9:30 meeting with Steeve

 


Thursday

  • 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

 

Friday

  • 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 . . . 

Mutuality

But as the friendships on the streets and in the neighborhoods grew, we came to understand that we were not ministering “to” our friends, but in ministry “among” them. We ourselves were being ministered to as authentic and humanizing relationships emerged.
— Christopher Heuertz

Thoughts on a quiet Friday evening

Thoughts on a quiet Friday evening

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."

2017 in Review

It's been another year.  We have another opportunity to look back and see God's providence, His faithful hand, His leading...and to see that once again, we never walked alone.

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The first four months of the year were marked by change as the children came under our care. We also began to discuss the idea of expanding Haiti Awake outside of Port au Prince, hosted teams in the new upstairs guesthouse, launched our child sponsorship program, and added stateside coordinators - Hannah Telman, Liz Kyle, and Alicia Mercer.

Glwa pou Bondye.

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The middle four months were characterized by teams - five of them to be exact . . . in addition to the four we had already hosted in the first four months of 2017.  Fun times.  Busy times.  Times of growth.  Many of this summer's team members became sponsors to our children, and for that we are grateful.  

Relationships. 

Gospel. 

Hope.

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The latter part of 2017 brought great joy, as well as some hard times.  The children returned to school for their 3rd year of schooling since Haiti Awake began providing for their tuition, and we rejoiced. Haiti Awake was also able to open the copy center and begin its first chicken project during this same period. We are thankful that God continues to expand our resonsibilities. We also were forced to think about the brevity of life when Wesly and Idelmy were involved in a serious accident.   And we finished out the year with a wonderful Christmas celebration provided by friends and sponsors.

We look forward with great anticipation to where God will providentially lead in 2018.  We anticipate growth through new business opportunities as well as outreach and expansion of responsibility outside of Port au Prince.  But we recognize and affirm the truth found in Proverbs 16:9:

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Tout glwa pou Bondye. Toutan.

Celebrating Christmas on a Sunday afternoon in Haiti

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Thanks to the generous donations of so many of you, Christmas for our Community was a blessed time on Sunday afternoon, December 17th.  All of the families and individuals we had featured were sponsored, and God multiplied your gifts in such a way that we were able to not only provide the items listed in the original announcement, but each family got two bags of beans and $150 in Haitian money, as well.

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Steeve prayed with everyone and shared the truth of I John 3:16 - "This is how we know what love is.  Jesus Christ laid down His life for us."  God loved us so much that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, in the flesh, as a baby, to be our Redeemer.  

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Steeve shared that we at Haiti Awake and those of you who support our ministry are motivated by love, true love, love found only in Jesus Christ.  He explained that the gifts were not from the staff but from others - most of whom have never been to Haiti and have never met anyone in our community.

Steeve went on to explain that our community is important to Haiti Awake, and how the gifts being distributed were not benefiting anyone associated with Haiti Awake.  Instead, we are looking outward, to care for people in our community.  We want our community to know that they matter to Jesus; and because they matter to Jesus, they matter to us.

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I have community with others and will continue to have it only through Jesus Christ.  The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more everything else between us will recede, and the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is alive between us. 
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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Thank you to all who showed love by financially giving to this initiative.  We pray that it will be an annual event that God will continue to grow for His glory.

Glwa pou Bondye.

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Where there is hope, there is a life.
— Louis Hudson
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
— Psalm 92:4