Since the devastating earthquake in January 2010 which literally shook the nation of Haiti, the group of people we have been working with have faced many challenges. Cholera, hurricanes, lawlessness, and the murder of Doctor Johnny have made what we would consider to be rough lives even more difficult. Yet, your faithful and generous support has never failed to see this group through all of this and more.
Much has been happening with Heart of God Haiti since our last update. As many of you know, Scott Ingram, Heart of God’s missionary, has been on the ground in Haiti since March 1, 2012. He has been very busy making contacts within Haiti to build our support network. Our goal has been to establish a safe and secure environment for children while spreading the Gospel. It continues to be our mission to provide children with an opportunity to receive a basic education, be cared for, and be taught skills that will create self-sufficient adults.
Loving unconditionally. Leading by example. Launching into adult life.
As you may remember, the team in Haiti has been working towards qualifying for government certification of the orphanage. Unfortunately they have been unsuccessful and, at this time, there is no hope for future success. Along with Jan Ross, President of Heart of God International, I made an unannounced visit to Haiti based on this news and several reports received from Scott. Unfortunately, what we found was not what we had anticipated.
After much thought, prayer, and discussion, we have made the difficult decision to remove our support from Pastor Dicksent and his team. Aside from the fact that they have been unable to legally obtain certification, other problems were found making this decision necessary. The children who were with Pastor Dicksent’s orphanage have been placed in other orphanages and with church families. We are grateful to know that they are continuing to receive care and not among the many children left to themselves, roaming the streets and begging for food.
Based on Scott’s reports and recommendations from trusted sources, we have made the decision to direct our efforts toward another orphanage located in Kenscoff that recently lost its funding. They are caring for 34 children and have official permission (validated) from the Haitian government to house the children while formal certification is in process. While we have made no long-term commitments, Scott has been assigned to work with them while helping them get the assistance needed from other organizations in order to continue caring for the children.
It is our short-term goal to work with Pastor Justin who is in charge of the orphanage and the local church situated on the grounds. With your help, we will work together to bring the center up to standard and obtain a permanent legal certificate for the orphanage. Once they obtain the certificate, they should be able to garner partial support from other NGOs in the area.
In the longer term we are also looking at further developing the ministry to include some work in the Dominican Republic. As we pursue more opportunities, Heart of God Haiti will expand and become Heart of God Caribbean.
Website Has Been Updated With Photos and Videos
We have updated our website and invite you to view the pictures and videos on the Media page: http://heartofgodhaiti.org/media/ . The first video shows the church and the orphanage (the “Center”) with which we are now working. It is located high in the mountains of Haiti in the Kenscoff area. Another video shows the children singing. We were so moved as we watched them share their greetings in both English and Creole while hearing their sweet voices echo so beautifully throughout the mountaintop. The setting is breathtaking; the children so precious.
How You Can Help With Immediate Needs
As we’ve begun to share our news, many people have asked how they can help and, of course, we have many opportunities. While the actual list is long, we have identified a few immediate needs to share with you.
$8,000 to $15,000
Room & Board for Scott
$50 per day
Feed One Child 3 Meals
$3 per day
Feed 34 Children 3 Meals
$3,060 per month
Staff Member (1) Salary
$125 per month
Monthly Salary for Entire Staff (6)
$750 per month
Of course, these are just basic costs which don’t include many other expenses such as an interpreter, transportation, kitchen equipment, children’s clothing, etc. It’s critical that we obtain reliable transportation on the ground; we also have an obligation to support Scott’s work (he is literally worth his weight in gold). Until we can arrange for help from local NGOs (upon completion of certification), we need to provide for 3 meals a day for each of the 34 children and a very modest salary for the six staff members so they can also feed their respective families.
Future Plans Include Child Sponsorship Program and Mission Trips
In the not-too-distant future, we will be offering a child sponsorship program to give you an opportunity to impact a specific child’s life. Scott will be helping to create a dossier on each of the children within the next few weeks and our website will be updated to include this important program. Also, we will be arranging mission trips to Haiti so you can personally work with the children, help with building repairs and upgrades, share the Gospel through evangelization of the local community, and much more. But, in the meantime, please consider helping us with these immediate needs.
Continuing to Explore Opportunities in Response to God’s Call
We have spent many hours in prayer, discussions, interviews and evaluations of this orphanage and Pastor Justin. We are excited for this new phase in the work of Heart of God Haiti; we feel confident and assured of the Lord’s blessing even while making these difficult decisions. Please pray with us as we continue to explore opportunities in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean.
We trust that this new chapter in Heart of God Haiti will both glorify God and offer a valid and trusted opportunity for you and all our friends to make an eternal impact on the lives of children and adults in this land where the needs are so great. Thank you for your continued support.