Saturday, December 28th, 2019
Thank you to our generous supporters!
Our hearts are filled with thanks for each of our friends and supporters. It’s been a tough year full of challenges for Source of Life Ministries (SLM). With the many prayers, material gifts and financial resources offered by our partners in mission, friends and supporters, SLM continues to provide a safe and loving home for 17 children and young adults in Gressier. Thank you to one and all.
Changes within our SLM family
God blessed our SLM family in July when our new sister Abigaelle joined us. SLM conducted its customary legal investigation to fulfill all required steps prior to rescuing Abigaelle from extreme poverty, hunger and very tenuous shelter conditions. SLM also added Sony Merine to the staff in 2018 to serve as head of household. Sony is a highly educated man and teacher with many years of experience. He helps to manage the home and provides patient and compassionate guidance for the children during Jacques’ lengthy absences.
Although the safe home compound in Gressier remains secure and untouched by the violence, Dinia lost her older brother Simon to a gang assassination earlier this year. Our older Christianville School students lost a young man and school acquaintance who was a Christianville graduate when he was killed in a gang shooting in nearby Leogane this summer. Some of our staff members were unable to visit and care for their aging parents during the protests and road closures, causing much distress and worry over extended periods of time.
Travel problems throughout the year
Travel to and from Haiti became more difficult and dangerous in 2019. Pastor Vern and Jacques had to evacuate by helicopter to the airport in February when violent demonstrations made road transport to Port-au-Prince impossible. Jacques’ time in Haiti in 2019 was greatly curtailed. Normally he spends six months of the year in Haiti over five or six separate trips. But frequent road closures and widespread violence forced Jacques to reduce his travel to just two trips and about one month total in Haiti for 2019.
We are thankful also for God’s protection over our driver, Harold, when he escaped a local gang’s road-block near Gressier. With quick thinking and friendly persuasion applied to a gang member attempting to hijack the vehicle, Harold got away from a potentially violent scene without injury and avoided damage or destruction of our SLM truck.
A few intrepid supporters were able to travel to Haiti without incident under God’s protecting shield. Regrettably, we had to cancel all 2019 mission trips and postpone group travel planning until security conditions improve. We pray that God will calm the turmoil in Haiti and enable our willing mission visitors and teams to fulfill their plans to visit in 2020.
Government deadlocked, still
Recent news reports of high-level delegations and visitors from the United States and the United Nations give some hope for small progress in breaking the crisis in Haiti’s government, but skepticism abounds. The political and economic conditions of nearly complete disarray and deadlock for the whole country continue. Food insecurity is rising and becoming a serious concern with many unable to earn enough income to sustain their families. International organizations are taking steps to avert famine. The president has been unable to form a government.
The political opposition parties remain steadfast that the president should resign in favor of an interim government. By refusing to deal with the President’s offer to convene discussions aimed at reconciliation, the impasse continues. At year’s end, hopefully the violence may be subsiding. Haiti seems to be exhausted by it all…
A break in the dark clouds
In addition to travel problems, schools were closed due to the violence for many months. Our students successfully completed their school terms in June but lost many weeks of school work when schools had to close in September. The Ministry of Education just called for reopening many of Haiti’s schools in December and is working to revise the term schedule for the year. Sony, Marie-Ange and a tutor worked with the children during this hiatus to keep up some of their school work and use their time productively.
On the brighter side
We created a new logo for SLM to go along with our new vision statement:
It is this ministry’s vision that these children will learn to love their nation and see that they can have a good life in Haiti. We hope that they will grow and learn and be successful and that they will reach out to other children and teach them the same values. When given a proper start, they can bring about change in their country and lay a path toward prosperity.
Our SLM website is now completely redesigned! Be sure to check it out and visit www.sourceoflifeministries.com for news updates, profiles of our staff and the children as well as access to our frequent social media posts on Facebook.
The Christian Church of Jovin has truly become the worship and meeting place for the entire community. It was built on the SLM compound with the support of our friends and partners Pastor Jeff Riedel and the Haitian Christian Projects Ministry, and it opened in March 2017. Pastor Miguerson Haitis is our ‘man on the ground’ in the community of Jovin, where his ministry reaches out to our local neighbors and many people in the surrounding area. The congregation has grown to over 100 people, and Pastor Miguerson has a full schedule of services throughout the week. In addition, he attends classes at the Institut de Thèologie Èvangelique in Carrefour, Haiti, and he plans to graduate after two more years of training.
Pastor Miguerson operates a ministry called “Hungry Souls.” With the help of Haitian Christian Projects Ministry, he purchases and delivers food monthly to the poorest in the community. He also works closely with about 30 youth of the church, including many from the SLM safe home. Under his guidance, they are learning principals of Biblical leadership, to be led by the Holy Spirit and to serve one another in love according to Galatians 5:13.
In late May, we safely shipped a 40’ container to Haiti with many donations of clothing, shoes, many pallets of relief supplies, solar panels and inverters, plumbing fixtures and related supplies, fans and other items for the Guest House project. After the container arrived in Port-au-Prince, Harold and Jacques coordinated with customs and port authorities for clearances and trucking to our compound. Harold monitored road closures, and Jacques maintained close telephone contact with port authorities to secure final clearance and transportation to Gressier in record time. It was safely delivered to the compound during a lull in the violence and road closures. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Goals for 2020
Our main project and focus will once again be the new Guest House currently under construction. Although we were forced to cancel the mission team trip for November, we prayerfully continue to monitor security conditions aiming to reschedule this construction team when the situation permits. Please join with us in those prayers for peace and calm in Haiti and for the safety of our mission teams.
We were blessed with some substantial donations in 2019 for the Guest House from several successful fundraisers on Facebook. Ongoing needs for 2020 will be for bulk materials (sand, gravel and cement purchased locally), doors and windows, ceramic tiles for floors and showers, and eventually paint and furniture for the finishing phase. Please coordinate with us if you or your congregation wishes to sponsor a fundraiser event or provide for one of these specific needs for the Guest House.
Individual monthly sponsorships for one of our children are a great way to help with general operating expenses or specific needs of a child. This can be very meaningful for both the donor and the child, even in amounts like $25, $30 or $40 per month. SLM is also focused on the need to provide post-secondary education and vocational training. Sponsorships can help provide the financial means to fulfill our ministry’s goal of raising each child out of poverty as a Christian with the education and training to become a productive Haitian citizen. We welcome your partnership at any level. Contact us for further information. Email: [email protected]
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
2 Corinthians 2:14