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Mission: Haiti 2006

Upon this rock, He will build His church

By Gary Fallesen

“... and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
– Matthew 16:18 (NIV)

We have been called to build a church on a hill in the village of Jeantilhome, Haiti. This project, a result of Mission: Dominican Republic from June 24-July 2, 2005, was the objective of Mission: Haiti 2006.

Mission: Haiti 2006 actually began on June 26, 2005, when the Lord took His team to the mountain people of Jeantilhome. We met Pastor Meristaire Tresin and learned about the needs in Jeantilhome, where about 100 people worship in a thatch-walled, roofless church. These people come before the Lord with bug-swatting reeds in hand – unless it rains and church has to be cancelled.

There is no school and no medical facility in Jeantilhome, which sits nearly 2,000 feet above the river valley and in the shadow of 8,793-foot Pic la Selle. It was our hope that by building a church, we would provide Pastor Tresin with a place to teach and care for his flock spiritually and physically. That is one of the tenants of Climbing For Christ: To minister to those in need in mountainous areas – in both physical and spiritual ways.

So we pledged to build a church in Jeantilhome. (CLICK HERE for the complete story.)

This mission was done in three phases:

PHASE 1 began in November 2005, after a goal of raising $10,000 to build the church was exceeded (thanks to the “Share the Wealth” benefit concert featuring singer/song writer Randall Goodgame, and the generous gifts of members and friends of Climbing For Christ). This phase was to be done by the local people. The purpose was to improve conditions for the transportation of building materials for the church between the river-valley village of Soliette and the mountain village of Jeantilhome.

PHASE 2 was the acquisition of building materials, which includes bags of cement to make the blocks for the church, as well as timber for the roof, windows and doors. Materials were purchased in Jimani, Dominican Republic and transported 45 kilometers (30K on rough river-bed roads).

PHASE 3 was the actual building phase. Local workers were assisted by a mission team from Climbing For Christ. Villagers began construction in February 2006. A team of five Climbing For Christ members traveled to Haiti in April 2006 to help locals get closer to finishing the building.

The team also continued building relationships with the village people. This will enable future mission trips to go to Jeantilhome to provide medical and educational assistance, and deliver Creole Bibles and resources for the new church.


Jeantilhome church

Thatch-walled church (with no roof) stands next to a field of crops in the mountain village of Jeantilhome, Haiti in June 2005, above. That church was replaced by a 60-by-40-foot building made of cement, timber, and tin roofing in April 2006, below. (Photos by Gary Fallesen)

Church building
Map of Haiti

Map above shows Haiti. Jeantilhome is found on the Chaine de la Selle (or Pic la Selle, as it is known locally) in the southeastern part of the country.

Buy A Block

Building materials for the church in Jeantilhome, Haiti were estimated at about $6,000. It took 1,200 cement blocks (made in the village) to build the church. That meant, each block cost about $5. The actual expenses were more than $9,000 for supplies alone.

Donors helped us build this church by buying a block. We asked our financial supporters to send a tax-deductible donation for as many blocks as they felt led to buy.

We are still raising support for our work in Jeantilhome. Please send your tax-deductible donation to Climbing For Christ, Inc., “Buy A Block/Haiti,” P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, N.Y. 14616-0290.

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