Mission: Haiti 2010
Mission Moments (January-June)
Sharing news from the mission field...
By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ
Wednesday, June 23
Fourteen pastors and 23 church leaders from 13 villages attended our monthly seminary at the old church (housed in a community center) in Thoman. “It was wonderful and more wonderful was the announcement that July is our last seminary in this place,” said missionary Miguel Rubén Guante, “because Aug. 10 we will dedicate the church.”
That's the new church on which construction is nearly complete.
Miguel taught about the impending hurricane season and how to prevent disaster and save human life. “The subject was the power of God over nature,” Miguel said. He based his instruction on Psalm 24:1-2, Numbers 11:1-3 and 16:31-35, Jonah 1:4, and Matthew 8:23-27. A system also was put in place where the pastors can contact us in case of emergency.
“The seminary was very good; the pastors and leaders were very satisfied,” Miguel reported. “They showed understanding about God governing the earth and all His things. I taught, too, about prevention, refuge and assistance. For that I created a committee with all the pastors and leaders from each village (agreeing that) they will create a home committee to work in their villages to help in case some disaster arrives.”
“The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” — Psalm 24:1-2 (NIV)
Tuesday, June 15
Putting plaster on the church at Thoman.
Saturday, June 12
Missionary Miguel visited Gentilhomme today to take care of some Climbing For Christ business. While he was there he surveyed the work that has been done in the past (God's blessings on Gentilhomme) and how things look now. This included the water-purification system installed during Mission: Haiti 2010 in March and plants that are growing as a result of the Seedling Bank program (photos below).
Dispensing clean water in Gentilhomme.
Harvest of bananas from plants provided two years ago (above) and an avocado plant from one year ago (below) and coffee (bottom) are growing strong.
We rejoice and give thanks for what is being done and pray for what will continue to happen in the hearts of lives of those living in Gentilhomme. As part of our ongoing mission work in this mountainous village, heretofore unassisted by Christ followers, we need to provide funding for improvements on the church building. This was the first church built by Climbing For Christ in Hispaniola; it was constructed in early 2006. Cement repair, painting, new doors and windows are needed, which total US$3,631.93.
The church at Gentilhomme.
Join us in praying for the people and church of Gentilhomme. If you can give financially, please do so.
Note: Esterbin, the sick little boy from Malasi (see “Mission Moment” below), is recovering from mumps, a bladder infection, and some sort of typhus. He was very ill. Miguel has been caring for him since rescuing him from near death. God continues to use Climbing For Christ to help the people in the mountains of Haiti with health issues. Praise Him!
Sunday, June 6
The sick child from Malasi, whom missionary Miguel brought to the Dominican border town of Jimani to be (hopefully) treated by doctors.
Saturday, June 5
Missionary Miguel reported another child in Malasi — this one a 10-year-old — was near death from the same illness that claimed the life of 9-year-old Dafney earlier this week. Miguel was traveling from the Dominican border town of Jimani, where he lives, to try to rescue the child.
Thursday, June 3
On Tuesday, a school child in Malasi died. She had been ill for two weeks — with a fever and bad cough. We learned about this after the fact.
“She was sick for around 15 days,” our missionary, Miguel, said after going to Malasi. “She had the flu with a severe cough and fever.”
The girl, 9-year-old Dafney, attended school the first week she was sick, but last week was too ill and stayed home. Her family lives near Malasi in Plenne Mare.
Dafney's funeral (photos above and below) was held today.
Monday, May 31
Wood from Gwo Cheval (above) was delivered to Thoman (below) on Sunday to complete the roof on the church at Thoman (bottom).
Thursday, May 27
First United Methodist Church in Cañon City, Colo. provided another US$2,000 this week for construction of the church at Jimani. First United Methodist has given US$7,000 this year for this project on the Haiti-Dominican border.
The foundation of the church at Jimani continues to grow (photo above). The church at Thoman has a nearly completed roof. And 31 pastors and church leaders met for our monthly seminary in Thoman on Wednesday.
“I'm happy for many things,” missionary Miguel Rubén Guante said.
But the moment that touched our hearts most was seeing Madame Chalisma — the widow of our dear friend “Boss” Chalisma — receiving funds provided by Climbing For Christ supporters to start a small business that will support her six children. Miguel said she was happy to receive the money. “And more than the money is knowing she doesn't owe it to anybody,” Miguel added.
Seed money: Funds to help Madame Chalisma set up shop selling rice, cooking oil, and other food products.
Chalisma, who served as our foreman on construction projects (such as the building of the first church at Gentilhomme), was struck and killed by lightning on Oct. 15, 2009.
“When we give her the money she asked me how she will pay it (back)?” Miguel said. “I answer her, 'You have not to pay nothing for you don't owe (Climbing For Christ). Give your thanks to God. He did it for you.'”
“I'm happy for the many pastors and leaders who are attending the seminary,”said Miguel, who taught them about marriage (above).
Climbing For Christ has provided six wedding dresses (donated by members and friends of the ministry) to be used in marriage ceremonies in Haiti, such as the one below in Thoman in April.
We continue to care for the people in the Chaine de la Selle range by showing them the love of Jesus. While others still talk about “rebuilding” Haiti in the wake of January's devastating earthquake, we believe God is BUILDING His church in Haiti from the ground up. To God alone be the glory!
Saturday, May 22
Roof work continues on the church at Thoman.
Wednesday, May 19
Roof work begins on the church at Thoman.
Tuesday, May 11
Another church on another hill in Haiti.
Our missionary, Miguel Rubén Guante, hiked to Mingrette on Sunday to visit Pastor Gerard's churches. Pastor Gerard attends our monthly seminary and has asked for affiliation with Climbing For Christ. “His church look well,” Miguel reported after observing about 120 people in worship. “It not need any repair for now.”
Mingrette can be reached only by foot, climbing from Thoman for about three hours. As we stated in our Plan for Haiti 2010-11, Mingrette is “a C4C type of church.” We will continue to pray about this and see how God would have us serve there.
While the church at Mingrette does not need work, the church at Thoman remains under construction. “I'm waiting to gather the wood for the roof and the plaster,” Miguel said. “But we are overbudget for Thoman.” Because giving decreased in April, building has paused.
The church at Thoman on May 5.
We apologize for the project going over the original $10,500 budget. “But we are working in a place where nothing is right,” Miguel explained. “Today, you buy a nail for a price and tomorrow for double the cost. With the disaster in Haiti, all materials (in the Dominican Republic) are more expensive.”
The earthquake in Haiti hurt more than the people in the Port-au-Prince area. People living in the mountains, who did not even feel the devastating earthquake, have felt the financial aftershocks. Support that would have gone to the ongoing work of ministries such as Climbing For Christ was re-routed to disaster relief. Please pray for Mission: Haiti, which began ministering in the Chaine de la Selle range in the summer of 2005, and if you can give send a contribution to Climbing For Christ, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290.
Friday, April 30
“Today is a holy day for Subiendo para Cristo in Jimani for we are starting to make the place in the land to make the excavation,” said Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante, who lives among a Haitian community in the Dominican border town of Jimani. “Pray for us as we pray this morning (photo above).”
Thursday, April 29
Materials purchased for construction of the church at Jimani with funding from First United Methodist Church in Cañon City, Colo.
Wednesday, April 21
Thirty-five pastors and church leaders, including pastors from three new churches (Fond Verrettes, Savane Zombi, and another Thoman church) attended our monthly seminary today in Thoman. Leaders of 15 churches are now involved in the monthly seminary.
Pastor Tresin was absent from the seminary because a woman in Gentilhomme died this morning.
Friday, April 16
Dr. Marc Pinard, the chief of the Good Samaritan clinic in the Dominican border town of Jimani, died on Thursday of an apparent heart attack. “Many people are very sad for his death,” said missionary Miguel Rubén Guante, who returned from Fond Parisen to hear the news.
Dr. Marc operated the Jimani clinic (where Climbing For Christ friend Dr. Jirdana works) as well as numerous clinics throughout his homeland of Haiti.
“He was sick in the heart,” Miguel said. “He could not (help but) work so hard as he was working after the earthquake in Haiti. Yesterday early, he prepared to go to Haiti. When he went to check something before he left Jimani he fall down.”
Dr. Marc’s family will be traveling from New York City to the DR for the funeral. We are praying for the future of the Jimani clinic, which serves the people from Climbing For Christ churches.
Sunday, April 4
Resurrection Sunday in Haiti!
As part of our post-Mission: Haiti visit, Miguel and I agreed that today he would visit several churches to begin the process of considering possible affiliation with Climbing For Christ. Miguel stopped at two churches in Savane Zombi and then went to Fonds Verrette, where Pastor Licien has asked for “spiritual” help. Here are three of the 10 churches that have requested affiliation with Climbing For Christ:
The church at Fond Verrettes.
The two churches at Savane Zombi, above and below.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the churches affiliated with Climbing For Christ and those that have asked to be affiliated in our “Plan for Haiti 2010-11.”
Thursday, March 18-Thursday, March 25
CLICK HERE to read Dispatches from Mission: Haiti 2010.
Monday, March 15
A thankful prayer for the completion of the church at Malasi.
Saturday, March 13
The church at Malasi is being finished (windows have been installed). The church will be dedicated in a worship service next Sunday (March 21), which will be attended by our Mission: Haiti 2010 team.
Monday, March 1
The church at Malasi is nearing completion and will be dedicated during a short-term mission trip later this month. Today, windows were delivered by missionary Miguel Rubén Guante.
Wednesday, Feb. 23
“I'm working badly to get ready the churches,” said missionary Miguel, meaning he has been laboring feverishly to finish the buildings. The past two weeks have been spent on the roof and plastering the church at Malasi. Worked has slowed on the church at Thoman because of a lack of manpower to supervise the job and a shortage in funding. Climbing For Christ continues to raise money for regular monthly support as well as special projects such as the two churches currently under construction.
The church at Malasi is another church on a hill, above. Work on the roof has begun, below.
In addition to building a church, we are building a body of believers — starting at the top with the pastors and church leaders. Our monthly seminary focused on a pastor's characteristics and Miguel shared our plan for churches that desire affiliation with Climbing For Christ.
“Our seminary was very good,” said Miguel, who serves as the teacher for the seminary. “We have some new churches and pastors.”
February seminary in Thoman (inside old church building).
Thursday, Feb. 18
Preparing to put the roof on the church at Malasi.
Monday, Feb. 15
The church at Malasi continues to grow, above, while fertilizer is delivered, below, for farmers who are planting beans, onions and potatos. Fifty bags of fertilizer were purchased and sent to 45 farmers.
Thursday, Feb. 11
Work continued on the church at Malasi in anticipation of our March mission trip, during which this church and the church at Thoman will be dedicated.
Wednesday, Feb. 10
The pump has arrived safely in the Dominican border town of Jimani to the home of missionary Miguel Rubén Guante. Here, the crate is unloaded to be stored until our short-term team goes to Haiti in mid-March.
Tuesday, Feb. 9
With the words, “This is in my possession,” Climbing For Christ finally had received the water system we purchased last October from the New Zealand-based World Wide Water. Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday dealing with customs and shipping, paying ridiculous fees in the process, to get the pump and filter system that will be installed in Gentilhomme in March.
This system, engineered by Russell Kelly (see “Space technology to splash down in Gentilhomme”), was purchased for US$3,500 on Oct. 23, 2009. The original plan was to put the system in place during December's Mission: Haiti 2009. But the shipping company did not send the crate containing the pedal-powered water filter; instead leaving it on a dock in New Zealand. When this error was discovered, arrangements were made to have the crate airlifted to Haiti. But it was the fruit season and our shipment was repeatedly bumped.
Then the earthquake struck Haiti. One delay led to another, piling up the frustrations as we continued to lift the situation in prayer.
First sighting: After 108 days, we finally saw the crate containing a water system purchased for Gentilhomme.
Finally, on Friday, Feb. 5, we received the good news that the crate had reached the Dominican Republic. On Monday, Feb. 8, it was trucked into Santo Domingo, and Miguel was dispatched to pick it up. That's when the run-around with customs began, as duty fees fluctuated wildly until nearly US$2,100 was paid out to gain possession of the crate.
It took nearly four months, but a pump that will carry water up a steep slope from a mountain spring to the village of Gentilhomme was loaded into Climbing For Christ's “God truck” and began its journey across Hispaniola toward the Chaine de la Selle range. It will not be taken to Gentilhomme until our next short-term mission team goes to Haiti in March.
We will continue to pray for the delivery of this important equipment as the enemy has done many things already to try to keep us from bringing it to Gentilhomme. This system will supply easier access to clean drinking water for the people of Monte Pou Kris (Climbing For Christ), and bring glory to the God who has provided it.
What's in the box? Parts for a pedal-powered water filter.
Friday, Feb. 5
Bean seeds were delivered today to farmers in Malasi. Fertilizer will be delivered next week. The farmers in Malasi are preparing the land for planting at the end of February or beginning of March, when the rains begin. “Is onion, potato and beans season,” missionary Miguel said.
We have purchased seeds and fertilizer for nearly 100 farmers.
Meanwhile, the church build continues. More funding is required to complete this building and the contruction of the church at Thoman. Both churches have been instructed to pray for God's provision so the work may be completed.
A BIG praise report: Josh Carroll heard from Air Canada (the latest transporter of our Kiwi water filtration system). “It is on the island now!” Josh reported. The crate containing the pump and filter that we purchased last October landed in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and will be trucked to Santo Domingo on Saturday. Miguel will likely retrieve the water system early next week. Once it is in our possession we will move forward with plans to return to Haiti in March. Keep praying for this system and the work the Lord has for us to do in BUILDING (not rebuilding) Haiti.
Tuesday, Feb. 2
The church at Malasi.
The churches at Thoman and Malasi are well under construction. At last look both appeared ready and waiting for the delivery of beams and materials for the roofs.
Packing more materials for the church at Malasi.