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Evangelic Expeditions

Mission: Haiti 2010
Dispatches
Plan for Haiti 2010-11
Mission Moments (Jan.-June)
Mission Moments (July-Dec.)
A Bicycle Built for Haiti

Mission: Haiti 2009
Dispatches 
 – Team Bios 
 – Another heart for Haiti
Special Report: Plan for Haiti 
 – Sanitation: Don't Flush Their Future
 – Drinkable Water 
 – Change ... for Haiti
Church Builds: Malasi and Thoman
Mission Moments (July-Dec.)
 – Medical Trip
Mission Moments (Jan.-June)
 – Mini-Mission Trip Report 
 – 'The God truck'
State of Emergency 
 – Emergency Mission
 – Dispatches
In the News

Mission: Haiti 2008
Trip Report
Trip Reflections 
Dispatches 
  – Team Bios
Mission Moments (July-Dec.)
Mission Moments (Jan.-June)  
  – Hope For Haiti
Adopt a Village
State of Haiti
Let Them Eat ... Dirt
Hunger in Haiti
Caring for Creation: Service to the Poor
Haiti Needs a Hand, Not a Handout
A brother from another planet
Sick Haiti needs a Doctor
His accomplishments
News on Haiti 
  – Page 2
  – Page 3
  – Voodoo is NOT the answer 
  – Terror's new target: Children

Mission: Haiti 2007 
December Trip
Dispatches  
Trip Report
Team Bios
April Trip 
'Love One Another'
Dispatches
Trip Report
Special Report: Plan for Haiti 
  – Help for Haiti 
  – Saving Gilbert 
  – 'The least of these'
The power of One
Meet the missionary 
Maps

Mission: Haiti 2006
Haiti Dispatches
Photo Page
Jeantilhome Church 
  – What's Next? 
  – School 
  – Medical facility
A View of Haiti
Mission HIStory
“Share the Wealth” benefit

Mission: Dominican Republic 2005
DR Dispatches
“Right Where God Wanted Us”
Faces of Haiti

 

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.

 

Pray For Haiti

Building Haiti from the hills down has been Climbing For Christ's calling since 2005. Two more churches are under construction in the Chaine de la Selle mountains. Will you pray for the work God is doing through us in Haiti? Lift this desperate country and ask for healing throughout the land in the wake of last month's devastating earthquake.

Please consider supporting Mission: Haiti with a financial gift. Send your donation to Climbing For Christ, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA. We'll send you a “Pray For Haiti” bracelet to thank you for helping Haiti.

 

Saturday, Jan. 23

Missionary Miguel delivered materials purchased in Barahona, Dominican Republic, for the roofs of the churches in Thoman and Malasi. Prayers for a safe trip and delivery of these goods.

While the world now talks about “rebuilding” Haiti, Climbing For Christ continues to BUILD Haiti — one church and one school at a time. Just as we have since 2005.

Building materials for the church roofs in Thoman and Malasi.

Thursday, Jan. 21

The monthly seminary had to be postponed because of last week's earthquake and Wednesday's 6.1-magnitude aftershock. “All the pastors and (church) leaders have problems for the earthquake,” missionary Miguel said.

One of the 19 people we baptized last month in Gentilhomme died in the aftershock. "She was carrying sand with somebody (near the village cemetery) and the sand fall down over her," Miguel reported.

“One of Boss Chalisma's sons was with her and he went for help, but the help came too late.”

Miguel also said “the heart of an old person stopped in Bwapin Kouve with the new earthquake.”

Pastor Luterne from Thoman lost his house in Port-au-Prince, where many of his family members live. Port-au-Prince is the nearest high school for those in the mountains. “So all people in the country must rent a house in the city for their children or build their own house to save money,” Miguel explained. “Pastor Luterne has his own house in Port-au-Prince for his eight girls and a boy.”

In addition to all of this, three homes have been damaged in Gentilhomme.

“We have a lot of people in need of help,” Miguel said. “That is the reason by which they could not come to seminary.”

While Climbing For Christ is not raising support for the earthquake relief (we have, in fact, encouraged people to give elsewhere) there remains a great need on a daily basis for funding to support the work God is doing through us in the mountains of Haiti. Please pray for these physically poor people.

Saturday, Jan. 16

After visiting family in Thiotte, missionary Miguel stopped in Malasi and Thoman to check on the church builds. He also delivered additional school uniforms for students there who did not receive uniforms at the start of the school year.

“Both constructions are going well,” Miguel said.

While Port-au-Prince and the southwestern part of Haiti is in a state of destruction, construction continues on the Climbing For Christ churches at Malasi (top) and Thoman. The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck on Jan. 12 did not affect these mountain villages in southeastern Haiti. (Photos by Miguel Rubén Guante)

The Climbing For Christ church at Jimani, Dominican Republic is helping the injured people who are being sent from Port-au-Prince to the hospital in the border town of Jimani. “Many of these people have not families,” Miguel said. “I think this is a way we can give some alive assistance to the injured people.“

Friday, Jan. 15

Miguel was going to Thiotte, the Haitian village where he was born, to see his wife's family. Many families there have lost relatives in Port-au-Prince to the devastating earthquake on Jan. 12.

Pastor Tresin also visited Jimani to tell Miguel about people from the Climbing For Christ church at Gentilhomme who had traveled to Port-au-Prince on Tuesday and have not returned. Miguel said he will use next week's seminary to ask pastors and church leaders how many members of their flocks were lost in the earthquake. The subject of this month's seminary teaching is “The Characteristics of the True Pastor.”

Thursday, Jan. 14

An E-Update sent to members and supporters at 11 p.m. local time:

“Pray God show us where He need us to be His hand and feet,” our missionary Miguel asked on Wednesday from Haiti.

That was our prayer. It is something I have prayed many times in the wake of monstrous disasters — natural and man-made. Time and time again, God has answered with our mission statement: “Go where other missionaries cannot or will not.”

He sends us into the mountains of the world, often as the first missionaries to deliver the Good News of Jesus Christ. He sends others to serve in the cities and in the suburbs. We go to remote places, ends-of-the-earth places.

As board member Ace Concordia said from the Philippines: “He has more hands and feet than you think.”

That is why we have decided not to send anyone from Climbing For Christ to Port-au-Prince to assist with relief work in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck at 4:53 p.m. local time Tuesday.

Miguel was sent on Wednesday to the mountain villages where we are ministering to survey our people and see if there was any damage. “For them, everything's going on as any day,” Miguel reported.

We thanked God that the people of Gentilhomme, Malasi, Thoman, and the other eight villages where the Lord is using us to help spiritual and physical needs had not been affected by an earthquake that has killed tens of thousands.

“The people in Malasi are well and they don't know how much their country is destroyed,” said Miguel, who today went to Port-au-Prince to see for himself the carnage wrought by this massive quake.

We thank those Climbing For Christ members who had volunteered to join a relief team, if we sent one. We also thank the many members and supporters who have asked about helping financially.

We encourage everyone to pray for the relief work in Haiti and to give, as led, to organizations that are helping earthquake victims. But we also ask that you remember to pray for and support the work He has started through this ministry in the mountains.

Climbing For Christ's efforts in the Chaine de la Selle range in southeastern Haiti go on every day, day after day, helping people overcome the bondage of voodoo and the physical hardships they have endured for generations. Before God sent us there, help had not yet arrived.

EARTHQUAKE UPDATE (9 p.m. local time) — “I was in Port-au-Prince and Pétionville (the PaP suburb in the hills east of the city),” Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante reported. “The situation is very bad in there. Many deaths in the street. The streets are very stink. And many people in the street for they lost their houses and they have not any tent to be in.”

One of many damaged buildings in Port-au-Prince, above, photographed by missionary Miguel, who is seen below (center) handing out water.

“I delivered water and biscuits to the children and pregnant women and everybody in many parts where they have affected people,” Miguel said.

EARTHQUAKE UPDATE (4 p.m. local time) — Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante went to Port-au-Prince today. All is well in the Monte Pou Kris community. Our churches and people are enduring another day of typical life in Haiti; a hard life that is suddenly magnified by the world's realization that Haiti exists in a state of unending poverty.

Miguel could not stand by and watch his countrymen suffer. The Red Cross made its first official estimate about the loss of life today, saying 50,000 people have died. “Is too big the disaster in Haiti,” Miguel said, when requesting permission to go the front line. He left in the morning with Rev. Jesus Mosques Gonzales, who is the pastor of Sampablo Apostor Episcopal Church in Jimani and vice president of Climbing For Christ Dominican Republic.

They stopped at the health clinic in Jimani for surgical gloves and filled up the back of the truck with water to deliver to the thirsty.

“Pray God show us where He need us to be His hand and feet,” Miguel had asked on Wednesday.

That was our prayer and while the Lord is not sending Climbing For Christ from outside Hispaniola to the relief effort in Port-au-Prince, God did send Miguel and Rev. Jesus.

“Everything is well (with Climbing For Christ work in the mountains),” Miguel said after meeting with Pastor Tresin of Gentilhomme and learning that three houses were damaged.

Pastor Tresin came down the mountain from Gentilhomme to meet missionary Miguel on the road.

Pastor Luterne from the Climbing For Christ church at Thoman went to Port-au-Prince on Wednesday. “All his family lives in Port-au-Prince,” Miguel said. “Pastor is OK and his family is, too.”

Another hand-made brick in the wall: the church at Thoman (Pastor Luterne's church) continues to be built despite the destruction in Port-au-Prince.

Wednesday, Jan. 13

EARTHQUAKE UPDATE (3 p.m. local time) — It was another school day and work was continuing on the church at Malasi when our missionary, Miguel Rubén Guante, arrived there today. About 25 miles away (as the bird flies), tens of thousands may be dead and hundreds of thousands are suffering.

School in session and building continues. Praising God for the safety of these people.

Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel traveled to Malasi, a village situated in southeastern Haiti at about 6,000 feet in the Chaine de la Selle mountains. Along the way, he passed through Fond Parisien, which is on the main road between the Dominican border and Port-au-Prince. “In Fond Parisien, some people die in the sand,” he said, referring to the sand pits where workers dig out sand used for construction projects.

Sand pit in Fond Parisien.

He also stopped in Thoman, where Climbing For Christ is building another church. “I sent one of Pastor Luterne's son to Gentilhomme to bring Pastor Tresin to Soliette to give me information,” Miguel said. We are waiting to hear if Gentilhomme is like Malasi, unaffected by the worst earthquake in Haiti's long, sad history. While these mountain villages may not have been devastated the way Port-au-Prince has been, they endure suffering each day — surviving on little food and water and living well below the world's poverty line. All of Haiti needs our continued prayer as well as support.

EARTHQUAKE UPDATE (8 a.m. local time) — Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante reported from the Dominican border town of Jimani that he was able to speak with Pastor Vilcuis from our church at Malasi early this morning. “There are not many damage where he is,” Miguel said. Miguel was preparing at 7:30 a.m. to cross the border into Haiti to go to Thoman, Gentilhomme, and Malasi today. He will be checking on the people affiliated with Climbing For Christ in the mountains.

Tuesday, Jan. 12

UPDATE — There will be no real news until sunrise, when the first glimpses of the damage are viewed by those in Haiti and by those who will report on this disaster for the outside world to see. Until then, it will be a long, dark night. Much like the history of this country.

But there will be a dawn. The light will shine. “For you were once darkness,” it says in Ephesians 5:8, “but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.”

Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante will cross into Haiti from Jimani, Dominican Republic, when the border opens Wednesday morning. He has been instructed to go to Thoman, Gentilhomme and Malasi and check on the people there. Many relief workers and a great deal of aid will reach those in need in the cities. But we are the only ones caring for the people in the mountains in southeastern Haiti.

“I am ready to trip there tomorrow,” Miguel said.

It is our prayer that good will come of this bad situation; that the people of Haiti will turn to the Lord. May this earthquake provide a crushing blow to the sinister power of voodoo.

“For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
— 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

UPDATE — Reports coming out of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince at this hour (8 p.m. local time) have the presidential palace and many, many other buildings in the city collapsed. President René Garcia Préval was reported to be safe, but Radio Metropole of Port-au-Prince quoted a government official as saying there were “certainly dozens of deaths.”

A reporter for the Reuters news agency in Port-au-Prince said he saw dozens of dead and injured people in the rubble, which blocked streets in the city, according to MSNBC.

Following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake, possibly the largest quake in history to hit this region of the world, the U.S. Geological Survey reported five powerful aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from 5.9 down to 4.5.

The earthquake was felt more than 300 miles away on Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republican, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, and at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante reported feeling the earthquake in the Dominican border town of Jimani as he was visiting the wife of the pastor of our church there. Miguel had just returned from Malasi, where construction has begun on a new church.

We are waiting to hear from people living in Malasi and surrounding villages where Climbing For Christ is ministering. There is currently no communication. A missionary working in the southern coastal city of Jacmel, not far from Malasi, commented on CNN.com (via Facebook): “We watched the mountain above the orphanage split.” The so-called road that passes near Malasi goes to Jacmel.

Miguel also stopped in Soliette, at the base of the mountain on which Gentilhomme sits, to pick up Miche Fleurisme. Miche is one of three children we have evacuated from Gentilhomme for medical reasons in the past two years. Each child, including Gilbert Lindor and Sainte-Anne Paul, now live in Jimani with Miguel's family. The children had gone home for Christmas and New Year's to visit family and friends. Gilbert and Sainte-Anne returned to Jimani last week.

UPDATE — Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante reported at 7:07 p.m.:  “I'm knowing now some people died in Fond Parisien.” Fond Parisien is located on the highway that leads from the Dominican border town of Jimani to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Along the road are many open sand pits, where men dig for sand that is used in construction. Miguel believes some deaths may have occurred in these sand pits. Also, he said, “Some church fall down in Fond Parisien and a woman die.”

BREAKING NEWS: At 4:53 p.m. local time, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Climbing For Christ missionary Miguel Rubén Guante was returning from a visit to Malasi in the Chaine de la Selle range in southeastern Haiti at the time. He was in the Dominican border town of Jimani. “Here we are good,” Miguel said at 6:25 p.m., “but I can't get communication with anybody in Haiti.”

CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES.


Friday, Jan. 8

Work has begun on the church at Malasi. Here are photos taken today by our missionary Miguel Rubén Guante:

Our people prayed before beginning the three-month project.

The land has been cleared of the debris from an old house that once stood on a hill where God's house will soon stand.

CLICK HERE for more information about the church builds in Malasi and Thoman.

The Word

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
— 1 John 5:11 (NIV)

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