Mission: Haiti 2011
Mission Moments (July-December)
Sharing news from the mission field...
By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ
Photos by Miguel Rubén Guante unless otherwise noted
Sunday, Dec. 25
Jimani's church celebrated our Savior's birthday today with 69 people. The CHRISTmas message was “thanksgiving.”
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” — Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
“Immediately, (after) the man fall, God gave them the promise of a Savior,” missionary Miguel Rubén Guante said. “About 800 years before Christ, He gave the name and instruction over the Savior (through the prophet Isaiah).
In Romans 7:24-25, “Paul asked who may set me free of this body of death. The answer is Jesus.”
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” — Romans 7:24-25 (NIV)
We rejoice in and with those who gathered for this worship and for the 77 believers — including three of the four who recently gave their hearts to Jesus — at the church at Thoman. We did not receive a report on the number in worship in Gentilhomme and Malasi.
Saturday, Dec. 24
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
— Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
The church at Jimani — a Dominican border town where our missionary Miguel Rubén Guante lives in a Haitian community — met for four hours of worship on CHRISTmas eve to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Sunday, Dec. 18
Worship at the church at Thoman.
The pastors' monthly seminary could not be done on Friday as missionary Miguel had planned because there were not enough pastors and church leaders in Thoman at the time. The seminary was held on Saturday instead. Miguel tested those who attended on the topics of previous seminaries this year. “There were 48 questions. We worked with three groups and each one got 45 good answers,” Miguel said.
Those in the seminary then put theory into practice. “The activity to fisher a soul for Christ got four souls as a gift for Christ,” Miguel said. “We felt well because we made the activity to call the unbelievers. But the One who make the effective call is God.”
Three of the four new believers in Thoman.
Friday, Nov. 18
Miguel testing children in Jimani, DR.
Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante visited the Haitian school in the Dominican border town of Jimani, where he lives, to observe the teachers he’s been training and to test the children. “The children are going well,” he said.
“It is sad we have not money to cover my trips to see the classes (in Gentilhomme, Malasi and Thoman, Haiti) with the regularity that is needed. Knowing that our teachers are not well prepared in their education, we should be near them more to see their needs and help them.”
Despite the challenges — from a lack of adequately trained teachers to a shortage of supplies — Miguel says it will be “a fruitful school year.” He expects 80 percent of the 270 children in the four schools to pass this year and move up to the next grade.
The fact that there are any schools for these children to attend is a mighty work by the Lord. Before Climbing For Christ visited the Chaine de la Selle mountains these children had nowhere to go to school.
Sunday, Nov. 13
The Haitian church in the Dominican border town of Jimani had 86 people worship today. This body of believers gathered on the building site of the Monte Pou Kris church to “pray and ask God to remember them,” said missionary Miguel Rubén Guante, who lives in Jimani.
Miguel reported that 139 people worshipped in Malasi, plus another 30 brothers and sisters in Christ from another church who were visiting. Thoman had 65 people in worship. That means, “we had a total of 320 people worshipping,” Miguel said.
Sunday, Nov. 6
Singing to Christ joyfully in Thoman.
Miguel visited the church at Thoman as a follow-up to the October seminary. He is beginning to encourage believers “to share with the peoples of Thoman the love of Christ and to make a call to them to search (for) Christ and run far away the hell. As Jesus said in Mathew 4:19, we will catch souls for Jesus as a gift for Him on His birthday.”
When our missionary to Haiti arrived in Thoman, Pastor Luterne was not there. “But the people were very happy with my visit and the reason for it,” Miguel said. “They agree to become fishers of souls for Christ.”
One of the Thoman church leaders, Sentulme, preached about hell (photo above). He focused on Matthew 10:26-34. “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven,” Jesus says in Matthew 10:32-33. “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
Monday, Oct. 31
Seminary meeting in Thoman.
Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante presented a teaching on hell to nine pastors and eight church leaders attending our monthly seminary Saturday in Thoman. The lesson was written by Climbing For Christ spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley, who is based in Rochester, NY, USA. Jordan has been on two missions to Haiti, including this year’s Evangelic Expedition shortly after he joined C4C’s staff.
“I think that Hell is a topic that is not taught enough in most churches,” Jordan said. “The Church needs to know what we have been saved from, and what we are called to help save others from!”
Miguel thought the teaching was “so good and (an) extraordinary instruction for pastors and leaders” that he asked to split this topic between October and November. In December, the instruction will be on heaven.
Pastors were to preach about hell in their churches after attending the seminary – “to make sure they are calling the people to choose the good way and avoid the hell,” Miguel said.
On Sunday, Malasi reported having 112 people in worship, while Jimani had 86 people gather and Thoman had 75.
“The (seminary) subject was very good, but not too many people,” said Miguel, who blamed poor attendance on cholera outbreaks in some areas.
A cholera outbreak began in Haiti in October 2010 and was blamed on the January 2010 earthquake. Cholera had not been documented in Haiti for decades before that. The original outbreak was confined to Port-au-Prince, but has since been spreading to rural areas. People become infected by ingesting contaminated food or water.
“From Gentilhomme to Foret des Pins and Gwo Cheval many people die,” Miguel reported on Oct. 14. “The Gentilhomme church had 11 people in the hospital.”
In addition to dealing with ongoing physical health crisis and trying to improve training for pastors and church leaders in the monthly seminary, Climbing For Christ continues to provide school supplies. More supplies were delivered to Thoman on Saturday.
Crayons, chalk, and paper were among supplies provided to teachers and students.
Wednesday, Oct. 19
Students in Malasi — many dressed in uniforms that have worn well for three years.
Missionary Miguel visited Malasi, hiking about three miles from Piret to visit the Monte Pou Kris church and school. “There everything is going well,” he said. “The church, the people, and the school. Today, there were 53 children in two classes.
“Something very good there is 28 children still using their uniforms (from three years ago). That show how the people give importance to the uniforms. They are in good condition.”
Climbing For Christ has not had funding the past two school years to purchase new uniforms for all the students.
Before going to Malasi, Miguel traveled to Port-au-Prince, where he purchased some school supplies — “notebooks that have double lines to guide the children to do their best writing.” He will purchase the remainder of the supplies for teachers and students in Barahona, Dominican Republic. Those will be delivered soon to the teachers in Gentilhomme and in Thoman.
Friday, Oct. 14
The first week of school ended in the Monte Pou Kris schools in Gentilhomme, Malasi and Thoman. Eighty-two students were in attendance (25 in Gentilhomme, 27 in Malasi and 30 in Thoman). “The low attendance is caused by families (who) could not purchase (supplies) for the children,” missionary Miguel said. “As we had not the basics — chalk, notebooks, pencils — many children came once or twice, but the teachers only talk talk. I promised Milus (our schools' supervisor) to get some boxes of chalk for him tomorrow.”
Boxes of chalk. Just those three words sound pitiful.
Thankfully, today we were able to wire the needed US$801.88 so school supplies can be provided for the teachers and the students in each of the schools. Prayerfully more students will now return to school.
Six donations totaling US$725.26 came as a result of prayer and our appeal to Climbing For Christ members and supporters worldwide. We still need more funding to pay for these supplies and to pay our eight teachers their monthly salary (US$100 each). Please consider giving.
Monday, Oct. 10
The school year, delayed by a lack of funding, began at Climbing For Christ’s schools in Haiti last Monday, Oct. 3.
The new year started where the last school year ended: in a state of need.
“We have not nothing — from chalk to notebooks,” said Miguel Rubén Guante, Climbing For Christ’s missionary to Haiti.
The needs are basic and simple, and not extraordinarily expensive. For instance, chalk for eight teachers in the four Monte Pou Kris (Climbing For Christ) schools costs US$36. The total need for teacher materials is $209.40.
There are 100 students divided into three classes at the Monte Pou Kris school in Thoman. These are two of the classes, photographed in February during Mission: Haiti 2011. (Photos by Gary Fallesen)
Currently, there are 270 children in the Climbing For Christ schools. Most of them would not be receiving an education without our presence in Gentilhomme, Malasi, Thoman, and in the Haitian community in the Dominican border town of Jimani.
To provide each student with two notebooks, pencils, a sharpener, erasers, and crayons costs US$2.19. That adds up to US$592.48 for materials for all of the schoolchildren.
We need US$801.88 to provide basic supplies for our teachers and students. This does not seem like a lot, but with a monthly budget of US$2,765 any extras are hard for us to come by.
Would you consider helping the work being accomplished by Mission: Haiti? Send your gift to Climbing For Christ at P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA or CLICK HERE and make your donation via PayPal.
Education is a priority for Climbing For Christ in Haiti. We know that to break the generational grip that voodoo has on the people there we must teach them right from wrong. Our schools are Bible based. “Train up a child in the way he should go,” it says in Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV), “and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Teacher training in Thoman on Sept. 7.
In late August, the teachers began calling on Miguel to find out the plan for the coming school year. We had struggled to provide US$100 a month for each of our eight teachers last school year and Miguel did not want to start the 2011-2012 academic calendar if we could not pay the teachers.
Third grade in Jimani.
School did open in Jimani on Sept. 6. There are 50 children divided into three classes.
On Sept. 7, Miguel traveled to Thoman to meet with the eight teachers. He covered the objectives of education and many other topics put together for Monte Pou Kris by Mission: Haiti 2007 team member Nick Stevens of Fort Collins, CO, USA.
We feel what Miguel is teaching the teachers is very, very good, and covers a great deal of information. We told Miguel he may want to return to what he has taught again the next time, just to be sure it is understood. Repetition is good — with teachers, with pastors and church leaders, and with school children and members of the church. Especially when we are fighting an enemy who uses deception, lies, and confusion to keep people off the narrow path to God.
Miguel has been waiting for funding to provide supplies to revisit the teachers in Haiti. He had said, “I shall visit the villages to meet with the (families) to encourage them to send the children to school and to keep them in school. The people always are waiting for our help in the beginning of the classes. For the teachers we have not any materials, like chalk, notebooks, etc.”
It is our prayer that this appeal will be answered and God will provide through His people to give teachers and students what is needed for this school year.