Tori & Baby Djoulissa

Tori & Baby Djoulissa

Trip Testimonials

For this week’s newsletter, I’ve asked Tori Riches to share her thoughts about recent news we received from Haiti. Marci and I have had the privilege of knowing Tori and her family since she was in 3rd grade and now Tori is a 3rd grade teacher. She has traveled with us many times to Haiti and has a big heart for kids here and there. We recently served again together in Haiti. We love how Tori loves others! Tori writes:

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"Today I am choosing to hold on to the promises of God and recognize his faithfulness in the midst of heartache and confusion.

In February, I met a tiny baby that I immediately adored. Djoulissa was passed into my arms by her 16-year-old mother, Wilene. I sought shelter from the blazing sun in a grove of trees and loved every moment I had holding this sweet baby girl. She was animated and happy, one of the healthiest babies I’ve had the privilege of meeting in Haiti. I used my minimal Creole to ask names and ages of mom and baby and then quickly sought a translator to learn more of the mother Wilene’s story. This is when I learned she was only 16-years-old, and she wanted to hand her baby off to the care of another. My heart broke for her desperation. I learned that Djoulissa’s father was in jail; that Wilene had no way of making money, and that she was renting a shack to live in down the hill. With tears in my eyes, I told Wilene how much she is loved. I told her that her sweet girl Djoulissa needed her mama. I told her that she was doing a good and hard thing, and I told her I would pray.

The desperation seemed beyond my understanding.

 A 1997 photo of a Thomassique pastor training
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And now, just a couple months later, we learned that sweet baby Djoulissa passed away after spending a week in the clinic seeking help. We learned that we have no choice but to rely on the promises of God even though none of this makes sense. We believe the Lord is close to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18) and we believe God works out all things for the good of His people (Romans 8:28). So, we rest in knowing that Djoulissa is free from all the pain and hardship this world has to offer, resting in the arms of her loving Father. We do all this while mourning a devastating loss and grieving with her mother and our other Haitian friends.

We look back to how we have seen the Lord work and have hope that He is working even in the midst of this heartache. Wilene knows that God loves her. She rebuked the power of voodoo by taking her baby girl to a clinic instead of the voodoo priest. Wilene’s father has given his life to the Lord, repenting of his past and seeking to live a new life devoted to God.

God is at work, and He is faithful.

We share this story with you to ask you to pray. Pray for the people of Haiti who face hardship every single day. Pray for Wilene as her heart breaks for her baby girl, taken too soon. Pray for Wilene who is several months pregnant again, still so young and desperate."

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Thanks to Tori for sharing this story. Please do pray for Wilene, her pregnancy and her new baby. Pray for Wilene’s father and for the father of Wilene’s new baby. There are so many questions. So many things we cannot understand. This 16-year-old young woman represents hundreds of thousands of other young girls in Haiti and millions around the world - children having babies and living in desperate situations.

 

Thank you for joining us in praying, “… may Your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.” - Psalm 79:8b


Blake LaMunyon
Founder & Director

blamunyon@hoperisinghaiti.org
303-887-1424
www.hoperisinghaiti.org
 

 

To donate for the first time or increase your support visit HopeRisingHaiti.org/donate or click below.

The Patient Pastor in Passe Pomme

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In January 2018, our work team stopped in Passe Pomme to pick up Pastor Colomb and take him with us to the LaSeve church’s dedication service. As we bumped along the road we talked (through Pastor’s Yves’ interpretation) about his church in Passe Pomme and their need for a new building.

It struck me during that long drive how much joy Pastor Colomb had for the church in LaSave – even though he has been waiting so long for a church building for his own congregation.

I have known Pastor Colomb Juste from Passe Pomme for many years. He attended the first pastor training I taught nearly 20 years ago. In 2003 Pastor Colomb started the church in Passe Pomme. God has used him, his wife Veronique and their nine children to bless Passe Pomme, by growing their church to an average of 150 people each Sunday.

Their church is also a blessing to the community during the week as the building transforms into a school with many growing children. Their building gets used heavily, with students during the week and families coming on Sundays.

 A 1997 photo of a Thomassique pastor training

In January 2016, we decided to commit to build a new church building for Pastor Colomb and the people in Passe Pomme. However, for a number of reasons - the rainy season, the hurricane recovery in Ill-a-Vache, the new churches in both LaSeve and Colora - we have not be able to build this new church yet.

But now, the time has come.

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We have begun by sending the drill truck to drill a water well in Pass Pomme and are now deeply committed to this project.

I recently saw Pastor Colomb, in February. We sat together on the platform in the front of the church in Colora during the building dedication. Once again, he was so happy for the Church in Colora to receive their new building he didn’t even mention the need for his own church.

Incredible patience!

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Pastor Colomb has been watching other churches blessed with new buildings while he and his church are patiently waiting. All I can do is tell this story and share their need with our dedicated supporters and prayer warriors.

We are trusting God to build this church and it is an honor to partner with these faithful brothers and sisters. Please join me in praying for the church in Passe Pomme, Pastor Colomb, his family, and for the $55,000 we need to build this church.


Blake LaMunyon
Founder & Director

blamunyon@hoperisinghaiti.org
303-887-1424
www.hoperisinghaiti.org
 

 

To donate for the first time or increase your support visit HopeRisingHaiti.org/donate or click below.

A Blessing in Return and Lives Changed

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Willeme lives close to All God’s Children Orphanage, with his wife, Beatrice and their two children – a son and a daughter. Their home is very humble. A few sticks hold up whatever metal Willeme has been able to find for a roof. The walls are made of sticks, mud and a few tarps.

One evening while spending time with Willeme’s family, we were caught inside their home during a heavy rain storm. There was hardly room for the four of them and me - we could not even sit as we waited out the rain. There was no interpreter, so we didn’t talk.

 

 A 1997 photo of a Thomassique pastor training
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Willeme and I simply worked together to try and redirect the water that was running across the dirt floor creating a thick river of mud. And it was dark! No electricity. No candle. Just the fading light of my flashlight that was nearly out of battery.

Once the rain let up a little bit, Willeme walked me back to the orphanage team center where there was a tile floor. I was dry. I had electricity and running water. I took a shower and went to bed. But as it rained throughout the night I kept thinking of Willeme and his family trying to stay dry along with so many thousands of others just like them who are in desperate need of housing.

What Makes Willeme Different

Willeme is not like many of the other Haitian men who join in on our work during our trips. Most Haitians who want to “help” us during our work trips are looking to get paid for their labor. I certainly don’t hold this against them; and we happily pay many of them for their hard work.

Willeme, however, has been helping us for the past 5 years – building benches, pouring concrete, removing and replacing roofs, making miscellaneous repairs, building houses, and serving in many different roles. But Willeme never asks for any pay.

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Willeme has served in multiple roles in the GVCM church and serves at the orphanage. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Willeme and his family. He has become a good friend. He is someone I count on. He looks out for our teams and truly cares about us. And we care about him and his family.

A New Home!

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Now, we need your help to cross the finish line. If you are interested in joining our team to remodel these bathrooms – please reach out to me. A trip is being organized and planned for later this year and you could be a vital part of the success of this mission.

We also, still need to raise the final $30,000 for this project. Please consider donating to see these children receive decent bathroom facilities. And just as importantly, please join me in spreading the word and praying.

Thank you for your partnership as we serve one another in love.


Blake LaMunyon
Founder & Director

blamunyon@hoperisinghaiti.org
303-887-1424
www.hoperisinghaiti.org
 

 

To donate for the first time or increase your support visit HopeRisingHaiti.org/donate or click below.

Orphanage Bathroom Remodel Project Status

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Home maintenance is something we all have to deal with here in the States. But, when you have 140 orphaned children all using the same set of bathrooms for over 12 years – repairs and upgrades are very needed. The bathrooms at All God’s Children Orphanage need more than simple repairs and maintenance – they are in need of a complete remodel. These facilities get very heavy use.

 A 1997 photo of a Thomassique pastor training
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Each time I travel to the orphanage, I make it a point to go see the bathrooms – just to remind myself of the daily routine these children and staff at GVCM are subjected to. I love the kids and the staff at GVCM – they need decent bathroom facilities. We want to improve the facilities for all the kids and staff – but we especially want to improve the bathroom facilities for the woman and teenage girls. One toilet that only works intermittently is not acceptable.

But, there is hope - we can change this.

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Here is what has been accomplished so far with the help and generosity of so many people:

  • Over Half the Money Needed has Already Been Raised
  • A Committed Team is in place to Travel to the Orphanage & Make Repairs

Plans are underway to:

  • Build a New Water Tank
  • Update & Replace Plumbing for the Sinks, Toilets & Showers
  • Upgrade & Expand Toilets
  • Remodel & Reconfigure the Showers
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Now, we need your help to cross the finish line. If you are interested in joining our team to remodel these bathrooms – please reach out to me. A trip is being organized and planned for later this year and you could be a vital part of the success of this mission.

We also, still need to raise the final $30,000 for this project. Please consider donating to see these children receive decent bathroom facilities. And just as importantly, please join me in spreading the word and praying.

Thank you for your partnership as we serve one another in love.

 

To donate for the first time or increase your support visit HopeRisingHaiti.org/donate or click below.

Party to Celebrate Children with Special Needs in Thomassique

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 A 1997 photo of a Thomassique pastor training
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Valor Christian High School students traveled to the remote village of Thomassique, Haiti to throw a party in honor of handicapped and special needs children. Often those who have mental or health problems can be shunned and overlooked in a country like Haiti. Or, worse yet they can even be thought of as a punishment sent from God.

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As the guests of honor, we threw this party for the children and parents, to celebrate them and the parents who love them and care for them. Many parents brought their children from miles away to attend this unique and powerful party.

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We also got to pray over the children encouraging the parents and affirming of the beautiful job they are doing, taking care of these precious children. After, they were given a opportunity for clothes and shoes for their whole family. The students then washed the feet of the mothers to serve them, as they tirelessly serve their children.

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The celebration continued with a dance party! Everyone was dancing and smiling and joy filled the room as the Haitian children were twirled and carried and bounced to the beat of the music. As the evening ended there was laughter, hugs and smiles as we said goodbye. May the joy of the Lord be their strength each day until we meet again.

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 This is one of our special guests Gelina and her grandmother Nayla. Gelina was given a donkey last year to help her travel. We were overjoyed to see her riding the donkey to the party! Read more about Gelina and Nayla’s story in  our post  from September 28, 2017.

This is one of our special guests Gelina and her grandmother Nayla. Gelina was given a donkey last year to help her travel. We were overjoyed to see her riding the donkey to the party! Read more about Gelina and Nayla’s story in our post from September 28, 2017.

 

To donate for the first time or increase your support visit HopeRisingHaiti.org/donate or click below.

Colora Church Dedication

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My first introduction to pastor Remy was nearly 20 years ago at my first pastor training in Haiti. It is our great honor to partner with such a good man, and close friend. We thank God for the Church in Colora and for Pastor Remy.

When our team was in Colora, this past January 2018, to build church benches – we witnessed the people of the church visiting the construction site to pray over the church as it was being built. This was a picture of Pastor Remy’s leadership and dedication to Christ and His Kingdom.

 
 A 1997 photo of a Thomassique pastor training

Our blog post from last September shared about the start of the construction on the new church building in Colora. After a six month pause in construction, and praying for God’s provision to complete the project – we are now so very grateful to share that the construction is complete!

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On February 18th, 2018 our team of 18 had the privilege of being a part of the dedication service for the new church building in Colora. There was such tangible joy in the congregation and it was an awesome day of worship and celebration. A number of area choirs joined with us in the day of worship and dedication.

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During that memorable dedication service I had the privilege of sharing from Matthew 5:14-15 which says, “You are the light of the world. A city on the hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on it’s stand, and it gives light to everyone.” John chapters 8 and 9 tell us that Jesus is the Light of the world. Matthew 5:14 says that you and I are the light of the world. I love the emphasis on the word everyone! Light is for everyone! Jesus is for everyone! How great would it be if that was said of each one of us? She gives light to everyone! He gives light to everyone! She gives Jesus to everyone! He gives Jesus to everyone.

And that is our prayer for the people in the church at Colora!

 

To donate for the first time or increase your support visit HopeRisingHaiti.org/donate or click below.

New Home for Miguelange

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In February, our team of 18 had the privilege of serving Miguelange by painting her new home and helping her move in. Thanks to the generosity of Hope Rising donors, Miguelange and her six children have a much safer place to live. Unfortunately, in the past, she had been robbed and taken advantage of. We are hoping and praying this new home will protect Miguelange and her family, as well as provide them with hope and dignity.

 A 1997 photo of a Thomassique pastor training
 As well as the new church that was built for these wonderful believers.
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Our team had the opportunity to plant fruit trees around her house to provide both shade and food for many future years. We traveled to the market to purchase a kitchen table and chairs and mattresses for the bedrooms.

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We also purchased beans and rice, as well as a chicken for protein. As you can see from the photo – Kimberly is quite happy about having her own chicken!

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Miguelange’s oldest son, Peter recently moved into All God’s Children’s Orphanage. We are extremely proud of Peter and the leadership and love he has shown to help coordinate and arrange the construction of this new home for his family. It is encouraging to watch Peter grow into a responsible young man – something Haiti certainly needs.

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Please join us in continuing to pray for Miguelange and her family and thank you for your steadfast partnership!


Blake LaMunyon
Founder & Director

blamunyon@hoperisinghaiti.org
303-887-1424
www.hoperisinghaiti.org

 



To donate for the first time or increase your support visit HopeRisingHaiti.org/donate or click below.