Entries in Haiti (43)
Each week, we set aside time as a staff to pray through prayer requests we’ve received from you and our partners overseas. It is so important to support those who work directly with your sponsored child.
Here are some of the requests we've been praying for this week and into the next:
ETHIOPIA: The cost of living in Ethiopia continues to rise, putting strain on the parents of children registered in our programs as well as project staff. Our Ethiopian staff has such a huge heart for the children, but they are burdened by their own needs as well. Please pray with us for provision and that our staff can find favor at home, in the marketplace, and in their communities to help them make the most of their resources.
Also, a mission trip with radio listeners from The House FM in Oklahoma and WCLN in North Carolina will leave for Ethiopia on September 13. They will help build a restroom and shower facility at one of the projects to address pressing public sanitation and health issues. They’re also going to do Vacation Bible School with the kids. It’s going to be a powerful trip, please pray with us that God will do much in them and through them.
KENYA: A Women’s Circle of Caring team is also leaving on September 13th for their final trip to the Emarti Maasai people. They have many projects and programs for the children and their mothers. A special message will be given – please pray for open ears and hearts.
CAMBODIA: A serious and mysterious illness is striking children in Cambodia; several children have died but the cause of this sickness has yet to be determined. We praise God that none of the children in our programs have fallen ill, but we must continue to pray protection over them and for the staff as they stay vigilant. Please also pray that the government and health care workers can find the cause of this to address it before more children are sickened or lost to this disease.
HAITI: Our staff asks for prayers for the parents to stay involved in the development of their children. As parents come to understand the benefit and value of the program, the children attend more consistently.
ZIMBABWE: So many communities need help. Please pray for discernment for the country staff and that God continues to raise up sponsors who can help them minister in powerful ways.
HONDURAS: Gangs are very active in several of the communities we serve. Please pray for the safety of our staff and that children in our programs find sanctuary at the centers. Siblings and parents can also use prayer that they stay out of reach of the gangs and provide positive, stable role models for the kids.
Thank you, as always, for joining us in prayer for the sake of the kids.
Many of us are watching the news as Tropical Storm strengthens into a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. We are thankful to report that aside from heavy rains, our programs in Haiti are okay.
Please pray with us as a team from LifeWater International is in Haiti to evaluate water sources and determine the best places for possible water wells. Please pray that any flooding recedes quickly so the assessments can move forward.
We are also praying for our many friends and ministry partners in Louisiana and Mississippi.
We have seen how our God can still storms and even turn them around. We are standing with you in prayer!
One of the things we love most about our partners in ministry is their commitment to the children.We write often about Dr. Beyda. His leadership of Mission of Mercy's medical component (Medical Mercy) is inspiring and challenging.
Right now Dr. Beyda is traveling to our projects in Latin America to check on the health programs and staff he has trained. That's why we praise God for His work through Medical Mercy; it is not a one-time mission trip. It means establishing and continuing sustainable health care for the kids who need it most.
This is how he explained the purpose of the trip:
Three countries, 5 cities, 10 days. That's Honduras, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. I'll be going to several of our projects in each of the countries to see how we're doing with our medical care.
We've been to each of those countries, bringing medical teams and teaching, and now I'm going to find out how sustainable our medical care is. It's all about what we leave behind.
If we've done our job well, we've left behind an infrastructure of health care that is supporting the growth and development of the children. I'll be going to the projects, looking at the children, talking with the project leaders, the teachers, the cooks, local health care professionals, and yes, even the children. It's a time to fix what needs fixing, and applaud that which is going well. I'm looking forward to clapping long and hard and perhaps even giving a standing ovation. We'll just have to wait and see.
So what did Dr. Beyda find on his first stop?
There is nothing better than being surprised and happy about it. Honduras has 3000 Mission of Mercy children in over 20 projects, many of them in Tegucigalpa, some in the north at La Ceiba and some in the south near Choluteca.
How do you ensure that those 3000 children get health care, all of the time, consistently, completely and without question? You have doctors like Victoria and Francisco with the help of Mae-Ling and her husband to take care of the Mission of Mercy children. 24 hours a day.
Really. 24 hours a day.
Victoria and Francisco, two recent graduates from medical school in Honduras, had a place in their heart to serve the underserved, to give and expect nothing and to be there for all who came to them. Through a series of events and some divine intervention, Mission of Mercy came upon these two noble physicians and they found us, and the relationship was born.
For several years now, Victoria and Francisco have served all of the projects, visiting all of them and all of the children multiple times a year, established a nutritional supplementation program, a 24-hour call center, an ambulance, a central clinic base, and a mobile clinic program, twice yearly physical exams for all the Mission of Mercy children, and much more.
I spent two days with them, traveled to 4 of the projects, saw what they had accomplished, and stood up and applauded. Standing ovation!! These two young physicians found a place to serve, to give and to fulfill their vision. The children of Mission of Mercy are better for it.
As the team walked through the community, they were immediately smitten with the beautiful children with their deep eyes and yet horrified by their living conditions. One team member wrote,
"…what we saw should never be. No one should have to live in the filth that we saw. No child should have to play in the garbage. But then again, the children we saw had smiles on their faces as they played barefoot in piles of garbage. Maybe they know something about life that I don't know. I'd sure like to find out."
The children they saw. Children like the young boy, standing in what most would consider a dump, in his ironic and immaculate “Preserve the Future” shirt.
Because of the two-year anniversary of the massive earthquake in Haiti, today is a day of reflection in Haiti. It is a day of mourning, of remembrance. For others, it is a day of examination – have we helped? Have we made a difference for this country?
It is far too easy to get lost in analysis. So instead of focusing on our own efforts and their impact, we want to focus on the children. Like the young boy who paused during his day to let some visitors take his photograph.
Or these children with the beatific smiles as they are first enrolled in a Mission of Mercy program.
Or those who pray and sing to God before class, or those who eagerly make their way to school.
Much can be written of Haiti, of its continued status as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” a phrase that Haitian-born journalist Joel Dreyfuss considers a cage of words – “a box, a metaphorical prison” – that lends little to true understanding other than emphasizing the numerous tragedies and challenges it faces.
Instead, we will continue our work with the children of Haiti. We will continue to pray for dignity, for creative solutions to issues and continued growth in our partnering faith communities. We will pray for these children to find their identity as a child of God and not as a resident of a nation with a reputation.
And we will pray that we can have God’s eyes and ears and heart for this country. And we will claim the promise of our faith – we are new creations, the old has passed away, behold, new has come – for the children of Haiti, today and every day.
Your sponsored child may live halfway around the world, but you have more in common than you think in terms of Christmas traditions... especially food! We even included some recipes if you'd like to try something different this year!
In the coming weeks you should receive a Christmas card from your sponsored child, and on it will be Christmas wishes in their own hand. We love this time of year because you can see the anticipation of Christmas in the children's heartfelt wishes.
But very few of the children in our programs speak English -- so what do their Christmas wishes look like?
In most of the countries in which we work, the language spoken does not use a Latin or Roman alphabet such as what we use in English or what many of the countries in Africa or Central America use above.
Yet the result is just as beautiful. Several countries, such as the Philippines and India, have regions that use different languages or dialects, which are represented below.
And then there's the Middle East, where Christ and the Christmas season was born. What wonderful wishes!
It's a bit early to wish you a Merry Christmas, but we can't help getting in the spirit!
This may not make a typical Thanksgiving list, but that's no reason not to be grateful for the way you've helped us improve the lives of children!
Although Irene had been upgraded to a category two hurricane, the storm's path took it north of the coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Many Mission of Mercy projects are located in this northern region and closed temporarily to allow families to ride out the storm together.
Our prayers for the communities' safety were answered! The staff is still checking with families and community members, but it appears that no major damage occurred.
If you sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic or Haiti, please note that we will only contact you if we are notified that your sponsored child has been affected.
In the event of natural disasters or disease outbreaks, Mission of Mercy relies on our Children's Crisis Fund to respond. To ensure we continue to have has the funds available to help the children and their families in times of hardship, please consider a donation to the Children's Crisis Fund. To read how the Children's Crisis Fund met needs in the past, click here.
Thank you for your continued prayers!
We anxiously watched as Tropical Storm Emily approached the Dominican Republic and Haiti. And we are praised God as this storm weakened to Tropical Wave, which is weaker than its previous category of Tropical Depression.
Those praises continue as our field staff reported no damage. Some rain fell in the northern parts of the DR and Haiti, but not enough to cause concern. We thank God that our projects can continue to operate normally as they minister to the children and the community.
The mission team in Honduras wrapped up their projects in Choluteca and Tegucigalpa and safely returned to the U.S. God has surely knit their hearts together, so we can continue to pray that they can hear God clearly and have the time and space to seek God's face about all they saw, felt, and heard in Honduras.
Have you ever wondered what your sponsored child's home looks like? If you're the curious type, you'll enjoy this week as we travel around to each of the countries where Mission of Mercy works and show you the types of houses your sponsored children call home.
The needs of Haiti may seem overwhelming, but we are strengthened when we see how God has worked through you and your prayers. Click the link below to get a better idea of all that we've done in Haiti, and don't miss the video message from Haiti at the end!
As the Medical Mercy team wraps up its final days in Haiti, we look at the program as a whole. Did you know that Medical Mercy provides more than health clinics?
Can you fill in the blank? Dr. Beyda has an answer and so do we.
Find the answer in this latest post and listen to a brief audio clip from Dr. Beyda on what happens in our clinics in Haiti!
In the past year, Medical Mercy has traveled to Haiti several times. Yet the roots of our response to Haiti's challenges, especially the cholera epidemic, go back much farther than that. How does an experience from more than 30 years ago inform our ministry today?
A human touch breaks down walls. Can your letters do that, too? More reflections from Jack's trip to Haiti, and more encouragement for us as sponsors.
For Edmond, the difference between life and death cost less than a dollar. Read what happened when a sponsored child contracted cholera, and how even a small gift can make the biggest difference.
Dr. Beyda gives us another update as he wraps up his emergency assessment trip in Haiti. What does he see when he steps outside our projects? Are all our efforts making a difference?
Standing in the midst of a cholera treatment center, we received some unexpected encouragement from Doctors Without Borders today...
Jack sends us another dispatch from northern Haiti, where cholera continues to spread. Yet now, thanks to the time he spent in a little community south of Limbe, cholera has a face.