While most of the world is experiencing tremendous challenges due to the coronavirus, we continue to see God work in marvelous ways in both Haiti and the Mississippi Delta.
I was hungry…
Under normal conditions, many Haitians suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Now, the situation has been made worse due to both civil unrest and the coronavirus. Many Haitians go to bed hungry at night, having no idea where they will get their next meal.
However, God’s people have once again stepped up and taken His commands seriously. Jesus said, “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.” He said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
This week we have had food distributions in both Galette Chambon and Thoman. While we are not normally a give-away organization, there are times when we do just that to help suffering, hungry people. During those times, we don’t organize a committee to study the situation. We don’t conduct 8 weeks of research on the effects of malnutrition. Instead, we do as Jesus said. We feed people. We meet their most basic need. In the name of Jesus, we share the incredible blessings that God has given to us. And what a joy it is!
First Baptist Church of Meridian, MS and a wonderful couple from Madison, MS donated the funds for the food distribution in Galette Chambon. Rice, beans, and oil were distributed to 70 families. Above are the bags of rice.
Some of the containers of cooking oil
These ladies from the village will be able to feed their families
for many nights to come.
One of our leaders, Dineau, helping distribute the food and oil
The “Hands and Feet” group from Natchez, MS provided funds for the food distribution in Thoman. In the background, the people are practicing social distancing as they line up to get the rice and beans and oil. In the foreground, two ladies have already received their food and are going home.
A typical scene in Haiti as this lady leaves the Hope Center
carrying her bag of rice on her head
I am thrilled to report that we are about to break ground on another house in Thoman. The “Hands and Feet” group from Natchez, MS has provided the funds to build this house. While this group normally takes a trip to Haiti every year, they’ve decided to fund the projects they would have done had they been able to go. Even though they won’t be there physically, they will be there spiritually, emotionally, and in their hearts. Moreover, their work will not be hindered and lives will be blessed. I just love their hearts for Haiti!
This is the family that will be receiving the new house. They are a husband
and wife with six children, four of whom are in this photo. The husband i
s Wilner Louis, and he is a farmer. The wife is Louisincia Jacceise, and she
is a street vendor.
This is their current house. It is made of stones and mud with a tin roof and tin door. They will soon have a concrete block house with a real door, a porch, and a safe place to call home.
As of this writing, the new cafetorium in Thoman should be complete. We couldn’t be more thrilled with this new facility. I can’t wait to get back to Haiti for the Dedication Ceremony of this wonderful new building.
In this photo from earlier this week, the workers were finishing the “stucco” on the outside of the building. In the future, it will be painted to match the classrooms at the school.
Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic
I am excited to report that we recently received funds from a dear supporter from Pensacola, FL to build a new classroom onto our new elementary school in Galette Chambon. The plan from the beginning was to add two classrooms, one on either side of the original structure. Now, at least one of them will be ready when school starts again in September!
This is the original drawing of the school.
This photo from a drone was taken last September when we had the Grand Opening of the new school. It was a glorious day as the teachers and students marched single file into the new school!
The new classroom will be attached to the right side of the building.
Hopefully, one day we will be able to add a second new classroom
to the left side of the building.
So Much Happening in the Delta
1. Economic Development Center.The pre-engineered steel building that will become our Economic Development Center has been ordered and will be ready to build in about 6 weeks. This is a huge deal, as we will have a wonderful space to develop and house new businesses right there in Jonestown.
2. New Store.Our staff is beginning to develop a business plan for a local used furniture and appliance store which will seek gently used furniture and appliances for re-sale. The business will be located in an existing building in Jonestown and employ local people who will be able to serve the community in a very practical way.
3. After-School Program.We are planning an after-school reading development program for elementary aged school children and a youth development program to begin this fall. This time will be used to build a strong reading foundation for younger children, mentor older children, and strengthen families.
4. Dentures.After a number of months of seeing patients at our Dental Clinic, we realized the critical and costly need for dentures for many people. Recently we received a grant towards this need and began working with a local manufacturer who is discounting the cost. Soon we will be able to provide the dentures for 20-30 patients. We are blessed to be able to offer this dental service that will change the lives of some wonderful people.
5. Housing.While we move forward on plans for our first house, we have 4 other Jonestown citizens beginning the housing application process. We pray that God will make a way for us to help those approved through the process purchase a quality house with an affordable mortgage.
There have been no known cases of Covid-19 in Jonestown—please pray with us that this continues. Our MS Delta team, Pastor Bennie, Linda, Amber, youth interns, and Montessori staff are doing an exceptional job ministering to the community. We are so thankful for them, and we praise God for all He is doing!
Our Montessori School in Jonestown, MS was severely damaged when a huge storm came through the town and a tree fell on the building. Of course, we have insurance, but there is a great deal of work that will have to be done to be ready for school in August.
One of the steel beams can be seen inside the building.
Because of the devastating tornadoes in south Mississippi, most people were not aware that a powerful storm came through Jonestown that same night. In addition to the damage to our Montessori, many houses were damaged and many trees were uprooted. We sent a crew to Jonestown to help with debris removal. This the the “Before” photo.
This is the “After” photo. The clean-up crew, made up of locals and men from Madison, MS, did a great job!
As you know, all of this work takes a great deal of resources. If you are in a position to give, you can give a gift online HERE
or send a check to: But God Ministries, 404 Fontaine Place, Suite 104, Ridgeland, MS, 39157.
In addition, I ask for your prayers for wisdom and energy for our Haitian staff, our Delta staff, our American staff in Haiti and the U.S., and our Board of Directors.
Can’t Wait To See What God Does Next,