Sustainability in Haiti…
Our goal from the start of BGM was to build sustainable communities in Haiti. Part of sustainability is having local people lead the ministries in which we are involved. When our last Americans left Haiti due to the violent gang activity in October of 2019, we were forced to ask ourselves, “Did we make progress towards our goal of sustainability?” The answer turned out be a resounding, “Yes!”
In both of our locations in Haiti (Galette Chambon and Thoman), we have Haitians leading our ministries. Our Haitian doctors and nurses lead our medical clinics. Our Haitian administrators, principals, and teachers lead our schools. Our Haitian pastors lead our churches. Our Haitian contractors lead the construction efforts of our building projects such as houses and schools. Our Haitian Community Leaders lead our food distributions, goat programs, business development, and all the other ministries we have.
Of course, we are in almost daily contact with our Haitian staff via email, text, WhatsApp, Facebook, and telephone calls. We are continuously planning, providing, encouraging, and equipping our Haitian staff to be as successful as possible. Under very challenging circumstances, our Haitian team is doing a super job and our ministries have continued to make a huge difference in the lives of thousands and thousands of desperately poor people.
Houses in Haiti
We have recently completed the construction of two new houses in Haiti, and we are currently building two more houses, all in the village of Galette Chambon. For many years, houses have cost $5,885 to build. However, prices for materials have soared and the new cost is $6,465.
One of the houses we recently built was for the Haitian family pictured above. The house was provided by a ladies Lifegroup at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, MS. The family consists of the grandmother, her two daughters, and four grandchildren. The grandfather died six years ago, and the father died two years ago leaving the family with no source of income. They boiled leaves to eat when they couldn’t get food from their garden or from neighbors. When storms would come, everything they owned would get wet. They slept on dirt floors and would wake up in mud when it rained during the night. They were unable to keep food in the house like dried beans or corn meal because the rats would get it. It was a very miserable situation. But now they are so thankful God has heard their prayers and a group of Christians have provided a safe and solid home for their family.
One of the houses we are currently building is for the Joseph family that is pictured above standing in front of their dirt hut with thatched roof. There are five people living there: mom, dad, and two children pictured above. Another son is not in the photo. The dad works in construction sifting sand when he can find work. The mom sometimes cooks marinade and sells it on the side of the road. Their income is very unstable which makes it difficult to feed their family. But now their new house is under construction and will be ready for them to move into in a matter of days!
The other house we are currently building is for the family pictured above. They live in a mud wall house near property where the father has worked as a share cropper for many years. In addition to the husband and wife, there are four children. Their new house should be completed in a matter of days!
Medical Care in Haiti
We continue providing medical care to thousands of Haitians every year. One of our goals with our clinics is to provide the best medical care that we possibly can. To achieve this goal, we are evaluating all four of our clinics (GC clinic, GC mobile malnutrition clinic, Thoman clinic, Thoman mobile clinic).
We have identified a doctor who will spend three days in GC evaluating all clinic procedures and then three days in Thoman evaluating all clinic procedures. He will stay at the Hope Centers when he is doing his evaluations. He will then give us a written evaluation telling what he thinks we are doing well and ways that we can improve.
In our desire to offer the best medical care we can, we want to bring uniformity to our four clinics. This includes:
- Purchasing medicine for all four clinics from the same place so we can buy in bulk and get better prices
- Developing protocols that all four clinics will use for treating certain diseases or other medical problems; all four clinics will be treating patients in similar ways
- Developing protocols that all three clinics will use for giving medicine to patients
We will also hire one Haitian medical director that will give oversight and leadership to all four medical clinics. He will travel regularly between GC and Thoman.
Houses in the Delta
Like Haiti, we also have a housing program in the Mississippi Delta town of Jonestown. However, in the United States, we do not give houses away. Instead we have a three-fold process for helping families acquire good and affordable housing:
- Help lower the cost of a new house through donated labor and donated materials
- Connect potential homeowners with a local bank to determine if they qualify for an affordable mortgage
- Facilitate the construction of the new house
I am thrilled to report that we have completed construction of our first house in Jonestown. We had the ribbon cutting ceremony this past Friday and it was a wonderful time of celebration.
A widow and her four children have moved into their new home. The mom works for a local company and is thrilled to be able to acquire a brand new house for her family.
Many individuals, churches, and companies dontated labor and materials to make the dream of this house become reality. We are so thankful to everyone who participated!
Changing of the Guard
Many of our supporters know Julie Humphreys, our long-time Director of Accounting. After doing a super job for BGM for six years, Julie has taken a non-accounting job with a different company.
We are happy to announce that Amy Hall has accepted the role of Director of Accounting for BGM. Amy is married and has four grown children. She and her husband live in Madison, MS and are both graduates of the University of Alabama. They have been active for many years at their church in Ridgeland, MS. Amy’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, 118 Homestead Drive, Suite D, Madison, MS, 39110.