In May 2010, four months after the devastating quake that shook the ground in Haiti, and the hearts and lives of the Haitian people, I spent a day with five Haitian pastors along with Jacob Vanhorn and Scott Wade. Our objective was simple: we wanted to listen, say little, and learn.
As we listened to these five pastors, our hearts were broken. One pastor was quiet and did not say much. Actually, he seemed timid. I would soon find out that he was not timid, just cautious.
He’s been hurt too much. He’s been promised too much. He can’t bare any more pain.
I asked him a question. Something like this: “How can we help you?” His response: “Don’t meet me and then leave me. Don’t promise me friendship and help, and then disappear. We need help now more than ever. Our people are hurting, our lives are broken…we need friendship and partnership.”
Don’t break your promise, don’t meet me and disappear…
His words shot through our hearts like a dagger.
After the meeting was over, we committed to spend that afternoon with Pastor Gaetan. We wanted to prove to him that we would journey with him. If we committed, we would do it — with God’s help!
We visited his property in Petionville, Haiti. We heard his story, the 14 or so funerals he did after the earthquake…we met the 30 orphans he took in, we stood over his brothers grave in his backyard.
Pastor Gaetan showed us a picture of his brother, who passed away in the earthquake.
This guy is a doer. He’s a humble warrior. He does things with an excellent Spirit.
Pastor Jacob and I committed to partnering with Pastor Gaetan. We sent funds to help immediately with things such as food and clothing. We got the 30 kids sponsored soon after.
We committed to raising $30,000 to help build a kids’ home for them. We asked you to help, and you did! You threw garage sale parties, donated funds out of your pocket, held benefit concerts and house shows, and hosted cut-a-thon fundraisers. Some gave $10, while others gave $10,000. Your generosity is changing the lives of 30 orphans in Haiti today!
We had no clue how this was going to happen. We thought we had an architect and builder, but that did not pan out. I called my friend Craig from Thirst No More and I told him I needed help. I needed someone to build this home. TNM committed to doing the construction. The timing seemed perfect! The good news is that much of the construction was Haitian led. Not only did we build a home, but we also employed Haitians in the process!
As for Pastor Gaetan – he is now a friend and a brother. Words can’t explain the joy on his face when we returned to Haiti the second time…and the third time.
Now for the good news…
Today we got word that the new kids home is finished, done, complete! YES!!!
To all of you who donated – thank you!!!
To all of you who prayed – thank you!!!
To those who went and served – thank you!!!
To those who helped build the home – thank you!!!
Together we rescued orphans, restored their hope and helped renew their community.
These kids now have a home, a clean water filtration system, a school that is built on the property where over 100 kids attend school every day. We’re also able to help pay the teachers salaries.
Each child is sponsored, which means they will have food every month. We were also able to serve the community through medical clinics in November.
Here’s the thing. God was already moving before we arrived. God was already using Pastor Gaetan; we just decided to jump on-board and help out.
We Have Not Forgotten Haiti. We’re doing our best to keep our word to Pastor Gaetan. And tonight 30 kids now have safe refuge and shelter!
To God be all the glory!!!