Friends, I have some really amazing news. I can’t tell you how excited I am. Before I tell you, let me say this… I can’t believe this is actually happening. Maybe that confuses you? Well, let me explain. Several months ago my friend, Matthew Hansen, and I set out on a journey to understand human slavery in Haiti. Our initial hope was not to do anything about it directly through Help One Now, but we wanted to partner with other orgs. After much research and connecting with key leaders of other organizations, we quickly realized that we needed to launch a project through Help One Now.
We crafted a vision and began to execute that vision. It started small, but has grown… way beyond what we could have imagined.
In the last few weeks we’ve made some major progress.
1) Our local Haitian leaders are on board. What do I mean by this? It took us close to one full year of sharing the issue of human slavery. About six months into that discussion, something clicked inside, and our Haitian leaders took ownership. Now, they personally want to fight slavery. If local leaders don’t take ownership, the entire project is doomed to fail long-term.
2) Austin New Church and The River Conference jumped on board and started raising funds. It was amazing. Austin New Church’s missional communities began to raise money to build homes, which will rescue the worse-case scenario kids. Additionally, The River Conference raised $30,000 last March on Freedom Sunday.
3) Other key churches and people got involved.
4) Our friend Jen Hatmaker, and her “7” tribe, caught the vision and began to fundraise. It was truly inspiring to see folks read Jen’s book, and respond with Garage Sales for Orphans and cash donations.
As you can see, the vision is taking off..that said, we’ve encountered some obstacles along the way:
1) Costs have gone up. Each home was originally going to be $6000, but now that cost is going to be closer to $8000. Costs have gone up in Haiti, and our Haitian partner, who will be building the homes and overseeing the entire project, decided to build bigger homes, so the kids can live long-term, as they grow and become teenagers. (FYI- This family style orphan-care is way out-of-the-box for our leaders, but they love it!)
2) We had a staffer, who committed to moving to Haiti, back out of their commitment. This staff member was going to oversee the Ferrier Village Project, collect data, attend key meetings, etc. As a result, a lot of our communication slowed down for a few months.
3) We’ve had to add many new projects, such as a clean-water system, a vehicle for the village, and a community center (which will be used for tutoring, counseling, and job training programs, etc). In essence, we’ve gone from building 12 homes, to building an entire village!
1) The Haitian government, asked us to come help them fight trafficking. As a matter of fact, the mayor of Ferrier recently told us he could fill up those twelve homes ASAP. The trafficking crisis is REAL, and we are humbled that God is using us to make a difference.
2) We’ve hired a Haitian woman to become the full-time director of the Ferrier Village Project. She is a nurse, and she has an amazing story. She was also an orphan, and our partner rescued her 25 years ago. She is now a college graduate, has her nursing degree, and is married to a Haitian engineer. She will oversee the day-to-day operations of the village and train the house-moms.
4) We are on track to rescue our first child this year!
5) We’ve partnered with a software developer who has created a great tool for us to use. It’s still in beta right now. This tool is a permission based communication tool. We will be doing consistent updates, which means you can stay connected to the story and see the progress. You can do that by clicking follow or using RSS (google reader), and every time we update, you will get an auto-notification. Click this link and check it out –
We’re no longer raising money for anti-trafficking homes. Truthfully, we raised more cash than we originally needed. Then, we realized that costs will be going up, so it looks like it’s all going to even out. If you raised money for a home, all of those funds are going to be used to build homes and rescue kids. We will not use money that was raised for homes to fund other key projects.
You will see this reflected in our GS4O project pages. We believe in holistic ministry. Hopefully you can see how passionate we are about holistic ministry (Physical, Social & Spiritual). We want to rescue children, raise them up, strengthen the local church, create jobs, provide clean water, make sure that our kids and the community have access to healthcare and good education.
We simply can’t say thank you enough. Right now, at this very moment, a child is desperate in Haiti. He or she needs a home, a meal, an education, clean water to drink, a community that will love him/her and a church that will raise him/her up spiritually.
Soon, we will be able to say yes to those kids…yes, to those needs. And hopefully, with a lot of prayer and hard work, these kids will be future leaders in Haiti.
Together, we will seek justice for those enslaved and orphaned in Haiti.
Help One Now
ps: To learn more about the Ferrier Village Project, download the PDF here.