It has been eleven weeks now…. Eleven weeks of desperately crying out to God for change in the political climate in Haiti. When Tony and I left on September 16th, we only intended to be gone for two weeks. We left Haiti to attend an awards ceremony at Samford where Tony was being recognized, then we were going to visit family for a week and then return. We had return flights booked for October 2nd. However, from the very day we left until now, the country has been in complete chaos and pretty much locked down. We were advised by our Haitian leadership to stay in the US until some sort of resolution is achieved in the crisis, but that has not happened yet. This week seems to be a bit more quiet around the country, but because there has been no resolution in the political situation there, everyone seems to be both rushing around trying to take advantage of the reprieve and walking on eggshells as they wait for things to become violent again. Right now, however, we are all doing the best we can to minister to needs in our village as God provides. Our Haitian staff has done an excellent job of doing just that, and our mighty and loving God has provided in ways that have blessed many, many people of our village. Thankfully we have been able to coordinate via internet and accomplish many good things.
Last month, when I updated everyone on the crisis, I reported about our plans for our schools, building houses, painting projects, etc. We believe that as God moves us to do certain things, He is doing so because He is preparing to meet needs as we prepare, so in faith, we begin preparations. We praise the Lord that He has allowed us to be able to continue to keep schools in session, carry out three food distributions, build two houses, and finish one of the painting projects!
The students in all three BGM schools have been able to continue school every day in spite of the political unrest experienced throughout the country. Most schools throughout the country have been closed for two months. However, because we employee over 100 teachers and staff from our local village, they have been able to come to school and continue business as usual. This also means that children throughout the village are eating every day because our cooks prepare a hot meal for all students daily.
Praise God, we have been able to complete three food distributions in the last month. First, God made a way for us to get a whole pallet of Manna Packs, so we were able to give those Manna Packs to every student in our elementary schools. Each child received two packs which meant siblings took home even more for their families. We also were able to give rice, beans, oil, and pasta to over 150 families in our village. Lodana is one single mom in the village who not only received food, but will also soon be moving into a new house that BGM is currently building! Lastly, when we went to pick up two more months’ supply of Manna Packs from Love a Child, they also shared with us 24 food sets that included beans, rice, and oil. We gave these to a local organization in our village that ministers to the handicapped people in and around Galette Chambon. The president of the organization and his wife came to get the food supplies and they distributed those this week.
Providing jobs is one way that God continues to bless people throughout the village. The teachers and school staff are not the only ones being paid to work. God has provided funds for building FOUR new houses in the village, and that not only means that these families will soon move from devastating living conditions to brand new homes, but it also means that construction workers are getting paid for their work! As sustainability is achieved through job provision, families are fed and lives are blessed. Recently, our clinic doctor advised that we paint labels on all BGM property because sadly, as the country continues to be in crisis, we can expect crime to escalate. He said that it was necessary to mark property so that it can be identified in case of theft. Although the reason is a tough reality to accept, getting this job done meant four young men got paid to do this work. We got word today that all desks, benches, tables, etc. at Hope Center, the church, and BGM Primary have been painted. Soon another painting project will begin that will provide even more jobs. As soon as we are able to purchase and order paint, we will start painting the school! This will employ many people and it will add bright color to the village that will also bring a ray of hope to those who see it and recognize that God continues to work and bless in our village.
Another miraculous need was met recently when our school Superintendent’s baby came home from the hospital. At the time, Haiti was in a very chaotic state and there was danger on every road. Many businesses were closed, and baby formula was nowhere to be found. Moliere’s baby girl was born premature at 28 weeks back in August and she remained in the NICU at Hospital Mirebalais for over two months. It’s a miracle in itself that she even survived, but once she was released, her parents were able to safely get her home as well! Praise the Lord! Once they got home, her daddy went out to buy the formula that had been prescribed for her. He couldn’t find it anywhere. He wrote to us to see if we had any in our clinic. Our staff went to look, and we had five cans of the exact formula he needed!! Hallelujah!!
If you look back at the picture of the formula on the shelf, you might notice that it is the ONLY thing sitting on the shelf. Sadly, our Hope Center Clinic pharmacy shelves are bare. Before Tony and I left for the states back in September, Tony gave our staff a list of medicines we needed to purchase in order to keep the clinic open. As the clinic remained open that next week, they went through what medicines we had left very quickly. However, the streets were too dangerous for them to try to get out to purchase more. In the past, we have relied heavily on teams generously donating medicines for our pharmacy, however, we have not been able to have any teams come with medicines in many months. This makes it necessary to buy medicines in country, but there is not really any large, comprehensive source to buy them. It takes multiple trips to many different places to find the medicines frequently used in our clinic. Our doctor has tried multiple times to get to Port au Prince to try to purchase more, but her sources were either blocked and she couldn’t get to them, or they were closed, or they were out of the most commonly used medicines. If we don’t have medicines, it doesn’t do anyone any good to be open. However, while things are quiet this week, we are working with other medical professionals in the country to try to obtain the medicines in order to open the clinic next week.
Our clinic was the very first mission outreach we began back in 2012. When we first opened, we thought we were serving a general population of 9,000. However, we soon discovered that people from neighboring villages were in desperate need of healthcare as well and that number increased to 25,000. People often walk for days to get to our clinic, over mountain ranges, and often through extreme heat or storms. It’s not unusual to see people sleeping on the benches outside our clinic because they walked for two days to get care and they want to be first in line when the clinic opens. Over the last seven years, God has made it possible to treat literally thousands of patients who were in desperate need of medical attention. Hundreds of people who were dying from complications related to hypertension have since been on daily medications to get their blood pressure under control. They have scheduled, monthly appointments to monitor it, and the improvements in community health have increased dramatically. We have been able to safely deliver nearly 600 babies over the years in a healthy and loving environment where we not only give them the medical attention they need, but we minister to them, love on them, and talk to them about how God has a special plan for their lives and their baby’s life. We have sewed up countless wounds from moto accidents to soccer injuries. We have helped people manage colds and allergies, diabetes, rashes, and pain. God has literally performed miracle after miracle in our little clinic, and it has been exciting to watch and heartbreaking to see it stalled.
Tomorrow is a day that has come to be known as Giving Tuesday. This is a day when people from all over the world donate to organizations to help them function and serve others the way God called us to serve. Many of you will see numerous calls for support on Giving Tuesday, and it might become hard to decide which organization to give to in order to do your part in this effort to support missions throughout the world. I wanted to write to you today to help you know that But God Ministries is one organization you can give to that uses every penny given exactly for the purpose to which it was given. If you research various organization reports, you will find that many report “administrative costs” to be as much as 80% of their budget! When this is the case, your funds are being given primarily to pay individuals who work within the organization as well as pay for offices and travel and elaborate mail outs. BGM is different. Our last audit report showed that our administrative costs are less than 10% of our organizational budget. That, my friends, is nearly unheard of throughout many of the larger organizations out there. That doesn’t mean that these organizations are not doing great things by any means! It just means that you don’t necessarily have a clue where and how your donations are being used. Every week, BGM tries to give reports through social media stories that shout praises to our Almighty and Loving God and show the world the amazing things He continues to do through BGM. Today I am asking you….as you consider which organization to give to – whether it be $5 or $5000 – no matter how big or small – will you please consider donating to But God Ministries tomorrow for Giving Tuesday? Your donation will be used to minister to the sick and provide healthcare and medical services to those in need, and most of all, it will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a village in Haiti that has been experiencing miracle after miracle DEMONSTRATING God’s love in many, many ways. …..Thank you for your support.
Go to the But God Ministries website and click “Give” or click the link provided here. You will be asked to create an account if you wish to give online. You can also send a check or even set up a recurring bank draft. We also have created the Circle of Hope which is an elite group of individuals who have committed to sending $100 per month to help us support our Hope Center operations and Haitian staff in Haiti. But if you give to BGM’s General Fund tomorrow on Giving Tuesday (December 3rd), your gift will go towards funding our clinic in Galette Chambon specifically. Your gift is very much appreciated. May God bless you for your prayers and your generosity.