Our mission here at Christ Lutheran began in 2001 with a mission trip to LeCayes, Haiti. We became interested in the ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti and decided to sponsor Pastor Isaac of the Jeremie district in 2004.
Pastor Isaac has 22 orphaned children living with him, his wife and their four children. If Pastor had not taken these children into his home, they would most likely have joined the thousands of other street children that roam the street begging for food each day.
Pastor is also responsible for 18 other congregations and several Lutheran schools that he started in some of the more remote villages that surround the city of Jeremie. These schools are so important because public school in Haiti is not free and most people cannot afford to educate their children. Pastor Isaac’s most important mission, however, is bringing the Gospel to the people of Haiti.
In 2007 our congregation, along with help of several other congregations and individuals, purchased a school bus and filled it with many of the items that Pastor and the children would need. The following summer (2008) two mission teams made up of people from Illinois, Michigan and New York went to Jeremie to help build a school/orphanage for Pastor and the children.
We continue to support Pastor Isaac and his ministry and plan to take others to Jeremie so that they can bring the joy of serving the Lord back home with them. If you are interested in this ministry, contact Sue Gross at email@example.com.
Our most recent Mission Trip was 2 months following the earthquake. Pastor Isaac Jacquet from Jeremie, Haiti has been our focus since 2003. Although the earthquake did not hit Jeremie directly, it has been the recipient of more than 120,000 earthquake refugees. We did visit the local hospital which is unable to care for many of these victims because they lack the medical supplies needed. We shared what we had and plan to return with more.
Our team, this year, concentrated on visiting several mountain villages that surround Jeremie. These people have no access to medical attention so we brought an eyeglass clinic, medical clinic and VBS to hundreds of people each day as we traveled from village to village.
There are many stories about Haiti to be shared but the ones that stick out in my mind are about the children. Perhaps that is because there are so many that have so little. These children have untreated wounds that have become infected, they have lice that you can actually see without parting their hair, they have only a long shirt to cover their malnourished bodies and those with orange hair and swollen bellies don’t know what or when they will eat again. The story is much the same for many children, their parents are dead and their grandparents or aunties cannot afford to feed them…..they ask us…..will you take them? We then explain we cannot. They would rather give these children away then watch them starve to death.
Then there is the GOOD NEWS. Many of the children we saw in these villages last time are now in school and getting 1 meal a day of Rice and Beans because of the Feeding Program we are sponsoring through Trinity Hope. One meal a day offered through the school encourages parents to send their child to school every day. Once they begin attending school they are not only nourished physically but mentally. They return home and educate the rest of their family by sharing what they have learned.
Dame Marie is one of those schools. There are 3 other Lutheran Schools in Pastor Isaac’s District that are now being supported by Trinity Hope through donations. We hope to be able to take on the responsibility of these schools so that Trinity Hope can use their funds to feed still more children in other villages.
The food is cooked over wood burning fires just outside the school doors. The cost of each meal is less than 3 pennies. Yes, for 3 pennies a day we can feed a child in Haiti who otherwise may die of malnutrition. We may not be able to save the entire Island Country of Haiti but we are determined, with God’s help, to save one child at a time. Right now we have only enough funds to support the school of Dame Marie through the end of this school year. Any monthly donation would be welcome to support this program.
I know going to Haiti has become very popular since the earthquake. Many emergency workers and mission teams as well as big name relief organizations have made their appearances. They did a great job and the Haitian people are very thankful. Three months later, many have left for home and others will be moving to other projects in the months to come but please remember, we have been partnering with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti for 9 years. We have been with Pastor Isaac through severe starving times, the sinking of a ferry boat off the coast of Jeremie that resulted in the beginning of the Orphanage and several hurricanes and mud slides. The Haitian Lutheran Mission Project organization will be there long after these other groups have left…. with your help.
For more information contact:
Sue Gross firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-389-6676
Christ Lutheran Church
c/o Haitian Lutheran Mission Project
14700 s. 94th Ave.
Orland Park, IL 60462