When we moved to Haiti in 2009 we believed that God was calling us to live by a different model of ministry. We truly believed that God has a deep love for His Haitian children and a plan to lift them out of their despair and into lives of freedom through knowledge of His love. We believed that if God has a plan to do work then He Himself had the means to fund that work. We believed that if we would be faithful to throw ourselves completely into finding what God wanted to do and then spent our time in that, then He would send the money to do it. I did not want to spend several months each year doing fund raising when instead we could be rescueing babies and taking care of the sick and dying. I was totally unsure how it would all work out but truly believed God would provide the funds.
In July 2010 the river in Montrouis flooded due to many factors including a poorly designed bridge and extensive deforrestation. The flood washed away many homes in our fishing village leaving dozens of single moms and their kids homeless. Tents were provided but that was almost a year ago and the tents have been destroyed. We felt God wanted us to reach out to these desperate women and give them hope.We had a friend that agreed to help us rent homes for 18 of the women. But we did not want to stop there. Paying for someone's house as a handout is more detrimental in the long run than helpful. So instead we decided to start a program for these women to reach out to their own community.
Joy has a heart for the elderly and widows and we were already taking fish to many widows in our area on a weekly basis. But Joy had a desire to start a "Meals on Wheels" Haiti style- the food will all be delivered by foot but Meals on Foot did not sound as good. So we are now taking the 18 single moms that are the outcasts from their society. Many have multiple children from multiple men. All are uneducated and fundamentally illiterate. Most have been raped and abused. We want to help them become active participants in changing their community and their lives. We want them to know that God has a better plan for them and that although they have never believed it, they are valuable and lovable and loved.In order to be in our housing program the women had to agree to several conditions. First of all they have to come to weekly Life Lesson classes. These classes involve life skills training like hygeine and mothering skills. It also involves Bible study that teaches them abstinance and the true value of their body and their lives. In addition to the classes the women agree to work in our feeding program. They will come three days per week to prepare and deliver the hot meals to the elderly shut-ins. They will also be taking clean water and vitamins. We are training them to look for signs of illness and to spend time with the client. Our goal is to help them understand the principle of investing their lives in others.The first two days they work each week will go towards paying for their house we rented. The third day they will get paid and taught how to mange the money.
The program will feed about 150 hot meals per week and employ the 18 single moms. We pray that in the long run the effects will change many families and help many to come to know the love of Christ. I did not know how we would pay to fund the program but we went ahead and started renting all the houses. This past week a man we met while here in Haiti called and said he and his wife really wanted to find a program they could get involved with. I emailed him the outline of Meals on Wheels and he called me tonight and said they had all the expenses covered and would start sending a check every month to cover all the costs. God had a plan. He chose by grace to reveal it to us. We started it by faith. And He provided the funding. In the words of Hannible from The A Team, "I just love it when a plan comes together!"