Filed under Haiti

Monday in Jeremie

Blog Post By: Jenny Neely

Monday morning:
We started out with a devotion from one of the youth from The Refuge church in Murfreesboro, Steven. He is a very vivacious, lively guy who has made many Haitian children laugh already!  He read from Proverbs 3:5-8 and gave testimony on how the Lord called him to go on this trip. There were times when he wasn’t sure God was confirming the call due to the cost of the trip, but Steven trusted anyway and the Lord provided the way!  This was a great devotion for us, because we tried our best not to have any expectations as we would start our VBS that morning. We truly wanted God to lead and not have any agendas.

When we arrived at the orphanage, many children were eagerly awaiting our arrival. Dou Dou yelled at them from inside our truck to move out of the way as the bus came through.  We started out with praise and worship, not knowing if we would have electrical power. Praise the Lord we did!  We sang “Peace, Love, & Worship,” the theme song from last year’s kids’ camp. It is a favorite with the Haitian kids, too!  We then sang two songs that we had interpreted 2 years ago: “Allelu/Praise Ye the Lord” and “This Little Light of Mine.” The kids that have been here since the beginning remembered both songs! In fact, when I arrived Saturday, some of the kids greeted me by singing “This Little Light of Mine” which made made my day!

After singing the two songs in Haitian Creole, we introduced “Experience You,” this year’s kids’ camp theme song and theme to our VBS curriculum. We will teach the kids how God speaks to them through His Word, prayer, and through others.

“Experience You”
Oh Lord I’ll pray. Oh, yes I’ll pray,
And I will read the words You say.
And I will go where You are, too.
Oh, God I want to experience You
Oh, God I want to experience You.

Trevis led the Bible lesson,which was from Hebrews 4:12a, “The word of God is living and active.  It is sharper than any sword that has two edges.”

The kids enjoyed a craft of scratch pads, writing the verse with a stylus. Afterwars, they enjoyed a snack of granola bars, also known as “bon bons.”

After lunch, we headed to the local church close to the guest house where we taught VBS to the local village children. We had about 50 show up!  But my favorite part in that was that our older orphans who sang in the Bondye Bel video were driven to the site to meet us!  I was encouraged to ask a couple of the girls to help lead music.  I picked Cherline and Merline.  They were nervous at first but warmed up quickly! This was specifically to give them a chance at leadership.  After we sang our VBS songs, the rest of the kids from the orphanage came up to sing Bondye Bel and a couple other songs they learned.  They did a fabulous job, and actually put on their Sunday church clothes for the occasion.  We were so proud of them!

Trevis taught the lesson, and we had plenty scratch pads for them to enjoy a craft. Afterward, we put some praise music on, got out the frisbees and soccer balls and enjoyed some recreation!

Later that evening, we returned to the orphanage to watch “The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” The kids had seen the first two movies and were eager to see the third one!  We watched the movie on one of the side walls of the church, and the kids did all the work moving the pews to get ready. The smaller children clung to our sides, sat in laps, and many of them fell asleep!  (We started rather late!). The kids would identify a character all at once by saying the names, but an appearance by Aslan brought on applause every time!  It was a GREAT day in Jeremie! Praise the Lord!

The Jeremie 15

Blog Post by: Trevis Smith

First day began with a “Haitian wait” at the airport as we awaited our flight to Jeremie.  We were there with one other mission team traveling to Jeremie (with another organization) and only one plane available and operational.  After several hours, we departed to our final destination.   Upon arriving at the orphanage, on cue, the kids began to chose us as if claiming us for their own.  The ones who had been before (myself and Jenny Neeley only) were quickly met with the ones in the past who had connected with us prior.  I heard my name called from several different directions, seemingly everyone knew who I was and either remembered me from past trips, or heard the first few call my name and then echoed it over and over.  It was a moment I will never forget, imagining this is what it would be like as I entered Heaven’s sanctuary, with everyone knowing and calling my name as if they had been anticipating my arrival for years.

After playing for several hours with the kids, most of us had meandered our way out of the sun, down across the now concreted bridge and onto the porch of one of the main dorms.  As we sat with “our” children, allowing them to comb our hair, lay in our laps, and just generally receive attention not otherwise reserved for them in their present home, spontaneously one of the older girls started to sing.  Softly at first, almost to herself, but with enough emphasis to warrant even the most tight lipped child of the group to understand what was expected of them.  One by one, tens by tens, they joined in unison singing a song that while not completely understood by those of us not familiar with the Creole language, echoed an angelic praise to our Lord and Savior.  “Merci Jesu” they sang, “Merci Jesu.”  As the first song of praise dwindled to an obvious end, the same lovely older girl began to pray, lifting her hands up to the Heavens, all the while seemingly praying over our group with fervent love and passion.  At this moment, Peter, one of the young boys I had befriended on my first trip, reached over and laid his hands on me.  And while I did not fully understand what he was praying, I did hear Jesus, and my name being spoken with the French/Creole “Merci” intertwined.  It was enough to bring the toughest of men to tears, as these children with no earthly parents, living in an orphanage in one of the poorest countries in the entire world, ask their Lord and personal Savior to help you, and to Thank God for you and your team.

As God told Joshua to ask the children of Israel to stack up stones in remembrance of what He has done, so that as future generations ask what the stones are for, they can be reminded of how God allowed them to cross the Jordan river; in that same spirit I asked our team to remember this moment in time, stack our own stones of remembrance, be reminded of what God is doing in these children’s lives, as well as what He is doing in our own lives here this week.  So that when we come home and we can share with others about the work that God is doing.

Day 1 Update: July Team #1

Blog Post By: Joy Morris

We are driving up the bumpy hill, and I am trying to watch Kayla and Mike D since they are new– I want to see their response and expressions on their faces.  But as we pull up to the top of the hill, I am overwhelmed and overjoyed by faces I know, faces that see me, that light up because they know me.

The bus moves further up, and to the left I see Sofia-she acts shy, standoffish, but for that second our eyes meet, and I see her light up, smile, and mouth Joy Joy. The bus stops, and kids are surrounding it. Ritchie has been running by the bus yelling Joy Joy. He gets on the bus, goes straight to me, and we just stand there and hug. Then I see Peter get on the bus, say my name and hug me. I point to Beth because she was with him on another trip, and I proceed out of the bus to find other kids. I see Esther, we embrace; I hold her face in my hands and tell her that I love her. Where is Kettely, that rough, tough girl who I wore down last year?  We find each other, and I just cry. I don’t think I have ever held children tighter or longer than I did tonight. I held their faces and said “I love you” over and over. I heard JoyJoy called from every direction. They remembered me and knew my silly name, and I remembered them. Even kids I hadn’t met before yelled Joy Joy -they knew me because of Mike’s previous trips. What a precious reunion it was.

I think that’s how heaven will be-a glorious reunion-people running up to you, saying your name, so happy you are finally there. Even people you don’t know, coming up to say your name. Seeing Jesus’ face, having Him welcome me, showing me all the sweet dark faces that are there because people cared and came down here to love on orphans and share Jesus with them.

The saddest part of the reunion was when the kids asked me where Ryan was.  We kept telling them Ryan was not here. They said, “Ryan come in July” adamantly, like “yes, he must return and be with us.” What will it be like in heaven if people ask where our loved one is–is he coming? and we do not know or worse yet we know they aren’t coming. It was heartbreaking for me today. It put a sense of urgency in my heart to know that those I love will be there, too. The glorious reunion and the love to be shared should not be missed.

It made me think of the words to a favorite song of one by Cindy Morgan:
“I do not want to walk through heaven’s gates and not see your face
And I do not want to dance beside the streams without you with me
Or see the angels fill the sky, the heavens singing all creation cries:
‘Hosanna, Savior, God our Father, Creator, Redeemer and King’
You’ve got to be there with me
Oh please, you’ve got to be there with me.
Will you be there with me?

The Gift of Prayer in Haiti

By Tami Heim, Video – Kim Powers, and Photograph – Pam Ferguson


Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – I Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV


Pray continually.


Paul’s word to the Thessalonians is the core message we bring to the children of Jeremie, Haiti this week. The cover of our weekly lesson plan highlights why this message matters:


For an orphan, prayer is one of the only things

that gives them power or independence.


Through prayer, they have access to the

omnipotent God of the universe. 


It is crucial to help them understand

the importance and the freedom of prayer.


Yes, it’s crucial the children understand. It’s crucial for them, the women who care for these children every day, and all of us to all understand the importance and power of prayer.


It’s Thursday morning, the kids are in school, and we make a special trip to the orphanage, but this time it’s to love on and pray for the mommas. Mommas are the women responsible for the care of 10 – 15 orphans living together in one small house. They monitor the day-to-day activity and ensure the children adhere to a daily routine.


Eight of the mommas assemble in the church at Dou Dou’s encouragement. The men and teens on our team do a good job of keeping a few of the children, not in school, out of the sanctuary while we meet.


Kim Wood and Pam Ferguson are equipped with cameras because we want to have pictures of them with their names just like we do for the children. Dou Dou and I sit off to the side and invite them one by one to come and share their stories, needs, and how they want their Long Hollow family to pray for them.


We listen and I record what’s on their hearts. The weight of their life affects us deeply. They share of the pain, loneliness, persecution, and the extreme poverty that fills their life. I write down each ones prayer requests as Sherry Gray and Cory Conquest alternate escorting them to a quiet place for one on one prayer.


Once the season of prayer is complete, we present them the gift of something fun and something functional. Pretty headbands fill the space for fun and functional goes to the duffle bags they can use to sort and keep their belonging ordered. They are genuinely grateful for both the prayers and the gifts. To show their appreciation, they sang for us.


We do what women do well – we shed tears and then wipe them from the cheeks of others. We hug and hold each momma with the same love and compassion we show the children. Another day passes and with the gift of prayer we’ve discovered more about how to do justice, show mercy, and walk humbly.


On behalf of the women on our mission team, we ask you to pray for the mommas of Jeremie, Haiti.


  • Whisper their names before the throne of grace.
  • Ask God to meet their many, many needs.
  • Implore Him to empower them be the women He is calling them to be.


Gueline Guilloux

Elise St. Ilfort

Roselene Julot

Rosete Valentin

Miclaine Louis

Joslaine Bienneme

Emela Lindor

Francois Mondeuis


Learning and Living Out Colossians 3 in Haiti

May 28, 2012 – Day 2

By Tami Heim

Verse 12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Breathe deep the hot and hard aroma of Haiti and the change begins. It’s a different world, life, and people. I watch my team members react. Sometimes a person’s heart breaks right away. Other times the fracturing is slow. Either way, compassion eventually consumes those who come here. A connection is secured to the heart of Jesus and to what the Word says about Him “And He was moved with compassion.

There is no question. I know I am exactly where He wants me to be.

The mission is not complicated – be Christ’s hands and feet. Pray up and dress in kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. It’s time to leave and make a difference in the lives of the children who will fill our days this week.

Verse 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other.

God has a specific purpose for every team who agrees to GO in His name. And so it is true with everyone on this trip. The conditions and environment demand a double dose of grace and flexibility. Derek leads us well and reminds us often. We roll through the inconveniences and forgive quickly whatever part of the day deviates from the original plan.

Verse 14-15 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people.

This trip, like all the others, begs for Christ’s own prayer to be answered, “Make them one as We are One.” We move and work in concert. Some on the team has traveled this road together in the past. They’re comfortable and in harmony with each other. The rest of us find our fit by falling into the new spaces God’s carved out for us as members on this team.

I am grateful. Everyone comes with a unique gift to offer. As living sacrifices we’re here. We show up. God shows up. Love binds us in unity of purpose.

Verse16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

We head to the orphanage and as the big machine, ‘Chuck Norris’, climbs up the hill, the site before me is one visited in a hundred dreams since the last trip. Children spill from doors and rocky slopes. They know we are coming because of the brief time we shared with them on Sunday night. Each child is bursting with his or her own version of joy. Their excitement matches my expectation.

In the afternoon, a carefully planned lesson on prayer is delivered. Worship bounces from floor to beam, sometimes in words we fully understand and then other times with words we don’t. The melody synchronizes our tribute to the Almighty – three in One. In these precious moments, God is purely glorified.

Verse.17 Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.

We don’t permit the heat of the day and the lack of electricity at the guesthouse to discourage us. Under the gazebo our evening team devotion focuses on what it means to ‘do justice.’  Derek shares a quote from Tim Keller that sums it up, “Give others what they are due because we are all made in the image of God.”  That’s why we come. That’s why we give.

No one escapes when the love we pour into these children comes splashing back on each of us. The Creator’s master plan for this day is complete. Whatever we did, we did it all for Him. And now in the final hours of this day, we listen to the rain falling. We share, laugh, and remember – in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



A Dance in the Haitian Moonlight

The May Haiti team led by Derek Hazelet is kicking off a Summer on mission. We will be with our Haitian friends for a total of seven weeks over the course of the Summer. Please pray with us as we invest in the children and the community in which they live. Check out the latest update from the team below!


May 27, 2012 – Day 1

By Tami Heim

Sometimes an image gets stuck to your heart and you know as soon you see it the memory of it will never leave you.

The 4:30 AM appointment to gather at Nashville International Airport arrives and so does the team of 18, each one a little groggy, but ready to serve. There’s a long day of travel ahead and I sense the team is up for the challenge. Derek Hazelet has masterfully planned the trip and it looks as though everyone has followed through on his or her delegated pre-trip assignment.

Baggage is carefully taped in orange and yellow duck tape. Many place the tape over the remnants of colored tape from trips gone by, but Casey Ball, Syndey Conquest, Bronte Deno, and Jaycee Polk adhere theirs with all the intentionality that comes from a person’s very first trip to Haiti. I smile. I know what will happen when they get there. I’m certain this trip will be the first of many.

All things go as planned, but one change brings us very good news. It turns out flights are altered and the whole team can now look forward to spending our first night in Jeremie – together. We thank God for the news and this blessing.

Dou Dou meets us at baggage claim in Port-au-Prince and works us through the crowd. Forever our hero, Dou Dou ushers us to our next flight, waves goodbye, and promises to see us around midnight. Once again he single-handedly drives our luggage 110 miles on roads and terrain that will take him at least 8-10 hours to conquer.

The guesthouse is a welcome sight. We unload and I hurry to distribute letters from my husband, Dale, to the local children who cling by the fence around our complex. They are thrilled and each one reads his or her letter out loud. The whole team finally settles in, prepares for dinner, and is happy to attend Sunday evening services with the children of Jeremie.

It’s almost dark when the bus makes it up the steep hill. The kids know the sound and many leave the service to come and greet us. There’s nothing like the expressions of children when they see it’s you and their uninhibited sounds of utter delight. Kids crowd the entrance to the bus. Next comes lot’s of hugs, lots of kisses, and lots of little arms reaching up eager to be scooped up for a big face-to-face cuddle. No one resists them.

Beatrice finds me. She is growing into a stunning young girl. I can’t believe how quickly she’s changed in just two years. She takes my breath away and in an instant, she perfectly fills my wide-open arms.

I give her a twirl and kiss both cheeks. I look into her big brown eyes and tell her softly and intently her Momma Cindy and Poppa Trey love and long to see her. I explain slowly how they think of her every minute of every day and ache to have her with them. In this sacred moment, I am the messenger. I experience this young girl’s joy made absolutely complete as soon as I let her know, Momma Cindy is coming soon. July. Momma Cindy is coming to be with you in July.

Beatrice squeezes me as tightly as she possibly can and then bursts into dance. She sings and dances off into the night.  I watch her image cast against a Haitian moonlit sky and I weep.

I think about the words of a book I read on the flight to Miami earlier this day.


The motive of a righteous heart is not to get away with anything.

The motive of a righteous heart is to be loved and to love.

~ Brian McNicol, The Cure


This is God’s gift to me on our first day and it’s one I’ll hold forever. Before I go to sleep, I give thanks to my loving Father. I praise Him for Cindy and Trey Emerson and their decision to obey God and make Beatrice their own. I ask Him to remove the obstacles that keep them apart and to bring her safely to them in His good and perfect time. I ask Him to do the same for every adoptive parent waiting. And finally, I thank Him for the privilege of being here and allowing me to share the moment Beatrice danced her dance of being loved and loving in the moonlight.

April 2012 Team Update #2

Blog Post by: Carrie Chambers

When you hear people say that an event is “Life Changing”, you don’t really give it much thought until it happens to you.  Haiti has truly been life changing for me.  I was blessed by God to spend 7 days with some of the most amazing people and children that I will ever know.  Our journey began with a tortug plane ride into Jeremie.  I did not know anyone on my team, but everyone started to bond instantly.  After all, a tortug plane allows you to get really close with each other. We went to the orphanage as soon as we unpacked at the Guest House.  I was overwhelmed by the sweet children and the love that they showed to us instantly.  I was also overwhelmed with emotions.  Feelings of gratefulness, sadness, excitement, and just plain tiredness were just a few of many emotions that would continue to find me for the remainder of the week.  We had the opportunity to love on the children for a while, and then off we went to prepare for the rest of the week.
Days 2 and 3 were filled with “Picky Picky”.  This means shots and actually, I liked the Haitian name better.  Being a medical trip, our team was responsible for giving the children their immunizatins and check ups.  Our team was able to work quickly even through the tears and wrestle matches with the children.  Even in Haiti, children despise the doctor.  I was tired at the end of each day, but thankful that God was able to give us the strength to get through it.
Days 4 and 5 included opening up the clinic to the community.  Wow….I thought days 1 and 2 were busy.  This was a whole new ballgame.  We took vital signs, diagnosed infections, and administered meds.  I also had the opportunity to prescribe and give a few hugs.  I was amazed at the strength that the people of Jeremie possessed.
The last full day in Jeremie was bittersweet.  I was so glad that we were able to see over 700 people at the clinic and know that we truly made a difference.  I was also happy to have had the opportunity to love on the children, even if only for a few days.  The children sang us a few beautiful songs and we were able to say our goodbyes.   I, of course, was the biggest cry baby that you have ever seen.
Coming home, all I could think about was that I originally set out on a journey to Haiti with the expectation that I could help people and make a difference in their lives.  However, what actually happened was that I went on a journey to Haiti where amazing children and people helped me and made a difference in my life.  I have been touched by God and feel that I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to visit Haiti.
 The day we came home was the day of my birthday.  What a beautiful gift I received.  I only hope that everyone gets the opportunity to visit Haiti.

April Haiti Medical Team Update: 2012

As we were unable to update the blog while we were away due to “technical difficulties”, I have had a little time to process all that we experienced.  We had some obstacles, to be sure: a smaller team, with several non-medical people, as well as difficulties with electricity, communication, and transportation.  Yet, those seem so trivial in the face of God’s power which was evidenced in so many moments over the week.
The kids were a little hesitant to greet us at first, as somehow they seemed to know that we were the team with the dreaded “pikis”, aka shots.  Soon, however, they were pretending to give us injections and trying to argue that they should receive a sucker for each poke they got, not just one lollipop.  I think a few of those kids have a great future ahead as lawyers.  We vaccinated all the orphans in a day and half, pausing only to give hugs and wipe tears (theirs and ours).  We rewarded ourselves for our efficiency with a morning at the beach where the waves were wild and  beautiful and very refreshing.
We started community clinic earlier than planned on Tuesday afternoon.  We called this time our “dress rehearsal”‘ as it gave us time to discover what worked and what didn’t with our smaller crew.  We were so blessed to have that afternoon as it prepared us for what would be a very busy 2 1/2 days more of community clinic.  We were able to minister to almost 650 people in the community providing treatment for many types of infections, injuries, and problems such as high blood pressure, arthritis, and diabetes.  Several moments stand out in my memory: the young girl with Down’s syndrome whose mother was told she should be thrown away giggling throughout my exam, the little boy who had suffered with an earache for 3 months, and the woman who was diagnosed with AIDS on our last trip, looking healthy and fit thanks to medication she received with the help of ESMI and Long Hollow.
As a team, we struggled with all that we could and could not do in the face of needs that were so great and resources that were so limited.  It is humbling to see how grateful people can be for things we take for granted: Tylenol, vitamins, and Tums.  It is heartbreaking to run out of medicines or not be able to see all those who wait so long to be seen. Yet, God allowed us to see that He is the ultimate healer and that caring for the physical needs of others is intended to serve a higher purpose: that of tangibly showing the love of Christ.  My most memorable patient was a 92 year old lady who presented with congestive heart failure and symptoms of esophageal cancer.  She was so ill we initially tried to take her to the local hospital.  We soon found out it was closed (it is open only 4 hours a day) and was poorly equipped at best.  She had loving family with her and I explained that we would do our best to help her, but that she was very seriously ill. She improved somewhat with medication but the real change came when one of the team members asked her if she knew Jesus.  She answered with an emphatic “yes!” and her weary face lit up with joy.  She was able to walk out of the clinic later that day, and though I do not know how many days remain for her, I know her eternal future is certain.
On our final day, we taught a class for a group of nursing students on ways to improve survival of newborn infants.  One of them asked why we came to Haiti.  I answered that we come because we serve a God who calls us to show His love to all people.  Whether we are here or in Haiti, God does not want us to just go through the motions.  He wants us to truly care for others.  He wants us to show love to them by our actions more than our words.  And I believe he wants to show us that, in His power, much can be accomplished.

March Haiti Team Update #5: ESMI

This update is one of my favorites so far! It highlights our amazing ministry partners in Haiti. They sacrifice tremendously as they serve God faithfully in Haiti. We are so blessed by their friendship and partnership as we minister to orphan children in the Jeremie area and beyond.



Our team has been blessed to eat dinner each night at Pastor Dony’s. However, that means that most of our team had not had an opportunity to see downtown Jeremie.  We were able to do that first thing this morning.

We then proceeded on to the beach for a swim. The tide was MUCH higher than when I was here last. We were not even able to make it out to the sunken submarine.

After quickly cleaning up and eating lunch, we headed to the orphanage for VBS.  Our message today was on loving our enemies. We told them the story of the Good Samaritan.  After acting out the story, the kids were asked who their enemies where and that they needed to pray for them. One girl started yelling out other kids names!!!!  We have all laughed about this.

We attempted to show them the rest of Chronicles of Narnia this afternoon, however the generator ran out of gas……no refunds were given:)

After dinner this evening we were blessed to have Pastor Dony share with us the vision for ESMI.  Each time I hear it I learn a little more.  Therefore, I’m going to recap it briefly.

ESMI has four legs of their ministry – Evangelism, Education, Empathy and Economic  Development. Most of us have heard the explanation of each of these legs. I’m going to only include things new things I learned.

A new church was started at the university in September. Since then 240 lives have been saved! Praise God!!!

There are 250 pastors in the ESMI organization.  They are currently working on training them and developing resources for deeper messages for their congregations. There is
The country has a 70 percent illiteracy rate. ESMI currently has 39 schools with 6,500 students.

There is a 70 percent illiteracy rate amount Haitians. ESMI has 39 schools with 6,500 students.

The next goal is to build dormitories at the university for future students. The last three years of school will be done at the university (finishing school).

The school at the orphanage currently goes to the 7th grade.

A few weeks ago one of the couples in the community went into labor and was not able to deliver the baby. She needed a C-section. Pastor Dony loaned them their car to drive the 7 hours to have the operation. The mom ended up having the child in the car 3 hours into the drive.  The family has not been saved yet, however they are attending e church. God uses many methods to reach the lost! Pray for this family.

The orphanage plans to bring on 25 additional kids at a time until they reach 200. The plan is to stay at this number for some time to make sure it is manageable. The next 25 kids will be between the ages of 5 to 7. They will come from the surrounding communities and have already been identified.

They are working on bringing on some Papas to have some male role models at the orphanage.

The church is ministering to the local widows. The other members of the church brings extra supplies and part of the offering is given to them.

Economic Relief
There are a few “businesses” that have been started – a dump truck, ice house and agriculture. The current undertaking is to start a chicken farm. The property has been purchased and construction has began. The plan is to have 6 chicken coops that will hold 1,000 chickens each. Two of these coops have already been funded.

At one point there were 2,000 orphans in the ESMI organization.  Many have been reunited with their families.  Currently there are between 1,200 to 1,400 children.

There are 21 ESMI orphans studying at the university in Cayes.

There is a plan to allow some of the students to go to university in the USA with an American sponsor.

ESMI has 700 employees – 7 executive level employees, zone coordinators, campus pastors, momma’s, teachers, etc.

What a blessing it is to be here! I fall in love with these kids and the country more each day! What a PRIVILEGE it is to serve along side ESMI!

-Kim Powers


Another day in Jeremie

The team ended last night with the Haitian Billy Graham (as Travis Kaiser calls him). Pastor Dony’s father, Pastor Brazil St. Germain is in town for a conference and spoke at the university chapel. Before that, their worship leader treated us to a few songs we knew, singing them in both Creole and English. We will never hear Angus Dei and Lord I Lift Your Name on High the same way again.

Today we had the opportunity to leave a lasting artistic impression on the orphanage. Under the creative genius that is Robyn Collins, we brightened the cafeteria with a mixture of just a few gallons of paint, leaving our token of “renmen” for them to remember in the days ahead.

After a quick break for lunch, we headed back to the orphanage to begin our first day of discipleship training. As many of the orphans have gotten to know Jesus, our goal this time is to continue the Bible story, focusing on love. Today’s lesson was about the friendship between David and Jonathan, and how friends treat one another. After several hilarious skits the kids wrote letters to their friends at Long Hollow.

After another quick trip back to the guesthouse and dinner in Pastor Dony’s home, we traveled back to Lundy to show the first half of Chronicles of Narnia in French. Although they had seen it before, they were mesmerized by the film and the team enjoyed a sweet time with the children, with many falling asleep in their arms. We feel truly blessed to be able to provide a bit of rest in loving arms to the lovely children of Haiti. After all, our Father holds us in His arms everyday.

-Michael Powers