In late March, Haiti closed its airports and seaports in an attempt to halt the introduction of COVID-19 cases from other countries. That was an effective first step. As of May 1, Haiti, which is a nation of 11 million people, has only reported 72 cases of COVID-19 with 4 dead. However, this situation could change quickly, due to conditions in Haiti.
Firstly, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haitians have very limited access to clean water. Therefore, it can be very difficult for Haitians to take the basic safety steps of washing their hands often. Secondly, Haiti is not a country that will be able to “socially distance” very easily. Often, multiple generations of Haitians live in one small home. And, it is not uncommon to see a family of 3-5 people sharing a motorcycle ride. However, the people of Haiti have been making face masks before we were in the United States, have shut down their schools and factories, and are doing what they can to fight this pandemic. As a precaution, Mission in Ministry has recently closed the Jacmel Lutheran Home to any visitors, and the staff must live there temporarily and are not allowed to commute back to their homes.
Ministry In Mission has been in regular contact with Pastor Marky and Sydney Kessa, particularly about the Jacmel Lutheran Home, because of the severe danger to the elderly. As noted above, we have asked some of the caretakers to actually move into the elder care home so that workers would not be coming and going on a daily basis. Meals have always been delivered, but now they are dropped off with no direct contact.
Unfortunately, with borders closed, all future mission trips to Haiti are on hold. That hampers our ability to get them supplies. Our only option right now is to send them monetary donations as we receive them. Please keep our Haitian brothers and sisters in your prayers throughout this difficult time and #RememberHaiti
Joseph and Roussemie Lucien have quarantined the Orphanage Children. Roussemie has been stranded in the U.S.since March. She was visiting the U.S. and has not been able to get back to Haiti since all flights to Haiti have been suspended.
Junior Laurent, most of you know him as Vlad, has joined the Ministry In Mission Board as Executive Field Director. Vlad gives us regular updates from Haiti about the conditions and recently participated, by Zoom meeting, in a Ministry In Mission Board meeting.
Mar. 2020 Mission Trip-Caring for the Elderly,Feeding Children, Sharing the Gospel to Prisoners and Building a Church
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Greenville Wisconsin has sent a missionary team to Haiti this March. The team has been busy sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ across the City of Jacmel Haiti. They assisted the staff of the Jacmel Lutheran home by helping them bring in 2 new elderly residents. They also purchased and distributed rice, beans oil and hygiene products to local elders. Rice, beans, broth, and meat were the fare as they also fed 100 needy kids in the poor neighborhood of Beaudioun Haiti. We took the orphans from the Center of Refuge Orphanage and elders from the Jacmel Lutheran Home to the beach for fun and a prepared meal on Sunday
Buying hygiene products, bagging and taking the kits to the local prison this morning was a moving experience, as we stood in a small dark hallway, between cells, after handing the prisoners the kits, Little Patty, from Shepherd of the Hills at the top of her lungs gave a devotion and proclaimed the Good News of Jesus Christ through prayer.
Three medical students from Wright State Medical school are also with us, each day helping in the emergency room at the local hospital. They also are holding clinics throughout the area. They also helped us assess the health of prospective residents of the Jacmel Luthern Home for the elderly and helped us physically transport these people into the home.
Shepherd of the Hills also donated funds to help complete the new church for the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jacmel. Working side by side with Haitian members of the church they carried concrete blocks to help build the walls.
There is not enough space in this article to recap all the effort this team has made, in physical labor, monetary support, and prayer. Ministry in Mission is grateful to be part of the team. TO GOD BE THE GLORY
Ministry In Mission has not had a mission trip to Haiti since July 2019 due to the problems associated with political unrest. The good news is that the problems have ceased, at least for the moment. Jackie and Mark Rychel along with long-time friend and missionary, Terry Marks made a quick trip to Jacmel Haiti on Jan 4.
We are pleased to report that everything in Haiti appears normal. The streets were crowded with traffic, the markets were open, children were walking to school. Sunday service at the First Lutheran church of Jacmel was full of worshipers as Holy Communion was celebrated on the first Sunday of the new year.
The major problem that is really hurting the country is inflation. A small bag of rice that cost $4.00 US last year now costs $12.50 US. The average Haitian we talked to, doesn’t understand why. There is more desperation for money, we had numerous requests for help from people that we are close to in Jacmel.
Ministry In Mission was able to bring much-needed supplies to the Jacmel Lutheran Home, our Elder Care facility. New pictures and interviews were taken with children at the Center of Refuge Orphanage for the Ministry In Mission orphan sponsorship program.
Donations that were made over the last several months for feeding the hungry were spent on the purchase of rice, beans, oil, and spaghetti. These bulk supplies were broken down into smaller portions and distributed directly to hundreds of the neediest Haitians in the mountains where many people are literally starving. (Stay tuned for a detailed post on this worthy mission.)
Contact Jackie (email@example.com) to schedule your 2020 mission trip. If you are an individual who needs to connect to a mission team, contact Jackie as well.
Pastor Marky Kessa of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti is starting to finish the 3 churches under construction in the Grand Anse Department in Haiti. The church in Dame Marie is the first scheduled to be finished. The construction was suspended during the political demonstrations that paralyzed transportation throughout the country. Additional churches in the Grande Anse Department located in Carcasse and Les Irois are scheduled to be finished.
The Pastors of these churches are excited to be worshipping in the new churches for Christmas.
Ministry In Mission has partnered with The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) Disaster Response to rebuild these churches that were destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The churches are being rebuilt using Haitian contractors and labor which really helps the local economy.
Thank You to all who donated to LCMS Disaster Relief to make this happen.
Money is needed to provide benches for the interior of the churches, If you would like to donate, please click on the link below. All money donated goes directly to the mission with no administrative fees.
Below are pictures received Dec 16, 2019, from Pastor Marky that shows the progress
Jackie Rychel, President of Ministry In Mission, was granted the opportunity to speak to the entire national convention of the LWML, over 3000 attendees, in Mobile, Alabama during the weekend of June 22, 2019. Jackie thanked the LWML membership for the $100,000 grant that was granted at the 2017 convention, to construct the Jacmel Lutheran Home, an elder care home in Jacmel, Haiti. Jackie also gave a presentation, showing photographs of the construction, training of the Haitian elder care staff, and moving in of the residents. She also thanked all the missionaries who helped, prayed and donated to the elder care home. In particular the missionary team from Lutheran Family Service of Iowa for their partnership in evaluating prospective residents, staff training and their physical help in moving the new residents into the home.
Jackie also gave a more detailed presentation on the entire scope of Ministry In Mission’s efforts at a luncheon on Saturday, June, 22.
Below are photographs of the weekend including the ladies wearing “Kentucky Derby” hats to promote the next invention in 2021 in Lexington Kentucky.