Friday, August 31, 2012

Big News!

Many of you are probably wondering why we haven't given an update on construction of permanent housing at Children's Hope, Jacmel.  Well, there is a good reason!  Just before construction started, we  began to hear rumors that the Haitian Gov't. had plans to expand the airport in Jacmel and make it an international airport.  In order to do this, the runway would need to be expanded.  Guess whose property they would need to do this - Children's Hope!  We held off construction until some more investigation had been done.  

In the mean time we needed a plan B in case the rumor was true and CH would need to vacate the land quickly.  Charley found another good piece of property that lies in between Pastor Paul's and Pastor Bishotte's church.  It is considerably larger than the current property.  However, being able to purchase it QUICKLY and get started with construction was like looking at climbing Mt. Everest.  In fact, Martie said that if this happens, it will have to be God!  Well, I am glad to say that God orchestrated a modern day miracle in Jacmel in August.  We were able to take possession of the new land by August 10 just as Charley was to leave for AL on the 13th for Martie's surgery.  God sent us some Haitian folks, especially the Notary, who really helped push this agreement through.  In fact, many of the Haitians who were involved said they had never seen a land purchase happen so quickly.  In the middle of the process, Charley had several opportunities to display a wonderful example of honesty and integrity in very clear ways to the Haitians.

As you can see from the pics below, construction has already started on the new land.  Doug Moyer and John Turnbull continue to lead CH with much efficiency and a lot of progress.  We are amazed at what God has done.  I feel like I am a broken record in that I am making that statement so often about God's work in Haiti, but there is nothing like seeing Him at work.

When we first heard the rumors about the airport, we were all a little taken aback about what we would do.  We knew it was God's will for us to be in Jacmel and the ministry had been growing significantly?  We also knew that this news was no surprise to God, so what were we to do?  This is a good example of what Henry Blackaby refers to as "a crisis of belief" in Experiencing God.  To paraphrase, when you face a crisis what you do next is a reflection of your relationship with God and trust in Him.  We chose to trust in God and move forward with the land purchase knowing that just because one may be in the center of God's will does not mean it is easy and without challenges.  God has been so faithful.  The plan is to get two of the children's homes built on the new land before we have to vacate where they are now.  It is also government policy to pay for land that has to be vacated as well as covering what you have invested in it such as building wells, septic systems, etc.  
We will also disassemble and reuse material from current location as well.

We are excited about the new land and know that for whatever reason, God wanted us at the current location for a season.  Now, He is choosing to move us, so please pray for Haitian workers, mission teams to help with the construction, available materials, and safety for all involved.  Also, please pray for the Haitian workers who are not believers.  John and Doug not only work along side them, but they also disciple them and are shining lights pointing folks to Jesus.

Laying pipe on  the new land

Building the front wall on new land

Providing jobs for Haitian men

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Recently, Social Services in Jacmel showed up at the Children's Home around 10 pm.  They were carrying this sweet little girl named Estherline.  She is four years old and was a Restavek (child slave).  Children's Hope took her in and sought medical care for her.  They showed her love by caring for her needs; giving lots of hugs and smiles; and letting her know that Jesus loves her.   If she has no family who can care for her, she will remain at CH.  This is a very stark reminder of why CH is in Jacmel:  to care for the fatherless who have no voice!

By the way,  the man who did this is in jail now.  This is huge for Haiti in that up until recently officials refused to admit that child slavery even existed in their country.  Please pray for Estherline's physical and emotional healing, staff at CH, and all of the other children in Haiti who find themselves in similar situations.
The is Estherline.  She is four years old!

A second injury to the back of her head.
Estherline in the lap of John Turnbull whose presence would bring comfort to anyone!

Estherline at CH

Estherline with Samuel outside the hospital

Myrlande with her cast; Daphney with her cast (chipped her elbow); and Estherline not wanting to miss a photo opportunity!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

God is Working!

Many of you have asked about the children's safety regarding Hurricane Isaac.  Thankfully, the children and staff have the shipping crates, so they will be well protected.  The problem lies with all of the rain that is expected in Haiti on Friday.  Without a drainage system, a lot of rainfall quickly produces flooding which is a breeding ground for water born diseases and causes damage to poorly constructed homes.  In addition, land slides could be a threat due to the deforestation of mountains.   Please pray that the storm will lessen in severity overnight so that the amount of rainfall will not be as predicted.

In the last post I mentioned a seminary student in Jacmel named Nicolas.  Charley related this story to us earlier this week from Doug Moyer.  Doug and John Turnbull are overseeing things in Jacmel while Charley is in Montgomery with Martie.  Charley added words in brackets.

Charley,  hope your day was good. first things first. Nicolas [my Haitian assistant] received a call in the middle of the afternoon,  a man [Wilfred] was " sick from evil".  been to all the sorts of doctors.  He wanted to receive Jesus. We drove about 10 minutes away, then walked down those narrow walkways between houses crowded  on the hill, into a small room in the front of a small house. Put hands on him and explained the Gospel to him.  He prayed to believe in Jesus.  We declared [in] Jesus Name to remove any spirits of evil and darkness.  There was rejoicing in heaven.   We went back. [to the new site] Nicolas went to meet John [at the sewing center].  He [Nicolas] heard the Holy Spirit say to call Wilfred.  Nicolas said to him, there's something else-- he had removed a voodoo sort of picture of Jesus from the wall behind me when we came in--.  Interestingly, I was praying for him at close to same time [Nicolas was speaking to Wilfred] for deliverance also.   Wilfred said ‘no, no I have thrown everything out or flushed it down the toilet.  I want to keep my eyes only on Jesus.’  That had been part of the encouragement to him when we left.  We will visit him on Sunday and worship and pray and open the Word.  Pray to get him into a good church.   The Holy Spirit is in his house now.        God is good.   

Here is another great story of how God is working through CH.  A lady showed up at church recently wanting to know how to make a donation to CH.  Alissa Irvin met with her and learned that she saw Andy share about CH a few months ago and how we were raising money for permanent housing.  She was touched by Andy's words as well as Doug Rogers' video.  The Holy Spirit continued to prompt her to give financially to CH, so she began to save.  She gave Alissa a check for $1,000!!!!  How humbling to know that God is working in the lives of His children to help care for the fatherless.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sharing the Gospel?

God is moving in so many ways through Children's Hope in Jacmel, that it is hard to take everything in.
Watching God at work is greater than any power, material wealth, or accolades that this world can offer.  We are constantly amazed and thankful that God has chosen to work through His children.

Seminary student leading a class for new believers in Cap Rouge

God led Charley Elgin to a seminary student at Hosanna Baptist in Jacmel.  His name is Nicholas.  Last month he told Charley that he and some other seminary students wanted to make a trip to Kap Rouj which is up in the mountains.  He went on to tell Charley that it is very dark in this area, spiritually speaking and asked for prayers.  It worked out that Charley sent the mobile medical clinic along with the seminary students.  The result was that God's Kingdom was expanded by 61 people that day!  All of the new believers were connected to pastors for discipling.  They are holding classes for new believers now along with the seminary students.  Charley said the seminary students are very serious about spreading God's Word.  Upon first meeting Charley, they peppered him with lots of questions about his beliefs making sure they were all on the same page.  The seminary students continue to make trips up in the mountains spreading the Gospel.

All of the children are doing well.  Tina is coming around little by little and getting more settled into the Children's Home.  They children are having uniforms made, getting registered for school , and are continuing with their tutoring with Davidson.  The doctor at the medical clinic next door began providing care for the kids about a month ago.  He shared that he was an orphan as well and wanted to reach out to the children at Children's Hope.  The ladies at the sewing clinic are making uniforms for the children who attend Hosanna Baptist (which are the majority of them).

A big thank you to Doug Moyer and John Turnball who are in Jacmel for six weeks while the Elgins are in Montgomery.  Martie will have her second hip replacement on Aug. 20th.  Doug and John are both from California and first met the Elgins in Waveland, MS after Katrina.  You may remember that John stood in for Charley during Martie's first surgery.  John and Doug are keeping things moving forward at the Children's Home, medical clinic, sewing clinic, and the four church schools.

Joy and Tommy Schwindling are back in the States as well.  They are in FL currently but will be in Montgomery the week of Aug. 20th.  They were able to spend several days with their grand baby, Aria, last week.  They will be at the Haiti Summit on Saturday and then will travel to Decatur to see Emory Ann dedicated on Sunday, Aug. 26th.  Please pray for safe travels for them.  We all look forward to seeing them on the 25th.

Finally, I would like to thank Matthew Clayton from FBC Decatur.  Matthew first visited Jacmel on a mission trip with his church.  As a result, he volunteered as an intern at the Alabama House for the first half of the summer.  He was always ready to lend a hand and didn't meet a stranger!

Matthew with Fedline (getting her hair done).  Please remember to pray for  Matthew as he seeks God's plan.
Also, please continue to pray for our precious Fedline and that she is safe and happy!