Happy New Year!
As we embark on a new year it is always a good time to look back and reflect on all that God has done over the past year, and remember the victories and losses we experienced this year.
2016 was an eventful year for Mission of Grace.
In April we finished our new Home of Grace building where we care for 15 grandmas, grandpas, and other adults who need some extra care and supervision. This home is able to house up to 24 residents and is the nicest building in Carries, with an amazing view of the ocean.
In April we were also able to start our long awaited Young Men’s program, Men of Grace. Under the direction of Mr. Don Joseph, and led by Mr. Howard, the Men of Grace are being trained, discipled, and put on a path to a more successful future.
Construction on our new school building continues to progress and we look forward with great anticipation to the day we can open it’s doors and expand the gift of education to more children in our community. For the current school year we are close to having every student sponsored, but we are still in need of a few more. For $200 US or $250 CAN a year you can provide an education to a child and help lay the foundation for a better future for them. This annual sponsorship pays for their books, uniform, teacher’s salary, and two meals a day and is a gift that will last the rest of their lives.
2016 also saw a record number of teams and individuals come to serve at Mission of Grace. We averaged a little over two teams a month for a total of over 400 people giving a week or more of their lives to the people of Carries and Plaisance. Many of you were on one or more of those teams and we cannot thank you enough for your service and sacrifice. On behalf of the people of Carries, the people of Plaisance, Mission of Grace and Foundation Guillaume we say thank you for answering God’s call and being obedient to His voice. Because of you lives have been saved and forever changed.
In addition to all of our short term teams, we had a total of 16 full time missionaries serving on the ground in Haiti.
God has shown us great favor by calling these people to give up their lives of comfort to serve the people of Haiti. With their help and God’s provision many great things were accomplished this year.
Unfortunately this year also included some losses. As Haiti struggles to grow in the areas of medicine and sanitation, there will inevitably be those that are unable to receive the care and medicine that could save their lives. Care that we often take for granted in our more advanced societies. Sickness claimed the lives of 5 of our children this year. In Carries Jimmy and Bethsaika, and in Plaisance Jeremiah, John, and Sarah. In addition to the children our Home of Grace saw the passing of Marseles, who had joined us when the new home opened in April, and our beloved Elvi who had been with us for many years. While words cannot express or explain the heartache and the loss that we and you feel, we continue to hold on to the promises of Jesus and to know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We also take comfort in knowing that up until their last breath, these precious ones who had been abandoned and forgot by so many, were surrounded by people that loved them, cared for them, and fought for them every single day. That is what God has placed us here to do, and we are honored to answer His call and be a part of His work.
Of course as most of you are aware, we also took a pretty severe hit from Hurricane Matthew. While the damage in Carries was limited, the damage to Plasaince was severe. Many homes were destroyed, other buildings were severely damaged including our orphanage, fruit trees and crops were decimated, and the roads were washed out in several areas. Cholera and other sickness is on the rise and access is still limited.
God has provided two teams so far that have traveled to Plasaince to help rebuild and bring much needed supplies, but the need is still great. Many areas in Haiti will be rebuilding for years, but we are trusting that Plasaince will not be one of those areas. God is faithful and we know that He will provide.
As you can see it has been a full year, and this is merely a small sample of all that has gone on within Mission of Grace. Many of you have faithfully supported the work here for years through prayer, through finances, and through coming to serve alongside us. Please know that we are beyond grateful for that support and we hope that you will continue to partner with us in all that God is doing here in Haiti.
Many of you sent gifts for our people and we had a wonderful Christmas season as we celebrated the birth of Jesus and the reason that He came; to seek and save those that are lost. That same purpose is on each of our lives and we look expectantly to a new year of doing that together. We pray God’s blessing and favor upon each of you this year.