The Lord continues to work in amazing ways at the Mission of Grace and in the village of Carries. His presence is felt and His promises of life, joy and friendship with God are revealed both subtly and overtly every day. Bondye bon! God is good!
Children of Grace
Construction has begun on a building that will house the older boys in the orphanage and though its opening is several months away, we look forward to the day when all the boys can live in community together. The original orphanage building opened in 2011 with the second house following in 2014 and between the two we are blessed to have nearly 70 children in our charge with the youngest being less than six months old and the oldest being 16. But no matter the age, all are Children of God.
Although Haiti’s independence day is January 1, the national holiday of Flag Day was celebrated on May 18 and all of the children took place in activities ranging from parades at school, drawing and painting flags to commemorate the national flag’s founding and patriotic programs. We instill pride in place and country and the national colors of blue and red ruled the day.
Since the addition of Dr. Alisma to the mission’s staff he has taken a keen interest in the development of the boy’s athletic skills and in particular he has been teaching the finer points of basketball. In the process we hope the boys will build confidence, will work hard, be disciplined, learn sportsmanship, develop social skills, will have stronger academics to say nothing of the fun of clean competition and exercise.
Finally, we now have a music teacher who is coming to the orphanage twice a week and it is with great anticipation that we will see the orchestral fruits in the very near future!
Men of Grace
Our Men of Grace Home now has six young men living, learning and sharing together. Many of the young men are in their final year of High School. They are a blessing to us at Mission of Grace as they serve in various capacities in the mission. The light of Jesus shines in and through them as leaders in the community as they lead a Christian example to other young men and children in the village. Out of the Men of Grace Home we have our drummer at church, we have young men who go out with the pastor and food distribution teams. The Men of Grace challenge other young in in the community to always choose to do what is good and pleasing to God. We have a budding chef at The Men of Grace Home. This fall Wisnick began culinary school.
Nurturing the Soul: Grace Community Church
Sunday services continue to be energetic affairs where the worship is joyful and messages are deep in the Gospel. More than 200 people have been showing up for service and there is not an empty seat in the house. Other than Sunday service, though, the church is regularly used for men’s and women’s Bible study, teen meetings, community events and a host of other activities both related to the Mission and the community.
Home of Grace Elderly Home
Nowhere else in Haiti will one find something like our Home of Grace where eighteen men and women are given continuous care and the blessings of Christ. Although most of our residents are older, we have recently opened the house to a few young people as well. We are thankful Pastor Jude regularly prays with and for all of our residents and visiting teams spend time at the house doing a variety of activities from playing dominos, painting fingernails, drawing, painting or just sitting on the patio holding a hand. It should be remembered that like our students at the school, and children at the orphanage, all of our grandmas and grandpas can be sponsored at www.missionofgracehaiti.org.
Grace Community Clinic
At this writing we are only days away from opening our newly renovated clinic that will better serve the village and surrounding communities. In the interim, the clinic has been held at our Grace Community Church where hundreds of patients are being seen each week. Continued thanks to Doctor St. Louis and the Foundation for Health and Hope in Haiti for their ongoing support of the clinic and for the people of Haiti.
Although our longtime doctor, Doctor Gellio, also spends time at FHHH’s sister clinic on the island of Ile-a-Vache in the south, he is still a presence in Carries and along with Doctor Gregory and the entire staff, superior service is provided to the point where people will travel for hours to get to our little clinic up on the hillside.
On any given day the Soup Kitchen provides meals for anywhere from 100-200 people and our small and dedicated staff, as well as the visiting missionaries, provide an environment that is not only about providing a meal but doing so with a Godly attitude. After a long wait, we finally received a new shipment of soups from our partners in America and can offer a diversified menu.
Grace Community School
The end of the school year is fast approaching and Grace Community School continues to provide an excellent free education to not only the Children of Grace, but for nearly 200 kids in the village. Of particular note is the addition of a psychologist to the staff, Doctor Alisma, who has been actively sitting with children who suffer from trauma as well as having regular meetings with our teachers and support staff so they can offer better life skills, effective teaching strategies and affective methods of discipline.
When Miss Lynn founded the Mission of Grace in 2010 it was with a vision of what would be, and now, just eight years later, many of the visions have become a reality. But the work is far from finished and in many respects we are just getting going. With Christ as our guiding light we will continue to reach for the stars, to strive for excellence to remember where all the glory and honor belongs.