I really didn’t know what all I’d be doing this trip, I just wanted to be open to see what the Lord wanted me
to see and do what He needed me to do. I was to travel with Patrick and Agape Lataillade, native Haitian
missionaries. Patrick and his wife Barb were trapped in the quake in their home in Port-au-Prince (PauP),
both are walking miracles and they each lost a limb. In spite of all the hardships they have faced the past
few months, they realize that God is not done with them yet on this earth and that He still has much for
them to do before He calls them home to heaven. While many of us, including myself just ask Mary Jo,
complain about the simplest things that happen in our lives, what satan meant for evil, God is using for good
in their lives as they press on for what God has called them to do! They are truly an inspiration to me.
We spent a couple of days in PauP taking care of a few things, especially with a new vehicle that was
shipped from the states for Living Word Ministries (LWM). By the time you pay for shipping and several
taxes, including taxes on the shipping and new dock charges, you have almost paid for the vehicle twice.
They are still raising a little more money to get the truck out of customs and then they will need to start
the process over again as they need two vehicles in country to handle the needs and they can stop renting
While running around town I found things in a little better shape than the last time I was there. There
were a lot more real tents in place of the sheets and blankets and some even had tarps over them. Other
areas had set up tarps for shelter and some had erected make shift wood and tin shacks. A few places had
opened up for business, commerce was a little better and prices had come down a little. We saw a few
street lights working, but most of PauP is still without electricity and most of the people are still living in the
streets or in tent cities. Some things have been cleaned up a little, but most of the town still lay in a mess.
Most people still have no clue what they are going to do and the government is still being of no help, though
I did notice that they have begun tearing down their main capitol building as it seems that rebuilding that
structure is important to them!!
While in Haiti, it rained quite often and one night we experienced a horrendous thunder and rain storm. It
was very sad to be lying high and dry while most of the country around us was getting soaked during these
times and the rainy/hurricane season is right around the corner. LWM is working on helping some of the
Haitians build new homes and I’ll get more into that later.
Before we left PauP, we were able to secure rice, beans and oil to feed four total villages and a part of a
fifth, from Christian Aid Ministries (CAM). CAM has graciously helped LWM in the past and they continue
to bless them now. We secured shipping for the product so that it would arrive to Mayette shortly after us
which would allow Patrick to oversee the distribution. After securing a few other supplies for our trip, we
headed out on the 7+ hour journey to Mayette and arrived late in the evening, unpacked and went to bed.
The next day Patrick spent a lot of time talking with the church leaders and going over many things. We
then headed to a village called Cotes de Fer (CdF), about 30 minutes from Mayette. CdF sits at the bottom
of the mountain on the seashore and has suffered a lot of hurricane damage over the years. Most of the
village had been rendered useless after the quake. Some of the buildings have collapsed and most of the
rest are damaged beyond repair and/or unsafe to live in. Some organization, we could never find out
exactly who, set up 129, two room tents for the villagers on top of the mountain. Each tent houses two
families, one per room. The tents are in an open field and the sun blazes down on them all day long. The
temperatures were above 100 degrees while we were there and summer isn’t even here yet! The tents are
not water proof so when it rains they leak. It rained three out of the five nights that we were in Mayette.
Some have gotten tarp pieces and placed them over the tents, but the bottoms still flood when it rains hard.
Most of the people spend their days down in the village where it is cooler under the trees and they can get
back to some type of normal life, then they trek back up the mountain at night to sleep in their tents. One
single mother of three said that she couldn’t make it up the mountain when they were setting up the tents
so she didn’t get a place up there. She currently lives in her home that was damaged by the quake. The
organization that gave them the tents has said that after 6 months, they will come back to take them away!
We heard this from more than one source. They have 10 toilet stalls with very shallow holes dug in the
ground as the terrain is rocky and hard to dig. They are currently overflowing.
There is a small area of town where an organization built widow homes years ago. They are very small
homes, but livable before the quake and as long as there wasn’t a hurricane. They sit at the bottom of the
mountain. The quake broke loose large boulders from the mountain which rolled down and into the homes,
flattening some and largely damaging others. Every home we looked at was damaged in some way.
It would be best for these people to build homes up on the mountain so that they are away from the rolling
boulders and out of flood/hurricane’s way. The problem is they don’t own any land anywhere but where
they currently live. If new homes are constructed in the current locations, they will need to have higher
foundations and some type of retaining wall would need to be built to stop the boulders. LWM is working on
teaming with other ministries, churches and people to help this village out, but we’ll get to that later.
We headed back to Mayette and finished our day. The next day was Sunday and we hung out at the
compound. I noticed that church attendance had doubled since we were there last August. They held a
baptism with several people getting dunked! Later that day, the truck with the food arrived and was
unloaded. Patrick had met with the church leaders from the four villages. Cards were made up with
Calvary Chapel Mayette (CCM) stamps on them. The leaders took the cards and gave one to each person in
their village. They would then exchange the card for food.
Monday came and the first wave of villagers started congregating in the compound. CCM had a system of
distributing the food and exactly how much to give per person. With the card system, each family was
assured that they got enough food no matter how big their family was. They were given enough beans, rice
and oil for one meal per person per day to last for two weeks! It was quite a blessing. The crowds were
very well behaved with very little incidents. The hardest part was when some people from villages that
weren’t included in the distribution showed up trying to get food. They were a little pushy, but we still
managed to get some to them as well.
Tuesday was much the same as Monday, with very little incident. By day’s end, over 1500 people had
received enough food for two weeks. There was still some food left over, so the leaders set out to a fifth
village and passed out cards to again distribute later in the week.
Wednesday morning CCM received yet another truck of supplies from CAM. Once a month they deliver
medical and baby supplies as well as boxes of food and essentials termed widow boxes, that are given to
widows in the village. Much needed and appreciated items!
In the midst of all of this, CCM began a two week revival time as they prepare themselves for some huge
spiritual warfare that always exists because of a huge festival that begins when the revival concludes.
Patrick was back up on the pulpit teaching at CCM and though I couldn't understand him, he sure got the
people fired up!
On Sunday we found out that there were some damaged homes in the Mayette area. We further inquired
and on Monday and Tuesday we inspected about six homes and found the reports to be true. While these
homes were in disrepair before the quake, as most Haitian homes were never in the best shape, the quake
has made them worse and now they are in serious need of new homes.
While talking with CAM before we left PauP they mentioned that they had built 60 homes after the
hurricanes in 2008. They are small, two rooms, concrete block, cement floor, tin roof homes. Reports
back are that they all withstood the quake, except one, which has minor, repairable damage. Upon returning
to PauP we went back to CAM to go over the food distribution with them and also to discuss the building of
homes in the Mayette and CdF areas.
We are excited about what the Lord will do with this project. There is talk of a couple of different
ministries joining with and/or working in the area to provide homes for these people. While we realize there
are many needs in many areas of Haiti, with CCM and four other Calvary Chapels in the area and the CCM
compound built and ready to house teams at very little cost per team, this area seems to be ready for
deployment! Not only can costs be kept low because virtually nothing has to be built or shipped to Haiti to
house the teams, but there are already well discipled Christians living in the area that can minister to the
people that are helped, long after those from America have gone home!
Preliminary figures have the homes costing about $5,000 per home/family! This includes all materials
bought in Haiti and shipping from PauP to the jobsite. The building will use very little manual labor help
from America, as part of this money will pay Haitian laborers to do the work. By using their labor and
purchasing products in country, we will help to stimulate the Haitian economy as well! We will need to have
skilled construction labor from America, but that will take very few people. Those receiving homes will be
required to help with the construction of the homes, unless they are physically unable to do so.
This is all in the planning stages and much can and will change, but the bottom line is that we can really help
these people not only get reliable, livable homes, but we can also help bring some money into this poor
country at their greatest time of need.