Hello, friends and family!
April was another wonderful month for the ministry and a step forward for us personally, as well.
As far as Konbit and Justice Water goes, this month has been another amazing month of growth and discovery. Our amazing staff guys and girls have started really pouring into a few local, young adults who are on fire for God and the things happening in their community. We are really excited about this happening.
Additionally, the children’s program is gearing up for another great summer of day camps. The children’s program continues to serve 130 children weekly and provides a warm meal for the children and jobs for several members of the community. Kids are growing and their families are being supported through the children’s program.
The Justice Water Hispaniola ministry continues to provide clean water, training, and more to communities around the island. We have recently seen that this program has served over 10,000 people in the last 5 years and that number continues to grow. We are so proud of our 5 staff guys who have amazing teams that are built around them. They continue to serve places that can’t even be found on the map, empowering and educating communities on clean water and sanitation.
Business keeps growing, too. We continue to work with our women’s program, Fanm Konbit, whose goal now is to continue making these beautiful market bags in Haiti for us to sell here (and there). We are hoping to expand this program in the fall. :) Our coffee and pillows and moringa are getting more popularity, as well. They are being sold in a handful of stores and we are getting picked up by a new, cool online marketplace soon, as well. Stay tuned for that!
This month, we were able to partner with people from Kentucky, USA; Togo, West Africa; Georgia, USA and Montrouis, Haiti to run a business development seminar. It went really well and each participant left with the knowledge they needed to develop a business plan, mission, and vision for the future. We got a lot of good feedback from the community on this training.
This week, we are hosting our second annual pastor’s conference, hosting people from both New Orleans, LA. and Montrouis, Haiti as our speakers. We are excited about the continued way we get to encourage and uplift the pastors in the surrounding communities. This year, this group will be introducing an ongoing curriculum that a New Orleans Pastor and Ryan will continue to oversee after the conference has ended. We are excited to be able to do this.
For us in the USA, we have been able to do so much, as well! This month, we hosted our first annual Konbit Haiti luncheon at Little Point Clear in Point Clear, AL. We shared all about what is happening in Haiti and ways people could participate. A HUGE thank you to all of the sponsors, board members, servers, and more who gave up an afternoon to help and hear about what is happening in Haiti. It was incredibly humbling!
We continue to make connections stateside through social media (funny! but true), and relationships around the community. We are so thankful for the opportunity to be based out of the US for this season, as it has helped us bridge that gap of understanding and get a lot of things in order. We are currently working on many administrative things stateside that had been left alone for years of our overseas work. We are thankful for time to do this tedious (and boring ;)) work.
Steph continues to get stronger after her massive heat stroke and following surgery. She is still recovering and waiting anxiously to return to Haiti for longer than a week. Ryan has done an excellent job of going back and forth during this time when Steph is not able to travel as much with him. We have been working really hard to make sure we are getting healing and healthy, while continuing to push forward with the ministry connections, fundraising, and operations on the ground.
We want to just give it up for our national staff who have really, really stepped up to the plate. We are so proud of them and the hard work they put into their jobs and their lives in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They are working so hard! We love them and appreciate them so much.
Thanks to all of you who give, pray, and support our efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. We learn more every day and we are excited to continue the efforts of national development in Haiti. It is our hope that we may return to the island (both of us) for June and July, as this is a busy season for the ministry.