DIAMONDS RISING OUT OF ASHES

5 12 2011

(by Marlon Migala)   One of the success stories that have blossomed out of our Grace Village earthquake survivor encampment and our Restoration and Empowerment efforts is that of the Cynthia Chaperon.

Cynthia along with Antoinier became the recipients of the first home Grace International and Fuller Center constructed  at the Lambi Village site.  They are the first of what we project to be many Haitian families to relocate to these new homesteads.

Cynthia has an industrious family unit with four children. She initiated and operated a tent business purveying dry food, spices, eggs, beans and more at her tent in Grace Village and has transposed her dry goods  shop to their new home at Lambi.

Our Haiti Empowerment Program has initiated implementation of a no interest micro financing loan program to assist start up business ventures. One of the early recipients is Cynthia.

We will be empowering many other Haitian entrepreneurs to assist them in achieving their goals for Blessed and Abundant lives.  Many of them have availed themselves of the educational seminars conducted by our partner Project Eden.

Cynthia’s sweat equity labor, also, helped in building their new home.  She worked daily, for weeks, in the construction of the cinder block structure.

Antoinier contributed a daily effort as a resident of the Grace Village camp security force.

Along with their children they have relocated to their new home and begun their restored lives along with other Pioneers of a New Haiti.

More success stories will be forthcoming in subsequent newsletters; involving Project Gaia, EMI, Forward Edge, Fuller Center, Project Eden and others who share our vision and partner with us to achieve it as we progress in creating a new and better Haiti for all.





VICTORY FROM RUBBLE RISES

5 12 2011

(by Marlon Migala)  Amazing is the Grace, that God inspires us with, here at Grace International. Amazing, also, is the quiet patience and fortitude that inhabits the Orphans of the Storm who survived that earthquake of the century which left them homeless. Though displaced from their homesteads, many found safe haven at our compounds in Carrefour.

Welcomed into Grace Village by Bishop Joel and Pastor Doris Jeune as well as the Grace Haiti team they began their road to recovery by setting up a tarp and tent town, weaving its way around the grounds of our well established campus.

The U.N., U.S. representatives and Haitian civil authorities marveled at the order and peaceful presence exuded by the thousands for whom this ad hoc established home had become.

Doctors Without Borders also recognized the calm of our campus in the midst of the chaos of Carrefour. With foresight we had constructed a hospital, built to rigid California seismic safety standards. They moved in and for more than a year, employing dozens of Haitian Doctors and Nurses, working in tandem with their own staff, along with rotating international teams of health professionals, treated hundreds of walking wounded every day.

Amputating the sorrows of survivors of a Seismic cataclysm that may demarcate the Haiti that was from the land that will and must be born anew out of the Rubble and Ashes of disaster.

We, who love and respect the Haitian people and their brave and hard fought contribution to the Fight for Freedom for all of us, must help them to rebuild their lives better than before and sustainable for generations to come.

The Jeunes vision for Grace has, since the earthquake, taken on the challenge with a new dimension. We call it Rescue, Relieve, Restore and Empower the People.

The Rescue phase is largely completed. The Relief is ongoing, vis a vis our Health Clinic, food distribution and Lords Kitchen feeding programs. The Restoration, well planned and exceeding even the Government’s criteria is off the drawing board and well under way in construction of new homes and support facilities, for our homeless brothers and sisters; most specifically at our new Lambi Village in Greccier County, not far from Carrefour and accessible by a good highway.

The Empowerment Program is multi faceted; including education in blue and white collar skill-sets, micro-financing loans to encourage entrepreneurship by motivated Haitians. Interviewing intentions of potential home recipients to screen in those willing to put in the sweat equity for their new domiciles.

Opening opportunities for those with backgrounds and progressive attitudes in Agrarian endeavors and Animal husbandry. Bringing in partners to assist in starting up both chicken farming as well as food and fodder farming for Ethanol production.

Along with our partner Project Gaia we will soon be commencing on a pilot program of Ethanol/Alcohol cook-stoves with a goal of reversing the ecological destruction and health impairment of producing and burning charcoal to prepare food.

Grace is now assuming full management of the girls home and foresee, in the future, an extension into smaller group homes (with live in house parents) of the heretofore warm embrace of its wonderful confines, long home to orphaned girls. Many of the girls who grew up in this Godly shelter, located in an oasis of opportunities, were educated into careers in medicine (Doctors and Nurses) business and blue collar trades as well as Pastoral pursuits etc. of a New Haiti Dawning.

The challenges are greater than ever but giving birth to new life is always somewhat painful. The baby that’s born always brings hope for a better future if we nurture it with God’s Agape Love. When we become Pioneers for a New Haiti, we all become its midwives.

For ideas to help out with this Pioneering effort check out our previous posting titled “Now is the Time” A small sacrifice, of sharing, on your part becomes a big blessing to the Earthquake Survivors in Haiti. If you scroll down to the bottom of our website there is a space for you to share ideas and comments concerning what you read about Grace International and what we are doing in Haiti. Take a few moments, if you will, to write us some of your thoughts.





ONWARD AND UPWARD

8 04 2011

(By Marlon Migala)

Grace International, along with its partners, Fuller Center for Housing, Forward Edge and Project Eden and Project GAIA; is building transitional and permanent, sustainable, long term housing for our Haitian constituents at both Lambi, in Gressier County and at Lafiteau. (Read our “Now is the Time” posting for ideas of how you can respond and get involved in this important, life affirming effort).

    Construction teams are cycling in every week to work side by side with our Haitian brothers and sisters.  The land we’re blessed with is blossoming to Relieve thousands of earthquake displaced survivors, who’ve been living on the ground in makeshift shelters, into decent living conditions and Restore them to better health and a hopeful future.

     Jerri Migala continues to be your direct connection, here at our stateside offices in Miami Gardens, U.S.A. to Grace International and the coordinator of comings and goings for all of the Grace family.  Call her at (305) 231-1117 and /or E Mail her at office @graceintl.org with any questions or ideas/suggestions you might have for and about the effort in Haiti.  Those of you who know her already know what a blessing she is and how helpful she is in transitioning your efforts into Haiti.  Those who don’t know her yet will be blessed by her Godly service and helpfulness.

     Very grateful thanks to “Doctors Without Borders” for more than a year of their Humanitarian work, at our Hospital in Grace Village, meeting the emergency need of thousands after the earthquake of Jan.  12th, 2010.

     Danny and Michael Jeune continue, along with Ginette Thomas and Matulde Pierre, to bless the Survivor Refugees, as well as others, at our compounds in Carrefour.

     Luce Jeune, Michael’s wife, has just completed a course in ministry studies at Christian Retreat in Bradenton, Florida. Thank you Pastor Phil and IOM ministries for making Luce’s education possible.

     SKIP THE LATTE and SAVE A CHILD FROM STARVING !

       Easter 2011 will will be the first anniversary of “The Lords Kitchen”.  For the past year 1000 (one thousand) and more children have been coming, bowls in hand, hungry eyed, to line up and have their vessels filled with a life sustaining, nourishing meal; to feed them through another day.

       They will take this life saving ration of food; prepared with love, by our sweet lady cooks, back to their tents and share it with their families.

        Your participation in this life affirming effort is quite simple and really very easy to do.  $2.00 a day, including cost of food, cooking fuel and preparation will fill that humble bowl and save a child from starving one more day !

         If you like your Java (coffee) Latte, Grande special at around $4.00 a serving, Skip It and you’ll save two children from starving !  i love my morning mug of Kenya coffee but in buying it by the pound i get 30 four cup carafes from it.  That’s 120 cups of coffee !  Consider how many hungry children you can save by brewing your own and contributing the price of a Latte coffee, even if only once or twice a week, to “The Lord’s Kitchen”.  So, forego the Latte, brew that Java yourself and Save some Children from Starving !!  

    Your resident wordsmith and alternate sources of energy project manager is also promoting Grace International and working to raise funds for our projects in Haiti.  A very exciting Haitian born fine artist has contacted Marlon with an offer to donate the lion’s share of proceeds at an auction of 10 powerful paintings depicting the earthquake aftermath.  Negotiations are underway to secure both a physical and interactive internet auction webcast as soon as possible.  There will be giclee and poster reproductions available also for our friends at more affordable donations.  We will update you as this effort develops.

    Bishop and Marlon, as editor, continue to revise, refine and update Bishop’s biography which we hope to have available for you this year soon.

     Bishop and Doris Jeune continue their on the ground efforts in Haiti and extensive travels promoting Grace and receiving accolades from the many who know and appreciate their nearly four decades of Godly ministry to serve the people and help birth a New Haiti.  Along with Jesus, they are our solid foundations for all we do here at Grace.

     Our operating budget is very, very modest, especially considering all that God has called up to do and all we’ve been accomplishing for His people in Haiti.  Please keep the Faith and remember us when you consider donating funds to a most worthy cause.  We are ever grateful for your support of us and the men, women and children whom we serve in Haiti.





NOW IS THE TIME

8 04 2011

(By Marlon Migala)

If not now when?

  Have you ever gone camping? In a nice mountain tent for a weekend or maybe a week ?  Imagine living in that tent or maybe under some improvised tarp materials for 14 months; without a car to go to the supermarket and store up food; without a propane camp stove but merely an improvised container burning charcoal and inhaling its toxic fumes to cook a meager ration of rice and beans, month after month!

    Imagine rainwater seeping in, under you, as you try to sleep and wind that tears at your tent till it springs leaks and the rain attacks from above. 

    Imagine drinking unsafe water and praying that Cholera or other water born diseases don’t invade your body and threaten your life.  Imagine living like this next to others; so close you can hear them sneeze or snore and doing so on a median between 2 lanes of traffic rolling by belching carbon monoxide and if your child comes out of your tent alone and steps too far he/she might be struck by a passing vehicle.

    Imagine these and more then you may begin to understand what Haitians have been enduring, for more than a year, after that earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010.  Would you put up with such circumstances ? Could you endure under such conditions ?  Think times are tough here in the U.S.A with unemployment about 9%.  Try 80% to 85% on for size.  If you pay your electric bill there’s still the T.V. or radio to fall asleep to while forgetting your troubles.

    In Haiti electricity is a 4 hour, at best, commodity that your neighborhood might get in the middle of the night.  However, not if you’re  one of the million still in a tent.  Want to read your N.Y. Times or Bible at night ? OK, if you can get oil for your oil lamp.

    Complaining about $4.00 a gallon gas ? Try $10.00 a gallon if there’s any available at the few stations that have it.  Not satisfied with your government, the Republicans or Democrats ? Try Haiti’s and see where that gets you.

    Think you could live on $200 to $500 a year?

     Step outside of your home and look at it.  Imagine it’s a pile of rubble and not insured.  Well, there’s always that tent which you hope you took with you, when fleeing your home as the earth began to rumble and shake and you ran for dear life and watched your American Dream collapse ! There, but for the Grace of God go you, me, us, we and them, who were unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time ! The bell tolls and thank God it hasn’t tolled for you but if you are part of the family of man, listen to its plaintive call and help those for whom it has tolled the loudest.

                           CONSIDER SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    If you gave up one Starbucks latte a week for a year you could put a Haitian child through one year’s school.

    If you cooked in and gave up eating out (for a family of four) once or twice a week for a year you could help liberate a family of six Haitians from a tent on the ground into a safe, permanent, sustainable and decent dwelling.

    If you rented or downloaded a movie once a week for a year rather than going to the Cineplex (with your family of four) you could move a Haitian family from their torn, leaking tarp, survival circumstance into a solid, off the ground, transitional shelter.

    If you by passed your fast food local source for one month (with your family of four) you would provide a Haitian family with a clean, non toxic ethanol burning cook stove.  If you did that for a year you could help fund a job producing ethanol distillery to make ethanol for those cook stoves.

    I could go on with a lot more examples but suffice it to say that Grace and its wonderfully committed partners are building transitional shelters and sustainable permanent homes for a Haitian population whom you must consider to be a distant part of your family of man.

    Forty percent of Haitian families meager income goes into buying charcoal, the production of which is destroying the landscape of its trees and the burning of which is destroying lungs.

    Grace and its partner Gaia are bringing in ethanol/alcohol cook stoves and are prepared to distill that fuel when funding is forthcoming.  We will grow fuel fodder and in the interim help clean up and distill, into fodder mash, the vegetable waste that clogs the roadside markets.

    Long term, Grace plans to begin an Arbor tree planting program to initiate restoration of the ravaged land thus preventing the mudslides that have killed so many and washed away valuable topsoil into the sea.

    Your generous contributions will go far in the future as Grace is securing preferred NGO (Non-Governmental Agency) status which will drastically reduce, customs related, costs of relief and restoration; so the question remains… If not now, when?

 Examine your heart and you will know that …NOW is the TIME for all People of Good Will to act !





EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM FOR A NEW HAITI

1 04 2011

Grace International’s Haiti Empowerment Program is off the drawing board and into action. We have broken ground toward material and social development. Our goal is to pioneer in the creation of a new Haiti.

Our Haiti Empowerment Program is progressing well. Although this program started a couple of years prior  to the earthquake, challenges arising from the effects spawned by the earthquake have motivated us to proceed with urgency.  There are four main categories that are currently in  this process.  Additional partnerships are being finalized for the advancement of these projects.  The Haiti Empowerment Program encompasses several projects bringing relief and restoring lives of thousands of displaced survivors of the earthquake as well as those who were already living in dire circumstances and abject poverty. Our program’s main goal is to create economic opportunities and much better living conditions thus freeing the people we serve from the chains of bondage.

Under construction is our current project, The Lambi Community: Partnership for Sustainable Living. (Click this link to view booklet:  http://74738.inspyred.com/images/HaitiEmpowermentBooklet%20-%202nd%20version.pdf ) It includes:  

Lambi Community

Lambi Community

Agri-business - (Current Partners: Forward Edge & Jamaican Broilers Group- to create and stimulate chicken-farming)   Requesting Project Budget: Available upon request

Housing (Current Partners: Fuller Center, Forward Edge, Engineering Ministries International:  – community building via permanent housing solutions)  Requesting Project Budget: Available upon request

Alternative Energy - (Partners: GAIA- to produce bio-fuel products for cooking; and to provide bio fuel stoves) Requesting Project Budget: Available upon request

Business Training & Opportunities - (Partners: Project Eden – to educate business owners in better business development, improve job skills for construction related tradesmen, to teach individual entrepreneurs basic business practices) Requesting Annual Budget: Available upon request

To get involved in this project, click: http://74738.inspyred.com/pages.asp?pageid=104310 

Update on our Progress

On Monday, November 22nd, 2010 we broke ground on our first sustainable community at Lambi, in Gressier County, Haiti.  This 7-acre site will have 76 homes, a market area, community center and place of worship, a communal water well and bathrooms.  Since then Forward Edge has constructed a number of transitional homes on the site and they are now occupied by families who lost their homes to the earthquake.  

Lambi Community

 This past July, Project Eden helped train 26 construction industry tradesmen and businessmen from Grace International community.  This group will be the initial tradesmen building our new community at Lambi. 

We thank our provider, Almighty God, for bringing us together to embark upon this pioneer effort for a new Haiti. We aim to glorify His name and to improve the lives of His people. We believe that the work in Haiti is in obedience to what Jesus commands.  We look forward to your continued pioneering partnership with us in the development and implementation of this program.





LOAVES, FISHES AND SHOEBOXES…VOILA!!!!

30 12 2010

Between 1,000 and 2,000 children remained at the, dusty, earthquake damaged, gymnasium in downtown Port au Prince. We had, after our Christmas Party festivities, already distributed hundreds of shoeboxes, filled with toys and goodies, to the bleachered children on one side of the gym and now with but (according to my count) 480 shoeboxes left we prayed for a miracle of God to multiply the blessings.

 Haiti Christmas 2010 813.JPG  Haiti Christmas 2010 1171.JPG

The children filed down, from their seats ,through a gauntlet of Grace personnel and volunteers; each boy and girl receiving their shoebox of North American gift joy donations, courtesy of Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. We were amazed returning repeatedly to what were almost empty cartons to discover them refilled with more shoeboxes. Having arrived with 2,000 of the promised 10,000 (8,000 of which were unavailable due to customs embargo) we blessed nearly 3,000 children and still left with enough gifts for the Boys home at Waney. Now that’s loaves and fishes multiplication time..(“the works that I do shall the believer do also.. ”John 14:12).

Most  of  the 10,000 or more children who attended the 5 parties held at Lamentin and Waney Compounds, the Boys Detention center at Carrefour, the Sunshine Home in Patient Ville and the Gym in downtown Port au Prince asked Jesus into their hearts; running to the alter when given the opportunity.

Despite a weeks delay, due to post election unrest that cancelled all flights in and out of Haiti, our mission was accomplished.  These precious Orphans of the Storm, who endured nearly a year living in the Sea of Sorrows aftermath of the worst natural disaster in Haiti’s recorded history had their special days of Christmas.  For this Wordsmith and my wife Jerri, Christmas will no longer be Christmas without our  time in Haiti, sharing, along with our puppets, the joy of Jesus with our family of boys and girls. We thank Rodolph Dorleans, our wonderful translator and Creole voice interpreter for his enthusiastic participation. Our puppet team of 25 Haitian young men and women learned and performed, with  dedication and joyful purpose, a new script, that I wrote and directed, of the story of Jesus birth.

Haiti Christmas 2010 101.JPG  Haiti Christmas 2010 474.JPG  Haiti Christmas 2010 508.JPG

Finally, all these celebrations would not be possible without Pastor Doris Jeune, her well organized support team and the very generous funding provided by Pastor Stanley Moore and Words of Life Church of North Miami Beach, Fl, USA.

By Marlon Migala





NEWS OF NOTE FROM GRACE VILLAGE

14 12 2010

•      We have much to be thankful for !  God has spared us from the most recent hurricane and the Cholera epidemic.  The Lord created a hedge of protection around the Waney and Lamentin Compounds.  Our Faith and yours shall continue to protect us from Hurricanes, Cholera and Violence.

       •      Thank you to Forward Edge who blessed the 1,000 children at “The Lord’s Kitchen” daily feeding program. 

       •      Forward Edge has erected Four (4) homes, with more to come, at the new Lambi Sustainable Community site.  Our partners currently  active with us are: Fuller Center, Engineering Ministries International, Forward Edge and Project Gaia.  

       •      Arise and Walk Ministries, who have sent numerous medical teams to Grace Village this year has honored Bishop and Doris with their International Missions Award, which pays tribute to individuals for remarkable, unselfish and humanitarian efforts to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of poor and challenged peoples around the world. 

       •      Our heartfelt gratitude to Pastor Stanley Moore and Words of Life Church who most generously helped to support our five Children’s Christmas Parties this past December 17th through the 20th.  We also thank Samaritan’s Purse for providing 2,000 gift shoe boxes for our Christmas parties. The parties took place at Grace Village-Lamentin; at the Sunshine Children’s Home in Petionville; at a large gymnasium, near the National Palace, in downtown Port Au Prince; at Grace’s Waney church and school and finally at the Boy’s Detention Center in Carrefour. Approximately 12,000 children attended these joyous celebrations of Jesus birth, a majority of whom received Him into their hearts.

       •      Thank you to Pastor Chris Connell and Pastor Eric Jarvis and their teams from Raleigh North Carolina and Michigan and Connie Klein and her parents as well as Paulette Cheeks for their ill fated attempt to join us for the Christmas parties but could not continue on from Miami due to post election rioting in Haiti which forced a week long cancellation of all flights.  Long time supporter Sarah Broomell from Virginia and her sister Laura Ward from New Hampshire who stayed with Marlon and Jerri and lent some very welcome helping hands in the Migala’s garage sorting and packing Christmas gifts for the children, while waiting and hoping that American Airlines would resume flights in time for at least a weekend in Haiti. They did, however, send some greatly appreciated gifts for the girls home at Lamentin which Marlon, Jerri and Ed and Kathy Keith brought with them when they arrived in Haiti on the 14th of December.

       •      We thank Dr Ted Grimes who, with his team, has worked so hard, refurbishing to new and usable condition several dozen bathrooms as well as making the Girls Home safe and secure for our precious girls. The girls  and boys have been so heroic in facing all the post earthquake adversities. God has spared our kids and camps from many months of aftershocks from the earthquake, a hurricane, a chlorea epidemic and post election rioting.








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