Sunday morning, the chairs are filled as alumni and students of HTC, their families and people from all over Port Au Prince show up to study God's word and worship at Rendezvous Christ Church a community outreach component of Haiti Teen Challenge. Jhonny, an HTC graduate leads a Sunday school class on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and Kenlove, a student in the HTC Women's Program, is helping to teach children about Jesus through stories and songs. Here is her story.
My name is Kenlove, and I didn't grow up with a mom or dad. I lived with my sister and her husband who couldn't keep me from hanging out with gangs, thieves and murderers. Sadly, they were the ones who taught me how to live. They influenced me to follow their lifestyle of many sexual partners, drugs, alcohol, smoke, and prostitution. I didn't have any respect from my neighborhood and I was ashamed when people talked about me. I stopped going to school because I preferred partying, pleasure was the center of my life.
But when my sister witnessed the changed lives in the young men in our community who had gone through Haiti Teen Challenge she worked to see if I could come into the Women's Program. I was placed with people who loved me and my life changed through the words of God. I asked God to forgive me for everything I did in my past and now I have salvation. I lift up my hands and thank God, He is now the principal actor in the movie of my life.
Nothing can make me go back to the life I used to lead. This June I will be graduating. Please pray for me as I return to my neighborhood to share with them what I have learned about God and a better way to live.
June 3rd will be the 10th Men's Class and the 1st Women's Class to graduate. As the number of graduates grows their impact is increasing, the "ripple effect" has begun. Just like the early church, Christian community is growing within neighborhoods long forgotten by those in government and even the local church. In the next three years Haiti Teen Challenge has great plans. Our Strategic Plan focuses on 5 Key areas.
1. Program: Ensure program is relational and intimate in nature, and transformative as a result. Measure success in terms of student outcomes.
2. Development: Increase awareness of and grow financial support across the U.S. and in Haiti. Through fundraising that is cost effective, goal-oriented and growth-oriented build a sustainable ministry and fund the growth vision.
3. Leadership Capacity: Grow HTC and build an army of godly leaders in staff and students strictly adhering to the mission and values yet recognizing the great need of the nation.
4. Economic Engines: Evaluate and launch business opportunities, which utilize HTC students and build an income stream for the HTC ministry.
5. Finance: Function with the utmost integrity, accountably and transparency, and support the strategic plan of HTC.
6. Governance: Provide documented processes with a biblical view that fosters high performance and support for the HTC Board, HTC Foundation Board, and the HTC management in achieving the mission and vision of the organization. To ultimately transfer all design, planning and decision making to HTC Foundation and Haitian.
Thank you for supporting Haiti Teen Challenge in our mission to,
"Build godly leaders of integrity, so that Haitians are empowered to rebuild their nation."
A category 4 hurricane makes landfall in Haiti. According to reports 1.25 million people endured hurricane force winds that reached 145 mph, impacting people with no place to seek shelter. An estimated 1000+ people are killed and monetary damage is estimated at $1.89 billion. In the southern part of Haiti the winds, the heavy rainfall and the deadly tides destroy 90% of homes, schools, churches, and the economy with nearly all crops decimated.
As the students of Haiti Teen Challenge listened to the reports many were worried about their families. The next question was, "what can we do to help."
As soon as a bridge to the devastated land was secured HTC Teams, lead by HTC Graduate, Youbens Gay, were on their way to bring food, water and the hope of Jesus Christ to those whose lives had been shattered. These young men and women who formerly brought harm to their neighbors now came to serve, recognizing that it was their responsibility to help.
As the late radio commentator Paul Harvey said, "And now for the rest of the story..."
Thanks to you since October HTC teams have been ministering in the south of Haiti. Over 656,000 meals have been provided for those in need and over 51,200 families have been helped. Working with other Haitian partners HTC teams have clean up the debris and helped 49 families repair their homes.
After witnessing the work of the HTC Teams other Haitians joined in and provided $164,000 of food, and building materials worth $43,000. Your support has empowered Haitians to help Haitians and modeled what it means to reach out in times of crisis. Your generosity is now allowing HTC to partner with GoServGlobal a ministry in Iowa that manufactures the components needed to build homes that will stand strong in hurricanes and earthquakes. HTC hopes to provide homes for 8 families who lost everything with discernment from the local church.
Round in design, a Safe T Home can withstand strong winds, in fact these homes in southern Haiti provided refuge for many during Hurricane Matthew. They are also virtually earthquake proof. A double roof provides a heat deflection system keeping the internal temperature 10˚ cooler than the outside and also provides a water collection system. The roof contains a solar panel for one light and can support 5,000 pounds for an added sleeping loft or storage. The Safe T home has a 75-year life expectancy, is made of 90% recyclable materials, and is 100% termite, fire and waterproof. Windows have screens and be can locked for security. The rounded attachments on the outside act as ballast for the home and provide protected places for gardens and the home can be painted to reflect the personality of the family. At a cost of $6,700 per home for the components and transportation to the Haiti these home can be put together in 2 days with simple hand tools. Starting this month The HTC teams will be train by GoServGlobal and begin building 2 homes. This has been made possible by you.
We are very thankful for your support and your investment in the young men and women of HTC, but we continue to need your help. Please prayerfully consider a gift to empower this generation of Haitians to become godly leaders of compassion, honesty, respect, integrity, committed to serving others and leaders that can be trusted. They will be the ones that bring the good news and help their fellow Haitians to finally write a new story for Haiti.
Haiti Teen Challenge
This past month Haiti Teen Challenge welcomed our second class of 12 young women. These young women came from the streets. Abused and filled with despair no longer, they are being immersed in God's forgiveness, grace and mercy, growing to understand their purpose and value, and gaining life skills and an education that will transform their lives.
Dropping off his daughter one father proclaimed that God had answered his prayer. He knew that his daughter was prostituting herself and no matter how hard he beat her, again and again she returned to the streets. He said that her life had been save for he was convinced that without Haiti Teen Challenge he would eventually have killed her.
The ninth class of young men graduated from Haiti Teen Challenge. On graduation day M. Hillaire Jackson, Commander of the Haitian Police challenged the graduates to use their gifts to be all that God created them to be, to show others the love of Christ, and to serve their communities.
M. Hillaire Jackson said, "The vision of HTC is to produce leaders of integrity and that means that you must be lights, a blessing for Haiti. God is looking for champions and you must stay righteous in the most difficult situations, to have the same life in private as you have in public. Your goal must be to honor God's word, to be trustworthy, and to leave a legacy by transferring your knowledge to others."
To become fully equipped leaders the next step for these HTC graduates is to complete their education. They have received a mentor for guidance and accountability, and scholarships to achieve certification in a trade or to obtain a degree that helps to meet the needs in their nation.
Haitian helping Haitians. Since the direct hit of Hurricane Matthew on southern and western edge of the nation Haiti Teen Challenge has been packing and distributing food and water, cleaning up debris, and repairing homes. Over 650,000 meals have been provided for those in need and over 50,000 families have been helped.
When a team of Haiti Teen Challenge students and members from the Haiti Teen Challenge Rendez Vous Christ Church traveled to the devastated area of Port Salut they were the hands and feet of Christ. As they walked though the neighborhoods passing out food and water, they witnessed about Christ to those who were affected by the Hurricane, and as they reconstructed a roof on a house, which belonged to a family of seven, they wrote on every piece of wood a scripture verse that would bless the home.
For the next year Haiti Teen Challenge will continue to send teams to serve the hurricane victims, and with partnerships will focus on rebuilding the community of Coteaux. In this community 85-90% of all the buildings were damaged or destroyed, and all agriculture, including the livestock, were wiped out. Part of HTC's plan is to put a roof on two churches and a school and help 40 families repair or build their homes.
Your support is what is making this possible. We are deeply humbled by your sacrifice so that young men and women can be transformed by the power of Christ, equipped to lead and mobilized to serve. Thank you
A message from Julio Volcy, Executive Director of Haiti Teen Challenge
Your prayers have humbled us at Haiti Teen Challenge. As Hurricane Matthew's pummeled Haiti we knew you were praying.
In its aftermath, I have felt overwhelmed as we witness the hardest hit areas where anything not built from concrete is gone... farm lands are ravaged and destroyed...and food stores have been completely washed away. It is heart breaking; thousands of families, particularly in Les Cayes, Grand Anse, and Jeremie have lost their lives, homes, crops and their hope due to the direct hit by hurricane Matthew. This area is where many of our staff's immediate family members live and also where Suzette's family is from. Much of the suffering has only just begun. Because of the amount of rain mudslides are still a possibility across the nation and flooding has created great potential for the outbreak of disease.
At Haiti Teen Challenge we have assessed the most urgent needs with our local partners; in these direct hit areas families are in dire need of shelter, with over 90% of homes destroyed, food sources are absolutely gone, and clean drinking water is a CRITICAL NEED NOW. Without help more people will die....
HTC has mobilized the HTC RELIEF TEAM. Our young men and women are gathering food and water, and on Sunday a team will leave for Les Cayes and Port Salute to help with clean up, food and water distribution and the building of shelters.
This is about Haitians helping Haitians... with our students, our staff and our partners we are ready to serve our people. We are purchasing ALL food and supplies from local Haitian businesses. 20,000 pounds of food has already been delivered to our HTC Center and our students have begun preparing 100,000 meals that they will be distributing.
But, we need your help. In the coming days food is going to be one of the greatest needs in Haiti and HTC is prepared to get these meals to the people and families that need them, along with the message of hope found in Christ.
Every $1.00 donated by you will provide 4 meals for hungry children and families.
You can donate by clicking on the Support HTC Relief Effort Button below. Thank you for helping us bring healing to our families and communities. Your support is empowering Haitians to serve one another.
School is starting in Haiti and I am pursuing my dream to become a chef and attending Culinary School! This past summer I have enjoyed serving and sharpening my skills as I prepared the food for the children's Sports camp in Bolosse and for the VBS programs in several communities. This is only because of what God has done in my life, without him I would be in prison or dead.
My name is Innocent Jean Rodrigue Junior. I grew up with my day and stepmother in a community where most of the people were living a bad life. My parents worked hard so that they could give me a good education and a better life, but I made many bad decisions and never listened to them. I smoked, drank alcohol, did drugs, raped girls and stole things.
Everyone in my community knew that I was doing bad stuff and they called me crazy. Because of my choices to take all kind of drugs, I would overdose and passed out. I lost my self respect and the respect of others around me. My friends avoided me and my family turned their backs on me.
One day a good friend, a graduate of Haiti Teen Challenge, came to me and told me about the HTC program. He believed that I could change, but I thought he was joking, because my life was too far gone. He persisted and talked to my parents, my family, and my girlfriend. He asked them to encourage me to go HTC. With their encouragement I finally decided to go with him to fill the application at HTC.
I was accepted into the program. When I got there it wasn't easy to handle. I was always mad because I didn't want anyone to approach me, I was hard. The staff talked to me about my attitude; they told me they would like to help me discover a new way to live by following the word of God. With their help I choose to follow Christ as my Lord and Savior. Galatians 6:17 says,
"From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus."
Thank you for giving me the change to discover a new life, a new hope and now the opportunity to attend culinary school.
HTC's Graduation Festivities
It was again a great joy to travel to Haiti for the 8th promotion. I wish that you all could have been there to see the fields ripe to harvest and experience the power of the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit is palpable and when you are in His presence you have no desire to leave. My words are so inadequate to express what I saw and experienced.
In spite of a blinding sun and daily temperatures exceeding 90 degrees, often without air conditioning; the events surrounding this graduation, daily devotions, chapel messages, foot washing service, communion and fellowship was life changing. To see and hear testimonies of both Phase I and Phase II graduates was inspirational. At graduation the HTC men and women students performed a dramatic dance demonstrating our broken relationship with God and how death and destruction is conquered by the love and redemption of Christ. The Haitian audience exploded into cheers and tears. Truly, the message of deliverance in this drama transcends language and culture.
We were also privileged to witness our group of HTC ladies choreograph and sing a rousing rendition of Bill Withers famous tune "Lean on Me". The Women's Program in less than one year under the leadership of Suzette Volcy is truly astounding and the power of the Holy Spirit is evident in the countenance of these wonderful young women.
Bolosse and Rendezvous Church
Many of our students and graduates come from the poverty ridden and violent community of Bolosse. The Lord has directed us as a ministry to adopt this community for Christ. It is very clear that our students are making an IMPACT in this community by their EXAMPLE. They have erected solar lights, basketball standards, painted and striped the courts, cleaned the soccer fields, set up a community center for preaching the gospel and regularly involve the community in neighborhood cleanup. Upon our arrival at the HTC Impact Club in Bolosse it was evident that the Holy Spirit is transforming hearts and lives of those who live there; smiling faces of adults and hordes of little children following us and holding our hands. This reception is markedly different than our first visit. Our young men will soon be erecting playground equipment in a cramped courtyard for the children to enjoy - can't you hear the children's laughter and voices echoing through the streets?
Shortly after our visit Julio and Suzette led a team of HTC students to conduct a sports camp in Bolosse. It was attended by over 400 kids, with at least forty raising their hands to receive a new life in Jesus Christ!
Finally, HTC graduate and seminarian Samuel Sydney has accepted the assignment to be a Pastor on the streets of Bolosse - preaching the gospel, discipling baby Christians and serving the community with prayerful service.
Pastor Julio Volcy, HTC Executive Director, sensing that the fields are ripe to harvest took the initiative to construct a 4,000 square foot chapel expansion at the Phase I Men's Center in Delmas. More than 700 attended the first service on June 19 at Rendezvous Church with twenty five committing their lives to Christ 18 baptized.
Thank you all for sowing into the ministry of Haiti Teen Challenge. It is an honor and privilege to serve the Lord in this way and SEE the fruit that He is producing through the obedience of Julio, Suzette and the staff.
HTC Board President
Movement = People working together to advance a shared vision
Movement Day is happening in Global Cities around the world and on May 12th it occurred in Haiti. www.movementdayhaiti.com Movement Day is a catalytic event designed to transform the world's cities through the Gospel and collaborative leadership. It is an initiative that recognizes that no one ministry can do it alone. It's aim is to build partnerships to explore new practices that seek sustainable solutions for the great spiritual and social challenges of our time.
Last Thursday, 300 Christian leaders gathered together in Port Au Prince to address the urgency in Haiti for the Gospel and the urban issues that are defeating the nation.Robert Levy, President and CEO of Jamaica Broilers (a leading agricultural business
committed to building sustainable communities with operations in three countries) spoke on faith, and how we must embrace the hope we have in the redemptive power of Christ's love. He believes Haiti is on the verge of a godly movement. Haiti Teen Challenge's Executive Director Julio Volcy spoke on "Unity," and HTC's leadership team led workshops on fatherlessness and youth.
Haiti Movement Day was a time of learning and exchanging vision and plans. Connections were built and collaboration was mobilized in the marketplace - in ministry, in Christian universities, seminaries and in the local church. With our unity of faith and commitment to action, we agreed to work together to address fatherlessness, access to clean water, justice and hunger.
Movement Day was a huge success, a collaborative effort that HTC has been praying about since the start up of the ministry. What an honor it was for Haiti Teen Challenge to partner with other organizations like World Vision, the Council of the Evangelical churches of Haiti, the New York City Leadership Center, Restavek Freedom and others.
An extraordinary gateway for a strong future and prosperous Haiti has begun. As Haitians, we commit to persevering and following God's lead. We are convicted that the Gospel matters, that unity matters, that our cities matter, that our youth matter, that movement matters. With your help, HTC will continue "to build godly leaders of integrity" to lead the transformation of the nation of Haiti.
We agree with a statement by Richard Sadler, Haiti Broilers,
"Haiti, like Bethlehem, has been despised and rejected, but out of Haiti is coming great news."
My name is Jenne-Love and I am 20 years old. I was born in a Christian family, but my Dad left, leaving my mother with 4 children. Because he had been the bread winner my mother had to find ways to care for us and feed us on her own. I came to learn that my Dad had many other women and because this life style of multiple women was so important to him he left the church. He died when I was about 8 years old.
With no father to protect me, I was abused by many men from an early age. This led me to live a sexually active life. I partied every weekend. I smoked, drank alcohol, and did whatever I wanted. I became a prostitute because I thought I could help my mother care for the needs of my siblings.
I hated many things in life including myself and my family, but God pulled me out of the abyss and put me where I am today. My transformation started when my big brother Stanley started in the Haiti Teen Challenge Men's program. The new life I saw in him and his encouragement convinced me to change my life. In November of 2015 I enrolled in the Haiti Teen Challenge Women's program.
This is the best choice I have ever made. God is doing extraordinary things in my life. I have confessed my sins and accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. He is now my guide. I have learned that God forgives me and will always be faithful to me.
Through my daily morning and evening mediation, I am getting to know my identity in Christ. I have learned to be honest. I now recognize that I cannot do anything good without God's help. The love of God is in me and His love changed me. God gave me hope, and I now have love in my heart for my family. I am a new creature and now I live for God.
By Joe Fry, ACT Worldwide Consultant
Picture the plight of a teenage mother living in one of the poorest sections of Port au Prince. In 2010 she gave birth at home to a baby girl. As it sadly happens too often in Haiti, the father abandoned them both when the child was born. The mother was so poor that she could not afford a birth certificate for her baby. A birth certificate is required, however, in order to enroll children in a public school. Each morning mom watched sadly as neighbor children ran off playfully to school. The paperwork and expense involved in retroactively acquiring a birth certificate seemed beyond the reach of this powerless young mother. She had no hope that her precious daughter would ever go to school.
Through the Kingdom Assignment initiative recently completed by Haiti Teen Challenge graduates, God showed this mother and daughter, along with hundreds of others who are living without hope, that He has not forgotten them.
Eighty two graduates from the HTC Men's program accepted the Kingdom Assignment challenge. The challenge began when they each received the equivalent of $80 USD to be used for advancing the kingdom of God in whatever way they chose. A condition for receiving the funds was that each recipient was required to give a report in three months' time on how the funds were used.
The much anticipated day of Kingdom Assignment reporting finally arrived on December 20th. At a festive, music-filled event organized by the staff, the hearts of two hundred friends of the ministry (including this writer) were touched by their compelling ministry stories.
It was an evening of celebration to remember!
Perhaps you or I might imagine that, in Haiti, these guys would have gone out and simply spent the money. We would have been wrong. Over half of them raised additional funds.
Youbens Gay raised the USD equivalent of over $500 to launch a school for marginalized, pre-literate children and a literacy center for parents.
Daniel Daguste raised $200 USD to purchase a used motorcycle. Using his mechanical skills, he repaired it and now rents it out to gang members in his neighborhood to use as a taxi. They keep part of the earnings. In the process, Daniel is making friends and sharing the gospel with these guys. Other HTC students raised hundreds more for other creative projects. As these young servants regaled us with report after report it became evident that what God accomplished through them surpassed what the staff had imagined.
What God did in the hearts of these young men was equally transformational.
When students first enter the HTC program they see themselves as the objects ministry. How encouraging it is to now see the look of transformation in their eyes as they become the subjects of ministry, reaching out to others.
Daniel Daguste joyfully explained to the assembly that, two years ago he had no purpose in life. Since that time, with gratitude for all that God has poured into him at HTC, he is now helping others find the purpose and direction that God desires for them, also. It's something Daniel had never imagined doing.
Perkens Delius, one of the Kingdom Assignment emissaries, had heard about the need of the young mother who dreamed of sending little Medjina to school. God moved his heart to help. When the bureaucratic process was finally completed and fees were paid, Perkins arrived at her humble home and presented mom with a birth certificate.
The young mother was overcome with joy. She broke down into tears.
Why, she must have wondered, would a tall, handsome young man be so profoundly kind to her and her child without demanding a favor in return? Perkins explained that God had been even more kind to him when he had also been without hope. "Be encouraged. God has not forgotten you,"were his comforting words. "He picked me up. He can pick you up, too!"
Little becomes much when God is in it. On December 20 this theme became reality as through the compelling testimonies of faithful young men who took part in HTC's first - but definitely not the last -- Kingdom Assignment project.
Well done, good and faithful servants!
As said in the words from Lamentations 3:22-23, Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his mercies never fail, they are new every morning. GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS." We are witnessing firsthand how God keeps true to his promises at the HTC Women's Program. The young women are growing spiritually and learning to walk in their freedom in Christ and their families are being reconstructed.
Without a doubt, one of Haiti's deepest problems is "fatherlessness" and a broken family system. The family is the driving force behind every existing institution that holds society together including: churches, government, and businesses. When it falls apart, society falls apart. God is the designer of "family" and we know it is at the heart of the Father for every family to be rebuilt and restored. Through God's intervention, Haiti Teen Challenge is directing the young men and women of Haiti towards the Father and they are finding in Him redemption and restoration. They are bringing this joy and truth back to their families and they are breaking the cycle of broken families.
We know there is fruitful life ahead for every one of our young women and a hopeful assurance for a brighter future. Here is one example of a life transformation from our student, Naftalie.
My name is Naftalie Bien Aimé, I was living with my dad and my stepmother because my biological mom had abandoned me. At 13 years old, my father passed away. and my stepmother began to mistreat me. Being so tired of how she treated me I declared that I was an adult at 14 years old. As an adult, I needed to take care of myself. I started to beg on the streets and sell my body so I could eat and clothe myself. I used to go to clubs to dance as a showgirl, drink alcohol and smoke.
I started to come and go, and do as I pleased; which made my stepmom even more furious. I eventually became homeless because my stepmom kicked me out. I was forced to sleep on roofs, porches and the streets. I was arrogant. I used to insult people. I enjoyed doing these things and being on the streets because I did not know that I could be anything better.
Through HTC I've come to know God. I have buried all of my sinful ways and Jesus has changed my life. I am SAVED! I am a new person. I no longer have the desire to insult people. I have stopped being arrogant. Everyday, I am learning how to let go of my painful past and embrace God's future for me.
There is a move of God in this nation like never before. The promise found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is becoming more evident in Haiti. Young men and women are humbling themselves, they are praying, they are seeking God's face and we stand confident that God will heal our land! I began this year with the same spirit of gratitude that I ended it with last year. I am convinced that through the turmoil, political unrest and the noise of the world, Haiti stands Healed.
Knowing that you are on this journey with us makes it even more enjoyable. Our family, students and staff pray for you often. Without you there would be no HTC Women's Program. We ask for your continued support to so that more young men and women will be empowered to transformed their lives and rebuild their nation for the glory of God.