A few decades ago Bolosse was a top destination for Haiti's wealthy families; however, due to political unrest, failing governments and fatherless families this beautiful hill on the sea became a place of despair, misery, and one the poorest places in Port-au-Prince. The youth, turned toward violence, sex and drugs in search of finding a sense of purpose and gangsters ran the place.
2013 HTC graduate Jackson was one of those gangsters in Bolosse.
"I began life as a quiet and respectful boy, but growing up my mom and dad practiced Voodoo and when our mother left us things began to go very bad for me. I skipped school to get drunk and spent time with the bad guys in the ghetto. I became the leader of a gang. It brought me pleasure to start fights with the police and other gangs, and I felt powerful when it was one of my gang members who shot or killed someone. My community forced me to leave because I had become so dangerous.
I shouldn't be alive but God led me to Haiti Teen Challenge and my life is no longer the same. I learned that God is my Father and that I need to leave behind all my sins and follow Him. Jesus commands that,
"Whoever wants to be my disciples must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
God really loves everybody and he wants me to tell others about his love. I am now welcomed in my community where with my HTC brothers and sisters work with young people who, because of their age, condition and academic levels cannot enter the HTC residential Program. Through the HTC Impact Club we bring them Hope, Love, and Encouragement that they can only find in God."
In Haiti 80% of people living in urban areas live in poverty. Life is hard in Bolosse,
but radical and sustainable change is occurring through the work that Jackson and other HTC graduates are doing at the HTC Impact Club. Every week over 90 people come to study God's word. They are studying the book of Romans and learning about what the foundations of a family are according to the heart of God. On Saturday evenings they gather together to worship. Like Jackson, the graduates of HTC are dedicated to teaching the hundreds of kids on the street about Jesus. They are also teaching math, English and computer skills and working with community leaders to help their neighbors have a better quality of life.
Haiti Teen Challenge believes that Haiti will not change until Haitian young men and women are transformed by Christ, equipped in the things of God, skills, training, and education, and mobilized with purpose to rebuild their cities. Recently visitors from the US offered their perspective after visiting Bolosse; on previous trips to Haiti they had spent most of their time "doing things for" the people in Cite Soleil (a community like Bolosse) and they were surprised by the comparison between the two communities. In Citi Soleil, they said, there is a lack of ownership of their problems, the streets are filthy, and visitors are mocked and distained. In Bolosse the community received them with a warm welcome and smiles, the streets were clean and Haitians are leading the initiatives.
St. Louis Jhonn from Bolosse says, "It is not easy to grow in the right direction in my community. I often made the wrong decisions when it came to making friends and fighting was my favorite game. One day a friend named Benedict, who had graduated from HTC, called me and said, "John instead of fighting I am inviting you to a club." I asked him if it was a football club he said, "No the name is HTC Impact Club. They teach young women and men to know their value and how to serve their community." I eventually visited them and I liked it. At the HTC Impact Club we pray together and discuss the needs of our community. I am different than I used to be, I have stopped the bad things in my life and people have started to trust me and respect me."
Thank you for your continued support to:
"Build Godly leaders of integrity, so that Haitians are empowered to rebuild their nation for God's glory."
HTC Impact Clubs bring Haiti Teen Challenge into the community and are fully lead by HTC graduates. HTC Impact Clubs are currently located in Bolosse and Fort Medcredi.
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.
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."