My name is Daïna and I am 16 years old. I grew up in a violent home where my dad beat and cursed my mom, claiming that we were not his children. Three years ago when my brother died my dad blamed my mother and threatened to kill her. They could not live together because of the abuse and anger.
At a young age my dad introduced me to addictive substances and I began to smoke, drink, and use cocaine. My mother cried every night because of my choices; I would beat her in response and finally left her house. First I went to my father's, but he demanded I earn money every night, refused to care for me and I felt threaten by his friends who wanted to use me sexually. My dad didn't want me so I left to live with my grandmother, but she would not feed me so I eventually ended up living in a ghetto. I was fatherless, homeless, and lived with a gangster who stole and killed innocents. I was 14 years.
One day I ran away from him, but my bad choices were only beginning. For $50.00 I was lured to a beach with some other Haitian women and on to a boat by some American men, I thought everything was going fine until the police came and put me in jail, and the FBI arrested the men. The story made the news and my reputation became even worse, so I created a new version of me. I called myself crazy and started a clan called the Piranhas. I was the leader of the group and every Saturday we would go partying. One night I met a guy, he told me that he was going to leave Haiti, had money to give me and told me to come get the money. I decided to go meet him at his office but when I got there he showed me his police uniform and a gun. My heart skipped a beat as he started to touch me. I begged him not to rape me he but he had his way with me and sent me home in a taxi. I never told anyone what had happened.
I was struggling at school; I used marijuana and after several failed semesters I was kicked out, I went to take the government exam for my last grade and didn't pass. I spent my days fighting, smoking crack, and taking other women's boyfriends. I got pregnant by a man, even though I didn't really love him, because I felt loved and had all his attention and affection, but at 4 months I aborted the baby.
My life was bad and I knew that I needed to be changed and renewed. I thought about a place my cousin had told me about called Haiti Teen Challenge. I wasn't sure I wanted to go, but I was living in the darkness, I was blind and could not see how to get out of the life I was in.
I have now been in the HTC program for six months. I have learned how to forgive, how to obey but most importantly I have accepted Jesus Christ. Knowing God has been the best choice I have ever made. He died so I could be in the place where I am now. Through His mercy He gives me a new life, He gives me light, He rescued me and accepted me into His family.
I am learning to love people and live with people around me. I still struggle with my addictions, the drugs, alcohol, and sex, but the morning chapels and the classes are redefining my future. When I graduate I want to continue my education in order to go back to my community to make a difference. I really love children so I want to teach them about how much God loves them, and about all that I learn here at HTC.
I want to say a big thank you to you, because you gave me the opportunity to be part of Haiti Teen Challenge. With Jesus by my side, I am working hard to become the best version of the person He created me to be. Please pray for me.
"Building godly leaders of integrity,
so Haitians are empowered to rebuild their nation."
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."
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
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.
"Se Le Nou Sa"- This is our time. The women's program will officially launch this November in Haiti! Someone once said to me "find your strong voice to live your strong life." "Voice" is defined as a sound made by a human being using the vocal folds for talking, singing, laughing, crying, and screaming. According to this definition, the voice has the power to express many emotions.
For many years, the young women of Haiti have been voicing the need for a program to help them deal with their life-debilitating issues. They have been crying out for a place that would help them put together the remaining broken pieces of uncontrollable addictions and abuse. They all hunger and thirst for the transformation and freedom that they have witnessed in the lives of the young men of HTC. And now, it is their turn to experience the same.
I am tickled by what God is doing through the ministry of Haiti Teen Challenge. As many of you already know, God is actively moving in Haiti. He has heard the voices of these young women who no longer want to feed their addictions, and has moved the hearts of many to take action.
Growing up, I have experienced pain and hardship in many ways but nothing compared to the abuse, shame, and brokenness that I have read in these young women's applications. Some things I will never understand to the fullest, but one thing I know is that God allowed me to go through painful experiences for the purpose of bringing me into the lives of these women-that His name is exalted and His voice be heard through me. The pain, hurts, brokenness and the healing process that I went through, are all tools God used to sharpen my voice. My voice is my concealed weapon that God gave me to speak into the lives of these women, to tell them that I too was broken and hopeless but God healed me. If He did it for me, He will definitely do it for them.
With no public announcement for the Haiti Teen Challenge women's program, about eighty young women have already applied to be part of this life-changing journey. In a matter of time, ten of these beautiful young women will move in to embark on a journey with endless possibilities, and all with the hope of finding their voice and trading their sorrows for joy and receiving beauty for ashes.
The home has been secured. The staff is in place. The 10 women have been identified. We are ready to run. Prophet Elijah said it best in 1 Kings, "The rain is coming. The cloud is on the horizon." We are ready to run. It is through your partnership we are able to reach these men and women in Haiti. Thank you for running with us. Moreover, thank you for your continuous support and prayers. Their story would not be the same without your partnership. Please join me at one of the events in Minnesota to learn more about HTC's programs and how you can continue to partner with us.
Women's Program Director