Spread the Bread – Haiti Update
With sincere intentions I thought that I would be diligent to regularly update our website. But here I am three years later finally adding a post. But as you will read from the update below, we have been very busy.
It has been 3 years now since God called us to Haiti. In March of 2016 we made our first trip. Though it seems like such a short time ago, in some ways it is hard to remember a time when a love for the people of Haiti was not a part of my life. The call to “cast our bread on many waters” has truly been a light unto our feet.
Several weeks ago, I was rereading this verse from Ecclesiastes 11:1, and noticed that in the Amplified version it reads “Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, (be diligently active, make thoughtful decisions) for you will be richly rewarded.” (emphasis mine)
The words in this version that caught my attention were, “be diligently active, make thoughtful decisions”. I can truly say that we have been obedient to those words in our ministry to bring real bread to Haiti. Though we have certainly made mistakes, our determination to seek the Lord’s direction in each step along the way has proved to be our guiding light.
On January 9, 2019, I left for my 11th trip to Haiti. I have been diligently active to train our bread making teams, to oversee the production of bread each day for the school children and orphans, to provide the needed funds and supplies, and to ensure that all the funding for the project was being used as planned.
Most of our work and training has been conducted at an orphanage in Mirebalais called GVCM. We have an amazing bread making team that is milling the flour and making 7-800 rolls every day for the school children and orphans. The school children get bread once a day, while the children that live in the orphanage enjoy the bread 2-3 times each day in addition to their 2 meals. For the school children, this may be the only food they get in a day. The children that live in the orphanage are blessed to have this nutritious bread added to their daily meals (usually rice and beans) and then an additional roll or muffin as an evening snack before bed. On my trip in September of 2018, I was able to do some nutritional teaching to the staff at GVCM. Their eyes were opened to the health benefits and importance of this “real bread” and they now enthusiastically want the bread for themselves as well as the children.
Also on our September trip, we were able to supply the tools and training for the tiny village and orphanage in Pouille. Pastor Volner and his orphanage in Pouille captured our hearts on our very first trip. Currently, monthly support is being provided for bread to be made for the 27 children that live at the orphanage. A better oven is needed for Pouille before bread can be made for the 150 village school children.
In July of 2018, along with a 13 member team from our church, I was able to travel to Gonaives Haiti, to partner with Pastor Djumy Septembre of CARHA (Christian Action and Relief for Haiti). Pastor Djumy was the first Haitian pastor I met in Port St Lucie FL in January 2016 when God called us to Haiti. Djumy came to our seminar to hear me speak about the nutritional benefits of freshly milled grains and real bread. From the very beginning Djumy caught the vision for bringing real bread to the community of Gonaives. God brought Djumy and I together again in February of 2018 with his call to me for help. Djumy wanted to make bread on sight at the orphanage in Gonaives to supply his two local schools, with over 900 children in attendence. Within two weeks, we had a commercial oven donated and shipped to Haiti a few months later. Sonja Gaither, the generous donor of the oven, was able to travel with me in August 2018 to help train the new bread making team at Gonaives.
Make Thoughtful Decisions
From our very first meeting, Djumy shared his vision with me for a sustainable bakery in Gonaives. One that would provide real bread not only for the children but also the community. A bakery would provide jobs and a source of income that could hopefully support the feeding of the children. The vision is to begin to break the “charity to Haiti” model and replace it with an “economic independence and support” model – “Aid to Trade”. The vision has become my vision.
Invited to present the health benefits of real bread and the vision for a bakery in Gonaives to the board members of CARHA, on January 9, 2019, I made my 11th trip to Haiti. I shared the nutritional benefits of whole grains and real bread not only with the board members but also conducted 2 nutritional presentations with baking demonstrations to those in the community. To say that everyone is excited about getting this bread is an understatement.
The doors have opened wide for our vision of a sustainable bakery in Gonaives to come forth. After much discussion with the board, the plans quickly expanded to the idea for a bakery/coffee café with a classroom for teaching, to provide a place where those who are hungry can come get nourished physically and spiritually. The location for the bakery was chosen, right next to the Mango Tree Church just outside the gates of the orphanage. The land is owned by CARHA and clearing of the land has already begun.
It will take about $40,000 just to build the building for the bakery but I have no doubt that God will provide. In just the few weeks since my return home from Haiti on January 14, God my provider, has been showing off. Sonja Gaither, again, generously donated a commercial mixer. And on January 22, through a brief encounter at our store, a long-time customer and friend of Bread Beckers, Ross Bickers, donated an entire bakery/café complete with tables chairs, booths, equipment and even salt and pepper shakers that he has had in storage for years just waiting to be used. God is on the move!
Through the generous donations of the Hammill Family Foundation of Jasper GA in both 2017 and 2018 we have $10,000 of the $40,000 needed. We deliberately set the money aside for such a time as this. We have no doubt that God will continue to provide as we continue to seek Him and to share the Real Bread of Life with those in need.
We are so grateful to all who have given so generously over the years. Your giving keeps us going!
Our desire is that through this real bread bakery in Haiti, lives will be changed, physically and spiritually. That all those who come to this house of bread will find the Real Bread of Life – Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your support of the work of Real Bread Outreach. Together we can make a difference.