There’s a place, nestled alongside a pothole plagued road, tucked into the shadows of tropical elevations and foliage. There’s a place, off the beaten path that’s home to a community. A community bursting with laughter, wonder, and the dreams of adolescence. There’s a place where God has opened the door for inspiration, for faithfulness, for Him. There’s a place where days, months, and years of prayers have come to rest. There’s a place on the South-Eastern coast of Haiti known as Cayes-Jacmel, and this is the place where our next big adventure begins.
With a vision to open a nonprofit Community Center here in Haiti weighing heavy on our hearts, the past few years have been a lesson in patience and God’s timing. Praying, researching, traveling, meeting new people, and researching some more have all been part of a crawling process, but now it’s time to stand and faithfully take our first steps. On the isolated outskirts of the bustling city of Jacmel, where the busyness but also economic progression ends, we have found a place to turn our vision into a reality. Cayes-Jacmel is a quiet farming and fishing commune with artisan flair, home to an estimated 30,000 inhabitants and plenty of kids.
For the past 10 months we have explored several property options for the Community Center within the commune of Cayes-Jacmel and we narrowed our search down to a newly constructed house for rent. Renting, rather than buying give us the option to gradually and adequately introduce ourselves into the community, comprehending the needs of the neighborhood while building ongoing relationships with those around us without restraint. The house in consideration is located within a quarter mile of 2 schools and it is big. Big enough to start a program that would cater to the dreams of the hundreds of students attending those schools. With 7 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 common areas, a small yard and a separate guest quarters, we would have the perfect space.
The perfect space for a holistic afterschool program for kids. A space for a Saturday feeding campaign. A space for teaching a sound understanding of discipleship and the Bible. A space for curriculums focused on art, music, and technology integration. A space for leadership and vocational training. A space where athletics, teamwork and healthy competition flourish. A space that offers employment to local help. A space for hosting missions teams and advancing local commerce. A perfect space to begin, a perfect space to grow.
So why a Community Center? After spending all day in classrooms that heavily educate based on memorization and little on creativity, the 50% of Haitian boys and girls who are fortunate enough to afford school (little to no public schooling exists in Haiti) just end up going home, and that’s it. Afterschool programs, clubs, libraries, parks, basketball courts, and other places where kids can just be kids are rare in this 3rd world setting. Worse yet, for the other 50% of the nearly 3 million kids under the age of 15 who can’t afford school… days, dreams, and futures are filled with despair. A Community Center and like-minded objectives not only makes sense, they are desperately needed.
The rental agreement for the house will cost $12,000, which covers 2 years of residency. 2 years will provide ample time for us to logistically establish public awareness of our endeavors, complete non-profit licensing, cultivate our organization and map out future plans for continued development and support. $12,000 and constant prayer, this is our current goal and needs to get this God sized dream put into motion. It is our hope to have the rental agreement signed by January 1st, giving us 6 months to prep and furnish the house for a July 2019 opening. Once this is accomplished, further information will follow including various ways additional support can nurture this ministry.
Donations can be made in several ways, both online and through the mail.
*Please make checks payable to RCE International and reference account #26918
on the memo line or on a separate sheet of paper.
All other online donations can be made through the support page of our website, ourhaitistory.com
Or by mailing a check to:Laura MacNeil
26 Western Street
Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada
4337 Parkhurst Drive
Dundee, NY 14837
*(After Nov. 1, please mail checks to Matthew Smith, 318 Fleming Street, Sebastian, FL 32958)
The two of us are extremely blessed by the financial and spiritual support that each of you provides, and without it our mission work in Haiti wouldn't be possible. We both feel this Community Center is a calling and we are confidently trusting in the Lord and His promises of prosperity, hope, and a future as we move forward with plans. Thank you in advance for your generosity, encouragement, and petitions of God's grace, mercy, and will for our lives. For questions please send us an email at, firstname.lastname@example.org