Dear Friends of Haiti,
We recently had the opportunity to spend an evening with Dr. Cebien Alexis, the founder of Army of Christ in Haiti. As you may know, Cebien has a multi-faceted ministry there including educating 8500 children, training pastors, overseeing an orphanage, operating a daily medical clinic and training college age students in agricultural and animal husbandry.
We were excited to hear that in January Cebien will graduate the first 25 students from the agricultural and animal husbandry training course. These students will fan out in teams of three to the poor village areas where Army of Christ has established churches. Working with the villagers, they will train them how to make better use of their land and teach them how to take good care of their animals. All important water conservation techniques will be especially helpful to these villagers where a lack of an abundant water supply can mean a poor harvest and empty stomachs. The income earned from better crop yields and herd development will mean a better standard of living for the villagers, an income supply for the students, and a return to Army of Christ for the training invested in them.
Another exciting project that Cebien shared with us is the opening of a school in the rural, poverty stricken village of Robinette. This village of 3000 Haitians is about two hours from Cap H’aitian where Army of Christ has its headquarters. Despite its nearness, this village has never had an elementary school where its children can be educated. Sadly, this is not unusual in Haiti where 50% of children do not attend school and 60% of those who do leave school before the 6th grade. To Cebien, an education that is infused with Christian principles is the greatest gift he can give to the coming generation.
A rudimentary structure has been set up in Robinette and three teachers have been hired to do the teaching. So far 212 children want to register for the school but only 86 of them have been able to attend. The others have no shoes or proper clothing to wear.
As they have no desks yet, the students work on benches or on the dirt floor. Cebien’s vision is to have six classrooms, an office, a place to store food for the noon meal that will be provided and bathroom facilities for boys and girls. The buildings will be constructed from concrete blocks made on site from local materials.
Cebien figures the cost of the school will come to about $30,000. Student sponsorships of $30 per month will help greatly in enabling the school to literally get off the ground. Cebien knows that receiving an education drastically changes the lives of the children who receive it for the good.
We are excited to partner with Cebien in this new endeavor. If you’d like to have a part, contributions can be sent for the Robinette School project in the enclosed envelope or made online at www.hope-builders.org.
On behalf of Cebien and our Haitian Brothers and Sisters,
Many will agree that one of the great joys of Christmas is sharing it with children. Our family tradition is to tell the story of the Lord’s birth and then combine that with personal stories of how the Lord has blessed our family over the year. Then we have the gift giving. This atmosphere of sharing brings joy to all.
Would you join us in magnifying that sharing by making a special gift this year for the children that our overseas partners are reaching out to?
There is such great need in the world as we consider those children suffering from the civil war that is raging in Syria to the abandoned and unwanted little ones of countries like India and Nepal to those who cannot get clean water to drink in the beleaguered island of Haiti. Their stories are found in our banner displays.
With love for you and them,
Lance & Christie Thollander
In a village near the Hindu holy city of Rishikesh Vikrant and his team bring the love of Christ to abandoned children and families living in slave like bonded labor. There Christie and I met Anjana, a precious nine year old rescued from a life of destitution. She is seen praying in this picture with her family. One of their great needs is for a well to provide safe drinking water to the village, protecting them from fatal water borne diseases. Now the children walk long distances to fetch water from unclean streams. Two gifts of $500 will provide the well.
In Haiti one of the biggest problems facing our ministry partners is getting clean water for their schools. Disease is rampant due to the lack of purified water. Now a system has been developed where water purification systems can be installed for $3000. Two systems are needed. Once they are in place clean water is guaranteed. This is a great blessing to the hundreds of children currently receiving education and help though the ministry of Cebien Alexis. Six gifts of $500 will cover one system.
Almost two years after its devastating earthquake, this next door neighbor still suffers tremendously. Many Americans wonder if there is truly an effective way to help that troubled country. The answer to that is yes. Hope Builders is in partnership with a ministry on the ground run by an esteemed Haitian doctor who has the history, the infrastructure, and the vision to help his nation through bringing them to the feet of Christ and then equipping them in both spiritual and practical ways.
We recently had the privilege of meeting with Cebien Alexis, Founder and Director of the ministry Army of Christ in Haiti. We have known Cebien for many years and are immensely impressed with him. For forty years he has led this wonderfully effective work, reaching many for the gospel and discipling them into lives full of love for the Lord Jesus.
For anyone interested in helping change lives in Haiti, this ministry has an outstanding track record of doing just that. Here is a brief history of Army of Christ along with a strategic way to help Cebien carry out his God given work. The Army of Christ, known in Haiti as “Eglise Baptiste Armee du Christ,” (EBAC) was started in 1971. God put it in Cebien’s heart to go and share the gospel in Ile Adam, not far from Cap Haitien. The words he spoke to Cebien were those given to Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”
Acting on that simple command, he founded the first EBAC church. Today, after forty years, EBAC has 175 churches in Haiti, 89 schools, a medical clinic, an orphanage, a university, 23 churches in the Dominican Republic, and Love in Action Ministry, which is a foundation that supplies education for 8400 children. Since 2010, they have been praying for a great harvest of souls. As a result, so far, in 2011, over 1300 people have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.