I am back from Jacmel, Haiti and had a great trip. It has been 10 years since I have been to Haiti and to be honest with you it doesn’t look very different than it did the last time I was there. The needs are overwhelming. The poverty is extreme. The people are jobless. The children are uneducated. But… the people are resilient.
We met some amazing folks who are doing great work establishing the church in Haiti. Consider Danny & Leann Pye…
Danny is 29 years old and he is a Trader. He and his wife moved to Haiti six years ago as missionaries and established an orphanage where they parent 21 Haitians from ages 7 to 21 (they have already had three kids grow up and start their lives as adults). They have a baby of their own who is three years old. The Pyes have also rejuvenated a once dying church that now has more than 700 people in attendance each week. They launched a school that educates and feeds hundreds of children each day. Of course, they don’t do it alone. They have three other families in their ministry and they are all serving with them.
Two days before the earthquake Leann had a miscarriage and their world was rocked. On the evening of the earthquake they began a refugee camp in their garden and started to house and care for an additional 120 people beyond their family. They had serious injuries to deal with and no hospital or medical care available. The next day and Danny had the foresight to go to the airport (less than 2 miles from their house) where he discovered total chaos. From what I can understand Danny took over the airport and was instrumental in getting aid to Jacmel. The airport had previously not allowed any international travel, but Danny was able to get planes coming in from the Dominican Republic with crates of beans, rice, water and tents for shelter. Danny contacted four organizations to distribute the goods. A warehouse was secured and the goods were being distributed right away. You can read more about Danny and his amazing friends on Oprah.Com – where they have an article detailing their work in the days after the Quake
Meanwhile, Leann became very sick. She had to be evacuated to Florida and sent to intensive care. After days of testing, she was diagnosed with a rare virus. Danny was unable to accompany Leann to Florida, because the needs in Jacmel were so tremendous. Leann came back to Haiti after a week in the US. She is still sick – the meds will take 3 weeks to 3 months to kick in and heal her.
Danny told us that two thirds of all the missionaries in Haiti left immediately after the earthquake. He was told that more than half of them will never return. He said that the comfort and security of the US is very appealing in times like these, but his resolve is stronger than that desire. He and Leann will stay in Haiti.
Danny and Leann have not been able to deal with the loss of their own child, because they don’t have that luxury right now. Danny told us that they know that they will eventually need to mourn and grieve that loss, but that the current situation dictates that they be strong for others.
1. Pray for Danny and Leann – for healing, for rest and the work they are doing.
2. Pray for the continued resilience of the people of Haiti.
3. Pray for the churches in Haiti to boldly proclaim the Gospel while meeting the tangible needs of the people.
The amazing thing is that Danny is not down or depressed. He is extremely hopeful. He hasn’t said “why me” – but instead embraces the unique role God has given him. Danny’s vision has actually increased in the last two months. He believes that God will use him in even greater ways. Danny is 29 years old and he is a Trader.