Can GOOD news come out of Haiti?
YES! Children are being educated, treated, and fed by this growing ministry every day. We started small and have grown slowly and steadily over the years. Find out more in the newsletters and the PDF archives below. You’ll read inspiring stories of amazing hope in circumstances that are unimaginable to those of us who live in the developed world. Celebrate Jesus of Haiti, Inc. is a registered 501c3 Charitable Organization. Our Federal Tax ID number is 45-0490339 501C3. All gifts are tax deductible and are treated with the highest levels of integrity and good stewardship. Thank you for giving and praying!
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Dear Friends of Celebrate Jesus of Haiti,
Two teams joined us for our last trip to Haiti. We named them “The Good Humor Team” and “It’s a God Thing!” The Good Humor Team was two dads, Derrick & Kevin, and their two 14 year old daughters, Raquel and Norah. The girls had held a shoe drive at Christian High School and came to distribute the shoes and toys they had collected. They went into each of the classrooms and looked under the desks, then quietly escorted the children with worn-out shoes outside where they fitted them with new shoes. These young women also opened up the “Ya-Ya Store” where we store clothing and other personal items and gave away a mountain of needed clothing and shoes to the church families.
The men helped Jerry place foundation posts and beams for the church expansion. People stand around the edges of Sunday services at this time. The expansion will seat an additional 150 people. God is increasing the church daily and we celebrate each soul saved.
As an extra measure of joy, The Good Humor Team brought with them an ice cream freezer and all the ingredients to make ice cream. The fathers made it and the girls happily delivered small cups of ice cream to the children and mothers waiting in the clinic, to each of the school children, and to all of our staff. They were such a blessing.
Exciting Church Services
It’s a God Thing team included Dr. Nancy Holtkamp, her two sisters, Sue and Pat, and her 14 year old daughter Katie. They specifically planned their arrival so they could attend Sunday services at Celebrate Jesus Church and they raved about the joy of the people as they worshiped the Lord. Jesus promised us fullness of joy independent of material wealth or a perfectly orchestrated life. It is found in Jesus, and when we embrace Him we experience that peace beyond human understanding. When first time visitors see joy on the faces at Celebrate Jesus Church they come to understand that “it’s a God thing” and He continues to show up and show out in the lives of some of the most underprivileged people on earth.
They set up the eye clinic and dispensed 400 pair of prescription glasses in just a few days. The World Health Organization estimates that 153 million people in third world countries, which includes Haiti, need corrected vision. The cost of a pair of glasses can be a year’s salary for them. But Pepose Vision and doctors like Dr. Nancy are bringing their own special kind of joy to the people on LaGonave Island by allowing them to see. It’s a God thing!
Both teams were the hands and feet of Jesus, dishing up rice and beans at the feeding stations and being reminded of how truly blessed we are to have our basic human needs met every day. We are especially excited when teens come to visit, knowing that a mission trip like this will change their worldview and their lives forever.
With our love and gratitude,
Jerry and Sonja Dickherber
Jesus taught his disciples how to fish for the souls of men, then he showed them how to do it, next he sent them out without him to let them try it. He listened carefully to their reports, then helped them see their work from God’s point of view. Knowing he would be leaving them, he prepared them to follow the example he had given. It is our hope that all of you have known a leader who taught you the Word and then lived it and trusted you to accept the challenges the Lord gave you. From the start of our ministry in Haiti we required that each employee train one of the other employees how to do their work so the ministry could continue uninterrupted should they depart.
New church plant in nearby village
The Lord put on our hearts that it was time to make new disciples of Jesus Christ in an additional town. We had made food distributions in Zetwa and found the people there to be hungry not only for food but for the Spirit-filled life. It is a much smaller town and poorer than Anse A Galet and a hard 90 minute drive. Consistent with our principles, we have tasked Pastor Joaquim and his leadership team with establishing a core group of believers in Zetwa and regularly teaching them the Word. We will provide counsel like Paul did Timothy, but we won’t lead it. They have been alongside us since the beginning. The team is studying the Word using International School of Ministry video training. Sonja used this to train Pastor Joaquim and now he is facilitating the same training to help his team grow in knowledge. We trust them to duplicate what they have seen.
Quilt for Haitian Children
We made a trip to Zetwa in May. We never like to go empty-handed. We keep a storehouse we call the “Ya-Ya Store.” It is filled with the gifts of love you have sent over just waiting for the right need to be met. This time we gathered up beautiful handmade quilts for the young mothers. We always draw a crowd, but we specifically shouted out that we wanted young mothers to come. They came. Their eyes were big when they received their very special gift including one for their child. These character-themed quilts are made by Ruth Bly of Tulsa, OK. It is her “retirement” project. Her husband’s “retirement” project is to find a stuffed animal and pair it to a quilt. We taught the people gathered there some worship songs and it was a joyous time.
Medical Student Assists at Clinic
Consistent with the focus on apprenticeship, a young medical student named Hogan joined us to use his training for the Lord. Assisted by his mother Tia, he did a basic health check (triage) on first through sixth grade students. He brought a file cabinet to hold these new student records and now Dr. Zacky has a base point to track their health. Hogan observed that our kids are healthier than most in the U.S. He found no orange hair or scabies common to poor countries. The 850 children we feed daily receive a nutritious meal of rice and beans with vegetables and supplements. He spent several days shadowing Dr. Zacky and he said he had learned more about medicine from him than he had learned in medical school thus far. God let us see He had sent us his very best. He could easily work elsewhere for more money, but Dr. Z has taken “ownership” of the clinic. He appreciates the trust we have in him and most importantly, treats each child with tenderness and love.
Pepose Vision Institute – Glasses for Haitians
Pepose Vision sent Dr. Syberg, a low-vision specialist. He loves the Lord and puts his heart into the people he treats. He saw 183 people in 3 days and most of them received needed prescription glasses. What a blessing. Working alongside Pastor Joaquim and Sonja in organizing eye patients was a boy named Michener. The ministry is paying for his English classes and in time he may work for us as a translator.
More Homes Built
The Dwelling Place (Campus Two) now has ten homes. The fence keeps the wandering animals out, enabling the families to plant coconut and banana trees. What comes in must go out, and Jerry built a 20’ deep privy with six stalls for the families living there. The other side of this building contains six private stalls for bathing. People here are very modest and it is a great blessing to have a private place to carry in their bucket of water and wash themselves. Jerry looks forward to being able to build an addition to the Celebre’ Jesus church, which is always at capacity.
All this is important, but the best news is that four people received the Lord Jesus as their Savior during the week we were there. This is why the Lord sent us to Haiti.
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are persecuted and often killed in other nations. In our lifetime in America we may lose possessions, businesses, or legal rights because of our faith. But because of our faith, the world powers can never take away our true freedom in Christ. Celebrate Freedom!
With our love and gratitude,
Jerry and Sonja Dickherber
2016-July – Upcoming golf tournament, progress in many areas
2013-September – New campus, starting homes, new school year, Jonah update
2013-May – Fencing around The Promised Land, clinic update, Jonah update
2013-March – Medical Clinic, Roofing, Child who was intentionally starved found and fed (“Jonah”)
2012-December – Donated skid loader arrives by boat