HSLC's Partnership with VOH

Holy Spirit Church has over a 20 year relationship with the Village of Hope (VoH) in Ganthier, Haiti. The VoH is sponsored by the Lazarus Project which is a group of over sixty Lutheran Churches and various other churches and organizations throughout the world. These groups unite to sponsor over 700 preschool through high school students; support a community health care center at the VoH; and conduct several yearly mission trips to the VoH.  To learn more about the Village of Hope, log on to: www.villageofhopehaiti.org . You will find a downloadable brochure. This brochure contains information about the Village of Hope/Lazarus Project and explains various ways you can support this important ministry.


Mission Trips To Haiti


Click below to read the latest Village of Hope Newsletter:

September 2020 Village of Hope Newsletter

Recent News from the Village of Hope

We have received the latest newsletter from Village of Hope.  Please click below to see the newsletter in full.


March 2021 Newsletter


JULY UPDATE FROM VOH:  Our plans here at HSLC will still go forward and we will continue making Christmas Cards;  sorting, packing, and sending Christmas Gift Bags; preparing New Baby Matron Kits; and presenting a Special Sponsorship Event.  Stay tuned for more information on these projects. The Village of Hope needs our help and support now more than ever!


Dear Village of Hope Family,


Many of you have heard about the assassination of Haiti’s President, Jovenel Moise, which took place last week.  There is still a lot of conflicting information, and the news outlets are covering the story with quite a bit of attention.  For so long, many of us have been praying for peace in Haiti and have wanted the world to know of the suffering taking place there.  We are thankful for the coverage.
 

SAFETY

We want to let you know that our staff, students and their families are safe.  We have not received any news of harm to our VOH Family members.  We are in daily contact with our Field Director, Maryse Sterlin. Her top priority is to ensure the safety of our team and students.

SCHOOL

We want to give thanks to God for the ability to finish the 2020/21 School Year in early June.  Our 9th and S4-Philo students have been working with our teachers and preparing for national exams.  The exams were delayed a few weeks due to the assassination but should take place by the end of July. The rest of the students are off for their summer break.


HEALTH CENTER

Due to the political situation and security risk, we have closed the health center until everything calms down. We hope to reopen the health center by the end of July.

PRAYER

Thank you for your faithful support and prayers for our VOH Family.  God has blessed this ministry for 26 years, and there is still much HOPE at the Village of HOPE.  Jeremiah 29:11 gives us strength. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Please continue to pray for:

  • The safety of our staff on the ground
  • Security and peace for our students and their families
  • Clarity for the leaders of Haiti and those from assisting countries
  • Enough food and fuel to meet the daily needs of the country
     

In Christ, 
Dan Zieschang
Executive Director
Village of Hope Haiti


Village of Hope 2020 Christmas Gift Project

Once again this year, Holy Spirit was given the opportunity to participate in sorting, packing, and shipping the nearly 800 Christmas gift bags for the students, teachers, and staff of the Village of Hope School and Health Center located in Ganthier, Haiti.  We reunited our team from last year: Martina Wagner, Maureen Lay, Julia Soistman, added Cara Rucker and were off to an early September start.  Working with Marni Maree, VoH Board Member and Christmas Project Coordinator, and Maryse Sterlin, VoH Field Director, we made age appropriate gift selections for Kindergarten through High School students. Large quantities of over 20 different gift items were ordered and shipped to HSLC.  Room 207 in the Learning Center was stacked high with boxes as deliveries began to arrive!


The project is funded by the VoH network of churches and other supporters. Marni recruited a lot of volunteer helpers who made over 800 beautiful cloth drawstring bags to put the gifts in and 900 facemasks for students and adults. One church donated 75 handmade dresses for young girls and 50 pair of shorts along with matching tee shirts for young boys. HSLC volunteers created 700 plus handmade Christmas cards with friendly greetings for all students and staff.  Two hundred eighty-nine of the cards were contributed by Girl Scout Troop 20644. Each card was an original design with a heartfelt message.  HSLC also collected and sorted over 500 pair of reading glasses and sunglasses. 


Last year we had one big packing party, 50 people came, and we had 700 bags packed in under 2 hours.  However, this year because of Covid-19, we had to come up with another plan.  We set up Room 208 in the Learning Center with 3 long socially-distanced tables. Teams of 2 or 3 people came at a time and packed individual bags with the appropriate items for each class.  Those who did not feel comfortable coming to church to work, stopped by and picked up premade boxes of items and packed their bags at home.  Deliveries and pick-ups of kits were also made.  Soulfire packed 100s of snack bags and HisKids assembled gif bags for boys in Grades 4 thru 7. After about 2 ½ weeks all grades were sorted, stuffed, checked, and packed into 27 medium sizes storage boxes and made ready for shipment.


Eileen and Mark Fiedler, HSLC members, volunteered to deliver the boxes to JP Logistics in Miami where the boxes were loaded on a cargo ship and delivered to Port au Prince, Haiti.  JP Logistics’ Haitian staff then drove the shipment directly to Hope House (VoH Mission House) where it will remain until the second week in December when it will be taken to the school for distribution at the Annual Christmas Party.


We can only imagine the excitement the children will feel when they dig into their bags.  Gifts include:  Mini-flashlights, crayons, coloring books, wooden 3D puzzles, train whistles, race cars, dolls, hairbrushes, combs, hair ties, scarves, neck ties, playing cards, soccer balls, basketballs, packages of healthy snacks, facemasks, and handmade greeting cards.  An age appropriate selection of these gifts has been designated for each grade level.  High school students and staff members will also receive a gift card which they can use to purchase a gift of their own choice. 

Well done, Holy Spirit members and friends!  Your generosity, love, and caring will bring joy and happy smiles to hundreds of Haitian children and adults this Christmas Season.  Our hands reaching into God’s Kingdom! Thank you all!!


EDUCATION UPDATE:  The 2019-2020 school year was anything but normal – and it’s not over yet! It began in September with 629 students and 47 teachers/staff.


Soon after school opened, civil unrest and transportation disruptions prevented many teachers and students from getting to school, so the school was closed. On-line learning was not an option as neither electricity nor internet is available in most of our students’ homes. Teachers devised a system for making and picking up assignments through community points of contact, until school was able to reopen in late November. Classes continued into March. 


Second term had just begun when the pandemic arrived in Haiti. All schools were closed on March 20 and remained closed throughout the spring and summer. The 2019-2020 school year resumed on August 10.  The year ended on October 23. The 2020-2021 schools year begins in November.


Campus life is much different these days. Everyone must wear a face mask. When arriving on campus, everyone must go to one

of the two hand washing stations, as well as have temperatures checked. Visitor access is restricted to prevent contact with the

students. Classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizer and social distancing is required in the dining hall. 


To maintain social distancing in classrooms, half of students in Grades 1–6 attend from 7:30 – 10:30 am; other half attend from 11:30 - 14:30. Secondary grades are also divided in two groups, with each group coming to school every two (2) weeks. Devotions are done in the classrooms. Recess and gatherings are prohibited. Parents must pick up their children as soon as possible.


Thanks be to God; the coronavirus pandemic has not spread in Haiti as widely as had been feared. We must keep the students, faculty, and staff in our prayers for safety and health as classes resume.


HEALTH CENTER UPDATE:  We had to close the Health Center for 8 weeks while we tried to secure PPE. PPE was very scarce in Haiti as it was in the States at that time.   We had some wonderful donors provide funds to purchase the   equipment and Field Director, Maryse Sterlin, and Dr. Joseph Edwige were able to locate and purchase the needed materials in time for a June reopening of the center. In the month of June, we treated 275 patients. The number seeking care has increased by approximately 100 each month. Dr. Joseph reported 8 patients who arrived at the Health Center with Covid-19 symptoms and 5 of these patients ended up testing positive for the virus. The staff quickly isolates a possible Covid-19 patient. They immediately call the MSPP (Ministry of Public Health and Population) agents who come and take the patient for testing. Dr. Joseph is keeping his staff and patients safe by requiring everyone to wear a mask, social distancing, decreased coming and going in the center, wearing of protective gowns and shields by staff, and daily disinfection of the working environment. 


Thank you to the individuals and church families who have provided prayers and funds to keep the Health Center operational and saving lives. Please continue to pray and give as you are able. You are providing hope to so many!

Sponsor A Child At VOH

You can support the Village of Hope by sponsoring a student.  Your annual sponsorship will give the gift of education and health care to the student.  If you would like information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Julia Soistman. Email: jrsoistman@aol.com. Cell phone: 443-243-0886.