House 4 Haiti

Carlisle BIC Church has been doing work in Haiti for many years.  They are doing a project called House4Haiti.  They are building a new home in Carlisle with donated labor and materials with the proceeds of the sale of this house going to fund our orphanage in Haiti.  If you are interested in more info, check their website!

Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 6:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hoop Homes Update

This just in from our friends at Esbenshades….

Hey Everyone,
Want to start off by expressing how much we appreciate everyone’s support whether that came in the form of prayers, finances, or encouragement. We couldn’t have asked for smoother travel on the way down, all our luggage made it and we had no real issues being processed through customs. Our contact from YWAM met us directly after we claimed our baggage and did an awesome job of getting us through the madness that was the outside of the Port Au Prince airport.
We didn’t see a whole lot of devastation while traveling through Port Au Prince. Just outside of town we passed large tracts of land where people had “claimed” plots to put shelters up by outlining them with small rocks. Shortly thereafter we passed one of the mass graves where some of the victims of the earthquake were buried.
That made it real, very sobering.
After we arrived on the base Sunday afternoon we found Scott and Shawn, who were armpit deep in greenhouse parts in the back of the container. We worked till dark trying to unload, organize and also began assembling one of the Hoop Homes.

We are staying in a large communal dorm lined with triple bunk beds and about 25 other guys. Everything here on the base is powered by a generator which is shut off around 9 PM and turned back on around 6 AM. Some of the staff keep their radios,TVs, and lights on until the the power leaves. That made falling asleep pretty interesting. When we did fall asleep, we slept, and slept well.
Morning came early to the sounds of roosters, Guinea fowl, and one very ticked off dog. After a 6:30 breakfast we set to work finishing unloading the container and finishing up the afore mentioned Hoop House. Praise God the base has two, count ’em two, skidloaders. Or as we like to call them, back savers. What a blessing!!!
We finished getting everything organized just before lunch at which time we were told where the first “batch” of Hoop Homes were setup. We loaded enough material for 10 homes and headed down into St. Marc to clinc the YWAM base oversees. As we begun setting the house up, just 50 yards from the coast, I couldn’t help but praise God for the breeze, the ocean AND THE POST POUNDER!!!!! The REAL back saver. There is no way we could have even made 1/3 of the time we did if it wasn’t for that. Pounding 10, 3 ft. stakes by hand, into hard rocky soil would have even slowed down Charles Ingles and Mr. Edwards. We made great time. We started working around 1:00 and by 5:15 we had 5 houses completely finished and the structure of 3 more already up awaiting the poly. The weather was hot, but not unbearable. At least there was no rain. (Keep praying.)
Overall, our first day and a half could not have gone a whole lot better. We are all learning to work together and finding our niches. Thanks so much for everyones support. The houses are going up so smooth, and we are still working out OUR kinks. I’d say by day 3 we will be clipping along like a well oiled machine. Praise God for this!
I’ll wrap it up now. Please forward this to anyone you might think is interested and continue to keep us in your prayers. This whole “idea” and trip has come about in such a amazing way, we feel God truly has his hand in it. Much love to all of our loved ones. We miss you guys.
Jon Gehman for The Hoop House Team
Published in: on March 2, 2010 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Joy in Hope Feb 8 Haiti Update

Fred spoke with Gwenn Mangine of Joy in Hope once again this morning. You can hear the interview by clicking here.

Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hoop Homes for Haiti

Terry Esbenshade talks about the “hoop home” temporary housing structures being sent to Haiti.

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Joy in Hope Haiti Update

When the ground first shook on January 12, 2010, the actual event was over in a matter of a minute.  The effects of this tragedy, however, are lingering and will continue to linger for years and decades to come. The Joy in Hope staff on the ground has been honored to serve the community in various (and unusual) capacities as first responders, but we also acknowledge that as major relief organizations/government organizations have and continue to be mobilized in Jacmel, our role will again morph.  After much discussion amongst our team, we’ve come to agree that our main role in the restoration of Jacmel will likely be in a supporting role to these larger, better-resourced, more highly-focused organizations.  Because of the long term relationships/connections we have in Jacmel, we find ourselves in a place where we’re uniquely positioned to offer logistical support such as housing, transport, supplies, connections, and access to a steady stream of available workers.

This has already come to pass in many regards with the opening of our team housing as a guest house and with our involvement in the WFP distirbution, aiding specific NGO’s and the Canadian military.  Joy in Hope is becoming increasingly known and trusted in our community.

To be a little more specific, here’s some info about what we did yesterday which I think is a good example of a typical day here:

  • Yesterday were given the opportunity to be in charge of distribution of food for ALL of Cay Jacmel and surround areas (12,500 people.) We had to make a quick choice, and because of the systems we have in place already, were able to say yes.  Nick was able to rent a Dihatsu and take 4 truckloads of food into our warehouse.  Just for the record that’s 12 TONS of food—or 30,000 meals.  Just GIVEN to us to distribute.  We had to supply the truck and manpower (which is actually a bit more complicated than it sounds) but they got it done.  And funny story—the Dihatsu we rented for $200 was pretty sketchy.  It didn’t have lights so we had to return it by 6PM.  The driver broke our gate when he hit it and the truck actually broke down and had to be push-started.
  • Yesterday we also began hosting a team of 8 doctors who are literally saving lives.   I brought a tiny, very sick baby to them yesterday… a baby I believe was on the brink of death, and they were able to help.  Nick and Mikey were able to get 8 beds brought over to Rue Petion to continue expanding the capacity of the guest house.
  • Also yesterday, Nick delivered $500 worth of phone cards to the Canadian military who have provided hundreds of soldiers who are working all day long to restore Jacmel.  They are doing largescale rubble removal with heavy machinery and small scale with teams of soldiers. (And just FYI–they paid the bill on that one, but we were able to acquire the phone cards when they were not.)
  • Yesterday we distributed donated diapers in the local refugee camp.  Not a ton of them, but given the current situation with heavy rains and mud combined with a widespread outbreak of diarrhea, I have to believe it helped at least a little.
  • Yesterday we also brought 300 meals to the hospital that our staff and children prepared.  300 patients and their caregivers were able to eat a hot meal.
  • On top of all that, we have 2 orphanages that are running well.

I am sure today will be an equally exciting and opportunity-filled day.  And it’s so awesome to be involved in something so much bigger than ourselves.  It’s amazing to see the way God has given us favor as we’ve tried to make ourselves available to serve our community.  And I do believe we can continue to serve our community in a similar fashion for weeks and months to come.  It’s a good fit for the way we’re each personally wired and a good fit for our organization too

It’s exciting to live here in this time.  We’re thankful God has chosen us.  Please pray that he would give us the strength daily to walk in it.

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm  Comments (1)  
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Joy in Hope Haiti Update

Today Nick and I drove over the mountains to Leogane.  It’s been the first time we’ve been over the mountains since the quake.  We’d heard Leogane was bad. Wow.  Didn’t quite expect HOW bad it was.  You see, I have heard in Jacmel that around 50% of homes were destroyed.  But that’s kind of a deceiving statistic as much of the major damage was in a few pockets.  In these pockets, nearly EVERY house is destroyed but outside of those pockets, it’s not nearly as bad.  Estimates for Leogane say that there is somewhere between 80-90% of homes are destroyed.  Seeing what I saw today I would say that is VERY possible.  The WHOLE city is in shambles. It’s not just in pockets.  Downtown, uptown, in town, outskirts of town.  It’s a MESS.  All of it.

Even so, the people of Leogane continue to march on.  There is a lot of aid we could see on the ground and things seemed to be running very smoothly.  The streets were all cleared and swept.  There were even women spreading water over the roads nearly continuously to keep the dust down.  The main refugee camp was well organized.  There were no tents—it was all makeshift, semi-permanent structures organized into sections.  It’s still not great.  I mean come on, it’s a refugee camp. People have lost everything.  They still have many needs that are not being met.  But they continue with their lives with a tenacity I just can’t explain.

We’d love continued prayers for the situation in Haiti.  It’s out of the front pages now, but the need will continue for months and years, possibly decades, to come. Pray for continued provision.  Pray for our families as we adjust to our new normal.  But most of all, please pray that we would daily turn our hearts towards God—the giver of all good things.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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Joy in Hope Haiti Update

The camp.

Yesterday Leann and I headed over to the large refugee camp that’s now a part of our community.  As difficult as it was to see, it was a good visit.  We talked and played with a lot of different kids. It was kind of surreal.  In so many ways it was business as usual.  The kids were still just kids.  They were laughing and joking and playing.  Some were making kites, some were using sticks to build model houses, some were playing clapping hand games.   Almost all of them wanted their pictures taken.

But when I took a step back—it made my heart grieve all the more because I knew th reality of the situation.  Amongst the happy children there were deperate parents. Two specific parents who were hopeless enough to offer me two of their children then and there because they just weren’t sure how they were going to move on.

There was this other mother there.  She was the mother of a very small six month old baby.  Her baby was sick.  Very sick.  The baby had her face winced in pain the whole time I was there, but she could not cry louder than just a tiny, tiny whimper.  She was obviously dehydrated.  I asked the mother what kind of symptoms she’d been having and she said the baby has been throwing up and having diarrhea for several days.  I asked if she’d taken the baby to the medical tent located in the center of the camp.  She said that she hadn’t because there were always so many people there.  She didn’t want to wait in line.  I begged her to take the baby the next day.  I told her if she didn’t want to wait in line she should get there very early.  She said she could go, “demen si dye vle” (tomorrow if God wills).  I plan to check on her tomorrow.  I can’t stop thinking about her.

There ware an estimated 6,000 homeless people living in this camp.  SIX THOUSAND!  In a city of about 35,000 that’s a staggering amount.  Where do you go from here?

God save Haiti.  You’re the only one who can.

Published in: on January 29, 2010 at 10:10 am  Comments (1)  
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YWAM Haiti Update

16 days since the earthquake! Has it been that long? Days run together with short nights and little sleep. First there was the numbing reality of the situation, almost like a nightmarish dream you couldn’t wake up from. I think I had a bit of denial of the reality that the earthquake really happened. Yet there was no escape from the shocking reality that it was true. The destruction and death was everywhere and reported death totals were grossly under estimated. The death totals are much higher than realized. For the people who ask me how I know this, my response is simple; “Where are all the people?” There were approximately 3 million people in PAP before the earthquake, 60 to 70% were left homeless, I ask again. Where are all those people now?

By the approach of the second week I was asked to serve on a committee for the organization of the refugees that were expected to flood into the city of St. Marc. We planned, we prepared but no one came. Again, where are all the people? Refugees are reported to be in big numbers in Cap Haitien, Gonaives, but in St. Marc, which is actually located closer to Port Au Prince than either of these two cities, we’ve had no massive wave of refugees. After a week of registering victims in St. Marc that are staying in homes and churches, we have located 3000. We are still registering refugees and feel there maybe as many as 4000 to 6000 currently in the city. With over 2.5 million people left homeless, where are all the people?
We are finding in PAP groupings of people in fields, streets, and city parks. They are lost; no shelter, no supplies, still trying to figure out what to do. Thank God it is the dry season. Left out in the elements during rainy season would only have led to more deaths! These victims don’t know where to go or how to get anywhere. Many are too fearful to enter their homes to retrieve precious goods, money, or legal documents due to the continued after shocks that are still felt, yes even today.
We have been scrambling to formulate plans and preparations to receive these victims that are left in PAP but with no leadership or structure, it has been difficult to accomplish a lot quickly. Yet, help is on the way! Some would be content to let the need go unanswered, but we feel a call to proclaim that this is the hour for change and we must respond! In St. Marc, YWAM has linked with the local administration, non- governmental organizations, private foundations, churches and the UN to ready the local schools as temporary housing for those who are still sleeping in parks and streets in PAP. Currently there is a ship scheduled to arrive Monday, Feb. 1st, at the St. Marc port. This shipment brings 43,000lbs of rice, a 40′ trailer of assorted food and equipment and two 20′ trailers to assist an orphanage with food and materials to make repairs. Currently, in St. Marc, churches are being funded to feed hundreds of people daily. A once gutted and retired hospital has been re-enforced and repaired and our first medical team aided the sick just this past week.
In PAP we have located land to develop temporary communities that we will be ministering in for many days to come until the city is rebuilt and they are back on their feet. Our YWAM medical teams are treating 300 plus a day in front of the National Palace. They are also strategizing on the lay out temporary communities and ways to further assist as they transfer from a crisis team to a relief team. By this weekend we will have
130 plus volunteers working in PAP, St. Marc, and Gonaives!
Right now we are assembling tents, 16x14ft., to be shipped in. We have 200 ordered and a team of people coming to set them up. Each tent will cost approximately $300 USD which includes shipping. The first batch of tents could arrive as early as Feb. 10th. We plan to house people in schools and churches until then. The plan is to ship another order of tents directly following this first order. We need your help to get these tents here as quickly as possible. The order was placed in faith as we know they are needed and God will hold back the rains for only so long. By giving to YWAM Haiti “Relief” you will be contributing to see these tents purchased, delivered, and set up to provide temporary shelter for one to two years!
Let us know today if you can help make this possible! Below is the information on where you could send your funds to see this effort advanced.
Taking the High Places!
Terry W. Snow
National Director
YWAM Haiti
If you would like to help you could send a US Dollar contribution payable to YWAM Haiti “Relief: and mail to;
YWAM Haiti
PO Box 236
Akron, PA 17501
If you would like to send funds through the internet you may give through this link;
Published in: on January 29, 2010 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Special Haiti Earthquake Update

The world has come together to reach out to the earthquake victims in Haiti — and yet so much more needs to be done to ease the enormous suffering. Food For The Poor’s feeding center in Port-au-Prince is operational again, feeding thousands of people each day, but we need more funds to ship lifesaving food and clean water to benefit the countless families struggling to survive. Tent cities, some with more than 50,000 people, are scattered throughout the city and lack the basic necessities such as food and water.

The process of recovery in Haiti will be long and difficult. That’s why your continued support is so crucial to the relief efforts.

Please continue to keep Haiti in your prayers. Thank you for your compassion and generosity.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Update from Joy in Hope Ministries – Working in Jacmel, Haiti

Day to day the needs seem to change on the ground here in Jacmel.  We’ve spent the last few days working tirelessly getting food out into the hands of the people.  We don’t spend a whole lot of time reading the news, (mostly because we don’t have the time to do so,) but today I saw a story on about thousands of people crowding two trucks of rice that was being distributed.  It was a first come first served situation and it was chaos.  The UN ended up having to spray the crowd with pepper spray to control them.  One Haitian man being interviewed said something like, “we’ve lost everything—our homes, our families… and now our dignity.”

The truth is, that’s not the kinds of things we’re seeing here in Jacmel.  We’re seeing hungry people. We’re seeing desperate people.  We’ve even seen a few demonstrations that you might call a riot.  But that is the exception.  In so many ways, people are moving on. The tenacity if the Haitian people is awe-inspiring. We’re desperately searching out normalcy for our family as well.  We took all the kids to the beach yesterday as that was a pretty regular thing in our house pre-earthquake.  It was good.  But it was still weird.

As a ministry we’ve been focusing on distrubuting large quantities of food to the people of Jacmel through their pastors.  Yesterday we moved over 15 tons in/out of our warehouse.  ALL BY HAND.  We’re tired.  Today is a bit different, because we’re out of food.  Not sure what this is going to mean quite yet.   The good news is that there IS food to be had in Jacmel right now and the larger governmental organizations are starting larger scale distribution.   It would seem God is leading us to refocus once again and figure out how to best serve families in our community.  Lots of ideas swirling around, but nothing definite yet.  Today we’re going to try to breathe a little bit and invite God’s rest to inhabit us and strengthen us.

We are still all sleeping in tents outside.  Our house doesn’t appear to have any major damage, but we’re still nervous.  We continue to have strong aftershocks and have been hearing that we may continue to feel them for months to come.  They are unnerving.  We have a team of structural engineers coming in tomorrow to check on all our buildings.  I think once that’s happened we might be able to start the process of moving back indoors.  Well, maybe.

We’re so thankful for the prayers on behalf of our family and our ministry, Joy in Hope.  I am thankful that God positioned us where we are at this time to be able to walk through this, but it is stretching us beyond what we thought we could bear.

As you continue to pray, please lift up our families.  Our orphanages are not traditional orphanages.  They are families.  Large families.  And all of our family members are experiencing grief, loss, anxiety, fear and dozens of other emotions…  We need prayers for the ability to walk our children through the chaos that has become their lives.

To learn more about Joy in Hope please visit

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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