Haiti Report [2010]



Distributing to the Necessity of Saints
Romans 12:13

REGARDING HAITI RELIEF from Al Adams, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA




Our last trip into Haiti and the Dominican Republic was for three purposes.

1. Have a meeting with the committee of leading brethren as to what the on-going plan of action will be for the near future as it relates to the Haiti earthquake relief in Port au Prince and surrounding area. Review and visit the progress in the north east corner of Haiti as to the assembly, school and clinic in the city of Ouanaminthe.

2. Visit in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, two assembly fellowships where help for current building or future construction is either on-going or necessary.

3. Have long and extensive sessions with one of the senior leaders of Cuba.

The brethren who have assumed the direction of the relief effort are both motivated and frustrated. There are essentially two approaches that they can act on. One approach is to spend funds, deliver relief and not have any specific goal or group in mind. Simply bring immediate humanitarian aid to the needy and have no long-term expectations as to establishing church fellowships. The other option is to hold back on immediate relief and carefully deliver goods to both places and people who will ultimately compose a fellowship with long-term effects. The frustration of these two approaches grows weekly due to governmental restrictions in Haiti itself. The “open border” crossing that existed immediately after the earthquake and during our last trip is no more. The delays at the border are much greater but in addition every item taken into Haiti now has to be listed on a waybill of sorts and fully declared. The charging of up to 20% duties is now also a reality. Therefore, the sacrifice involved in getting the supplies to the needy locations has now become more difficult. The medical teams that would cross over on a Friday and work Saturday, Sunday and come home are now losing a significant amount of time and are simply not efficient. These are busy people like ourselves and time is valuable. The cost of the trips is significant. A bus has to be rented,food and accommodations are also needed. The reduced time available for the doctors, nurses and others involved is now causing the brethren to reassess their effectiveness. Much wisdom is needed as some who are not as busy and do not have business practices and medical duties don’t always understand these issues.

One of the fellowships where Dr. Edison Marmol is an elder is not only in the middle of a building program but also has a neighborhood outreach that is having a significant effect in the neighborhood. During the first week of July they had 250 children attending a daily vacation Bible school and during the same week almost 150 young people attended evening sessions.These responsibilities along with their daily practice duties make it difficult for some of these outstanding brethren to make the long arduous trips to Haiti. Yet they do it! I should point out that the above paragraph only represents one brother. I am certain that I could write about several other brethren and sisters who are so involved in Gospel work, that they too want every dollar and minute to count as it relates to the needs of Haiti. As we all know, it isn’t just money that is valuable.

There are some brethren in Santo Domingo who want to continue tangible humanitarian relief to Haiti. The decision therefore has been made to take a two-fold approach to the relief and Gospel effort as it relates to the earthquake zone.

1. Several brethren in Santo Domingo [some are Haitian] will continue to take tents [small ones] tarps, food and medicine into the earthquake area with or without medical teams. They will also continue to help and supply the triage unit in Port au Prince with the above items. [Duties will have to be paid.] How long this will be able to be done will of course be determined by volunteers, acquisition of supplies and ability to cross the border safely.

2. Teams of Haitian elders from 9 different assemblies in the southeastern corner of the Dominican Republic will be going in for extended periods of time to work. First they will work amongst their relatives who are unsaved and then build testimonies in the earthquake area through both relief and preaching. These are men who have solid testimonies and have been leaders in their fellowships for quite sometime. They have the respect of their Dominican counterpart brethren and of course culturally are the most capable and ready to make the contacts.

When they were asked if they would consider such a challenge they without hesitation volunteered to go in for 6 month stints. It was suggested that initially they should consider shorter excursions into Haiti. These are men who have families and personal needs. The decision of the Dominican brethren is to meet their needs while they are in Haiti.

The desire of us all is that these Haitian brethren who have contacts, families and friends that still live in Haiti, will be able to start fellowships in Port au Prince and the surrounding areas. They will be moving into areas where there is an altered-Gospel, Voodoo and just plain enemy territory. It goes without saying that our communication with the Father of Lights is essential.

There are some discoveries that are disconcerting and much care and wisdom is required. We want to be careful in our comments so as to not accuse or misrepresent what many others are doing. The triage unit is within the boundaries of the police protected areas. We are very grateful for this as it affords security for those working there. However, it also does open possibilities for change. Therefore, it is important that the triage unit be maintained meticulously impartial and non-political. The control of those who come for aid is therefore controlled. It is not our desire to spend funds on premises [tents/bldgs] or aid that will be either lost or used for reasons that are in any way questionable and therefore the wisdom of a Solomon is needed.

As we have seen in almost every country of the world, aid can be abused and misused. There is no doubt that Haiti is just like the rest of humanity. The brethren have discovered that in certain areas aid is now being used for the purpose of acquiring duties and custom charges. It is also being used for the purpose of providing for favored people not necessarily those who are most needy. As we have previously stated, humanitarian aid is no longer looked upon favourably by many Haitian businessmen. [As is obvious, why would you pay for something or go to a doctor who would require you to pay when you can get it all free?] The brother [Joshua] who goes to Port au Prince three times a week, stated very clearly to us that many of the large organizations and foreign governments have left. There is a sense of frustration because of the lack of organization and structure. Many groups wisely have moved into the rural areas where needs are still very real. However, even in these rural areas there is always the danger of having the operation either confiscated or removed by local bodies. As in all parts of the world, the people are the ones who suffer. Our hope is that with the Haitian brethren from a very poor area themselves they will be able to not only give direction but identify those with need and provide the message of Good News.

OUANAMINTHE / N.E. Corner of Haiti
Well over a decade ago in conjunction with the Dominican and Haitian elders from Santo Domingo a work to; teach orphans, organize a clinic, and establish fellowships was started. This work was originated by a brother called Joseph Clervil. Joseph has several sons but one in particular who is called Jhonny [No, that is not misspelled] has taken a lead role in the assembly in Ouanaminthe. Jhonny is 25 years old. He is incredibly smart, articulate, has leadership qualities. However he has become arrogant beyond any sense of normal. The assembly met for the Lord’s supper, the Lord’s Day morning we arrived. There were over 200 present. The service was very orderly and while those of us who couldn’t speak Creole didn’t understand, it was a privilege for us from Cuba and the USA to give a word as to the Lord’s goodness through translation from Spanish to Creole.

After the Lord’s Supper a meeting was held under the famous mango tree. What started off as an informative meeting quickly turned into an accusatory session by Jhonny. We will not deal with the details but will quote the brother from Cuba to you. “I have never seen such arrogance in a young brother like this in Cuba. He seems to be all about me, me and me.” There was no doubt on the part of the 6 visiting brethren who were present [all being men in leadership roles in their assemblies] that Jhonny while talented is very much lacking in maturity, moderation and humility. Sad to say, his father who is a delightful brother has not and did not command his son’s respect and attention. While this is very discouraging the work there is not. The purpose of this information is to make mention that Jhonny was told to submit himself to the leadership of his own brethren as well as those who oversee the work. He stated plainly he would not. He indicated that he would make use of Haitian law if necessary. The meeting was dispersed with the warning that we would wait and see what the Lord did in his life during the next 45 days. [That timeframe will end August 10th] Please pray that the Lord would work in his heart. That he will be of a contrite and humble mind and that the work of the Lord will not be damaged after so much sacrifice by so many. Erasmus, who has given much of his life to that work is heart-broken by these events. That very day, however, he planned his next 5+ hour [each way] trip, to bewithin 2 weeks. He is a man in his 70s and doggedly humble.

There are many needs amongst the believers in this land. However, there are three specific items that will be addressed briefly.

1. Completion of a chapel building where Dr. Edison Marmol [mentioned above] attends. The brethren at this location have bought a property by saving as a fellowship for years. The building is now 3/4 done but the vision of their leadership is incredible. One of their own said: “We know that in time we will own the building next door and we will be feeding 200 poor children here every day for at least one good meal. It won’t be long either.” He said with a smile.

2. A Haitian fellowship in Santo Domingo has now grown to over 100 and meets in a building that can only be reached by walking [200 feet] through a narrow passage way [6 feet wide] with homes on either side. There is no street access. It is an extremely poor neighborhood. The fellowship currently rents a building located not far from the chapel building to feed children, teach young mothers how to look after their babies and provide lunch for some of the children in the neighborhood. Their own chapel premises are desperately small and in poor repair. Their goal and vision is to make the old chapel another place for children to come and their mothers taught. They also would get a meal. A new premises for the chapel would enable them to grow as they are buried in the neighborhood .

3. Drill wells in the south western part of the Dominican Republic where there are nine Haitian fellowships. This area is known as Barahona. This project is going to take a little time as we need to form a team, then train the team on how to operate the equipment. Joshua [mentioned above] has some experience in forming a cooperative once a well is drilled. It becomes a self-sustaining project as each person in the community pays a very small amount of money for using the well. The funds are managed by the elders of the community and are kept for pump replacement and any repairs of the piping or valves. Typically, the piping runs into the small communities with valves that provide water for 6-10 houses.The current project underway amongst these fellowships is replacing the roofs at the nine buildings and repairing walls where necessary.

One of the reasons for having a senior brother come from Cuba to the Dominican Republic was to introduce the Dominican brethren to the needs of Cuban assemblies. The Dominican Republic has some very able Bible teachers and their gift would be a tremendous asset to Cuba. There were several sessions where the brother from Cuba was able to present the growth, the need of teaching and perhaps even the sending of a missionary couple from the Dominican Republic to Cuba. [This would be legally possible as the Cuban government grants visas to certain countries for a limited period of time. {6 months}] Another reason for the brother’s visit was extensive discussions as to a problem in Cuba which is damaging the work in a specific area. Much prayer and wisdom on the part of many is required. These are issues that require humility on the part of believers who are in leadership and immense changes in the lives of those who have gone astray. The issues are NOT political. They are spiritual. A tragedy of proportions morally and ethically from a older, former expositor of Scripture. Young men who were tutored by this person are now dealing with him and his family as the sinners. This is extremely difficult for these younger men [Now in their 40s and not young yet they see themselves as such.] as is is a localized item that requires those who were once the students to now be the leaders, men of biblical backbone and integrity.

The needs of many are possible! The vision of some is phenomenal! The problems are similar to those found in the New Testament. The Lord said: “The gates of Hell will NOT prevail.” We apologize for this lengthy bulletin but trust that it will give you the reader a new list of items that you can participate in when you converse with your Father.

Al Adams Tampa, FL

Please pray for much wisdom as funds are transferred to the committee of responsible elders in Santo Domingo. Thank you for your interest in Haiti. We will have further reports as the work progresses, the help continues, and church fellowships are established. Please don’t interpret any of the below as a solicitation. It is simply there to provide information and eliminate further correspondence. There are five different addresses where one can send financial help if they so wish.

CMML – PO Box 13 , Spring Lake , NJ 07762-0013

DNS Relief for USA – 4611 109th Place NE Marysville , WA 98271-8355
DNS Relief for Canada – 301 – 34 Swansea Road Unionville , ON L3R 0W3
MSC Canada – 101 Amber Street, Unit 16, Markham , Ontario , Canada , L3R 3B2
56th Street Gospel Chapel Inc., 3902 Corporex Park Drive, Suite 650, Tampa, FL 33619