Since the January 2010 earthquake, Grace Bible Church in La Vernia has made three mission trips to Haiti, with a fourth trip planned for Oct. 6-13, when a team of 10 will return there.
While in Haiti, church members work alongside Haitian partners and community kids. Some of the work consists of clearing rubble and ruins from the earthquake that destroyed many homes and killed more than 300,000 people. In June, Grace Bible Church of La Vernia began rebuilding an elementary school and cafeteria in Carrefour, Haiti.
The school is Institution Joli Jardin De Missou and its director is Pastor Jean Fritz Nicolas. The elementary school was a stand-alone structure and was destroyed by the earthquake. The building was completely taken down by the team that went in March 2011.
The Christian school accommodates grades kindergarten through 12. The courtyard serves as a playground, cafeteria, and classrooms. Children get in line to receive a plate of rice and sit on the floor to eat. Elementary classes also are held in the courtyard, separated by blue tarps used as dividers between classes.
Pastor Jean Fritz Nicolas is in charge of an orphanage as well, called All the Children of Haiti. It housed 120 children immediately after the earthquake and when church members first went to Haiti in September 2010.
They are down to 80 children now. Many of the children have been adopted, mainly to the United States, with a large number of them to San Antonio. The orphanage is in need of food and funds to continue with the elementary school building. The children from the orphanage, which is located in Leboule, Haiti, travel 50 minutes one way to school in Carrefour.
During each trip, church members spend a day playing, hugging, and loving on the children of the orphanage. The team always prepares and serves a meal to the children, as well.
Grace Bible Church also has partnered with a group of young Christian men called the Yung Goddis, meaning “young men of God,” ranging in age from 14 to 23. The majority of these boys lost their homes, siblings, and mother or father -- if not both -- in the earthquake. These 18 individuals have become family to church members. With the help of generous members, some of these kids are being sent to high school, trade school, or university.
Please pray for the October Grace mission trip team of Associate Pastor Bill Hill; worship band guitarist David Casarez; students Justin Eden, Alexandra Raye Hernandez, and Christopher Day; Brenda Frye, PA, retired; Elna Sublett, Theresa Reyes, Linda Fiala, and Sandra Shaw.
Pascalle Bippert and a number of volunteers gathered Sept. 10 at Grace Bible Church in La Vernia to assemble “Little Dresses” for children in Haitian orphanages.
Bippert was inspired to create “Little Dresses for Africa” after watching a TV program earlier this year about the need for clothing for African orphans. Hearing about a similar need for Haitian orphans from members of Grace Bible Church following a mission trip spurred Bippert and other members of the La Vernia community to pool their creative and sewing talents to create clothing for the orphans in Haiti, also.
Bippert and other volunters created 111 dresses and 79 pairs of shorts before the sewing day Sept. 10. These and the items produced that day will go to the children of the All the Children of Haiti orphanage, under the direction of Pastor Jean Fritz Nicolas. The clothing will be delivered during a mission trip to Haiti by Grace Bible Church members Oct. 6-13.