How It All Happened
In March of 2017, The founder Don Burkhalter of ChurchQuake International traveled to Pestel, Haiti to assess the damage brought to this beautiful seaside community by Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on October 4, 2016, as a Category 4 hurricane. The combined effects of wind, coastal flooding and rain caused heavy flooding, landslides, and the destruction of a great deal of infrastructure, agricultural crops and natural ecosystems. There he met many families that had been affected by Hurricane Matthew and knew that help was needed. Pestel, Haiti is about 7 hours from the capital and requires a day of traveling to get there. Pestel, is tucked in a hill side, just off the Baie des Cayemites. The trip by boat is quite breath taking and the first thing that differs from the other villages is the ground is red!!
Amos Marcelin, a local to Pestel has been a friend of Don's for many years prior to the visit to Pestel. He met Amos through his uncle more than 10 years ago and became very interested in Amos, because of his passion for Haiti and his singing ability. He and Amos have stayed in touch over the years. Amos reached out after Hurricane Matthew inviting Don to visit Pestel to see the beauty of the small town as well as the damage that took place due to Hurricane Matthew. Don traveled in March along with fellow CQI member, Carrie Rouse. There they met many families that had been displaced by the hurricane and listened to the stories of that scary night. The town of Pestel has a charm to it like none other and the people are very friendly. Amos knew of many children who were orphaned or living with family members who were barely able to feed them and if there was no help these children would die or be used as a restavek so that they could live. Amos's dream for these children would be to open a home that accepted these children and to feed, house and educate them. CQI decided to get involved and help aide this dream.
In June 2017, Carrie Rouse traveled to Pestel to help open this children's home, they found a home to rent for the first year and selected the children with the worst case scenarios. Some of the first children to arrive at the home were very sick as well as severely malnourished. The home was furnished at first with cots and then very quickly upgraded to hand built bunk beds the following months. Most of these children had never slept in an actual bed. They were ecstatic. The children were placed in local schools, ranging from ages 4-17. Currently there are 16 children enrolled in school and living in the home. The majority of the children had never been to school. This was very important to Amos when we opened the home. The children are fed 3 times a day and all are healthy as a medical trip was conducted in February 2018 to determine this to be so.
We are very thankful for this past year to have helped to change 16 children's life for the best. These children are loved, fed, clothed and educated. There are several helpers that are in the home that have been hired to make sure the children's needs are being met. We thank you for any and all donations made to help make this happen. Your regular gift brings hope to children and families struggling with poverty by providing health care, clean water, food, an education for a brighter future and much more. Together, we can break the cycle of poverty!