The Trickle Down Effect of Lodging to Support the Local Economy

Mission trips continue to transform lives and local communities by supporting the people of Haiti. All of these efforts have been bolstered by a partnership with various organizations that focus on ministry for the area and a plan of promoting empowerment to this indigenous Christ-centered team of leaders, the Haitian Team. That is the key to sustainability!

It is imperative that we think very creatively about providing assistance that is not just a handout but for the purpose of building disciples in this land. It is with this philosophy in mind that The Joshua House Missionary Lodge at IDADEE continues to thrive.

Think about the jobs that are necessary to run a lodge. Our Joshua House Haiti team includes Mackendy Andre, our Joshua House host, who coordinates your itinerary and responds to any needs that may arise. Transportation staff driver-Jovenel makes travel to The Joshua House easy. The cook and housekeeper-Magalie and Stephanie keep the coffee flowing, prepare a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner for our guests and ensure your rooms are clean. Our translator is Vila Gensler and Wislet is responsible for regular building tupkeep inside and out.

We have begun to source food for The Joshua House Missionary Lodge from local farms including New Roots Farm. What does it boil down to? JOBS for Haitians to live a better quality of life. Guests that stay at The Joshua House Missionary house support the local economy.

March was to be our busiest month of travel since we opened. The Joshua House Missionary Lodge guests help the team in Haiti by their visits. Because of travel concerns, Americans have slowed down the number of visitors traveling to Haiti, but the Joshua House staff still are paid. Although the level 4 is still high, guests are reporting that things seem relatively normal in Cap Haitien. Your donation and support also help maintain the economy when people may be canceling or postponing their trips.
We are excited to announce that The Joshua House Haiti will sponsor a Pastor and Teacher Conference on July 12th and 13th. The goal of the conference is to equip teachers and pastors on how to serve in their community. The Joshua House will provide lodging and meals to 45 local Haitian pastors and teachers who lead 5 churches and schools that serve 1700 kids. Stay tuned for sponsorship opportunities to support this mission.

In person, or with your financial support, we invite you to visit, see, serve and love!

Consider Donating to the Joshua House Foundation

Thank you for your support.

CHIDA HOSPITAL

Replacing the Beloved Adirondack Chairs

Throughout the day, many visitors of Joshua House can be seen sitting on the porch in the plastic Adirondack chairs where they take time to collect their thoughts, catch a sunrise or sunset, pray or even journal their stays at Joshua House.

Over time, these iconic chairs have become broken and worn and are now in need of permanent replacement.

The Joshua House is seeking to find someone who has a natural hand at construction to teach the Cap-Haitian young men and women how to build permanent wood replacement Adirondack chairs and/or benches for the Joshua House porch. The goal is not only to replace the chairs but to teach the Cap-Haitian’s children how to learn a new building skill to assist them in their future. We are also seeking donations to purchase local Haitian materials to build the chairs. Donor naming opportunities for the chairs is possible.

If you or someone you know feels a calling to help in this effort, please contact Tracy Walnoha at tracy@thejoshuahouse.org.

Year-End Charitable Donation Opportunities

Even a small donation can make a big difference in the efforts of the Joshua Foundation. There are many exciting ways your tax-deductible charitable donation can go a long way toward helping continue our mission through Joshua House Haiti and with a potential new retreat lodge in Western Pennsylvania. As always, you are welcome to designate your gift to a specific effort.

Joshua House Haiti:

Since June 2013, when the Joshua House Missionary Lodge in Haiti first opened its doors to missionary visitors in Haiti, there have been blessings too numerous to count. Now in our fifth year of welcoming guests, Joshua House has proudly welcomed nearly 2000 visitors that have come to the Cap Haitian community to help children at the EBAC orphanage, teach at the IDADEE school or assist with medical treatment at the CHIDA medical clinic, while simultaneously providing jobs for the Haitians who operate the Joshua House.

With the opening of the new CHIDA clinic earlier this year, we excitedly anticipate even more guests staying at the Joshua House during the year. In light of this we are hoping to fix a few items around the house that are in need or repair due to the natural wear and tear of four years of continuous operation. Many of our plumbing fixtures are in need of replacement as well as our indoor and outdoor furniture. These items can add up to a rather large financial burden outside the realm of normal operating expenses.

Western PA Retreat Lodge:

The Joshua Foundation is investigating the possibilities of building a Joshua House Retreat Lodge in Clinton, Pennsylvania on the site of the Family Guidance Promise Camp. For more than 50 years, Family Guidance has been providing programs to help at-risk youth in the Pittsburgh area. The Promise Camp is a 112-acre camp located in Beaver County designed to give at-risk children a life-changing experience through camping ministry. The camp offers activities such as swimming, rock wall climbing and hiking.
The Joshua Foundation is currently working with architects and engineers to develop a retreat lodge that would host Churches and other Christ-centered organizations throughout the year. Funds raised by the Retreat Lodge in the off-season would help to support the efforts of the Promise Camp throughout the summer season.

Employee Focus: Meet Mackendy André

Mackendy André has been employed at the Joshua House for nearly a year and has connected very well with the staff and visitors. As a Team Liaison, his duties are to plan for the arrival of the teams, serve as an interpreter for both the Americans and the Haitians, be a tour guide and coordinate transportation to and from the airport. Mackendy works closely with administrative assistant Tracy Walnoha and serves as the in-country host and face of the Joshua House when visitors reach Haiti.

Mackendy first became aware of the Joshua House in August of 2015 when he served as a leader for the Kid’s Fest, an annual program organized by IDADEE that gathers leaders from different zones and churches to work with children. Pastor Compère Jean Claude invited him to be a leader for the program as a member of his church.

“With God’s help, I worked with the kids and had lots of fun,” reflected Mackendy. “(During this time) the head of the board of the IDADEE organization saw me and the way I was leading the kids. He took notes about my leadership and the following year they called me again to do the same job.”

Weeks later after the second experience, Mackendy was invited to a board meeting where he was interviewed for the Team Liaison position at the Joshua House, following which he was invited to the Joshua House to learn about the organization. “They asked me if I would be happy working with the Joshua House and I said yes, because I like working with the American people and creating relationships with other people,” Mackendy recalled. Since that time he has fulfilled a crucial role at the Joshua House, helping visitors to feel comfortable and ensuring their trip goes smoothly.

Please help us welcome Mackendy to the Joshua House family, he is looking forward to working with you on your next trip to Haiti.

Project Restoration Haiti

On May 31, at only 21 years of age, Ben Schweiger traveled to Haiti to embark upon a 10-week trip that he hopes will be the start of a much larger, perhaps lifelong effort aimed at restoring the coral reef along the Haitian coast and assisting in the development of environmentally sustainable tourism in Haiti.
Ben is a recent graduate of Delaware Valley University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Conservation and Wildlife Management, but he first felt a calling to develop this project during the summer following his sophomore year of study when he served as a research assistant on a trip to South Africa.

“During the last week we took a trip to the coast and learned about the decline of the coral reef and it was then that I felt the Lord put it on my heart to look at this problem with respect to Haiti,” said Ben.

From there Ben focused his efforts on studying coral reef modules and over the course of the past year he put together a plan for Project Restoration Haiti and began to seek funding. He has since successfully partnered with both the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation and the Joshua House Foundation along with private donors for the initial trip to Haiti where he will try to build relationships with local fisherman and educate them on the issues surrounding the decline of the coral reef. He also hopes to team up with dedicated native citizens and others who have recently initiated reef conservation efforts. Ben also plans to hire a team of Haitians to construct five-pronged rebar structures often referred to as “coral spiders” which will be used as anchors for corals to grow in damaged reef areas. His goal is to construct and position 75 of the coral spiders in various locations throughout a 10 week period utilizing Haitian-made materials.

“My goal is not to go there and tell them what they should do,” stressed Ben. “It is very important that I serve Haiti in a very respectful way that will hopefully initiate a movement among the Haitians to promote change. I hope to be a resource for them to develop their own conservation efforts, strategies and methods.”

Long term, Ben hopes the coral reef conservation will create the opportunity for an eco-tourism lodge and full-service dive center which would help the Haitians build a framework for environmentally sustainable tourism.

“People often think of Haiti as an underdeveloped country and don’t realize the beauty the island has or the magnificent coral reefs that are present there,” said Ben. “Haitians have a unique opportunity to start from the ground up to develop tourism in a way that can help them long into their future.”

Coral Reefs, found off the coast of many tropical islands that lie near the equator, are home to 25 percent of all marine fish species and contain plants and animals that are important sources for new medicines being developed to treat numerous diseases. Coral reefs provide invaluable coastal protection to tropical islands, protecting them from destructive waves, tsunamis and hurricanes. In the Caribbean alone, tourists visiting the coral reefs generate about $2.1 billion annually. Since 1970, over exploitation of marine species found in these reefs, along with poor environmental planning and practices in coral reef areas have led to a decline of more than 50 percent of the reefs in many parts of the world.

Ben has established a youtube channel where he will post regularly to update his progress with Project Restoration Haiti accessible at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K5Ivd-fhw9w. Ben also has a website for the project at http://restorationhaiti. weebly.com/. Ben has requested prayer for his efforts that good decision making and healthy partnerships will be created to enable God’s will to be done. Donations can be made through the Joshua House Foundation or the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation websites.

Haiti Short Term Adult Mission Trip

The first week of February saw North Way’s Haiti Mission team make the trek from Pittsburgh to the Joshua House in Haiti. Bearing gifts from several congregations throughout Pittsburgh, the team arrived ready and eager to serve.
The first few days were spent with the children in the IDADEE and EBAC orphanages, where the team was able to serve the children through worship, tutoring, and games. The children were thrilled to welcome the team into their home and classrooms, and the relationships they began to build throughout those few days won’t be soon forgotten. They spent their time together working on lessons, playing games and making crafts, sharing meals, and even just seeing pictures of their families back home. The simple joy that these children got from spending time with the team was deeply heartwarming to all who shared in it and laid the foundation for building long term relationships with these children who are so eager to love.

The majority of the middle part of the trip was spent with Pastor Jean-Claude and his family, who welcomed the team to his home and to worship in his two churches: his “valley” church and his “mountain” church. While both churches have been recently under construction, the progress made to both was remarkable and satisfying to see. The tin roof that North Way provided for the mountain church has already been completed!

Saturday and Sunday were spent at the valley church, otherwise known as Redeemed Church, where both days were filled with worship and edifying teachings for all in attendance. Jeff DeWalt delivered an especially uplifting sermon on the spiritual identity we receive when we accept Jesus as our Savior.

The team also hiked up to Pastor Jean-Claude’s mountain church, and the breathtaking scenery during the hike itself was a testament to the beauty of God’s creation. What an incredible way to start a day devoted to sharing the Gospel with the members of the mountain congregation!

The trip finished up with a well-deserved trip to Haiti’s Amiga Island, a tourist hot spot known for its striking scenery and coral reefs. The team was guided by the tour guides of Haitian Creole tours, who happen to be former EBAC students! In addition to the white sand beaches, the cerulean blue waters, and the striking green of the island itself, the team was blessed to witness the baptism of three of its own members in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.  What an amazing place to experience such a life-changing moment!

It was with full hearts that the team returned to snowy Pittsburgh the next day, knowing that they had served so many and made a deep impact on those they’d served throughout their trip. Keep the Haitian ministry in your continued prayers – God’s work carries on!