A New Season
Greetings, our beloved friends and family! We trust that as you receive this note from us, you are being renewed daily in His mercies, grace and love.
As many of you know, we hit our ‘decade mark’ of being in Haiti last September. It is hard to believe how fast time flies, and yet we feel at times that we have lived several lifetimes over these past ten years! So much has transpired, and we wanted to take a moment to update you all.
The original twelve boys* who were the reason for our moving here in 2004 have grown up and moved on. A few are in the States and the rest are here in Haiti. Some are on staff with Child Hope, helping to raise up the next generation of children in our homes, while others have found work outside of the mission. A few of them have graduated from school, while the majority are still pursuing their education.
*Top row from left: Alex, Schneider, Yves, Ti-John, Israel, Joselin, Son Son. Bottom row from left: Edner, Macorel, Elisee, Joseph, James
This season has been an incredible time of challenges and blessings, all rolled into one amazing decade. The year 2014 was by far one of the most trying years. We had to cut staff members and significantly reduce expenses to meet decreased levels of giving, and still are facing similar challenges today. We knew that a season of pruning was coming – a word that was continually revealed to many people – and it signified much of what occurred.
The process of pruning can be viewed as harsh, painful, and not yielding of anything of worth once it is done. However, we all know how important pruning is to produce beauty and fruit in its proper season. We believe we are being prepared for a new season because in spite of everything that has transpired, we have been shown countless times that whatever He has begun, He will complete. We believe the work here started with the Lord, and it will end with the Lord when He so deems.
Please join us once again, in prayerfully asking the Lord to help bring forth His fruit during this season.
A group of faithful and devoted Board of Directors has guided Child Hope through these years – dedicated men who sacrificed much time and effort to ensure that Child Hope not just survived, but thrived. After years of service, several of these men have stepped off of the board, opening the way for a new group of leaders to help guide Child Hope’s future. One of those men is Peter Bohlinger, who has faithfully served as the Chairman of the Board for the past ten years. Peter has selflessly led our board through some of the most trying years, most recently through our downsizing, which was not an easy task. We are incredibly grateful for his leadership and dedication.
In addition to Peter, we also bid farewell to board members Michael Prock, Darin Kruse, David Beck, Jody Giles, Chris Cannon, and Phil Toomey. All of these men gave selflessly of their time, resources, and talents to help direct Child Hope into the next decade. We can never thank them enough for their hearts for Haiti and their service to the mission of Child Hope. Please join us in praying for all of these men and for the new members that are being considered for board positions.
We are also excited to welcome Robert Taylor as the new Chairman of the Board. Robert has been a faithful member of the board since 2010, and was unanimously voted in to guide and direct the current board and new members into this next decade. Robert was one of the individuals who happened to be visiting Haiti when the 2010 earthquake hit, and showed incredible heart, faith, and courage in serving Child Hope, earthquake victims, and many others who were injured. We are thankful that he has accepted this new role.
Changes “On the Ground”
We are currently bidding farewell to some of our beloved missionary staff, including Cindy Ahrentzen, Betsy Barnett, and Lee Buell who are leaving the mission. We are thankful for their faithful service and will be praying for their next stage of service to the Lord. Please keep them in your prayers.
By the grace of God and through the generosity of many of you, we are continuing our feeding program for the very needy children in our area. This program continues to minister to and feed many precious young ones. We are excited to also be working with Outside the Bowl, an organization that is providing the food for the children in the program.
Our evening worship events on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s continue to grow and are attracting people, both young and old, to hear God’s Word and experience His presence. Our talented kids at Child Hope, graduates, friends, and family continue to lead Spirit-filled praise and share the Word with those who attend. Please continue to keep our children and this wonderful community in your prayers; pray that the Lord of the Harvest would bear much fruit through their service.
We are expecting to take our first sabbatical in over ten years beginning this summer. There have been numerous obstacles over the past two years to take this step, but the Lord finally provided a way when the US Embassy in Haiti granted visitor’s visas to our two adopted children, Francesca and Kenson. This will allow them to not only travel with us to the States, but will allow us to work on their citizenship papers as well. This step is a true answer to prayer.
Lord willing, we will be leaving in June to return to Southern California to spend time with our children, grandchildren, family, and friends. We pray it will be a time of true spiritual rest and rejuvenation. In the meantime, please join us in prayer as we are seeking the right individual(s) to take our place while we are away.
As always, we can’t ever seem to say thank you enough to all of you who have been a part of sustaining our family and our work in Haiti. Without you, we would not have been able to do what we have done all these years. Thank you – a million times over, thank you!
We are often asked what to specifically pray for, so we have added some specific prayer requests below. Thank you as always, for being the two men, Aaron and Hur, who physically and spiritually held up Moses. God bless you.
For His Glory,
Bill & Susette Manassero
Jameson | Jameson is a 5-year-old little boy who came into our feeding program last October with tuberculosis and severely malnourished. He has been staying at the Manassero home as he has needed ongoing medication, and is almost ready to be released. His mother abandoned him and his older sister about a year ago, and his father cannot care for him and doesn’t want to take him back. Please join us in praying for his transition and determine where to place him – we have all bonded to this little guy! (Pictured to the right with Frankie and Kenny).
The Children | Please pray for the children who are currently in our homes, as well as for our graduates, past and present – that they would continue to grow in the wisdom of the Lord and His Word, and that their hope would increase daily in a country that seems to offer little.
The Manassero Kids | It is hard to believe, but Elijah moved here when he was 4 ½, and just turned 15 (pictured to the right with Susette). Although he has visited the States off and on, Haiti is home – it is what he knows. Our adopted children, Frankie (15) and Kenson (12), have never been to the US. They have understandably mixed emotions and are excited as well as anxious. Please pray for our kids as they leave their friends, school, and home here. Pray that the Lord shows us the right place to lay our roots for the next year and the right schools for our children. Please pray for their future friends and transitioning to American life in general. Also pray as we reunite with our US-based children – Ariana, Vienna, Jasmine, and Jordan.
The Transition | We ask that you join in praying for us as we adjust to a new culture and home. Please pray for clarity in where we will live in the States, our vehicle(s), etc. We have ideas, but want to clearly hear from the Lord. Thank you!
The New Director(s) | We continue to walk in faith, awaiting whomever will take over for us while we are gone. We have approached several candidates and are waiting to hear back. Please join us in asking the Lord to place the right people in this position.
New Board Members | Please join us as we prayerfully consider who to add to our Board of Directors.