Letter from the Manasseros
As many of you may know, September 1, 2014 marked our ten-year anniversary of having moved to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It is hard to believe that an entire decade has passed since then. These have undoubtedly been some of the most wonderful years of our lives, filled with joys and victories, hardships and sorrows, always intermingled. They have been a gracious reminder that we are to remain desperate for God, always.
Looking back at these past ten years, all we know for certain are three things: at a very young age our daughter, Ariana, had a dream to help children in Haiti; the Lord called us here as a family; and we had an unexplainable, unconditional love in our hearts for twelve little Haitian boys who needed help. So we moved, and God, as always, proved Himself faithful.
Much has transpired since those early days. New boys came to join our ever-growing family, a girls home was added, as well as a guesthouse, school, medical clinic, neighborhood children’s feeding program, and a transitions/vocational training program. It has been a beautiful tapestry woven together by love, faith, much prayer, and perseverance. We remain humbled, knowing that apart from the Lord, none of this could have occurred. It was, and always will be, His Kingdom work.
When the earthquake of 2010 occurred in Haiti, funds and support poured in from around the world, allowing us to aid the community through the expansion of our school, medical clinic, and feeding program. We were also able to provide housing and relief assistance to our surrounding community. It is a time that will forever remain in our hearts and memories. However, just as quickly as the support appeared, the cameras left, and Haiti faded from the world’s spotlight.
Today, we have found ourselves in a place where we are trying to maintain the vision God gave us but without the funds needed to continue the work. Regular donations have declined significantly. In the last year, we have had to make difficult decisions by laying off many of our beloved Haitian employees and cutting back on critical programs such as education, vocational training and our precious feeding program. We are still prayerfully working through these challenges while staying true to our calling. It has been a difficult season for all of us.
It is has been our goal to foster a ministry that glorifies God and is self-sustainable. We have recently promoted some of our Haitian staff to top operations and management positions to oversee the ministry here. And it is our prayer that Child Hope in Haiti will be fully managed by Haitian nationals who can generate funds from within their own country, without being fully-dependent on funds outside of Haiti. Our guest house already provides income to the ministry. We are continuing to grow micro-businesses through our Transition Program that have the potential to significantly contribute to Child Hope’s revenue. We will be offering evening adult classes for the surrounding community through our school, thus further supplementing the ministry. All of this, however, takes time, so please join us prayerfully, as we work toward that end.
We are endeavoring to visit the States soon to speak with individuals, churches and groups who may be interested in hearing what God has done, and continues to do here in Haiti. Our hope and prayer is that by sharing God’s amazing work, He will provide what is needed for us to continue. We are committed to being obedient and doing all we are able in order to sustain the ministry of Child Hope. We are asking you to join us in prayer as we venture out.
Lastly, we want to confess that we have been convicted of our need to pray more. This ministry was birthed through prayer, and has been blessed all these years because of faithful prayer warriors. He has been our Provider and our Sustainer, and we know that He is asking us to seek Him right now. We are interested in forming a 24-hour prayer alliance with faithful individuals who can pray, once a day, at the same time each day, to insure that around-the-clock prayer is in place for the mission. We believe that those of you who have been a part of this ministry, over the years, have a critical role in where we go from here. We are calling upon all who have a heart for the children and community we serve in Haiti to join us in prayer for the future of Child Hope. Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
As always we are forever thankful for so many of you who have faithfully supported us through all these years. Thank you for the time to read this letter, and may the Lord continually bless you all as we work towards advancing His Kingdom.
Forever thankful in His mercies and grace,
Bill and Susette Manassero