1. Haiti, Let's Read!
Children and books belong together.
It is estimated that there are about 4,000,000 children in Haiti under the age of 14. That's 4,000,000 bright, creative, and curious minds waiting to be nurtured - an amazing storehouse of brain power! Books can kindle that brain power, develop kids' curiosity, and excite their imaginations.
In Haiti,there just aren't enough books for Haitian children. There are few books written in Haitian Kreyòl, the language of the vast majority of kids in Haiti.We believe that Haitian children deserve colorful, good quality books written in their mother tongue. And they deserve access to these books.
At Grace Oaks Ministries, we write, develop, and distribute good quality, culturally relevant books in Haitian Kreyòl. We want to catch the eyes and hearts of Haitian kids, get them falling in love with reading, and bring glory to God.
Our first book, shown above left, was Kolera, Yon Maladi Ou Kapab Evite (Cholera, A Sickness You Can Avoid). It was published in 2013 and is a colorful, kid-friendly book that helps equip children and their families with ways they can avoid getting cholera, an illness that has killed thousands of Haitians in the last few years.Ten thousand of these books have already been distributed in Haiti. It was written by Grace Oaks Ministries' writers Pamela H. Russell and Barbara Van Schoyck.
... our flagship project
Cholera, A Sickness You Can Avoid (above) was our first publication delivered to Haiti in 2013.
Haiti: Green Again! A Children's Book About Trees (below) was published and distributed in 2014.
Our second book is called Ayiti: Vet Anko! Yon Liv Pou Timoun Osije Pyebwa Yo (Haiti: Green Again! A Children's Book About Trees). Published in 2014, this colorful little book helps kids understand the value of trees and how, as children, they can become change agents in their communities to reforest Haiti. Also written by Barbara Van Schoyck and Pamela H. Russell, this book features photographs by Jean-Robert Joseph. More than 6,000 of these books are now in the hands of families, schools, and children in Haiti.
In early 2016, we published our third health book for children and families. Entitled Rete Ansante! Evite Marengwen yo (Stay Healthy! Avoid Mosquitoes) this book explores,in age-appropriate language and style, with colorful photos and illustrations, the mosquito-borne illnesses that ravage families' health in Haiti. These illnesses include malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, and Filariasis. This book challenges children to be proactive in reducing environments in which mosquitoes thrive, and provides practical tips for staying healthy. Nearly 10,000 copies have been distributed in rural Haiti.
Your donations will help support production of future books, and the reprinting of these three popular titles. (see Donate) You can read more about this exciting project at the Haiti, Let's Read! website (www.haitiletsread.org).
Bible Study Guides
In June 2017 Grace Oaks Ministries published its first Bible Study Guide in Haitian Kreyol (left) as a resource to help Haitian Christians study and share the Word of God. Distributed among Haitian leaders and young people, the first study guide discusses living well together. It is based on Philippians 4:2-3 and encourages readers to live in harmony and of one mind, as disciples of Christ. Nearly 3000 guides have been distributed in various parts of Haiti.
In March 2018 we published the second study guide on the Armor of God (right). We are excited about the potential of these and future publications.
2. Compassion Ministries
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT)
Grace Oaks Ministries, a local Haitian women’s ministry, several Haitian churches, and a number of churches and individuals in North America. have collaborated in ministry to 64 widows at the Widows’ Joy Center in Bohoc, Haiti. Currently we provide feedings, supplemental nourishment, and a small stipend. We often bring love gifts to the widows as they are made available. We hope to do more as God provides the resources We feel privieged to share God's love with these special ones about whom God cares so much.
We partnered with the Beautiful Women's Ministry and the Youth Program of Cornerstone Church of Rome, GA. The women prepared beautiful gift bags, and the young women sewed colorful head bands, for the widows in our program. The widows' joy, excitement and gratitude when they received these precious gifts were a blessing to see!
View a video of
the moment here:
Gifts to Grace Oaks Ministries, earmarked for the "widows' ministry", help us continue to minister God's grace to these special ones.
3. Bible-based Training in rural Haiti:
Women to Women Mentoring Workshops
In January 2015, Grace Oaks Ministries launched Women to Women Mentoring Workshops (Atelye Fanm ak Fanm) in Haiti. This two-year discipleship and Christian leadership development program serves women from rural areas of the Central Plateau. Women in remote churches in the countryside of Haiti often have little access to ongoing mentoring through seminars, conferences, or other women's events. But they know and love the Lord, and - like all women - need other sisters in the faith to encourage, invest in, and love them, and to help them grow in their faith and in Christian life and leadership skills. There is great power when women of faith join together to learn, share, and grow in the Lord!
Our first group of 22 women, representing 22 rural churches met three times a year for two years. These were women of faith and influence selected by their church leadership to participate in the program. Grace Oaks Ministries brings small groups of mature Christian women to Haiti three times a year for two years to mentor program participants in the workshop. The Bible-based, "roll-up-your sleeves and dig into the Word of God" style workshops are also wonderful opportunities for Christian women from two countries to share God's truth and learn from each other through the power of the Holy Spirit. This first group of women graduated the program and were consecrated in November 2016 to return to their churches and communities to make an impact their for Christ, and advance His Kingdom in Haiti.
After prayerfully considering where next to take this course, we began a second group in Cerca Carvajal, Haiti in January 2017. These 25 women from an equal number of churches will complete the program in November 2018.
We are excited about the long-term impact potential of this ministry and covet your prayers that God would use these workshops to grow His people and His Kingdom!
Gifts of support for the program can be sent to Grace Oaks Ministries and earmarked for Women to Women Workshops.
Christian Leadership Forum
The Christian Leadership Forum offers emerging leaders an opportunity to engage with one another, and with seasoned leaders from North America and Haiti, in Christian leadership issues. Grace Oaks Ministries collaborates with Agape International Ministries in Lapila (Pignon), Haiti to present the forum in six modules during 2-1/2 years. Participants represent a range of professions and discuss issues that are applicable and practical for challenges Christian leaders face in Haiti today. Presented through interactive workshops, the forum helps leaders understand Christ's example of servant leadership, the marks of a Christian leader, character and integrity, collaborative leadership, stewardship,flexibility, leading through challenges, cross-cultural leadership, strategic planning, mentoring, legacy, and many more issues.