Friday, December 2, 2011

Haiti Update: November 2011

Dear Friends and Prayer Partners…
Greetings again from the Short household. I hope and pray that this update finds you doing well and enjoying this festive time of year. This update is going to focus on the activities that I have had the privilege of working on this past year. The items listed below have taken place since January 2011 and fell under my responsibility as the Projects and Development Director with ESMI. Hopefully this will give you an understanding of how valuable your thoughts, prayers, and financial support has been to the people we work with in Haiti, Laura, and me. 


Homes for Pastors and Widows

Pastor Guercy Meme

 the in-country guidance of Pastor Guercy Meme we have completed five homes. Another one is currently under way, which brings the total number of homes that we have been able to provide to those who lost there homes in the earthquake to twelve. We were also able to finish Arcene Bac’s home, which was a special project sponsored by a church in Columbia, SC. If you check out some of my earlier updates in my blog you will see pictures of some of these homes. The exciting news with this part of the ministry is that we already have three churches lined up to build new homes after the first of the year.

Facility Modifications and Upgrades

ESMI Locations
This year has been very busy from a project perspective all across the country. As you might recall, we are operating facilities in four major Departments in Haiti: Artibonite, Grand-Anse, Ouest, and Sud. Below are some of the activities that we have been conducting in these areas. Note that this does not include some of the smaller projects that our short-term teams worked on such as painting buildings, building school desks and church pews, building gardens and sports fields, and various other critical activities that helped to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Fayeton School Reconstruction
Artibonite, Fayeton Orphan Village - The main project here was the reconstruction of the school. We had to remove a second story that was not built to our standards and then add new classrooms to double the size of the school. The school started operating in October. We also added a cistern under the floor of the church. This area is very dry and the need to store water is critical. We started working on a project with the city of Gonaives to run a water line out to our facility but the project has been held up by the city officials trying to redirect our funds to a different, non-related project. We also had one of our short-term teams install a playground structure for the children (orphans and students) at this facility.

Mapou Orphan Village (WMI Unit in back)
Artibonite, Mapou Orphan Village - We were able to partner with Water Missions International to install a community-based water purification system at our facility in Mapou. This unit can provide up to 10,000 gallons per day of purified water. We are now able to provide this clean source of life to the orphans, students, church members, and surrounding community. We have also been able to enter into a partnership with one of our sponsoring churches to adopt this site. We are sure that you will hear many reports next year from this site as it grows and gets enhanced. We are already in the process of negotiating for adjoining property so that we can build new homes for the orphans here. 

Jeremie University Layout
Grand-Anse, Jeremie University - This facility has probably consumed the most of my time throughout the year. At this site we are in the process of building a national level university. We will begin with the first department being a seminary, but our desire is to add other departments that might include business management, construction management, language, and various technical programs (machine repair, solar energy systems, etc.). So far this year we have been able to construct the Dr. David Nicholas Chapel, the Cafeteria/Fellowship Hall, and various infrastructure projects (Water Missions International water purification system, septic tank, and public restrooms). The next structure to be started before the end of the year is the School of Joy, which will ultimately provide primary and secondary education for up to 1,000 students from the surrounding area. We also have the designs done for the Administration/Classroom building and are working to secure funding for this. Another critical component of this facility is that we are working with SonLight Power to implement a solution that will provide solar power for the entire campus.

Lundy Retaining Wall from above
Grand-Anse, Lundy Orphan Village - We have had a lot of activity at this facility. The church that has adopted this site has built classrooms, support buildings, and many other critical support projects. I have not been managing these projects but have been excited to see all that is being done for the children at the orphan village and the members of the church there. This partner averages one team per month working at this facility. If your church would like to discuss partnering with one of our facilities please let me know. A major project that I did oversee was the installation of a retaining wall. When we first built this facility the decision was made to put the boys dormitories on the hill. This was before we started implementing more rigorous engineering standards. It became necessary to add the retaining wall to ensure that the hillside did not collapse below the buildings. The Dominican Republic Rotary International funded this project.

Sud, Bighouse Orphan Village - At this facility we were able to install a security wall around the facility. This area outside of the city of Les Cayes has a lot of voodoo activity and having this security wall is helping the children feel much safer.

River bank after last flood
Sud, Cherette Facility - This facility sits on the edge of a river in the Sud Department. The storms this year have cause this river to flood multiple times. We have been able to build a large retaining wall, however, the flooding has been so bad that the damage to the river bank has extended much further upstream than we were able to address. We are still reviewing our options with this site and are blessed to have a civil engineer coming down on a short-term trip after the first of the year to continue to assess the problem. He was the designer for the solution that we put in place.

Sud, Les Cayes #1 - This is one of our larger churches in Haiti with a weekly attendance around 4,500. We will be working with one of our donors before the end of the year to put in a cistern and solar powered pump to provide water to this church and the surrounding community.

Sud, Savannes - Savannes is an area within the city of Les Cayes that has been deemed as one of the roughest areas in the city due to drug and gang activities. Last year we planted a church there and this year we were able to finish it and start having services there. We also have some partner churches from the Chicago area that are going there on a regular basis to do church related work and medical clinics and we are seeing an enormous impact on the community. We are now in the process of seeking funding to build a school and medical clinic on the church property. Hopefully I will be reporting on these next year.

Total Value - Thanks to your contributions to this ministry and my personal support to do this work I have been able to manage approximately $800,000 worth of projects this year. Many of these projects have been completed and some are in the final stages of design and fund raising. Thank you again for making it possible for me to be able to do this work.


One area of the ministry that I am also getting involved in is the establishment of micro-businesses. We work with donors here the United States and Canada that desire to help the churches that we plant become self-sustaining. Some of the micro-businesses that I am investigating and will soon be putting together business plans for are ice factories, tilapia farms, poultry farms, and cyber cafes. This is a whole new area of expertise for me so please be praying for me as I develop the skills needed to do this effectively. I will also be working next year to build relationships with donors outside of our normal church circle to donate funds to these activities.

Travel for 2011

One question that I often get asked is when will be my next trip to Haiti. In 2010 I traveled to Haiti ten times for a total of eleven weeks. Most of this travel was related to the earthquake and getting up to speed on ESMI and the work that we are doing in Haiti. This year has been different. I have been able to travel to Haiti for a total of four weeks so far. However, I have also traveled to Florida, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Chicago, Indianapolis, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and California to participate in various meetings with donors, organizations, and conferences to help build the ESMI base of partners. It is a blessing to have such a dependable team in Haiti to work with so that I can manage the projects remotely and leverage my ability to work with donors and supporting organizations here in the United States. As my personal funding gets more stabilized I will be travelling to Haiti at least once per quarter.

Personal Fundraising Status

As I have shared in past updates, our ability to do this work is based on the generous support of friends and family like you. Many people that we run into still believe that this is something that we do in our retirement years. Unfortunately that is not the situation. This has become my new career and it is such a blessing to be able to use all that I have learned working for big business to make a difference in the lives of those in desperate need. My salary now comes from donations from people like you. As you can see from the news above there is a lot of work being done with your investment with so much more to do.

We have been blessed with enough donations this year to keep us fully focused on doing this work. Below is the last report that I submitted to the ESMI Board of Directors so that they were aware of how we are doing on our support. January begins a new year and we will be starting from scratch again. If you would like to provide either a one time donation or a recurring (monthly) donation to keep us doing this work you can do that on our website at Donate for David Short. It is also important for you to know that 100% of these donations go to what you are designating them for. ESMI operates with no administrative overhead.

Once again we want to thank you for your ongoing support in the form of thoughts, prayers and financial donations. This coming February will be the two year anniversary of doing this work in Haiti and it has only been able to be accomplished by your support. We will be praying for you and your families throughout the Christmas season.

Remember...In all that you do: Walk with God and follow your heart!!!
God Bless you and have and awesome day!!!
Esse Quam Videri