NLEC has supported the Poor Children’s Assistance Project in Haiti for over 20 years. The Poor Children’s Assistance Project is directed by Ricot Louis Juste. Ricot took over his father Nicholas Louis Juste, who died in April 2009. Mona Louis Juste, Nicholas Louis Juste’s wife, assists Ricot in the daily operations of the organization.
Pastor Nicholas had established more than 20 schools and churches, plus 4 orphanages throughout Haiti. All, but one, of the buildings in the organization were destroyed by the earthquake in January 2010. That building is currently the home of the 15 remaining orphans that the organization takes care of.
The spiritual leader of the churches was Pastor Ronigue Guierrier. Pastor Guierrier and his wife died in the earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010 when their home collapsed on them. The daughter of Pastor Menes Valme’ was at school when the earthquake hit. She died when the building collapsed. Many of the church buildings and homes of the people attending these churches were destroyed during this earthquake.
Even before the great earthquake of January 12, 2010 the needs of the people of Haiti were extensive.
- Only half of the population over fifteen can read or write. In rural areas the illiteracy rate is even higher.
- 40% of the population was living on less than $2 a day with a 70% unemployment rate before the earthquake. The need is even greater now.
- 1.2 million people in Haiti became homeless after the earthquake.
- Energy sources in much of the country are unreliable or nonexistentant.
“The poor will see and be glad – you who seek God, may your hearts live! The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people” (Psalm 69:32-33). As God’s people through out the country of Haiti cry out for freedom from their hunger, homelessness and hurt, will the people of God in America respond? Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers (and sisters) of mine, you did for me” (Matt.25:40). “Sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven” (Luke 18:22); and “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to Him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”(James 2:15-16).
In Luke 4:18, 19, Jesus declared a mission statement both for Himself and all who claim to follow Him. Quoting from Isaiah 61:1, 2, He proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Christ’s body on earth – the church – is uniquely able to provide release from the pain and suffering of the people of Haiti by meeting both spiritual and physical needs. The time for action is now. Jesus has come to set the captive free as His compassion flows through His people in word and deed.