Haiti Newsletter photo Q4

Everything changed for the Belizaire family after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Mr. Belizaire was killed, and the family’s home was destroyed. Mrs. Belizaire has three children, and struggled to make ends meet by selling clothing on the street. The Belizaire children (Ralph, Carl, and Carla) were sponsored by generous friends through Forward Edge, which provided them with education, safe water and food—but without a safe home, it was difficult to stay healthy and keep up in school.


Haiti newsletter photo Q4

Jen and Ken Goheen, who sponsor one of the Belizaire children (Ralph), had an idea: they could raise money for the Belizaire family to rebuild their home by running the Hood to Coast race. Hood to Coast is a 200-mile trek from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon; they called the team “Hoofin’ it for Haiti.” Along with the rest of their team, the Goheens successfully raised over $10,000 with which to help the Belizaires rebuild. 

In September of this year, three Hoofin’ it for Haiti runners joined nine other volunteers and got on a plane to Haiti, where they stood shoulder to shoulder with Mrs. Belizaire and her children, and started building them a new home. While the old one was about the size of the average American dining room, and was made of tarp and metal scraps, the new one stands solidly on a cement floor, cinder blocks forming a new 11×22 dwelling.

“It actually keeps the bugs and other elements out, and offers some protection,’ Ken said. ‘My favorite part of the trip was working with them knowing we were helping with something that was desperately needed.”

While they built a home, they also built strong bonds—they brought toys for the children and their cousins
 and neighbors, passed out food, and formed relationships with the kids and families they came into contact with. For Forward Edge, relationships supersede all else. We are building long-term relationships in Haiti, and God is building something greater with those relationships.

Haiti newsletter photo Q4

The Goheens didn’t solve this problem with wealth. They brought to God what they had: an idea, and the willingness to see it through. They departed Haiti for home on September 30th.

Just days later, Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti, bringing new devastation to a still-recovering land. Over 1,000 people lost their lives, and 175,000 are displaced. While the Belizaire family’s home is still intact, 20 of the families in our Nouvo Lavi program have lost their homes. In Haiti, there is an 83% unemployment rate; those who do find work often earn less than $3 a day. The funds to rebuild a home are simply out of reach.

We believe God is calling Forward Edge to move on behalf of these families. This December, we are sending a disaster response team to Haiti. The families we serve lack the resources to recover alone, and are praying for a miracle. That miracle might be you.

To find out more or join our team to Haiti, email Tiffany Hearn: tiffanyhearn@forwardedge.org.