Ministering with the ‘least of these’ in Haiti – prisoners, vulnerable children, and the elderly.
Discipleship & Community Outreach
Through word and deed, the Heartline team lavishes love on each beloved child and adult made in the image of God, communicating that they are not forgotten or worthless, but have unsurpassable worth to God.
The Heartline Outreach and Discipleship team is grateful to minister at a prison for juvenile boys and a women’s prison each week. Delivering bread to share with both prisoners and prison guards opens the door to sharing the Gospel with physically and spiritually hungry prisoners through worship, prayer, teaching, and mentoring.
Children with Disabilities
The Heartline Outreach and Discipleship team is grateful to minister with Mephibosheth House that cares for children with developmental disabilities. Every week, the Heartline team delivers bread and other food, and spends several hours worshipping, praying, and playing with the children.
The Heartline Outreach and Discipleship team ministers with approximately 200 children living in extreme material poverty every Sunday afternoon. Kid’s Club includes a meal, worship, a message from the Bible, and play! Many of the children do not attend school and have families unable to provide for their basic needs. They look forward to Kid’s Club each week for the food, loving relationships, singing, and opportunity to hear about God’s love.
The Heartline Beltis Bakery provides jobs and vocational training to previously unemployed men. Utilizing over 500 pounds of flour daily to make delicious bread and pizza, the Heartline Bakery is open six days a week, selling baked goods to the wider community and supplying bread for all of Heartline’s Outreach and Discipleship ministries.
As humans, these are things we all need to thrive. Yet isolation is a significant problem facing seniors around the world. In Haiti, there are very few organizations serving the elderly and individuals living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As Haitians age, if their families are not able to take care of them, there are very few places to turn for support. The Heartline Discipleship and Outreach team is grateful for the opportunity to partner with a Korean ministry serving the elderly in Haiti.
Heading into this trip I was most excited about visiting the programs, my American comrades that I had already come to know, and witnessing the beauty and hardships of Haiti. What I wasn’t prepared for was how deeply I would connect with, and later become homesick for, my incredible Haitian teammates. While I know it is a tiny drop in the bucket and nothing like engaging in person, I hope to share more about these amazing friends who have a forever spot in my heart.
One of the most significant problems for many Haitians is the lack of financial savings to cover large expenses when they arise. Many families are just one unplanned financial disaster away from crumbling – which often results in broken relationships. Though lack of employment is certainly a problem, even many Haitians who have jobs don’t have any financial safety net. After all, most wages here barely cover a person’s basic needs.
Most incarcerated Haitians have not been convicted of a crime, but are imprisoned during lengthy pretrial detention, frequently for many years. Due to severe overcrowding and malnutrition-related illnesses and other preventable diseases, many Haitians die in prison while waiting to see a judge.
Each week, Heartline’s outreach team has the great honor of visiting a local orphanage where children with disabilities live. They worship, pray, and share bread baked at Heartline’s Beltis Bakery with the children and staff. In February, the Men’s Ministry group and students from the Women’s Education Center cosmetology class joined together to shower the children with extra love and tender care. They volunteered to wash the children, cut and braid their hair, and provide manicures and pedicures. As the day’s activities got underway, the orphanage overflowed with laughter and excitement. The children enthusiastically sang, worshipped, and prayed.