Friends in Ministry

Hello all!

Great to connect with ya’ll once again.  On this American Thanksgiving weekend we were originally planning on spending time with some beautiful orphans in Haiti.  With the Haitian border less than 100 kms to our east this trip is becoming a Houck Family tradition.  Sadly, this week fees for crossing into and out of Haiti have doubled.  Thus, we need to save up a little extra dollars and hope to cross for a couple days around New Years.

Have to admit, I’m bummed 😦  The whole crew was going to work alongside some super fun boys and girls harvesting peanuts.  The peanuts would then be eaten and mostly sold to help raise funds for the orphanages.

Crossing from the DR into Ouanaminthe, Haiti we use.

Crossing from the DR into Ouanaminthe,         Haiti we use.

The friends and orphans we connected with in Haiti are one of the special ministry friends we hold close to our hearts.  Tracey and I both spend significant time working with one segment of Dominican society through Santiago Christian School. However, there are some very godly and courageous people who are diving into the deep end of need on the island.

So, in the spirit of friendship, why would we be selfish and hold on to these ministry do-gooders all to ourselves 🙂

Please check out these links and add them to your prayers!

BONNE TERRE (Ouanaminthe, Haiti)                                             

Bonne Terre

Jen Wride is a fellow Canadian 🙂 who has found her passion in serving and caring for the sweet and needy children of Haiti.  An agronomist by trade, Jen is working to help two orphanages (one boys, one girls), become self-sufficient.  She has raised funds to purchase multiple acres of land which the kids help develop supporting business and food for the table.  It’s pretty awesome!

The Haitian government estimates that 80% of all Haitian orphans are not actually orphans.  Sadly, families either cannot afford to feed their children, or, in worst case scenario’s the opportunity to earn extra money through adoptions gets tempting.

Jen and the orphanages she works with work directly with children who are verified orphans and in deep need of Jesus, help and education. It is one of the most authentic groups I’ve met.  Beautiful ministry through authentic means.

NEW HOPE Girls Academy (La Vega, Dominican Republic)

New Hope logo

We’ve told you about New Hope before.  Vidal & Joy Reyes (founders) pour their lives into young at-risk girls living below the line of poverty.  Mission teams we host here in Santiago always ask to spend at least a day with the New Hope girls and check out the ladies workshop where mother’s have the chance to earn a living.  Very, very cool stuff.

CAMINITO de JESUS  (Santiago, Dominican Republic)

Caminito de Jesus logo

Caminito de Jesus (“Pathway to Jesus”) is a school with over 250 children founded by Shelley Hernandez.  A former teacher at Santiago Christian School, Shelley was burdened by the needs of our local barrio.  God took her passion for education and to bring the love of Jesus together and whalla!

Caminito de Jesus (Pathway to Jesus) School in our barriol iterally 400 yards from our own and reaches in the lives of economically challenged families.  To give you perspective, students pay RD$600 per month for tuition.  In Canadian, that is $12.50 monthly.  Large numbers of families cannot afford the tuition and receive North American sponsorship.


Hard Workin Street Vendors usually have the best produce

Hard Workin Street Vendors usually have the best produce


TRACEY jumps into her P.E. classes each day like its the first day.  For some, teaching is a blessing or a burden.  When it comes to Tracey, there is no such thing as a “burden” for Tracey and her students.  It’s genuine love, prayer, and investing into their lives that brings a smile to her face…not to mention the kids faces 🙂

Gotta love Parachute games...

Gotta love Parachute games…

Amber continues to blow our minds as she comes out of her shell and explodes into colour.  Our once shy little girl is fast becoming a threat to the humour, social animalism, and compassionate heartbeat her brothers. Bring a bird with a broken wing home, and God’s gifting of empathy kicks in for real.

Amber showing off her Amelia Earhart Project

Amber showing off her Amelia Earhart Project

Drew’s grip on reality is, well…loose 🙂  1st grade is the ride of a lifetime for this dude. For the third year in a row, he “loves his teacher”. He loves reading his bible (knows the stories better than his dad for sure), and prays for his teacher and friends regularly.

Drew & his buddy Bryan at Family Day 2013

Drew & his buddy Bryan at Family Day 2013

Carter and Dad took some time out away from the goof troop recently and snagged a frozen Lemonade.  Love this kid.  He continues to grow up like a redwood tree.  He’s climbed the basketball ladder and is starting point guard this year.  He’s also a veracious reader.  The big guy has become my devotional evaluation tool…he reads them, gives me his honest take, and I toss another one his way.  Awesome stuff.

Frozen lemonade does this to a person

Frozen lemonade does this to a person

Canadian YouthWorker’s Convention (Youth Specialties Canada)

So thankful for the opportunity to share at the Canadian National YouthWorkers Convention in Vancouver early November.  Incredible time to network with ministry veterans like Marv Penner, Sid Koop and Sociologist James Penner who just released nationwide research about Young Adult faith development.  Brought back a truck load resources to put to use here in the 3rd World.

Youth Specialties Canada sponsors CYWC

Youth Specialties Canada sponsors CYWC

MOTO of the DR time!!!

Mobile Ice Cream air, plastic chair, chauffer...what else can a guy as for.

Mobile Ice Cream vendor…open air, plastic chair, chauffer…what else can a guy as for.

FEED THE NEED Food Drive 2013

FEED The NEED attempting to raise 12,000 lbs in donations

FEED The NEED is attempting to raise          12,000 lbs in donations this year.

Annually our school attempts to raise enough food to feed 600 families over the Christmas holidays.  Donations of food and money from our student families go directly to those in need.  100% of it.  Please pray for all of this to come in my friends!!

SCS Students collecting for the food drive.

SCS Students collecting for the food drive.

Prayer & Praise

  • Fast and furious 1st half of the school year is still a good one with so many God sightings.
  • Health has been a challenge a times.  Please pray for better “immune” systems 🙂
  • Number of children accepted Jesus at school last week.  Pray we follow up well.
  • Big decisions coming – Christmas season brings with it the need to decide on our future.  SCS requires a commitment in January for the following year.  We are asking you, our family and friends, to pray with us to figure out what God is asking of us.

Blessings our friends and until next time…give’m heaven!

Tim for the Houck Crew.

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