Celebrating 33 Years in Haiti
// George DeTellis, Jr.
Above: Jeanne DeTellis camped out in tents during the pioneering days of New Missions while they built their first building.
In March of 1982, we purchased five acres along the ocean in Haiti for about $7,000. On Jan. 6, 1983 we arrived in Haiti with five tents, a Coleman stove, a wheelbarrow, and as much luggage as American Airlines would allow us to take on the plane. The first night, we pitched our tents and started a campfire. Hundreds of Haitians from the nearby village of Neply came streaming out to meet these Americans. Many had never met an American, or had seen a tent before. That first week we started a feeding program inviting mothers to bring their children to our property for lunch each day.
Our mission was to change the nation of Haiti by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ! In the past 33 years, tens of thousands of children have attended our schools. In the mountains, coastal fishing villages, and the sugarcane plains of Leogane, a new generation of believers is being trained to be the future leaders of Haiti.
Thirty-three years ago, a young orphan boy began attending our school. Today, Jonas Bertrand is an attorney and the deputy mayor of the city of Leogane. The Gospel gives life; it transforms and empowers the believer to fulfill their destiny. Let’s believe God for the work He wants to do through us. ~George DeTellis, Jr.