Coastal Haiti Mission Newsletter
Website Review and Revision
This month we highlight CHM Board member Esther Stidham
Esther was born in Jeremie, Haiti and moved to Port-au-Prince to continue her education. There, she met her late husband and married, and she soon moved to the United States with her husband. After living in Tennessee for several years, she relocated to Worcester, MA. She has three children and currently works as a LPN. Her husband unexpectedly passed away in 2013. She loves to serve and has participated in many mission trips, of note to Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake and to Uganda. Esther belongs to the Journey Church of Worcester.
In Memoriam: David Stidham by Ken Johansson
As we profile Esther Stidham, we look back in time, to remember her husband David Stidham.
David loved the people of Haiti and it showed vividly, both here at home and also in Haiti. While most of us ministered in the Village of Cahess, David traveled all over the country of Haiti.
David loved the people of Haiti, and his treatment of them was exemplary.
David was my buddy on these mission trips. He spoke Creole and he faithfully translated the language for me.
David loved and was loved by the elderly. I witnessed on more than one occasion, where David would set up an elderly person with money to start a business, knowing full well that that money would never be paid back. I was present when an elderly woman approached David with the statement “I have a problem”. Her problem was that she had used the money that she was supposed to pay back to David. He always forgave the debt.
David also loved children and they were drawn to him. The photo below, shows a scene that occurred often. David, walking along the road, with a group of children surrounding him.
Later in this newsletter, in the home lighting review, you will see a photo of a battery powered table lamp, that David designed. It was a clever design that the Haitian people were able to construct, using a kit of parts provided by mission supporters here in the United States.
Those were happy times, and I was privileged to have David as a very close friend.
David Stidham walking with the children
In the September CHM Newsletter, we presented the new classroom that is being built for the 7th grade class. This project is being underwritten by the people of the Village of Cahess.
Last month we showed the foundation of this room. During the month of October the construction of this room has progressed, to where the walls are in place.
We will continue to follow the construction until it is finished.
Home Lighting Initiative
Lighting Survey of Homes in Cahess
There are approximately 254 houses in the Village of Cahess, containing about 400 families.
Of the 254 houses, about 79 have been connected to the electrical grid. However of the 79, about 40 of these houses have been disconnected from the grid, because the occupants could not pay for the electricity that they were using.
The end result is that approximately 214 of these houses have no connection to the electrical grid.
Further questioning yields the result that most of these 214 homes use the traditional kerosene lamps for lighting purposes.
(see the September 2020 CHM Newsletter for photos of these lamps)
A History of OUR Lighting Efforts in Cahess
There have been three attempts to provide household lighting since 2002. We review each of them below, to gain an understanding on how to proceed in the future.
A. The first attempt was to provide whole house light systems using solar panels and supporting electronics. The solar panels and the electronics, had to be hand-carried as luggage, from the United States to Haiti. A small number of systems were installed.
The fact that the solar panels were subject to being stolen, and the high cost of each system, ended the program.
B. The next effort was to provide a battery powered reading lamp. This was a very simple design, created by David Stidham.
The lamps were assembled in Haiti, by the Haitian people, using a kit of parts, that we provided, through North Haiti Mission.
A battery charging station, powered by two large solar panels, was designed and installed in the home Amodius Joseph.
When the battery of a table lamp was discharged, the user would then bring the battery to the charging station and exchange it for a charged battery.
This was a free service.
The program ended when the Haitian people decided the reading light did not provide enough light.
Instead of building the reading light from the kit of parts we supplied, the battery was used for other purposes, and the remaining parts were discarded.
C. The third attempt was to provide solar powered handheld lights called BOGO lights. The concept of the name of this light was: Buy One, Give One.
The creator of this light, Mark Bent made heroic attempts to produce this light for the people of third world countries. But in the end, he was unable to continue production.
We were part of North Haiti Mission at the time. We provided one hundred and fifty of these lights during one mission trip.
It turns out that these lights were not able to tolerate continued daily use, in the environment of Cahess. They were a great product, but eventually they failed.
The conclusion we draw from this history is, that all future efforts must factor into the development, the sustainability of the design.
As we develop the next Lighting Systems, we need to make sure that our offerings will be durable, and yet, be able to be upgraded, as technology develops new and better products.
From the archives, we look back at these projects used to help light up Haitian homes, to help light up our way, to develop good, yet affordable lighting systems for the Haitian people.
The first section includes a video of our first whole house system. The video is NOT of professional quality, but it does convey our story.
It was recorded by one of our wonderful short-term missionaries named Jim McGuy. Jim and his wife Martha loved God and the Haitian people, and they were great mission team members.
The next section is the Table Reading Lamp, designed by David Stidham. My first view of this lamp was on his kitchen table, where he had his daughter Youle read, using this light only.
Fadius reading, using the Table lamp
Constructing Table Lamps
The final section exhibits the BOGO Light. It was developed and manufactured by SunNight Solar, owned by Mark Bent.
Esther Stidham assisting an eye surgeon with a BoGo Light
Installing batteries in 150 BoGo Lights
Saturday Sunday School
Not everyday is a special day for the children, but every Saturday is special for them.
Sometimes Nana does it as a celebration.
Those kids are so special to us.
They learn a lot more than what you may think. They know many bible stories.
As Nana says, it is a privilege to be able to invest in these kids.
Nana provided a special treat
The School Lunch Program
We are very glad that our kids love to come to school everyday. The school building where we meet is not really appropriate, because the tin roof is very low, so it’s very hot inside.
Anyway, we try to get by with it, with the hope, that someday things will be different.
As for now, we are blessed to be able to feed our kids each and every school day. We give God the glory for this, and we thank you, the Family and Friends of CHM.
Having lunch at school
After a complete school day, we thank God, and then, we hit the road back home.
Some of the children are going very far away.
When I am able, I am glad to give them a ride back home.
School is over for the day. On the way home.
The 2020 Christmas Celebration is Almost Here
The Christmas celebration is always a high point for the children of Cahess Haiti. This day is a day when the children can just enjoy being a kid.
During this day, the children will not go hungry, because there will be enough food to fill their bellies.
There will also be Gifts of Toys and other items for them to choose from. These children often go without during the other parts of the year, so this day will be very different for them.
It will be an excellent therapy day.
I have chosen a few photos of the Christmas party in 2019 to include here. It was a difficult choice because there are 12 great photos.
If you would like to view them again, you can go to the January 2020 newsletter.
I hope you will revisit this newsletter, and view the 12 Christmas Party photos, and enjoy them again.
We are looking for contributions to fund the Christmas party this coming year. This year, our goal is to supply Pastor Coty and sister Nana with $1,000, to pay for the food, the toys, and the other party expenses.
If you wish to bless these children and their families with a day they will remember, please send your contribution to the address at the end of this newsletter. Please mark your contribution, “Christmas Party.”
You may also use our PayPal online service, also located at the end of this newsletter. Please indicate that you want your gift to be used for the Christmas Party.
Proverbs 11: 25
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others, will themselves be refreshed.
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you peace
Numbers 6: 24 to 26
Thank you Family and Friends of Coastal Haiti Mission, for all that you do to help the people in Cahess, Haiti. You are making a huge difference for these people.
Please remember, that CHM must continue to send our monthly commitment of $800 to carry on the ongoing CHM ministry in Cahess.
If you desire to help, please send your tax deductible check to our address and tell us how you want us to use your donation:
Coastal Haiti Mission
C/O Constance Goddard
3048 Spring Fancy Lane
Indian Trail, NC 28079
For tax deductible “online donations”, please use our PayPal service. Also please designate how you want us to use your donation:
May the Lord our God, who knows your heart and sees your actions, grant you great joy as you serve Him.
Connie, Esther, Pastor Coty, Carl, and Ken are very grateful for your sacrifice.
Ken Johansson CHM Newsletter Editor