Hello. My name is Jean M. Sejour and I was born in ——, Haiti. Although I left my beloved country some 30 years ago, I have returned countless times since my departure in 1988. In 2006, I went back to Haiti for my dear father’s glorious departure for eternity. With grave sorrow I again witnessed the multitude of needs in the country, especially in Tombe – Gateau, Leogane. While there, I was once again struck by the enduring spirit of those poor souls often just existing there.
In spite of their destitution, the people of Tombe – Gateau remain beautiful, hopeful and resilient; you can see that in their faces.
The moment I got back to the States I began making plans to return to Haiti and help those people, particularly the children. Shortly after my return, I had a wild dream…or perhaps even a vision. I dreamt of having three orphanages, one in Tombe –Gateau, one in Duclo, Leogane, and one in Fort-Liberty, North East of Haiti. I gathered a few friends and family members together to talk about my dream.
We had our first formal meeting in my house in the Summer of 2009. Those attending the meeting were Willy Etienne, Pastor Constane Joseph Telson from Eglise Baptiste du Calvaire, Rose Gallagher, a Catholic nun who worked in Haiti for over 35 years, my devoted son Jeffery and of course, my dear wife Dulene Sejour.
We began praying about and planning how to make this dream come true but, in the winter of 2010, January 12, 2010, to be exact, Haiti was hit by a catastrophic earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0. The epicenter occurred near the town of Leogane and temporarily derailed our plan. But not our faith.
That earthquake killed 316,000 people, injured 300,000 and 1,000,000 were left homeless. Moreover, 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed. We were all deeply troubled and terribly upset upon hearing of this tragedy of Biblical proportions.
My wife, my son Jeffery and I all agreed, “We need to do something” and we did. We began a campaign to collect as much money as possible (which we did) and sent it to Haiti. But we didn’t stop there. With help from friends, family members and our church (Living Word International Christian church) in Silver Spring, MD, we launched our first mission trip to Haiti in July 2010.
While in Haiti we received hundreds of boxes containing first aid kits, hygiene kits and mosquito nets from UNICEF through my son’s nonprofit IA (International Action). We distributed these items in Port au Prince and Tombe – Gateau, Haiti. We also dispensed food and served hot meals to hundreds of hungry people.
Near the end of our trip, we preached at a crusade in Tombe –Gateau, where many people accepted the Lord into their lives. We also left the crowd with many audio bibles in their native language that we’d received from the Faith Comes by Hearing organization.
The following year in 2011, we returned to Haiti to preach the gospel, distribute more food, hygienic kits, mosquito nets, school supplies and to serve hot meals to hundreds of thankful Haitians.
Returning again in 2012, we had more help. We were able to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, distribute personal hygiene kits and some much-needed school supplies to the eager children. While there, we sponsored 28 weddings which included providing all the gowns, suits and even the wedding rings. These heartfelt donations came from our local church – Living Word International Christian church.
Thank the Lord, we were aided in our efforts by the Saints at LWICC who donated wedding gowns, men’s suits and even money to help us pay for the cost of the receptions including rings and gifts to the newly married couples.
On July 29, 2013, we launched our first medical mission trip to Haiti. Our staff included a Nurse who came all the way from England as well as Doctors and Nurses from the United States of America. All joined us in an effort to help the less fortunate and destitute. That year we received over $190,000.00 worth of donated medication. We delivered free medicines to three different locations and to thousands of people in Tombé-Gâteau, Decouze and Duclos, Haïti.
In July 2014, we returned to preach at a crusade in Tombe-Gateau which was tremendously successful. Many people came to know the Lord as their Savior that day – Praise be to God. We also sponsored a mass wedding of 20 couples as well. On that same trip, while in Pain de Sucre, Leogane, we visited and fed an entire school including all the children, teachers and staff.
In July 2015, God directed us to a different location in Haiti. We headed South of Haiti to Les Cayes, particularly Maniche, where we preached a week-long crusade and sponsored a mass wedding for 19 couples. We also had an open 3-day medical clinic where we distributed free medication to thousands of people in dire medical need.
That following year, 2016, our missionary work went the opposite direction, North East of Haiti, to Fort Liberte near the Dominican Republic. There we held an open-air crusade with a superb sound system that covered the entire City and the neighboring communities. The music was a much needed and enjoyed respite from all the turmoil.
While there, we held another 3-day clinic in three separate locations to include Fort Liberte, Romeo and Paulette. Thousands of people in attendance received free medications and hundreds of children received free school supplies. We also sponsored another mass wedding for 32 very happy couples.
In October of 2016, after that horrific and devastating storm Matthew, we returned once more to Haiti but this time we headed South to Guillou, Les Cayes. We were blessed to be able to distribute sheet metal to 45 families to help rebuild their broken homes. Additionally, we distributed food, medicines, clothing and toiletry kits to more than 300 people.
In 2017 we became International. On this mission trip we went to the South East of Haiti to Anse a Pitre, and Pedernal, Dominican Republic, where we spearheaded an open-air crusade using another great sound system that covered both Cities. It was a spirit lifting event. We held yet another 3-day clinic where free medications were given in the City of Anse a Pitre, Haiti. Again, we distributed schools supplies to hundreds of children.
The faith of the Haitian people in the face of all the devastation that surrounds them and the abject poverty in which they live each and every day is inspirational and so worthy of our admiration. Few peoples have suffered so much yet retained and even elevated their faith in God. Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Praise be to God!
We witnessed 20 new converts from Haiti and the Dominican Republic baptised in the water while over 500 hundred people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. We also sponsored a group wedding of 35 couples from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. All glory to God! We also helped plant two new churches in two different regions. One was in Cormie, Leogane, with the other in Jeremie.
In an effort to save and at the same time, raise money, we have delayed our plans to return to Haiti in 2018. This is due to the fact that each year we have had to rent any and all equipment needed for our open-air crusades which prove to be very costly. May the Lord help us in collecting the funds needed this year to continue our efforts to help the Haitian people next year.
On a brighter note, this past June, from the 3rd through the 8th, we took a team from Living Word International Christian Church to New Orleans, Louisiana, to the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where I am an Alumni. Under the direction of Mission La, we were able to spend a wonderful week in fellowship.
We evangelized in the streets of New Orleans by means of street cars. It was nostalgic and stimulating! We had door to door evangelization where we knocked on 154 doors to pray for people and share the love of Jesus-Christ in Lower St. Bernard, LA. Forty-four people gave their lives to Jesus-Christ during that spiritually uplifting knock-a-thon. We also boxed nearly two tons of food for the homeless in one of the largest food banks in the United States.
In addition, we ministered inside two nursing homes along with distributing bingo prizes. Glory be to God Almighty the residents loved it!
Feeding the needy, providing medicine to the sick and supplying hope to those suffering souls whom life has disfigured and defeated is the at the Heart of Our Missionary service. In our work, we strive to find ways to help the world as we go about doing the Lord’s work as best we are able.
Our Prayer and Hope: Come oh Lord, we beseech thee, to all whom our hearts remember: to the prisoner in his cell; to those bereft of the kindly light of reason; to those on beds of weariness and pain which makes the nights too long; to those who wait with a dull ache of heart for those who return no more; to those who are adrift and alone, and have no one to pray for them; by those baffled by the difficult undertakings of good men, seeking to make good will prevail. We ask, with the cleansing of our hearts and the deepening of our faith; in thy holy name. Amen.
May the good Lord bless our work and you.