To our faithful supporters,
Our hearts are heavy as we write this update on God’s Ministry in LaGonave (GML). The situation in Haiti, and particularly in our village, has become unsafe for us, and we are unable to continue our ministry. We know this is difficult news for everyone who has supported our ministry over the past nine years, during which God moved in amazing ways.
We are happy to share more details with anyone who has questions. But simply put, we were betrayed by our ministry partner and have lost our school, to the point where we can’t even enter the school grounds. As a result, we can no longer partner with Feed My Starving Children to provide food to our precious students. This is heartbreaking for our village.
We also learned many other things about this person and his connections in Haiti. Trust us when we say that it was becoming unsafe not only for us, but also for those around us. We heard clearly from the Holy Spirit and our Haitian friends, family, school staff, church leaders and board of directors that it was time to go.
In addition, the political situation in Haiti was degrading, and it was imperative that we evacuate. We flew out of Haiti on June 6 ahead of a much-publicized coup attempt in Port au Prince. We are currently staying with family in Atlanta as we seek God’s guidance for the future.
So what’s next? First and foremost, if God makes it possible for us to return to Haiti in a short-term missions capacity, we will go. And when it is safe for us to return to visit our friends, family and congregation in Belle Vie, we will do that with great joy.
The good news is that the church is in excellent hands and will be safe for the future. Praise God! Theophile Church in Christ is a Haitian organization that will oversee the church and provide support, just as it has for other Haitian congregations since 1980.
With all of these changes, the board has decided to formally dissolve GML as a 501c3 charitable organization. After July 31, we can no longer receive your tax-deductible donations. If you would still like to support the church in Belle Vie, you can donate via Theophile Church in Christ at theophilechurch.com.
We plan to settle in St. Louis and begin the search for jobs and housing. Even through our sadness and grief, we are excited to see what the Lord has for us there and how we might best serve Him. We need financial support until we get back on our feet, hopefully by the end of the year. After July 31, donation checks should be made out to us personally and mailed to 111 S. Spoede Rd., Creve Coeur, MO 63141. They will not be tax deductible.
We are and always will be tied to the beautiful country of Haiti, and we know that our time serving in our village was fruitful. As you can see from the many stories on this website, your faithful support made it possible for us to show the love of Christ to Belle Vie in many ways, including:
- Constructing a beautiful nine-room school, office and kitchen for our students to use
- Building a strong church building for our congregation that can also serve as a community center and a shelter from storms
- Building a large reservoir for villagers to access clean drinking water
- Providing food, shelter and other disaster relief after Hurricane Matthew
- Educating more than 225 students from pre-K through sixth grade, with 105 graduating from our school and moving on to either jobs or more education
- Serving nearly 200,000 school meals from Feed My Starving Children
- Serving a congregation through preaching and pastoral support
- Leading meetings, Bible studies and worship services six days a week
- Leading a Kid’s Club that served up to 100 kids each week
- Mentoring and equipping several villagers to become church leaders who will shepherd our church through this difficult time and well into the future
- Purchasing 150 goats for our villagers, giving them a source of income
- Providing medical care, first aid and transportation to a hospital as needed
- Caring for the elderly, the sick, the widows and the orphans in our village
We know without a shadow of doubt that we heard the Lord and followed what He told us to do. And as we have for the past nine years, we are taking each step in faith and in God’s timing. The loss of our ministry hurts, and we are grieving. But because we followed what our Father wanted us to do, we can at least grieve without guilt.
Please pray for Haiti, the village, the church, our family and our friends. Please also pray for our former partner, that he may be restored to the Lord. And finally, please pray for us as we navigate these next several months.
Forever in His hands,
Ybene and Laura Dalla