God’s Ministry in La Gonave was founded in 2010 after a catastrophic earthquake devastated Haiti, killing many thousands (the exact number is unclear) and crippling an already fragile national infrastructure. Cofounders Laura Dalla and Wilto Fils-Aime traveled to the Island of La Gonave in the wake of the earthquake to provide support, a journey that inspired the birth of our ministry.
But our roots date back to 2004, when Pastor Ybene Dalla was called to lead a church in the village of Belle Vie. Here’s a brief look at our history:
- Early 2000s: Local villager establishes the Independent Church of God in Belle Vie.
- 2004: Ybene Dalla becomes pastor of the church in Belle Vie. The church is now known as Theophile Church in Christ, La Gonave.
- 2005: Local villagers establish a school. This school is now known as Ebenezer School.
- 2010: God’s Ministry in La Gonave is founded by Laura Dalla and Wilto Fils-Aime to help fund the school and church in Belle Vie.
- 2010: Laura and Ybene marry and Laura moves to Haiti full-time.
- 2011: The ministry purchases land and begins raising funds to build a new school and church.
- 2011: Laura and Ybene build their home.
- 2012: First phase of construction begins on the school.
- 2013: Laura and Ybene build an additional building on their land to house their foster children and to host short-term mission teams.
- 2014: Construction begins on the church.
- 2015: The church is completed and dedicated.
- 2015: Our partnership with Feed My Starving Children begins.
- 2016: Cistern is completed. This cistern collects rainwater so that the school and community can access clean water.
- 2018: The final phase of school construction is complete.
Since becoming a 501(c)3 in September of 2010, our ministry has been focused on building a permanent, secure home for our school, our church and our missionaries. Now that that work is complete, we can turn our eyes to the future.
Be a Part of Our Future!
Here are our ministry goals for the next five years, as funds allow:
- Secure sufficient funding to meet all of our annual operating expenses. This includes teacher salaries, school supplies, tuition subsidies and expenses associated with the feeding program. This step must be completed before we begin additional projects.
- Purchase a ministry vehicle. We are in dire need of a rugged vehicle (such as a Kawasaki Mule, a Yamaha Viking or a Polaris Ranger) that can transport several people as well as cargo. We also need to replace our four-wheeler ATV, which seats one person. Having our own vehicles will greatly reduce our transportation costs to and from Anse-a-Galets to meet teams, to pick up supplies and to conduct ministry business on the island. A larger vehicle will also serve as an ambulance that will enable us to transport sick or injured villagers to Anse-a-Galets (the nearest clinic) more quickly and efficiently.
- Replace the roof on Laura and Ybene’s house. The roof timbers have been damaged by termites and need to be replaced with metal rafters. This will make the roof strong enough to install a much-needed solar panel system that has already been donated. Solar power will make it easier for Laura to handle ministry and personal needs at home.
- Replace the school benches. These benches serve as chair and desk for the students at the school. Our current benches are very worn and need to be replaced with metal and wood benches that will last for many years to come.
- Replace the benches for Kids’ Club. Our Kids’ Club meets on benches under the mango tree at Laura and Ybene’s house. They are rotted and need to be replaced.
- Help meet additional missionary needs. In additional to regular monthly support that covers their personal expenses (such as health insurance, housing, food, telecommunications and other expenses), our missionaries need to replace items that were damaged by insects, weather and decay during their furlough. These items include a propane stove, some furniture and many household goods, which will be replaced as funds allow.
- Fund our first-aid ministry. Laura provides first aid and basic healthcare to our village. (The nearest clinic is a 1.5-2 hour journey away.) She needs to restock medical supplies on a regular basis.
- Expand our church ministries. Pastor Ybene would like to expand the church’s ministry to sick, elderly and disabled villagers. He would also like to expand his prison and hospital ministry. All of these ministries will include gifts of food for those who don’t have family, friends or resources to provide their meals.
There are many ways to support God’s Minstry in La Gonave! Contact us if you have questions or if you feel led to partner with us beyond monthly support.
- Become a regular monthly or annual supporter. Your ongoing, scheduled support helps us budget and plan for the future. We welcome personal support as well as support from churches.
- Cover a specific expense. You can make a one-time donation to cover a specific expense, such as teacher salaries, tuition, feeding program, medical care or transportation. We encourage donors to also ask their employers about matching donations and corporate grants.
- Purchase and ship items via Missionary Flights International (MFI) . We prefer to purchase supplies in Haiti when possible, because it’s important to support the country’s economy. But sometimes, we can’t buy the items we need, or they are too expensive for us to purchase in Haiti. You can purchase these goods and ship them to us via MFI.
- Hold a fundraising event. We are looking for partners who can help plan and host fundraisers, such as trivia nights, fun runs and more.
- Provide administrative support. Our ministry’s only paid staff are our missionaries (who raise their own support) and our Haitian school staff. Our U.S. operations are handled by volunteers. We need help managing ministry activities, including reporting, grant writing, fundraising, networking and more.
Most importantly, please pray for our missionaries, our Haitian staff, our school and church ministries, our partners and our board members! We value each and every one of our supporters. We can’t do this without you.