FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How did your story begin?
Love Deaf Haiti, Inc. was born out of connection, hard work, prayer, and a dream of three Deaf men. Pastor Jacob of Les Cayes, Haiti, currently a gatekeeper of the Deaf community, and lead pastor of the Deaf church and school was instrumental in purchasing the property where our Deaf church and school now stands.
In 1998, Jacob met Pastor Jeff Jackson, the pastor of the Deaf church in Bakersﬁeld, CA. Jeff, being Deaf himself since birth, quickly became partners with Jacob in establishing a vision and a plan for a residential Deaf school and church back in his hometown of Les Cayes. After preaching from his porch for ten years and scrimping and saving, Jacob and his two close friends bought land and built a temporary wooden structure in 2012. Since that time, American Deaf and hearing churches have partnered in the support of the humble beginnings pioneered by Pastor Jacob. Without the unity of the Deaf and hearing communities around the United States coming together, the Deaf church and school in Haiti would not be a reality today.
Currently, those working day in and day out at the Deaf school and church are themselves Deaf. Many of the improvements and special projects accomplished on the church and school grounds have given employment opportunities to the Deaf community. Today, the Deaf school serves over thirty Deaf children from around the country of Haiti--providing three meals a day, clean water, safety, and an education. Out of love for the Deaf children of Haiti and a passion for the work God is doing, Love Deaf Haiti, Inc. was born. The board of directors in America, partnering with the Deaf pastors and leaders in Haiti, hopes to improve the lives of Haiti’s Deaf community through education, integration, and ultimately the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How many children are currently at the school?
There are over thirty Deaf children currently enrolled in Eglise Chretienne Des Sourds Du Sud D’Haiti De Cambry (ECSSHC/ MEBSH) from all over the country of Haiti. Commonly, their parents do not pay for school or support their physical needs while they are in school. Some of our kids have special needs in addition to their deafness.
How many leaders are there currently?
There is a leadership team of three pastors: Pastor Jacob Saumais, Pastor Jean David, and Pastor Donalt Charles.
How many teachers are currently at the school?
There are seven teachers who are high-school graduates. College is not available to Deaf people in Haiti. All the teachers are believers and are very invested in their students. They are currently teaching through the 5th grade but have hopes of going higher as the students show success. The teachers are also serving multiple roles as the students live on campus and are cared for twenty four hours a day and seven days a week
What is Pastor Jacob's vision for the ministry?
Pastor Jacob’s immediate vision is to ﬁnish the wall surrounding the campus property. Without this, the school and church cannot go any further due to security concerns. Next, he wants to move the kids from the orphanage they currently live in back to the school campus. This includes a plan to build a third level on the existing building for recreation and a security tower. It is imperative for Deaf people to be able to oversee their surroundings since they cannot hear when danger may be near. Jacob’s primary vision is to educate Deaf children so they can understand the gospel. If they have no language and no ability to read the Word, they are lost. He is passionate about reaching the students and the community through the church!
Pastor Donalt’s vision is to develop a farm for sustainability and for job experience amongst a variety of other opportunities for Deaf people. He also has a passion of sharing his skill of word-working with the children as he teaches them to construct their own tables, benches, and beds. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the children with a self-sustaining trade that will ensure independence and stability for their futures. Pastor Jean David is an evangelist and Bible teacher who brings the Word of God to the Deaf children at the school and church. His vision is for outreach to the Deaf community in order that they may come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
What are the greatest needs in Haiti?
The greatest need for Haiti cannot be deﬁned in one single purpose. There are a vast number of needs for the LDH students. These include three meals a day, a consistent education, and a safe place to sleep at night. The greatest need for Deaf people in Haiti is that they they comprehend the gospel and know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. We strive to provide the Message through the vehicle of their own heart language--sign language ( a mix of Creole, French and English)