Bringing hope to Haiti from South Dakota

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The Lake Preston Lutheran Church is excited about their Mission Service this Sunday, Oct. 4, at 10:30 a.m. Every year, a Mission Festival is held with different speakers who share their stories and a meal afterward. With COVID, it will be a Mission Service with no meal afterward.

Sharing their mission this year will be Wendy and Joey Denison of Lake Poinsett. They, along with Wendy’s parents, Dennis and Jean Scheel, and Karly Denison, have traveled to Haiti a combined 20 trips on their mission “Haiti School of Hope.”

“I was completely overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of Haiti,” said Wendy Denison. “The Haitian minister at my first Sunday service prayed for poor people. I cried for days thinking to myself he doesn’t even know that he is poor.”

“They plant crops in dry, barren ground, anticipating rain that normally comes in downpours that floods the land, washing away the young roots; so, food is scarce,” explained Wendy.

The same water that is used to wash clothes, feed animals, bathe and drink is the same water that runs down the canals and streams right to the ocean. But on the flip side, there is hope and joy!

“I know that I am called to share the Gospel with these brothers and sisters, but I often feel like I am the one being ministered to,” continued Wendy. “Gratefulness for the sunrise and the hope of another day is plentiful among these people.”

Haitians are very generous and will give everything they have, knowing God will provide. They break out constantly in song and worship.

“And man, can they raise a glorious Hallelujah!” Wendy said.

After that, Joey decided to see firsthand what they were doing and what was changing their hearts. He learned to mix cement and build relationships with Haitian men without knowing the language. Wendy had to “reign him in” because he was wanting to help everyone whom he had met on their seven-day trip.

School of Hope

The Denisons work alongside the founder, Jean Claude Degazon, as well as with the non-profit Anchor of Hope Haiti, where Wendy is on the board.

School of Hope is a very low-cost, educational opportunity in an area where no other such school exists. This is the only chance for many children to learn to read and write, giving them a chance to improve their futures in a school that educates Kindergarten through 9th grade. They provide a vital Christian education and dietetically designed meals from Vita Mamba and Feed My Starving Children. They employ over 30 staff members who teach, cook, clean, repair, maintain and secure the school campus to provide a safe place to learn.

The Denisons actively fundraise for the school by speaking, holding rummage sales and selling Haitian goods. They will be bringing some to sell before and after church.

“Not all are affected the same way, but our family has definitely been changed by our Haitian brothers and sisters.” said Wendy.

You can hear more about the Denison’s mission and hear Joey sing on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Lake Preston Lutheran Church.

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