Our 2020 Focus
A Home for Pastor Yves Prophete Celebrating 20 Years Serving in Haiti
In the 1960’s, a barefoot boy ran through the dusty streets of Thomassique, in Central Haiti. When he was born, he had a 19% chance of dying by his first birthday and the life expectancy of his neighbors was only 41 years. Despite this inauspicious start, he not only survived disease, but two violent dictatorships and four coup d’états. The son of a pastor, his father did his best to share Christ above the political fray. He recalls a day when his father gave sanctuary to two members of warring factions in different parts of his house – his father was forced to hide them from each other as well as the mobs outside who wanted one or the other dead.
Over time, this boy grew to be a Haitian pastor himself. He navigated the difficult process to be educated in the US, met and married Samathe, a Haitian expat in Canada, and even earned his US citizenship. After enough toil and trials for a lifetime, he had successfully worked his way from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest. He could easily have rested on that accomplishment until the day he died.
But Yves Prophete isn’t the kind of man to rest on past achievements. Throughout the 1990’s, Pastor Yves served as the field director for a Haitian ministry that, at the time, focused largely on the capital city of Port-au-Prince. While urban ministry is critical, Pastor Yves also knew first-hand that the rural areas of Haiti are the ones that are the most underserved.
Health outcomes, secular and spiritual education, and access to essentials like clean water are all worse in rural areas. Working in rural areas is also more difficult – supplies are more expensive, available staff is less educated, and it is more difficult to bring volunteers to your base of operations. In 2000, the unpaved drive from the closest airport to Thomassique could easily take 8 hours. Internet and other forms of long-distance communication were inaccessible and “guest accommodations” were usually makeshift tents.
Despite these formidable obstacles, Pastor Yves nurtured a profound burden for rural Haitians. God used a “chance” encounter in Boston with a fellow Haitian expat named Yvon Selin to reveal that they both had the same vision for what would become GVCM’s church-centric, rural-focused ministry model. With that ambition, they co-founded GVCM in the year 2000 and launched ministry with five rural churches and a plan to “plant new churches, partner to strengthen existing churches, and equip church leaders for service.”
Over the past two decades, and especially since the catastrophic earthquake of 2010, opportunities and needs shaped the path of the ministry. A plan to establish a tourist guest house and headquarters near the Citadelle was halted in favor of accepting responsibility for a group of recently displaced orphans at the site of our current headquarters. CWI built the Joshua building for the orphanage and the Amos School and a cafeteria building for GVCM. GVCM currently provides a home for about 130 children, varying in age from toddlers to young adults.
After a few years, Yvon decided that he preferred pastoring to directing operations, and he stepped away from GVCM’s expanding ministry to lead a church; Pastor Yves took over as executive director to keep the ministry on track.
Through the continued partnership with Pastor Yves and GVCM, CWI has sent five medical missionary teams to Haiti, providing care and comfort, as well as education and support, to hundreds of local residents.
In 2018, again working in correlation with Pastor Yves, CWI built a medical clinic in Mirebalais, a nearby town with 130,000 people. Three doctors staff and treat around 1,000 patients a month. They provide quality medical care, a pharmacy and lab services for a nominal fee, if they can afford it. Donations to the clinic provide for most of the costs of operating the clinic.
GVCM now supports 70 churches, 24 schools, an orphanage, a health clinic, and numerous other projects to bring the hope and light of Christ to the darkest parts of Haiti. All this due to the faithfulness of God to a barefoot boy from Thomassique and his faithfulness to God in return.
What also needs to be said is that Pastor Yves has done all of this in Haiti while his wife has been living and working as a nurse in the United States. Pastor Yves has said that having a house in Haiti is a chapter in the life of his family that he has been trying to write since 1989, after graduating from Bible college in the US and returning to Haiti to serve the Haitian people.
He has spent years raising funds to build a home, but some other need always became more urgent. He and his wife often talked about their desire to be together in Haiti one day and not in a one room situation somewhere at somebody’s house or at a missionary compound. They have trusted that the Lord will provide someday.
CWI believes that someday is today. We have made a pledge to construct a home for Pastor Yves and Samathe. All proceeds from today’s outing and all donations to the project will go directly to the construction and outfitting of their home. The building will have one level for the family and another to house traveling missionaries and visitors.
We believe this is a project whose time has come. We believe the work of Pastor Yves is not finished and we believe he and Samathe together will continue to accomplish great things for the people of Haiti. Please join us in building a secure and joyous space for their work to be nurtured. Donations are fully tax deductible and 100% will go to the project.