February 2012 Update
NEW CENTER FINDS A HOME IN HAITI
The Beginning: Ouanaminthe
When Vapor’s president, Micah McElveen, traveled through the northeast corner of Haiti in 2010, God opened his eyes to the immense physical and spiritual needs evident in that part of the country. Micah felt compelled for Vapor to establish a center in the area.
Christian and Celine Nkulikiye, who had just finished establishing Vapor’s third center in Togoville, Togo, were asked to serve as Vapor’s field representatives in Haiti and to begin establishing the Ouanaminthe center in 2011.
During scouting trips, a few of Vapor’s staff members had already begun the search for a Vapor site in Ouanaminthe before Christian moved to Haiti. When he and his family arrived last May, they began a more in-depth search for land. For months, Christian looked everywhere for property Vapor could afford.
Since his home is located directly across from a community soccer field, Christian began meeting people of all ages who came to play or watch soccer games throughout the week. He hoped that by forming relationships with locals, they would help him find land. He waited and prayed for the Lord to move.
Christian noticed the poor quality of the soccer balls that the locals used. So one Saturday, he decided to take two of Vapor’s soccer balls and jersey bibs and he headed to the field to play soccer with some residents of Ouanaminthe, allowing them to use the equipment he brought.
“Guys were excited to see me and they already knew me by name: ‘the African,’” Christian says. “Before inviting me to play, this guy called Leclerc asked me the reason for my presence in Haiti. I did not hesitate to tell him [about Vapor] and expressed my desire to buy land for the ministry.”
Christian soon discovered that his new acquaintance works with an international nongovernmental organization. Leclerc told Christian about a piece of land he could show him that would work for a Vapor center. With excitement, Christian followed Leclerc on his motorbike as they drove into a town a few miles outside of Ouanaminthe: Dilaire.
“On my arrival,” Christian says, “I felt something telling me: ‘Christian, this is the place.’“
Although it was a beautiful piece of property, the land itself was not big enough for a Vapor center. Christian asked Leclerc if there were ways to purchase additional, connecting pieces of land around that particular field. Leclerc assured Christian that he would talk with the local leaders in the town, led by a man named Matthew. Shortly after, Matthew set up an appointment for Christian to meet the community three days later.apor’s center in Kawangware works in tandem with a number of partners, but primarily with World Hope and Hope Church. Our partnership structure allows us to expand the Kingdom in a mutually beneficial way, as we serve the greater community together.
Some 50 locals of all ages came to the community meeting to hear about Vapor. During the meeting, Christian explained Vapor’s desire to establish a center for humanitarian aid and discipleship—for the good of the community. But the people of Dilaire had many questions and wanted to know if they could trust Vapor. Unfortunately, many “so-called” humanitarian aid organizations have come into Dilaire in recent years, raising money to establish similar humanitarian aid centers and claiming they would help the community, but would not hold to their word. They took the money and ran.
So the Nkulikiyes worked to earn the community’s trust and favor. To show proof of Vapor’s mission, Christian and Celine showed the community pictures and videos of Vapor’s centers in Africa to help explain how Vapor centers work. Two of Vapor’s executive officers—Micah McElveen and Bill Boycott—traveled to Dilaire to meet with the leaders of the town, to share more about the ministry and to affirm everything Christian was sharing with them. They were also able to share the Gospel with the community leaders and to approximately 100 other members of the community while they were in Dilaire.
After sharing extensively with the residents of Dilaire, the verdict came. Not only did the community decide to allow Vapor to buy the land—they gave it to the ministry for free! Also, families who own land all around that piece came forward to sell Vapor the property that has been in their families for generations. The total measure of the land came to 12.7 acres - perfect for a Vapor center.
“We see God’s provision for Vapor as something in His plans,” says Christian. “This center will play a very big role in discipling people through trainings, evangelizing and through our activities. We have already seen good signs by the way the community is responding towards our arrival in Dilaire,” he says. “They are anticipating a lot of change, both spiritual and physical. They have been so wonderful to us so far, so cooperative.”
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Seventy-seven percent of the population lives below the national poverty line, and 51 percent of the population is unable to read or write (source: The World Bank).
Dilaire is a small town in northeastern Haiti, home to approximately 7,000 people. There are a few local Christian churches, but Dilaire also has a large percentage of voodoo followers. This community, nestled next door to Ouanaminthe in a poor part of the country, is in great need of humanitarian aid and discipleship.
Now that the Lord has provided land and the community’s favor, Vapor’s first Haitian center is being established in Dilaire. But Vapor continues to wait with anticipation to see if the Lord also provides land for a future center in Ouanaminthe.
A young man Christian has been discipling, named Benjamin, recently told Christian: “We have never had something of this magnitude in our town. I truly believe that Vapor is going to bless us here in Dilaire.” Christian responded to him: “My brother, this is just the beginning.”