HAFF - HISTORY AND PRESENT MINISTRIES


Lila and Ruben Clark arrived in Haiti in the mid 1940s. Ruben died within 10 years but Lila continued on; teaching and providing materials translated in Creole for the churches and primary schools they had helped start.

In 1978 HAFF, the Haitian American Friendship Foundation, was incorporated after Lila had already served in Haiti as a missionary for over 30 years. Lila, as an educator, along with several others founded HAFF which allowed them to get ASHA (American Schools and Hospitals Abroad) grants to build a secondary school in the north central plateau area where she had ministered for so long. The Haitian government was cooperative because they wanted a secondary school in that rural plateau region.

The HAFF campus is located on Route 3, 45 miles south of Cap Hatien and about 95 miles north of Port au Prince. The little community is called Bohoc, about 5 miles outside of Pignon where there is an airstrip for which Lila was entrusted with its safekeeping for many years. Others have helped enlarge and develop it.

In 1984 the school opened and for a number of years grades 7 through 9 were taught. About that time Connie Curilla joined Lila at HAFF shortly after she graduated from Cornell University. She is still there, ministering in many ways.

Martin Price, director of ECHO, a mission that works with organizations working with farmers trying to grow food under difficult conditions, became acquainted with HAFF in the late 1980s. Lila asked Martin if ECHO would come and do agricultural development on some of HAFF's 40 acres.

During this time Price's church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), was looking for a mission where they could send some groups to go help and experience missions. The church had a great interest in education as well as medicine. So Lila was also eager to have our church send visiting groups and thus many of us became acquainted with HAFF.

Martin saw the potential of the mission and its fine infrastructure as well as the fact that Lila's health was failing. Although there were some folks who would help out for several months it was evident that the HAFF Board was not finding anyone for long term service nor someone who could take over the leadership there at the mission. Considering that the board was way out in California, so far from Haiti, and mainly made up of Lila's friends and folks not used to overseeing a mission, it was understandable. Martin became concerned enough about it to ask both Lila and the Board if they would like him to organize a new board to be located in Florida and made up of people who had personal involvement with the mission. He received positive responses from all involved.

Thus in the summer of 1993 the transition was made and a Florida board was elected with Bonnie Price as President, Eric Mullinax as Secretary and Lee Johnson as treasurer. We were pleased that Pat Davies, a retired librarian who had been a key worker on the CA board agreed to stay on the "new" Florida board and help us in the transition. She had often visited HAFF in Haiti for weeks at a time and knew Lila and the mission business well. The timing was unbelievable in that by the end of 1993 Lila's health (mainly her mental confusion) required that she no longer travel to Haiti. She was in a retirement center/nursing home for several years and died October 4, 2000 at 82 years old.

From the first group visiting HAFF from EPC God tapped two individuals to consider being missionaries when neither had ever considered missions before. Thus in December 1993 the Van Schoyck family (Greg, Barb, Gabi (8 years old) and Zach (6 years old) went to HAFF. They are still there along with Connie. In the spring of 1994 Jim and Barb Howard joined them at HAFF for several years. In the late 1990s the Daby family, from up state New York, was also there for a few years.

In 2006 more transitions are underway. Colin and Carla Wilson with their daughters Becky and Rachel have joined HAFF as long term missionaries. They were creative Iowa farmers so they have many skills and experiences that will help them serve the Haitians in the rural area where HAFF is based.

Greg and Barb Van Schoyck have taken over as Co-Executive Directors, with more time spent in the states taking on the stateside administrative duties that Bonnie Price had been doing since 1994. This will be a gradual process since they will still be in Haiti many months each year with responsibilities there as well.

God has been faithful in developing the mission, bringing people with certain knowledge and contacts to get involved at just the right time.

HAFF is first and foremost a Christian mission, desiring that God be honored in all that it does. Education is still HAFF's focus and avenue for reaching out to and serving the Haitians. The secondary school has grown to include grades 7 - 12 most years and occasionally adds the 13th grade when there are enough students who qualify. Over the years HAFF has started other ministries that you will see described below in the Overview of HAFF's Ministries.



OVERVIEW OF HAFF'S MINISTRIES



HAFF's primary mandate is Christian education: ACADEMIC, THEOLOGICAL and COMMUNITY. Its 40-acre campus is located on the central Plateau of Haiti. HAFF serves a 12 mile radius area with many COMMUNITY MINISTRIES which vary depending on the HAFF staff and finances on hand.

ACADEMIC EDUCATION

The Bohoc Training Institute, HAFF’s secondary school, has 250 students in grades 7 to 13. Some walk 1˝ hours to school. Christian values are incorporated into the national curriculum. Also taught are Bible, learning skills and science — focusing on problem solving. The headmaster and most teaching staff are Haitian nationals. Students receive a hot meal daily.

THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION

JESUS Film Ministry. The video produced by Campus Crusade for Christ has been shown to thousands of people, some in very remote areas.
Pastor and Church Leadership Training. Seminar groups range from four to over a hundred. Often they are given by pastors visiting with teams.
Bible Studies. These may be in homes or churches, led by various missionaries. Visiting Teams are encouraged to conduct Bible studies via translators during their stay.
Scripture Memorization and Bible Distribution. Hundreds of Bibles have been distributed to those who "earn" them by memorizing Scripture.

COMMUNITY EDUCATION

Project Healthy Family. A Haitian coordinator teaches health, nutrition, literacy and evangelism to trainers in 20 communities.
Primary School Teacher and Administrator Training. A Haitian professor introduces Christian values into solid educational training for 50 rural schools. Chalk-boards are given.
Agriculture Outreach. A Haitian agriculturist promotes conservation, grafting and animal husbandry. ECHO staff’s small farm resource center does variety trials on campus. Visiting veterinarians train Haitian vet agents.
Christian Home Economics. Guided by Proverbs 31, ladies learn Biblical perspectives on personal, family and community life. Homemaking and craft skills are taught.
Christian Leadership. BTI students are trained in Biblical servant leadership and do community service projects.

COMMUNITY MINISTRIES

Medical Clinic. Staffed by two Haitian auxiliary nurses, this small dispensary serves the needs of the community three days per week. A pre-natal clinic is held one day per week.
Dental Clinic. Staffed by an American dentist and Haitian technicians he trained, the clinic is open about six months per year.
Eyeglass Clinic. Affordable eyeglasses are made available to the public one-day per week.
Hospital Runs. The HAFF vehicles are routinely used as a neighborhood ambulance service.
Zandolit. A gift shop at HAFF provides a place for area Haitian artisans to sell their creations.

SHORT TERM MISSIONS

HAFF hosts groups from the U.S. who are interested in learning about overseas missions and how God is working in Haiti. Groups of up to 12 people stay for a week in our dormitory and combine work projects with study and opportunities to interact with our Haitian friends.


Education to the glory of God


HAFF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Christian organization, contributions to which are deductible for income tax purposes.
Any gifts received over the amount needed for a specific project will be used for a similar project.

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