Praise Report from Malasi
Tropical Storm Sandy ripped through the village of Malasi in late August, leaving in its path destruction that included the wrecked home of school teacher Durisma. The plight of Durisma – a man with a servant’s heart, a wife and nine children, and a one-room house that was in ruins – touched those in Climbing For Christ.
Two Mission: Haiti team veterans, Elaine Fallesen and Eileen Lakey, and Terolyn Cook, the oarent of another Haiti team member (Joshua Cook), contributed to a rebuilding effort that resulted in a new house for Durisma and his family.
“The idea was to add a room in his old house, but he could not do so,” Haitian missionary Miguel Rubén Guante said. “His old was too bad to add on it a new room.
“He is very happy with his new house.”
Durisma and his family in front of their new house, above. Below, you may see Durisma´s old house (left) and what Miguel calls “the new blessed house.”
These were the first photos we’d seen of the house. Miguel, who visited Malasi on Friday, Dec. 14 with the new “Son of God Truck,” had not been able to go there for some time because of another storm and flooding in late October and transportation problems with the old “God truck.” When he saw Dursima’s house and was able to share the photographs we rejoiced with Durisma and thanked God for His provision. He blessed one who has been a blessing in His name.
Durisma still needed to finish the inside of his home – some plastering and flooring – and the provision for this came in a CHRISTmas gift from Joshua Cook's parents, Robin and Terolyn.
– Gary Fallesen, president Climbing For Christ
Here's a story about the relationship Durisma has had with Climbing For Christ. This story originally appeared in Volume 24 (Spring-Summer 2012) of The Climbing Way, our ministry's quarterly magazine:
Another heart surrendered
By Gary Fallesen
Founding President, Climbing For Christ
We first went to Malasi by motorbike in December 2007. It was a painful 28-kilometer ride on a very rough “road” – during which missionary Miguel Rubén Guante’s aging dirt bike broke down twice — followed by a 3-4 mile hike.
We’d been invited by a man named Durisma, a teacher who’d started a school one month earlier and wanted our support. God used Durisma to reach out to Climbing For Christ.
This relationship resulted in the building of the second of four Monte Pou Kris (Climbing For Christ in Haitian Creole) churches. It introduced us to the kindness of a loving pastor, Vilcuis Verite, and a gentle people living in poverty 6,000 feet up in the Chaine de la Selle mountain range.
Durisma still teaches in Malasi; he is one of eight teachers in the four Monte Pou Kris schools who receive US$100 a month in support from Climbing For Christ. Durisma has the heart of a servant, volunteering as a church leader and fulfilling his calling as the father of a family with nine children — all of whom live in a tiny, one-room house on the side of a hill.
We first went to his house in 2009, when he had a hole in his roof. This was especially troubling during hurricane season. We were starting to build the church at Malasi and sent two sheets of tin roofing over to stop the leaks.
Elaine Fallesen’s heart was burdened for Durisma and his family. She started sending clothing to help keep the children warm. She wrote about her experience in The Climbing Way (Volume 13, Spring 2009) in “Another heart of Haiti.”
Joshua Cook delivers 50 pounds of rice to Durisma and some of his children in their one-room house in March 2012. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
This year, the burden Elaine and many others have felt in the mountains of Haiti was felt by Joshua Cook, a Dallas Theological Seminary student who had been moved by the Spirit to buy two 50-pound bags of rice for whomever he encountered on our March mission.
Joshua met Durisma. We delivered one of those bags of rice to the teacher with so many children, and blessed him.
As is often the case in situations like this, we choked back tears after our visit. Said Joshua: “I just buried my heart here.”
God continues to use one individual to touch the heart of another. This is the way the Lord works — the way He has always worked. He doesn’t need us to do this, but — thankfully, amazingly — He chooses to use us.
In “A View” in The Climbing Way (Volume 6, Winter 2006-2007) I wrote words that still represent what His ministry of Climbing For Christ stands for. [CLICK HERE to read “The power of One.”] This story came out of another very personal, very moving encounter with a young boy named Gilbert. God used us to rescue Gilbert from the jaws of death, 27 days after he’d broken his leg in the village of Gentilhomme. His leg was lost, but his life and soul were saved.
I asked the rhetorical “Why?” and “What for?” questions. Why do we go and what is our purpose?
“Primarily to give God pleasure and to honor Him in our service to those we meet who are in great physical and spiritual need,” I wrote. “One person can make a difference in another person's life. But only if we heed the Spirit's leading and answer the call. It is not us, after all, who make the difference. This is not about the power of one. This is about the power of the One and Only.”
Gary Fallesen, the founding president of Climbing For Christ, was first sent to the mountains of Haiti in the summer of 2005. Mission: Haiti 2012 in March marked his 10th trip there.