JACKSON. TN. The Samaritans Heart Ministry held its annual Board of Directors meeting in Jackson, Tennessee on May 3, 2018. The Board announced its primary goal of raising awareness of its “Sponsor a Teacher” program. The program is designed to provide resources for schools in developing countries to pay school teachers a livable wage.
Board Chairman Patrick Collins said that Samaritans Heart’s focus for the program will be in the country of Haiti. “We are excited about the Sponsor a Teacher program because we think it will have an immediate impact on improving education in neglected areas of Haiti,” Collins said. “We are working with our partners and have identified several Christian schools in Haiti where there is simply little or no money to pay elementary school teachers. The first five villages we will focus on are in the communities of Dinise, Janbwa, Robio, Cerca and Lillivois, which are all located in extremely isolated or neglected areas in Haiti.”
“We are fortunate to have Pastor Josue Octeus as our Executive Director. Josue knows these communities and has a long history of successfully building schools and churches in neglected areas in Haiti,” Collins said. “Josue worked with Compassion International for eleven years and understands the positive impact education will have to help lift this next generation of children out of poverty. With a quality education – being able to read and write, know math, etc. – these children will have a chance to make an impact in their communities. Without skilled teachers, nothing will change.”
For his part, Pastor Octeus says one of the most pressing needs is getting teachers paid. “We have success with our American partners building some schools in communities like Dinise and Janbwa,” Octues said. “These schools are well-attended and the local community supports the schools. We have been able to pay out teachers only about 2 to 3 months over the past two years. They are getting frustrated. Yet they are still committed to teaching the children. These dedicated teachers need Sponsor a Teacher to be a success. These children need Sponsor a Teacher to be a success. We are praying for God’s providence in this.”
The other Board members include Craig Buscher of Bondurant, Iowa and Mark Buhlig of Liberty, Missouri. Both Buscher and Buhlig have extensive experience in leading mission trips to Haiti and building in Haiti. Both Buscher and Buhlig are also involved in bringing talking Bible devices to Haiti, which allows those who cannot read to hear God’s word in Haitian Creole, the common dialect. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, the literacy rate in Haiti is 48.7% of those 15 years of age or older. The literacy rate in the United States for those 15 years of age or older is 99%.
For more information about Samaritans Heart Ministries, Inc., visit www.sponsorteacher.org or send us a Facebook message. Samaritans Heart Ministries, Inc. is a charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity and all donations are fully tax deductible.
Rev. Pastor Josue Octeus
Monday, August 26, 2013
The Construction of the temple in Dinise is on progress. God has revealed so gracious the people of this community that not only we are building a school for the children to receive the bread of instruction, we also are building a temple for them to worship the living God.
We are not alone on this journey, Our Lord is with us. He has called His precious children from the Second Baptist Church and Points on the Wheel of Missouri to be behind of School. We are so happy to announce that before the school started in Haiti, we will be able to post the school of Dinise with a roof just because the generous supports of Second Baptist Church and Samaritan's Heart. We are praising God for this strong partnership!
At the other hand, another church from Korea, the Presbyterian Church of Koerea (PCK) to support the costs for the temple.
A great thanks to our donors, but all the glory is to God who makes it happened!
If you belong to the living God and have money, please come and let's make a difference in remote areas of Haiti. Together, we can preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in a practical way. Yes, together,we can impact lives and gain them for Jesus.
With temple and school for the new generation of the community of Dinise, I see the dream of God for Dinise about to come true! Together, we can!
Samaritan's Heart's goal is to pursue community development in the very remote communities in Haiti. For example: Dinise
The executive director of Samaritan's Heart started meeting with the people in the community to cast vision. Our goal is to open their eyes on the problems of the community and let them reflect about how to solve these problems. In the very first meeting, they identify some of their problems and arrange them by priority. It was amazing to see people who are so isolated and harmed by the poverty they are seen even not being able to get any idea of what is happening around them. And they could identify the very needs of the community and talking about what they can do, not the government, to get these problems solved.
Other meetings are planned for the very next time I will visit this community. I just can't wait to go back and meet with these precious people.
By Vicki Brown, Word&Way Associate Editor
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
LIBERTY, Mo. — Haiti’s need has become Mark Buhlig’s life work — to help those struggling with
economic sustainability and to assist others to seek spiritual transformation.
Buhlig developed Points on the Wheel, a development ministry, as a result of assisting with Haitian
recovery efforts after an earthquake struck the Caribbean country in January 2010. Shortly after the
quake, members of First Haitian Baptist and Second Baptist churches in Liberty met to determine ways in which the congregations might help.
The meeting led to sending needed supplies to the small country and then to mission trips to assist with rebuilding. Buhlig got to know Josue Octeus, executive president of Evangelical Churches of Haiti, and began assisting with community development efforts. Octeus met with community leaders in Dinise to discover residents’ concerns and needs.The need for a building to house the school and
support for teachers’ salaries topped the list.
The more Buhlig immersed himself in the country and its people, the more committed he became to service. His personal ministry, Points on the Wheel, grew out of that commitment. Plans call for completing the school during the first quarter this year. “It looks like we are trying to build a school building, but really it is trying to help the school itself,” he said. The structure is the outward sign of the progress toward helping the community sustain education. Second Baptist Church in Liberty has been instrumental in providing the salary supplements for teachers for this school year. Points on the Wheel plans to take over that responsibility next year. Ministry and community leaders also are seeking the best ways to provide teacher training.
Second Baptist continues to support the building effort financially. Members plan to participate in a
“blessing time” for the school in August. While there, they will “have conversation about what future
collaborative efforts might look like,” Associate Pastor Mike Lassiter noted.
The church also assists with rebuilding at Grand Goave, an area located near the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake. “One of our goals is to help raise awareness of the need in all of Haiti by giving opportunity for as many people as are willing to travel there,” Lassiter added. While not directly impacted by the earthquake, Dinise is considered among Haiti’s poorest areas. “The school will open opportunities for discussion about other community development,” Buhlig said, including water, agriculture and other needs that will lead to self-sufficiency. He is gearing up to launch new fundraising efforts, possibly including running and bicycling events. While the ministry needs money, he also stressed the desire for prayer support. “I would ask people to pray for us to be good listeners in the communities, rather than to go with an agenda so that we help communities achieve their priorities.”
Currently, Points on the Wheel is focused on Haiti. But as the ministry grows, Buhlig hopes to expand to other needy areas. The website notes it plans primarily to assist poverty-stricken communities.
“The project [in Dinise] and my dream emerged very organically,” he said. And his dream, he added, has become “a career change.”
A student in the Central Baptist Theological Seminary “create” program, Buhlig wants to lead Christ-
followers to spiritual transformation as a major part of the ministry’s community development efforts. “The ministry is about relationships, not one-sided but reciprocal,” he said. On the website, Buhlig refers to Points on the Wheel as “an organization,” “a philosophy” and “a lifestyle.” Ministry as lifestyle is an integral part of his service as a co-leader of Together for Hope West, which works in four poor counties in South Dakota and four along the Texas/Mexico boarder. The Liberty-based project is an arm of national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Together for Hope initiative targeting America’s 20 poorest counties. He believes that those who go on mission, whether at home or abroad, should be prepared to learn and receive as much as they give from those whom they serve.
"The spiritual transformation...is the destination,” he said. He always points out that aspect when he talks to people interested in serving. “I’m trying to get groups to think of such trips as a spiritual transformation journey [in which] they bring back the sense that the communities served also change the traveler,” he explained. Buhlig experienced that transformation, with God’s call to make a long term commitment. “I expect I’ll be doing this the rest of my life,” he said.
Pastor Josue Octeus, President of the Evangelical Church of Haiti
Special by David L Cowles
First published in 2010
“I was on my way home with Pastor Jocelyn Dufreine, from my office in the direction of my
house near Delmas where the earthquake happened,” Pastor Josue Octeus said as he shared with
a group of ministers and Christian men at a breakfast meeting recently. Octeus is President of the
Evangelical Church of Haiti, with 21 churches in Port-au- Prince, where the Earthquake was
centered, and in Arcahaie and Gonaives, both urban and rural communities.
“I was in my car and felt a terrible sensation,” Octeus added. “A truck was coming from another
street trying to get in front of me. I managed not to collide with him. The cars and trucks in the
streets were moving in every direction. Houses were collapsing, gas stations were shaking. We
realized it could be an earthquake. I braked to a stop. My legs were so weak I couldn’t drive
Immediately, Pastor Octeus jumped out of his car and began preaching in French, “Repent and
be converted so that your sins can be forgiven!” Everyone was crying and calling out the name
of Jesus! “My associate suggested I preach in Creole as most couldn’t understand French.”
Pastor Octeus went to his home, just a few miles. It took seven hours to get there because of the
calamity and chaos in traffic. “I didn’t find anyone in my houses, including a guest house,” he
said. They were completely destroyed. Thankfully no one was in the houses.”
Later Pastor Octeus found his wife, Rosie and their two daughters, Rose Camah-Mitchelle and
Jose Micah Rachelle, in front of their church door near their home. “I was so grateful they were
alive as they escaped from the house that collapsed behind them,” he added. “My children were
playing with toys that we found under the debris.”
One family of eight in Pastor Octeus’ church were crushed as their house collapsed on them.
Only one, who was away from home, survived.
“I gave support to my immediate family,” Pastor Octeus added. “I contacted Clean the World, a
mission agency in Orlando. They transported my family by plane to bring us to the states for two
months. I returned to Haiti to provide support to my extended family and congregation.”
On his way to Port-au- Prince the churches in Cap Haitian sent with me 100 boxes of Cassaves,
special packets to those in need. “I shared with those in shelters and other churches what was
given to me,” Pastor Octeus said. “We organized a committee to help with distribution to the
churches and shelters. People were very happy to receive them. Even several days after the
earthquake many still had nothing to eat.”
Other Christian agencies, including Samaritan’s Purse, provided tarps, food and water.
Compassion International helped minister to the Haitian children.
“Now I have no home for my family to live in Haiti,” Pastor Ocetus said. “My houses collapsed
and I lost my business, so now we are living by faith. I need to get them clearance for
immigration to come to the United States. I am limited in what I can do now because of
immigration and visa requirements.”
Pastor Octeus has identified 226 children, ages 3-12, who are orphans since the earthquake. “I
started an Orphanage ministry with tutors and other helpers,” he added. “Some were placed with
relatives to help care for them. I visit with them and share what I can with them.”
Pastor Octeus vision is to build an orphanage to house 30 children. “I get many relatives from
our churches who have taken in orphans who need a place to live,” he said. “We are looking for
one acre of land to build an orphanage to provide school, clinic, and referrals to homes where
they can eventually live.”
At this time Pastor Octeus said that their most urgent need is for daily food and water. “We also
need tutors to work with the orphans,” he added. “Three times a week we have activities for
them. On Sunday we bring them to the Evangelical Church of Haiti in Robert, near Port-au-
Pastor Joseph Luc, from the Haitian United Methodist Church in Sebring and Vern Birkey,
President of The Eleventh Hour Workers Missionary Group INC. in Sebring have provided
support with frequent visits, clothing and other supplies along with teaching and training of
pastors. They join Pastor Octeus in a mission to provide relief support.
(This excerpted article was published in the Sun News, Sebring, FL)