All posts in “Haiti”

Next Step Ministries Summer Update

By: Emily Krueger

Summer 2017 in one word was a blessing. This blessing began to reveal itself during training week for the Next Step Ministries (NSM) Summer staff in Oconomowoc. The 6 American staff (Lucas Verran- Emcee, Luke Chamberlain- Construction Manager, Olivia Bunz-VBS/Community Coordinator, Karina Silva- Worship Leader, Charlie Goss- Worship Team, Emily Krueger- Team Leader) began to share their hearts and their “whys” for serving in Fond Blanc this summer and immediately were able to form deep relationships with each other. These relationships then furthered to partner with Laguerre and Swenson, the Haitian NSM staff, and together these young leaders came together to lead for 10 weeks in a beautiful way. The friendship among these co-workers was one of the biggest blessings and answered prayers of the summer, as it allowed everything else to come together so naturally and with coordination from many minds.

The projects that were most notable throughout the summer happened in three waves. The first big project to tackle was rebuilding the road in the nearby village of Cazale. Weeks 1 through 4 consisted of the collection and passing of rock to get ready to rebuild the washed out dirt road with more rock baskets, similar to work done last summer. As roadblock after roadblock (no pun intended) came to further delay starting the baskets, the staff was becoming discouraged and was unsure if we should continue our work there. Some of the roadblocks included: tractors not showing up, tractors showing up but then turning around and leaving, a replacement tractor asking $1500, and last but not least, the government coming to tell us they would like to take over the project. The government coming, as odd as it may sound, was a huge, huge blessing. Although a surprise, them telling us to stop our work at the road allowed us to open the door to beginning our construction in Fond Blanc.

The construction in Fond Blanc was focused on getting a roof poured for the “Rec Room/Library”, as the walls were built last summer and it sat roofless for the last year. As the form work and rebar came together, and we got ready to do the biggest concrete pour of the summer (18 straight hours), we took a look at our construction budget and were discouraged as we had so many small projects we wanted to continue, but the Rec Room had dried up the budget. Enter Week 6’s group from Ontario, Canada, and they happened to have raised enough extra money with their church that they blessed us with roughly the exact amount of money needed to rebuild the school classrooms and principal’s office! YAY GOD. The school “facelift” as we called it, began with the principal’s office being built in just one week, and then the classrooms were to follow. The school went from a makeshift building of sheet metal, plywood, and tarps, to cinderblock that actually allows students to not hear what’s happening in the neighboring classrooms. We were so amazed that each time one of our projects seemed to fall through, God’s plan was able to shine as we quickly found an alternative.

Pictured above: Concrete framework and newly poured roof for the rec room/library

Pictured above: New cinderblock walls for classrooms & office

Through all of this construction, the goal is to make relationships with community members. For five summers now, people have been able to make relationships with the kids of Fond Blanc and watch them grow and develop. These relationships are so meaningful and we are so thankful for them. One amazing relationship we want to share about actually was able to develop in Cazale, the neighboring village, where we worked on the road. During Week 2, a woman named Cindy was able to come from Colorado. Her son, age 17, had just passed away less than a year ago, and he had been wheelchair-bound. She heard from returning missionaries, of a boy, Steeve, in Cazale who had Cerebral Palsy and could really use a nice wheelchair. When the staff heard of her desire to give Steeve this wheelchair, we went to his mom to see if they would like the gift. The mom teared up telling us that Steeve’s wheelchair had just broken the week before and they didn’t have the money or resources to find a new one. When Cindy came, as we worked at the road, she sat with Steeve all day! They would sing songs, read stories, and he would sit on her lap. Steeve is non-verbal, but would light up when he saw her coming. On Thursday, when he got his new chair, he couldn’t contain his excitement. Cindy shared with him that her son was with Jesus now, but since she knew how much Jesus loved Steeve she knew he should have the chair. And as God would have it, Cindy laughed as she shared her husband was also named Steve.

Pictured above: Steeve receiving his new wheelchair

This is one of many beautiful relationships that was able to unfold throughout the summer, and is the foundation of why we do what we do. Being able to share God’s love, through actions, through words, or through smiles, is the goal of each summer and we feel so blessed that we feel that was done for 10 whole weeks in the Fond Blanc community.

Update from the Executive Director


By: Tia Bunz



It is December, and time once again, to kick off our annual Chicken Dinner Campaign. Over the years, this campaign has become hugely successful and much anticipated, as it helps to provide the additional nourishment and protein needed for the children at the Fond Blanc Orphanage. Since the introduction of our health initiative and the chicken dinners, the children have seen a steady improvement in their overall health! Last summer our medical team visited the orphanage and confirmed this positive change. The chicken dinners have been such a huge blessing for the children and staff at the orphanage. We ask that you please consider helping this effort and our pursuit of good health and nourishment, by donating to our Chicken Dinner Campaign.

As a team, we are continually looking for sustainable ways to support the Fond Blanc orphanage and greater community. This past year, the University of Wisconsin Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) Fraternity graciously donate to the Fond Blanc Foundation, allowing us to build an enclosure to raise chickens and a garden at the orphanage. Our summer mission teams joined this effort, and along with our Haitian partners, built 2 large chicken coops, 4 raised vegetable garden beds and a large concrete wall to protect the project. In 2017 we hope to finish this project, so we can finally purchase our chickens and grow our gardens!

In October we had our second annual “Play it Forward for Haiti” event in Madison, Wisconsin.   It was a huge success! And we were once again fortunate to raise enough money to support the Fond Blanc School for another year! This event is pivotal for the school to remain open, which educates over 200 kids in the village of Fond Blanc. Our sincerest thanks and love to our event team, all who donate, and the over 45 volunteers that made this event possible. Can I hear an AMEN!?

As we wrap up 2016, we are reminded once again of God’s grace and goodness. We are thankful for the opportunity to connect all of you with the children of the Fond Blanc Orphanage. Without your continued love and support, none of these efforts would be possible. Your commitment is inspiring and falls in line with my favorite passage:


2 Corinthians 9:11

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”


Mèsi Anpil and Jwaye Nwèl!!



Why do you sponsor?

“It is incredibly gratifying to know that a small contribution can make such a positive impact on the life of a child.  My daughter, Molly, has had the opportunity to make many trips to Fond Blanc and keeps me up to date on the incredible and visible improvements in the health of the children that has happened as a direct result of the sponsorship program.  I enjoy corresponding with them and am struck by the gratitude and love that shines through in the  letters and drawings they send me.  They have a deep faith and love for God. It is my pleasure to support such deserving kids and hope that this small gesture will give them an extra boost in life.  While I have not yet had the privilege to meet these children in person, I look forward to meeting them in the near future.”

-Liz Wiebe


(Liz’s daughter, Molly, with 5 children she sponsors)

“I had the incredible privilege to live with these children for several months this past year, as a on-site staff member with the Fond Blanc Foundation. During my time at the orphanage, I learned so much about these kids. Who they are. What they love. Who they’re friends with. And who they want to become. But the most lasting thing I learned is how impactful our sponsorships and donations are for these kids. Their daily lives are better because of our help. And they know exactly whose helping them. They look forward to writing letters to their sponsors and to receiving letters in return, just as we, the sponsors, do as well. But it’s not just a sponsorship program. You get to form a relationship with a child. One that transcends our lingual, cultural, and global divides. So if you’ve ever thought about sponsoring a child…please do it! I’ll tell you first hand, you’ll never regret it. Mèsi & Bondye beni nou!”

-Molly Wiebe


(Molly with her sponsor child, Manaica)

Are you currently a sponsor for a child in Fond Blanc? 

If so, we would love to hear from you as to how this sponsorship has impacted your life. If you have pictures of you and your child, we would love to see and share them with our friends in Fond Blanc! Connect with us on FacebookInstagram, or at our website.

Chicken Dinner Campaign

By: Paul Young

With this newsletter we are announcing the kickoff of our third annual Chicken Dinner Campaign. Funds raised for the Chicken Dinner Campaign go to pay for special dinners for the children twice a week, every week though out the year.

The children’s everyday diet is as nutritious and balanced as we can manage in Haiti, but the primary ingredients of rice and beans rarely change. In the regular meals the protein, such as chicken or fish, is shredded in a broth that is typically poured over the rice. But when we have chicken dinners, each child gets two whole pieces of chicken as well as extra vegetables on the side.

These twice-weekly dinners have become a special event, eagerly anticipated by all the children. And some of our donors have enjoyed the chance to help provide this specific gift. If you can’t actually take a child to dinner, just buy him/her a special dinner!

These particular meals cost us $1000 every month, which works out to about $125 per night for everyone or $2.50 per child per meal. That is a small price to pay for all the pleasure (and nutrition) it brings the children. Who knows…if our campaign is successful enough, maybe we can make it a 3-night per week event! As we all approach our own holiday dinners, this is a way to include the Haitian children in a manner of speaking, by helping to put food on their table as well.


Where Fire and Flashlights Fail


By: Olivia Bunz


The importance of power is simple: so many people, in this day and age, don’t think they can live without it. If you think about it, so many facets of our lives depend on it. From the lights we need to see after sundown, to clocks to make sure we stay on time. From computers to help us answer all of our questions, to the TVs to get us our afternoon news. We even need power to charge many of our mobile devices. Without power, many aspects of what we consider modern necessities cease to exist, or at least have function. But that’s not true in Haiti. Majority of the population actually lives without electricity. There is no central “grid”, no power-lines connecting everything, outside of Port Au Prince. The large majority of the country, living up in the mountains, lives their lives when the sun is up, rising with the first rays of sunshine, and working until sundown. And when they need to do things after dark, they rely on fires and flashlights.

As you can imagine, fires aren’t exactly realistic around our orphanage, and we go through plenty of flashlights when we do have power. So when our previous generator stopped working, the most reasonable solution for our orphanage was to go get a functional, reliable generator and create our own power. The task of finding a generator was a journey in  and of itself. It was one that brought us down to Port Au Prince at least six times, had us visit four different stores, and caused us to get lost twice in Port Au Prince. But we finally found the perfect generator: a 16 kW “delko”, big enough to easily handle everything we have on orphanage grounds, all turned on at the same time. But a reliable generator means so much more than just being able to run our washing machine while we have all the church equipment running.

It means the kids can count on us having movie night, every Friday night. It means the mommies can run the washing machine four times in a row and cut the amount of laundry they have to do by hand, in half. It means that everyone in the village of Fond Blanc can hear our orphanage every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, as we thank the good Lord for all the glorious things he has done for us. A generator means so much more than just lights. A generator means we can move forward in making this the best orphanage it can be.

New Kids on the Block

In addition to our new staff arrivals, we’ve also recently welcomed quite a few new children to the orphanage. There have been 10 new children added to our Fond Blanc family, and we are thrilled to have them. Each child brings their own fun & unique personalities, and our Foundation staff are enjoying getting to know them better. Their profiles are now available on our Child Sponsorship page. Click on their names below to learn more about each one of our “new kids on the block”!


Clavenson- age 9 (Velou, Haiti)


Esteisy- age 11 (St. Domingo, Dominican Republic)


Gidson- age 9 (Fontamara, Haiti)


Loudmia- age 7 (Cacola, Haiti)


Peterson- age 7 (Cacola, Haiti)


Saby- age 5 (St. Domingo, Dominican Republic)


Shelsy- age 7 (St. Domingo, Dominican Republic)


Widner- age 8 (Fontamara, Haiti)


Wolgens- age 11 (Jeremie, Haiti)


Wood-kelly – age 10 (Petiònville, Haiti)


Meet Our New Staff!


(pictured from left to right): Spencer Pursley, Olivia Bunz, and Rob Creviston

With the new year, came many exciting changes for the Fond Blanc orphanage! One of the most newsworthy is the introduction of three new, full-time staff members at the orphange. We welcomed Olivia Bunz, Spencer Pursley, and Rob Creviston to our on-site staff in January, and after a brief gap in our American staff presence in Fond Blanc, the kids could not be more excited to have them. The children have been instrumental in helping our new staff members get acclimated to life in Fond Blanc. Olivia, Spencer, and Rob have very quickly settled into their individual roles, grown comfortable in their daily routines, and rapidly picked up on an entirely new language. We thank God for the service and sacrifice of these three wonderful new staff members, and look forward to the positive impact their presence will have on the children of Fond Blanc!

Meet Olivia Bunz!

Hometown: Middleton, WI

Mission Experience: I have been on a number of mission trips through Next Step Ministries, including trips to Jamaica & Haiti. I also have taken a number of trips through my college, including month long trips to China, and Mexico.

Work/Educational Background: I got my Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Edgewood College in 2015. I have worked in a number of different fields, including retail, child development, and property management.

Favorite thing about Haiti: Hands down, forever and always, will be the kids. They’re the reason we are here!

Most looking forward to about living in Haiti: I am probably most excited about getting to see the country and the culture in a different light: you get to see so much more when you’re living here compared to when you visit for a week.

Goals for your time in Fond Blanc: My first goal is to master the Haitian Creole language. My next biggest goal is to help the children accomplish their goals, one of the biggest is for them to learn English.

Fun fact about yourself: On paper, I’m 23. In my heart, I’m probably closer to the age of 7.

Favorite Creole word: Probably “tanpri”, which means, “please”. We have to remind the kids to say that a lot.


Meet Spencer Pursley!

Hometown: Tucker, GA

Mission Experience: While at Auburn I participated in a mission trip to Ecuador to help build a church with the Building Science department. I also did 2 consecutive summers with Next Step Ministries in Montego Bay, Jamaica as a construction intern. Most recently I was invited by Next Step to serve as a construction leader in Fairbanks, Alaska this past summer.

Work/Educational Background: I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Building and Construction from Auburn University. I then completed a Master’s in Integrated Design and Construction, also from Auburn (War Eagle!). Following graduation, I began working for an Atlanta based construction company called Winter Construction as a project engineer.

Favorite thing about Haiti: One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the sheer beauty of the place. Every day I am struck with awe at how magnificent the landscape and surrounding views are and am constantly reminded of God’s power and grace.

Most looking forward to about living in Haiti: I am extremely excited to get the opportunity to make an impact in the lives of all the children, and in turn see what kind of lasting impressions the experience makes on me. I hope to come away from this trip having made a difference and helping to prepare the next generation to step up and be better equipped to help themselves and their county move forward.

Goals for your time in Fond Blanc: Aside from the broader goal of helping the children, I hope to develop lasting and meaningful relationships with both the kids and the staff here at the orphanage. I hope to leave behind a legacy of cooperation and hard work amongst all of the missionaries and Haitians as we continue to grow as an orphanage and a foundation.

Fun fact about yourself: I enjoy playing sports or doing pretty much anything active, from having played Lacrosse in college to SCUBA and skydiving, to my most recent adventure where some friends and I completed the St. Jude’s marathon in Memphis, TN.

Favorite Creole word: The word, “manje” would certainly be up there as it means both “food” and “to eat”, two of my favorite phrases, both in Haiti and just in general! More recently I have obtained a love/hate relationship with the word “Delco”, which means “generator,” as we spent the better part of 2 months searching for and finally procuring a new one, but thankfully that adventure has come to a close and we have a working power source again!


Meet Rob Creviston!

Hometown: Tucker, GA

Mission Experience: I worked for Next Step Ministries the past three summers and participated in a few weeklong mission trips with my church youth group.

Work/Educational Background: I’m studying accounting at Georgia State University.

Favorite thing about Haiti: I love how nice everyone is, and how they always will greet you with a warm “Bonjour” or “Bonswa.”

Most looking forward to about living in Haiti: I’m looking forward to getting to know all of the children in Fond Blanc.

Goals for your time in Fond Blanc: I want to show as much love as I can to the kids and people of Fond Blanc.

Fun fact about yourself: I really enjoy cooking.

Favorite Creole word: My favorite word is “bezwen,” which means, “to need,” and it was one of the first words I learned here.


Fond Blanc Foundation