Providing the Basics

A bathroom with running water!  I submit most, if not many, of us take it for granted.  However, that is not the norm or the case in many of the rural parts of Haiti. In fact, it is not the norm, per capita, for the developed parts of Haiti.

Ezra Vision Ministries has taken the commitment, in conjunction with our mission partners, to build a latrine with running water in Onaville, Haiti.  The current population in Onaville is 200,000 people—people who were totally displaced as a result of the hurricane that tore through Haiti back in 2010.  Now the population has grown, but the basic hygiene expectations have lagged behind to the point  of being woefully in adequate.

While Onaville was “spared” from the direct impact and destruction from Hurricane Matthew, it still has not even recovered from the earthquake some six (6) years later.

The next time you flush the toilet or wash your hands in the rest/bathroom, think about the hundreds of thousands of people who still do not even have what we “see” as basics when it comes to personal hygiene.

EVM has invested $25K toward building a latrine (with running water).  You can see pictures of the progress at . The expected completion date is December 2016.

If you, or your organization, would like to consider investing in improving the basic needs of the people of Haiti, please visit our website at .

Matthew 25:31-40

Written by Ronnie Hawkins, EVM Director

UPDATE: The Latrine was completed this month Dec 2016!


Treasured Memories

My mission trip to Haiti was a life-changing experience.  I have always been thankful for all the blessings God has given me, but I was even more thankful
after visiting Haiti.  Seeing how happy the Haitian people are with the little they have was amazing to me.  I loved the Sunday church services!   Just being a part of the service was a blessing and witnessing how they praise and worship our God in the heat and never complain.  We complain if the air conditioning isn’t cool enough or if the service lasts too long.

My job was to take pictures while we were there.   During Vacation Bible School, one of the activities was to have the children decorate picture frames.  I took individual pictures of each child for their frame.  They were so thrilled to have their pictures taken!  Well, my little printer could not develop the pictures fast enough, so I finished printing them at the camp and took them back the next day.  There were twice as many kids there the next day!   Due to our resources, we had to say you could only get your picture taken if you had a frame.  Well, the children that had frames took their pictures out and gave their frames to the new children so they could get a photo too!  We heard that one little boy even walked all the way home to show his mother his picture and came back, he was so proud.


One of the Haitian children asked me if I was Haitian and when I told him, “No, I’m American,” he said, “You look like me.”  I replied, “Yes, I do.”  I think we were the largest group of Black Missionaries to work with Nehemiah Vision Ministries (before Ezra Vision Ministries existed).  My prayer is more Blacks will want to go and experience the life-changing blessing I was given.  I can’t wait to go again, and I hope to see some of the children I met on my first trip.

Written by Gail McIntyre, EVM Director, Travel Preparation/Coordination

Inspiring Life Change

was the perfect opportunity for me.  I had been feeling like there had to be more to life than what I was offering.  I am heavily involved in church and have a strong relationship with the Lord, however something was missing.  In my mind, I was thinking this would be a great opportunity to let the Lord use me for His glory.  I would go and feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and tell anyone who would listen about the wonderful God I serve. As the trip got closer and closer, the anticipation was unnerving and exciting.  After being in Haiti for just one day, I realized there was way more to this trip than I anticipated.  Little did I know that the people of Haiti would be changing my life for the better.

We arrived on Saturday evening, and spent the majority of that time with other missionaries. It was nice to meet people from all over who felt compelled to come to Haiti to share their gifts and talents.  On Sunday morning, we all got up and went to church.  Haitian families from nearby villages showed up in large numbers.  The church was packed!  We sat on hard wooden benches, shoulder to shoulder in a hot building without air conditioning.  Most importantly, we praised the Lord! There we were, people from all different walks of life, worshiping the one and only Jesus!


Praise and worship lasted well over an hour. People were singing, clapping, and  praising the Lord all together. I was struck by how the Haitian people in particular praised.  It was praise that came with sincere gratitude.  As I looked around with my “American” eyes, it seemed like the people of Haiti would be bitter, sad, and frustrated.  It wasn’t the case.  There was a gratefulness that I noted and tucked away.  The people were grateful for what God has done for them.

Upon my return, I prayed “thank you” prayers.  I was careful not to always ask God for blessings.  In addition, I remembered that when I was in Haiti, I ate rice and beans for a week.  I didn’t buy a thing except for an occasional bottle of water.  I didn’t watch one minute of television during that week.  I survived.  So when I returned home, I ate out at restaurants less, shopped less, and watched less television.  I also became more grateful for the little things. Hot water and electricity are blessings.  I had taken so much for granted.


So, while I am thankful that I got to go help the people of Haiti, I also know that I am blessed to have had that experience.  God showed me some things about me in the process.

Written by LaTonya Floyd



My “Why”

I’ve planned to write this post for some time now.  Life has kept me from it mostly, but I’ve also had a hard time putting my thoughts and feelings into words.  I sit down now to write with the earnest prayer that the Holy Spirit will form a coherent picture of my heart.

My “Why” started several years ago as I was attending my first or second Global Leadership Summit.  I remember toward the end of the second day, singing the Hillsong United song “Hosanna” as a deep and fervent prayer.  These words,

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

“Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”  I prayed that deeply, sincerely, and maybe even courageously as I look back now.  That was about seven years ago.  That prayer has never been lost.  I still pray it often.  I’ve also seen God slowly give me that desire.  He has stirred up feelings and called me to action in different arenas and in varying ways over the years.  Over the past 24 months, that prayer has caused me to be very uncomfortable taking exclusive care of me and mine.  The world is much bigger than my four walls.  Needs are much greater.  God has given me spiritual gifts to use for his glory and for his kingdom.  I will serve because I love God and love others.

So, my “why.”  Why am I going to Haiti this summer?  I am going to Haiti this summer to share love and hope with the people of Onaville.  All people need to know that God SEES them and LOVES them.  But how will they know?  What does it look like to show the vulnerable that God has not forgotten them?  Maybe it looks like building school benches and laying gravel and setting up tents for children to receive an education.  Maybe it looks like holding VBS; a tangible sharing of God’s love through teaching, praise, and worship.  Maybe it looks like casting a vision for a permanent school building and sponsorships for children to attend school and receive meals and medical care.  Maybe all of that can be worked through the hands of loving servants who say “yes” to living outside of their comfort zones for a week.  Maybe all bets are off when we work WITH God who can accomplish more than we can even ask or imagine.  I’m going to Haiti to experience, multiply, and share the matchless love of God.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39 NKJV

A friend shared with me early this year that she prays each year for a word from the Lord.  A single word.  It could be any word.  But a personal word, given to you by God, that is a focal point for the year.  At first, I’ll confess, I thought it was kind of strange.  I mean, how will you be sure God gave you that word?  My next thought was, “I want a word!”  So I began praying for a word.  About a week later, I got it, first thing one morning.  My word: brave.  (I knew it was from God because “brave” is way outside my comfort zone!)  But I also felt immediately excited to be brave WITH God.  So as I prepare to leave for Haiti in a few weeks, my “why” and my “brave” have collided and brought forth another word, “Yes”.  Where you send me, I will go, Father.

I’m willing yet I’m so afraid
You give me strength, when I say

I wanna be your hands
I wanna be your feet
I’ll go where you send me
I’ll go where you send me

I’ll be your hands
I’ll be your feet
I’ll go where you send me
I’ll go where you send me

And I’ll try, yeah I’ll try
To touch the world
Like you touched my life
And I’ll find my way
To be your hands

Lyrics by Audio Adrenaline, “Hands and Feet”

Written by Carrie Hawkins, Co-Director, Social Media

Greetings from Haiti

We are beginning our fourth day here.  Most of our team is currently working on painting the frames of the school desks that will be used in both the temporary and permanent school buildings in Onaville.  We are working alongside a Haitian brother who has been doing all the welding for us.  He has a lovely spirit!  He expressed concern over the fumes that are produced from the anti-rust/paint solution that our team is applying.  He also wanted to ensure that we were being good stewards with the paint we purchased.  Love it!  My favorite story about our welder friend though is from last night.  Reverend Hawkins went with Pastor Pierre to his home to discuss the progress on the school desks and benches.  When they arrived, he was working with one of the interpreters from Nehemiah Vision Ministries, Mikenzli, to learn to speak and write in English.  He was writing things like, “This is my name.” and “This is my home.”  He was working into the night to learn a language that isn’t even his own.  This man is probably in his 50’s or 60’s and embodies the determined spirit we have witnessed over and over again.  It is a beautiful thing.


Our welder friend hard at work!

We have had many powerful experiences while here.  We were able to be part of two different worship services on Sunday.  We first joined the Onaville congregation for church early, and then shuttled over to the Nehemiah campus for worship with the people of Chambrun.  We heard the same message twice and let me tell you, neither repetition nor a language barrier can stop the spirit of God!   Pastor Pierre is a powerful, spirit-filled preacher and it was awesome to engage in his message.  The congregations are very responsive, participatory, and lively too.  There is no concern with time or heat, but a pure desire to worship our Lord with genuine adoration.  We might do well to follow the Haitian example on this one.


The Church in Onaville, Haiti

Before I tell you about my favorite experience from yesterday, let me share with you the setting I am surrounded by right now.  I’m sitting in a folding chair outside the church (because it’s the only place I can get Wi-Fi.  Apparently, God is in the Wi-Fi!)  The blazing sun is making it difficult to see my screen.  I’m hot.  In the school building to my back left, another missionary team is conducting an English camp for the local children.  To my back right, locals are being served at the clinic.  Food distribution ended just a bit ago to my right.  Interns are battling weeds to restore the prayer garden to its previous glory to my immediate left.  I hear Creole being spoken inside the church and from some locals to my right.  I’ve sung along with English praise and worship songs while writing and now hear Haitian music and joyful shouts from children.  The rooster just crowed.  Wait….now the campers are singing “Every Move I Make” alternating English and Creole.  I’m smiling.  Where is God, you ask?  He is everywhere.  He is in every sound, every sight, every embrace, every act of service, every determined heart, Haitian and American.  He is everywhere.  The great I Am of the Bible is my Lord at home in the US, and is the mighty Savior of Haiti.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col. 3:16-17)

I guess you’ll have to wait until next time to hear about my favorite memory from yesterday.  I’ve got some sights and sounds to soak in.

Written by Carrie Hawkins, Co-Director, Social Media

Lily In The Valley

Every mission trip is different, and this one is no exception.  I have been to Haiti 4 other times, and each time God has blessed me to see things through His eyes like I have never seen before.  That makes me no better or worse than others who have or haven’t experienced a mission trip, and one to Haiti in particular.  But it has given me a glimpse and affirmation of what God wants me to do for Him, and that is serve the people of Haiti.

Ezra Vision Ministries was blessed to send 11 missionaries on this one trip alone.  We arrived this past Saturday, and got acclimated to the climate and area of Haiti where we have been staying near Chambrun, Haiti.  To say it is a rural part of Haiti would be an understatement.  To say the people here are not warm and friendly would also be so far from the truth – I could spend the rest of my time describing their insatiable love for God, Jesus, and Christians at large.

EVM is building its first of many schools, starting in Onaville, Haiti.  Our prayer and plan is to open this one this coming September when the school year officially begins.

This morning, we had the wonderful opportunity to be in Onaville, and got to support another mission team who needed someone to lead in singing with the children during a Vacation Bible School.   We sang 3 songs, all in Creole:  “Soon and Very Soon, We are going to see the King,” “Jesus Loves Me,” and “Love Lifted Me.”


Singing songs at VBS. We actually sang in Creole!

To see the love and hope in the eyes of the very same children who will, for some, have their first experience in a structured school setting this coming September, was both eye-opening, and informative for what God has in store for the people of Onaville.  Through the generous contribution of our donors, EVM, will open the “Institution Chrétien Mixte David Steward,” in September 2014.


One of the children who will be attending “Institution Chrétien Mixte David Steward” this September

Two songs come to mind after this particular experience; John P.  Kee’s song, “There’s a Lily in the Valley,” and Chris Tomlin’s song, “I Will Follow.”  Those songs say a lot about what God is doing to, and prayerfully, through me.

Children who are now living in abject poverty, will have the opportunity and ability to gain a Christian-based education.  God showed me that He can be a “Lily in the Valley”–even in the lowest of valleys!   I have resolved once again to serve him through EVM, and however else He decides to use me.

Thanks for reading this blog, and I pray God’s richest blessings on you.  Please pray and support Ezra Vision Ministries through whatever means God lays on your heart.  There is a mighty work to do in Haiti, and the true “Lily” is there too!

In His Grip

Ronnie Hawkins, Jr.


All In

Our team has been home for five days now.   Although I love writing and it usually helps me process things, I have needed some grace and space to find the words to honor all that I experienced on my first mission trip.  I’m still not sure I’m “there,” but I will try.  I will share my favorite and most impactful experience.  I pray earnestly that my words will glorify God first, and secondly, bring dignity and respect to the beautiful faces, mostly of children, that are etched on my heart.

For our new readers, a little background first…..Ezra Vision Ministries is actively working in Onaville, a city that did not exist prior to the 2010 earthquake.  Now Onaville is home to hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians.  We are actively building a school, literally from the ground up, and that was the focus of our work on day 3.

We set out for Onaville early in the morning with Anna, one of Nehemiah Vision Ministries’s awesome interns, accompanying us.  Onaville is about a 30 minute drive via “tap tap” from the NVM campus.  Our objective for the day was to clear the ground under the large tent that will house our school temporarily.


The “before” shot

We anticipated it would be an all day job.  Benches needed to be hauled out, a stage broken down, all the rocks and debris cleared from the ground, and the torn tent siding removed.  We prayed and set to work.  Within minutes after observing what we were doing, a few Haitian men jumped in to help haul the heavy benches.  Soon after, Haitian men and women joined us in clearing the grounds.  They grabbed a rake or just used their hands and began clearing the rocks with us.  Where large stones were embedded in the ground, our Haitian brother worked the pick ax like a pro!  Our team of 11 grew to 20 in no time, and the work was completed long before expected.  It was truly a beautiful thing to witness people from different cultures coming together for a common goal.  We worked side by side with Haitian brothers and sisters we couldn’t even communicate with and yet, were of one accord as we begin pouring into the children’s futuree as we prepped the school grounds.



Hauling benches


Removing an old stage


Loading and removing the rocky ground and debris


Our Haitian and American working group (and the kiddos who played nearby)

After completing our work, Anna, led us on a hike up the main road and along a mountain side there in Onaville.  Several of the local children accompanied us.  Some tightly held our hands, others walked alongside, playing with one another.  They loved trying on our sunglasses and having their photos taken.  When we reached our stopping point, Anna provided us some information about Onaville and the people who call this home since the earthquake.  We were standing in the middle of extreme poverty.  Anna reminded us of our mission to love and serve God wherever He calls us.  A boy kept jumping up on me for me to hold him.  He looked about 7.  I was thankful I had the strength.  From this point, there was a clear site line to the church, our temporary school site under the tent, and the cleared ground for our permanent school building.  Homes were scattered across the mountainside around, above, and below us.  As I looked around from this vantage point, I recall a story a former pastor told us.  He shared his own story of visiting the city for the first time.   The leaders of the church took him to the highest point in the city and had him look out over the valley.  There they asked if he could see himself, loving and serving the people of the city.  I found myself asking the same question.  Ezra Vision Ministries intends to be in Onaville for a long time.  Would I be part of it?  Would God give me the honor and privilege of making Him famous in Onaville?



View of Onaville from above. Notice the church, temporary school under the tent, and cleared ground for the permanent school building.

Before we started back down the hill, we prayed over Onaville.  Our group circled up, held hands, and lifted several voices in one accord for the people of Onaville with several of the city’s own children in our midst.  They didn’t understand what we were saying, but they stood in our circle, quietly, reverently and prayed with us.  I will never forget that.  When I opened my eyes, there was even a tiny one, maybe two years old, that had joined us.  Praying with the children of Onaville over their city.  That was a God moment.  That was a moment with eternal perspective.  That was the moment I fully got it.  That was the moment I was all in.


The “after” shot. New tent siding will be added , along with interior partitions to mark the classrooms.

Written by Carrie Hawkins, Co-Director, Social Media

Poverty Perspective (through the eyes of an American boy)

Having been to Haiti, I have changed completely.  I don’t use phrases such as “I’m starving” or “I’m dying of thirst”.  Having been to Haiti, I know that there are people who really are starving and in need of water.  Several family members live together in tiny homes, often made of mud, sheets of tin, or just scraps of many different materials.  I saw children wearing only t-shirts.  It was hard to see so much poverty.  Before going to Haiti, I thought poverty was not having enough money and things you need or want.  I saw that it can go much deeper.  This is my new understanding of the poverty in Haiti.


I used to think poverty was this.


After visiting Haiti, I know that poverty looks more like this.


At the same time, I was surprised by the level of joy and excitment the Haitians had, especially the kids when we helped another missionary group with VBS.  You would have thought their favorite pop artist had come to their village!  I had the best time playing with the kids of Chambrun and Onaville.  We played basketball and soccer on Sunday afternoon.  I was amazed to watch many of them play sports on rough ground with no shoes.  The Haitian kids asked me three questions very often, “What’s your name, how old are you, and what are those things on your teeth?” (Braces!)  If they didn’t speak English, they’d just gesture at my teeth and sometimes made a disgusted face!

I also loved going to church in Chambrun and Onaville.  There was just a feeling in the air that Christ was loved and the people wanted more of Him.  The whole trip was worth my time and I hope you feel the same way if you think God has called you to go.



Some of the precious Onaville children with our youngest team member.

Lesa’s Story

Being in Haiti was an experience that I will never forget. I, along with my son Morgan, was a part of the medical team that provided physicals to 129 students of the school in Onaville called Institution Chretien Mixte David Steward. Many of the students had immediate needs that were able to be addressed through the medications that were brought. I was amazed at God’s faithfulness because the process went smoothly and all of the 129 children were served in just a few days.


Lesa and her son, Morgan

Being in Haiti was an experience that I will never forget. I, along with my son Morgan, was a part of the medical team that provided physicals to 129 students of the school in Onaville called Institution Chretien Mixte David Steward. Many of the students had immediate needs that were able to be addressed through the medications that were brought. I was amazed at God’s faithfulness because the process went smoothly and all of the 129 children were served in just a few days.


Medical supplies that the team brought

I also had the opportunity to attend church and enjoyed seeing the Haitians worshipping and praising God. In spite of their challenges and significant needs, they sang and danced before the Lord with much passion.

I met the most wonderful people from Haiti and was able to spend time with a lady named Daline and her family who will be getting a home built in July.  EVM will work alongside our partners in Haiti to accomplish this goal. They currently live in a mud hut and are so excited to finally have a place that they will truly call home!



Lesa and Morgan with Daline and her family

As the result of my experience, I am now committed to helping the Haitian people and plan to continue being a part of Ezra Vision Ministries. I’m confident that as “each one would reach one”, we would impact the community of Haiti and the generations to come.


Lesa and two darling boys in Chambrun


Lesa with a beautiful school girl in Onaville

Written by Lesa Steward

Morgan’s Story

I attend the University of Missouri and am blessed to play football for them. Most of my time is spent going to class, studying, and practicing football. I have very little free time and couldn’t wait for spring break in March. I heard about the medical mission through Ezra Vision Ministries and decided to spend my spring break serving in Haiti.


Morgan, Lesa, and Jackson

This was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made! My trip to Haiti was an amazing and life-changing trip! It was truly a blessing to be a part of a medical mission and serve the Lord and his people of Haiti. The relationships I built in Haiti were of immeasurable value, and I pray it will be everlasting. In Haiti, I had the opportunity to not only build a relationship with my team, but meet amazing people such as the Ortiz family who are full time missionaries with four kids, a campus crew team who were from UCLA that came to help build a wall, and of course the local Haitians. It was so awesome to see other people who have so much love for the Lord and hearts to give.



Morgan, Lesa, the Ortiz family, and some local children

In our medical mission, we provided physicals and medical examinations to 129 children of the school in Onaville, Haiti. There are so many needs in all aspects of their daily lives, such as food, water, shelter, and as I mentioned, health. Most of the kids that we saw had never seen a doctor in their lives, so it was a huge blessing to receive free assessments, medicine, and further direction for better health. As we expected, we encountered many needs and conditions. Serving, working and spending time with these kids was so fun and delightful! These were some of the cutest and most precious kids I have ever encountered!



Morgan assisting with a medical exam.


Morgan and some school chldren.

Through my experience in Haiti, it taught me many life lessons that will carry with me forever. This included a highlighted recognition of how self-absorbed our culture in America has become. I believe that we are called to not give up our lives to empty materialist missions, but to give our full lives to the Lord and his purpose. Now don’t get me wrong, this can be done within a huge range of everyday involvements because there is a need in all that we do. But do we really dedicate our WHOLE lives to the Lord? It is important to “not waste your words, your time, your talent or treasure on empty agendas.” (Canon) Leave your mark, and make your stamp in Heaven. In the US, we are so truly blessed in abundance. If we could only taste and see how the Lord is good. If everybody only recognized this and decided to devote just simple pieces of their abundance, this world would be such a better place. It was amazing to see how blessed many Haitians felt even as they had so little. It shows that in this life, the Lord is truly all we should want and need. On my trip, I came to the realization of the Lord’s call on my life to really serve him in EVERYTHING that I do from my sport in football, the classroom in school, and most certainly, the mission field as I definitely plan to return!



Morgan and school kiddos after their medical exams.



Onaville cuties!

Written by Morgan Steward