Leaps and Bounds in Deaf Advocacy!

From Kyle Reschke, 410 Bridge employee – Haiti…


Bonjou!! I hope this post finds you all doing well and loving life amidst grand adventures. I write to you once again early in the morning from the front porch of Mackenson’s home, with a warm cup of Berthide’s delicious coffee by my side. The deaf construction crew sits next to me as we all soak in the sunrise before getting to work for the day.  The alarm went off very early this morning to allow me an hour for a solid run through the mountains near Leveque – what a great way to start the day in the midst of a busy week. I am reminded this morning of a chapter intro from “In the Heart of the World” by Mother Teresa that I read this week. Echoing Matthew 6:25-34, the short little intro stated simply this:

“Yesterday is gone.

Tomorrow has not yet come.

We have only today.

Let us begin”


We have had a great week so far with many meetings and some wonderful training/discussions that have been led by Emmanuel Jacques (a French Diplomat and member of the organization International Deaf Emergency (IDE). I have mentioned this organization before as we are partnered together in this great work to support and walk  alongside our deaf friends in Haiti. IDE was started to help deaf people in crisis all over the world and I am honored to count many of the staff of IDE as good friends and as colleagues in our work in Haiti. As I have commented many times on this blog, it is always amazing to me how work in Haiti has brought together so many different people from around the world who are all passionate about a flourishing life for the Haiti deaf community.


Emmanuel Jacques – affectionately known to us as “Manu” is also deaf and extremely talented in conducting seminars and classes with the deaf community in Leveque and La Piste. For the remainder of the week we will be engaging the deaf leaders in empowerment seminars including classes in self-advocacy, community advocacy, interviewing, professionalism, the development of community vision, and the importance of follow-through and accountability. I am extremely thankful for Manu’s presence here this week as he adds A LOT of weight and amazing expertise to many of the programs and developments I have been discussing with the deaf leaders. I have truly been enjoying soaking in all of his lessons and his teaching style with the deaf leaders.

I am reminded this week of our core Bible verse with the 410 Bridge – 1 Peter 4:10, which states, “as each has received unique gifts, let us use them to serve one another, being good stewards of God’s varied grace.” We have many wonderful partners and organizations in this work, and they have all come together with incredible passion. This week I think specifically of IDE and FDH (Friends of Deaf Haiti). These organizations bring a knowledge of deaf culture and an ability to relate to the deaf community in Haiti that I  will never have – I am humbled, encouraged, and inspired by these great new friends.

I am so passionate about the possibilities of our work together because I see the impossibility inherent in this project if any of us were working on our own. The main reason things have gone well so far is that the Lord has abundantly provided so many passionate people and organizations, including the deaf community themselves, as they have survived so much and shown a resilience that is truly astounding for all of us to witness.

On a related note, we have had many classes and seminars conducted in the last month, and I am always encouraged by how eager the community is to learn. From Basketball drills and bible studies, to practice interviews and advocacy sessions, Mack, William, Berthide, Melanie, Josenel, Jonas, Mirlaine and Geovany (to mention just a few) have been rising to the occasion to soak it all in.

This week has also provided fantastic sign language practice for me with many additional hours signing with Sandrine and Manu who sign much faster than what I am used to down here in Haiti. They have been gracious in their suggestions and encouraging in their praise.

I have a few more prayer requests this week – please be diligent in your prayers – we all feel them down here and are thankful to know that we can trust in your disciplined prayer life.

  1. 1. Please pray for the new community leadership committee at Leveque. They were chosen by their community and and the committee includes equal representation from every population in the area – however, they are receiving some opposition from our usual troublemakers in Leveque.
  2. Please pray that the Lord’s peace would reign and that those who are having issues with decisions find the strength to pursue resolution peacefully and effectively.
  3. Please pray for the Water Committee – also chosen by the community. We are moving forward well with our water solution for the entire area and these leaders have a lot of responsibility thrust on their shoulders. Please pray for wisdom as they lead this initiative and community asset – wisdom to lead effectively (and question effectively if something is unclear).
  4. Please lift up everyone who is struggling in the community. As I have written many times before, there are many challenges ahead – we know they can achieve something truly remarkable if they work together. As there are still factions within the community, please pray that everyone comes to the all important realization that mutual support, respect, and hard work together is the KEY.

I close with a prayer from my journals this week

Lord, I praise you for this beautiful morning. That we can once again face the dawn in hope and in excitement for the tasks and possibilities of the coming day. Lord, today I pray that you help us all find silence and peace. Lord, that as we engage in so many tasks and may become overwhelmed by all that must be done, grant us Your vision of life in the center of Your will. Today, help us to be drawn into silence – into the place where we can truly listen to Your voice and only Your voice.

Lord, grant me the humility to learn when I need to be learning, and the confidence to teach when I need to teach. And when it is time to put everything else aside so that I may be drawn more closely to You, give me the strength to do so. Father God we praise you today for the opportunity to whole-heartedly pursue Your will for our lives. It is in Your most holy name that I pray today. AMEN.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Please know that your prayers are being answered!

Wishing you all the continued experience of the abundant grace and peace of our Reigning King!!!!


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