For Jonathan Sake History
For Jonathan Sake Outreach Program was created in 2010. There was a waiting list of about 50 children (who all had parents) for the Miriam Home (a special needs orphanage at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. Courtney Pierce and Autumn Marshall saw this as a problem and the vision for outreach was developed. They both loved every child that lived with them in the Miriam Center but believed every child is better off with a family. They realized many of these kids had families and these families just needed education on how to care for their children. Then to be empowered to keep and care for them. This program was created to train parents how to take care of their children, provide the resources to do so, and show them how special their children are to God. God revealed to us that this program was going to change the view of disabilities in Haiti and cut down the number of orphans with disabilities.
The program has been growing by leaps and bounds each year since. The basic purpose of outreach has not changed, it continues to be all about pouring into the families, teaching them to love and care for their children. It ultimately empowers them to keep their children, filling in the gaps where they need us. By the end of 2014 we had 45 children in the therapy aspect of this program with 15 on a waiting list. The program quickly grew past just providing therapy. Over the years we have added Bible Study, home-visits, fun family activities, medical care, nutrition food, an outreach blessing fund, etc. These 45 families became a family. In 2016 we did BIG changes to outreach in order to accommodate for the long waiting list. We took 100 kids off the waiting list and added them to “Active” outreach. Now instead of 40 kids participating in the program we had 140 ACTIVE outreach receiving ALL the benefits of the program listed below. We still had over 150-200 kids on a waiting list still waiting for the “Active”program or who got moved back to the waiting list due to poor attendance in the program. We also have 200 kids that have graduated out of active outreach or just come to STAND The Haiti Clinic 2-3x a year for maintenance therapy (check on braces and update Home Exercise Plan). In total there are over 800+ children in the outreach database that we provide some level of services to.
The outreach program is a multifaceted program. We have the following 11 programs:
2. HOME VISITS
8. NUTRITION PROGRAM
9. VITAMIN PROGRAMS
→Moringa Multi-vitamin program
→RICKET Vitamin Program
→Vitamin Angel Program
→Prenatal Vitamin Program
10. OUTREACH BLESSING FUND
11. SPECIAL EDUCATION SCHOOL
“I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have been put to shame”– Zephaniah 3:19
How did the Name FJS come about for the Outreach Program?
FJS stands for For Jonathan Sake. In the Bible David was best friends with Jonathan. They made a promise to take care of each other’s families. Jonathan had a son Mephibosheth and he was the grandson to Saul who was King of Israel. Mephibosheth was only 5 years old when his father and grandfather were killed in battle with the Philistines at Mt. Gilboa by the Jezreel Valley. It was customary that when a ruler was defeated that his family would be killed as well so that there would be no lineage of that ruler left to reclaim the throne. However, we find in 2 Samuel 4 that Mephibosheth survives.
“Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became crippled, his name was
Mephibosheth” (2 Samuel 4:4).
By the time David learned about Jonathan’s Death Mephibosheth had grown and had a son of his own when King David inquired of his whereabouts. King David and
Jonathan had been very close friends and became as brothers. Because of their relationship and an oath David made to Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:15-16, 42), he wanted to honor it by finding and caring for Mephibosheth.
One of Saul’s servants was questioned and told King David of the young man’s location. Mephibosheth was summoned to appear before the King. Though afraid, Mephibosheth came not knowing if he would be killed or what might happen to him. He was a cripple, had lost his heritage, and lived in a desolate place named Lo Debar. Translated, the name literally means “land of nothing”. Mephibosheth had been reduced to having nothing.
2 Samuel 9 describes the meeting of Mephibosheth and King David. The young man humbly bowed and David told him to not be afraid. “I will surely show you kindness
for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul and you will always eat at my table” (2 Samuel 9:7). Mephibosheth bowed and asked why David would “notice a dead dog like me?” in verse 8.
Mephibosheth was made the promise that he would be honored with restoration of profits from his grandfather’s wealth and would always eat at the King’s table. This was despite Mephibosheth’s low self-worth, physical handicap, and shame brought to him by his grandfather’s sins, defeat and resulting suicide.
Mephibosheth is a wonderful example of the redemption available to those who come humbly before the King of kings. Jesus is that King and offers to one and all a chance to eat at the King’s table forever. No matter that we have nothing, have been shamed and rejected or that we are handicapped and hurt, young or old, black or white or red or green. We are offered an inheritance of royalty.
In Haiti the children we work with are seen as outcast, not worthy, second class citizens but God want the very best for each of them and so should we. For Jonathan Sake exists to help all the Mephibosheth’s in Northwest Haiti and invite them to the Lord’s table with the best we can offer