About No Place Like Home
The following story illustrates how God provides for His children even in the most difficult of times. He often touches the hearts of seemingly random people to come together and help meet needs at No Place Like Home. Through God’s blessings and the obedience of His people this ministry has been built.
No Place Like Home orphanage in Haiti is a ministry started by Jacques and Marie Alexandre who were living and ministering in Port-au-Prince when the monster earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. They witnessed the bodies of precious children lying dead around the city and others roaming the streets without parents. It is estimated that more than 50,000 children became orphans as a result of the earthquake. Everyone’s lives were dramatically changed that day and God placed it on the Alexandre’s hearts to begin an orphanage for the many children that were so tragically separated from their parents.
The Alexandre’s owned a piece of vacant land in Port-au-Prince that they intended to use for a Bible Institute to train pastors. Prior to the earthquake, this land was completely undeveloped. It was filled with bushes and one old mango tree. Whenever it rained, it turned into a small lake because the land sat too low.
Haiti Earthquake Changes Plans
A couple weeks after the earthquake, Jacques and Marie traveled to the Dominican Republic to care for Marie’s wounded foot. Upon their arrival back in Haiti they made the decision to give themselves to the orphanage ministry. They left their home in Lilavois, which is in the northwest outskirt of Port-au-Prince, and established their new residence on the vacant lot. They erected tents and cardboard living quarters for themselves and the surviving children that God would send to them.
At the same time they continued their church ministries and feeding centers. They also counseled and helped build houses for church members who lost their homes in the earthquake. Much of this was accomplished through the support of several churches and ministry friends in Texas, especially in the Abilene area. Their long-time friend in ministry, Dale Morrison, put together several mission trips to help feed many after the tragedy, even though he was dealing with cancer…God bless you Bro. Dale!
After moving to the vacant lot they were immediately able to begin caring for their first three children: Tamara and siblings Nana & Samuel. As you can imagine, things were very difficult in those first few months, but God continued to show Himself mighty on behalf of the Alexandre’s and those involved in the new orphanage ministry. Jacques’ pastor Bro. Robin Webb visited several times and brought along some friends to encourage them to keep believing and trusting the Lord. Then Ted Bailey whom Jacques & Marie met in 2009, while they were on deputation in Texas, came on one of the trips.
Building a Haiti Orphanage
By mid-2010 they had constructed cardboard storage rooms and bedrooms for the children and nannies to live in. They also began constructing cinder block buildings including a restroom and kitchen for the children as well as small living quarter for Jacques and Marie. This was a huge relief because it wasn’t easy to live and sleep in a dusty tent where they constantly got wet when it rained. They also were able to build a playground area, an eating area and a covered area to rest and get out of the hot sun.
During the summer of 2010, Jacques & Marie were taking part in a Mission Conference at SouthPoint Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacques received a call from the supervisor at the orphanage saying the compound was completely flooded due to the rain. This happened several times during this period, and so the Alexandre’s were forced to return to Port-au-Prince earlier than planned. Through the generous help of Pastor Terry Collins and SouthPoint Baptist Church, they were able to move the children to a nearby house that they rented for the next several months.
God burdened the heart of Pastor Collins at SouthPoint; who coordinated his church along with Pastor Brian Loveless and Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas; Pastor Mike Gray and Baptist Tabernacle in Carlisle, Ohio, and other church partners. Together they donated funds to fill in the compound with a mixture of dirt and small rocks to elevate the ground in order to prevent future flooding. They also built new living quarters for the children where they would be safe against potential earthquakes and flooding. The finish work for the new living quarters was done by Dr. Mark Renner and the Haggard family from Grace Baptist Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who became connected with Jacques through Pastor Robin Webb. All of this was accomplished between December 2010 and January 2011.
When the kids moved into their new quarters it was truly a major milestone in the orphanage’s history. To the children it was like moving into a palace and they felt like they were treated like royalty. It was so beautifully constructed and well furnished with electricity, lights, fans, air conditioners, bunk beds, and even bathroom facilities in one of the rooms. They planted flowers outside and enhanced the playground area by adding grass, swings, a sliding board and a carousel. It was a major blessing.
Growth of No Place Like Home
In October 2011, a group from First Baptist Church of Maypearl, Texas, under the leadership of Ted Bailey came and constructed a much needed storage building on the property. Also that same month the ministry was blessed to be able to buy an adjoining 125’ x 85’ empty lot for the future expansion of the orphanage.
The Haiti orphanage was in desperate need for added space to care for the children and to accommodate the many guests who come to serve. First Baptist Church of Maypearl, Texas, was able to secure a lease for a large pink house that sits on an adjoining property to the orphanage. This house and property have been developed into cooking and eating areas for the children, classrooms for the children’s schooling, an upstairs guest living area, an outdoor play area, a library/computer room and an office. This house is also used for a Bible Institute by Jacques, and Sewing for Souls ladies ministry which was organized by Darlene Swindel and other ladies of First Baptist Church, Maypearl, Texas.
God continued to provide through His faithful people. The children now have clean and safe facilities, a water filtration system, backup generators, an industry size stove and fridge, storage buildings for medicine and other supplies, an infirmary, and laundry facilities.
October 2013 was a very difficult time for the orphanage. Armed thugs came with counterfeit titles to the orphanage property. They gave the Alexandres an ultimatum to either pay thousands of dollars or they would seize the orphanage, kicking 22 orphans back out to the dangerous streets of Haiti.
Jacques refused to pay or negotiate with the thugs because he already owned the land. Instead, he worked to expose the injustice and corruption. Meanwhile, the thugs bulldozed one of the walls surrounding the vacant lot and temporarily took over that land. At night they would attempt to scale the wall and try to gain access to the property where the orphanage sits. Jacques received a phone call threatening the kidnapping of the children if he didn’t comply with their demands. One night, a thug tried to come over the wall and the orphanage’s armed guard fired a warning shot causing the thugs to retreat.
After not receiving help from local law enforcement and a lawyer, Jacques called on First Baptist Church of Maypearl. They quickly mobilized a team of four men who flew to Haiti to help. The men created a security plan, rebuilt the wall, installed an alarm system and surveillance cameras. A few days later the thugs returned and, in broad daylight, they tore down the new wall. The newly installed cameras caught everything, which enabled law enforcement to identify and arrest the thugs, thus ending a very difficult situation. Once again, our Lord came through.
The Mission Continues
Jacques and Marie give all of the glory for what has been accomplished to Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. The prayers and support of faithful ministry friends and partners are deeply appreciated.
There is still much work to do at No Place Like Home, and plans are currently being made for the construction of a multi-purpose building on the vacant lot. Please follow the ongoing developments of this project, and consider taking part in the great work that the Lord continues to do at our Haiti orphanage.