The official date for the beginning of Living Water Christian Mission is October 9, 2002. However, the ground work for Living Water started three years prior to that. Salonique was a student then at Central Christian College of the Bible, located in Moberly Missouri. The idea of starting the ministry was born during a class period. The teacher wanted his students to put on paper what they were going to do in the next five years of their lives. This forced Salonique to write down on paper what had only been in his mind.
When he left Haiti in November of 1997 for studies in the States, he knew that after his studies he was going to return to Haiti to start a new ministry. This ministry has come to be called, “Living Water Christian Mission.” Fred and Jan Green and Salonique decided on the name after a discussion on the need for drinking water in the area where their ministry was going to locate. It was on the lower floor of Miamitown Church of Christ in Ohio that the name was chosen. That was in 2001. At that time Salonique was in the Seminary at Cincinnati Christian University, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
2000: Initial Land and Buildings
Our number one concern after receiving the vision of the ministry was a piece of property, a place to locate it. When God showed us the place, the challenge was “raising the money.” At this point, we received the help of several friends who shared with us their wisdom and their material blessings and there were a lot of other people who prayed and gave so that we could purchase the land. So, in the fall of 2000 we paid off the 40,000 USD, the price of the land. Two years later in the summer of 2002, again with the advice, the prayers, and the financial contribution of countless brothers and sisters the wall of the land was completed. The next project was building a mini multi-purpose building. We started this endeavor in the fall of 2002. After months of fruitful efforts, we had a place to worship, to have our weekly meetings and to use for offices; it was that same building we used in the fall of 2003 to house Living Water Christian School. In that same year, we started the first building for the school; this was in the month of October. Our progress in building the school was relatively slow, because of funds. By the fall of 2004, a year after we had begun, we had laid the blocks for the building. The Hurricane Jeanne showed up; on September 18, 2004.
2004: Hurricane Jeanne
Everything around here is dated Before Jeanne or After Jeanne. The day when Hurricane Jeanne hit Gonaives will remain forever in people’s minds. And, as I am writing I hear thunder; things like that always remind me of that fatal day. But we serve the God who turns water into wine, sadness into joy and death into life. That day, thousands perished. Thousands of houses and other things were destroyed and the damage left behind is untold. Living Water was not an exception. Walls were gone, and buildings were destroyed or damaged. It was time to rebuild. Praise God for our sisters and brothers, we were able to gain everything back and much more. So in 2005, we rebuilt the wall, completed the first floor of the school, started the second floor of the school and with a sizable donation from a brother in Warrensburg Missouri, we were able to put this building to the point where we can use it for classes and offices. In 2006, we started the second school building.
God has blessed us since we bought the first property with two other properties both of them bigger than the first one. One will be used as a campus for the Bible College and the vocational school; the other will be used as a campus for the Church. The campus where we are presently will remain for the elementary school and the high school. You see how big a God we are serving!
2006: The Campus for the New Church Building
In the early days of Living Water, we planned to put everything in one place. But, two years later, we realized that this was not possible. So the vision was broadened. We then made the acquisition of 7 acres for the Bible College. Last year (Spring 2006), with the challenge from a brother in Cincinnati (Bill Fudge), we realized that we need a larger site for the Church building. Then we started to pray. Less than a week later, a good friend of Living Water informed us about a piece of land, very close to our present campus, that he knew was for sale. We went back to prayer again and started multiplying the contacts. In every step of the way, God showed us that it was His will for us to have this land. But the obstacles were major because there were other people who wanted to buy the same land and there was a hoard of land robbers who wanted to steal it as well.
The owner made up her mind that she would sell it to us. Then, came the challenge of the money. Praise God. With the hard work of the brothers and sisters of Kenai Christian Church and several other brothers and sisters throughout the States, we were able to come up, in a very short time, with the huge sum of money that we needed for the land. So we paid it off. But the battle was not over. For the bandits, who had on their side lawyers and justices, for a while caused us much pain. Again, the Word of God proves to be true: “If God is for us who can stand against us,” “The Lord will fight for you, and you, be still.” They have threaten our lives, used all kinds of scare tactics, yet we did not budge. Today, these same guys are being wanted to be put in jail for various other things that they have done. We thank God for this victory among others.
Today, we need funds to build the wall around that land and to build the Church building which will be able to seat a couple of thousand of people. We believe our big God will do it for us. He has proved to be faithful all the time. Join us in this effort.