summer began a little early, as we headed to the US in May for Jessica’s
graduation from IU. We were justifiably proud of our summa cum laude graduate,
and her acceptance into Teach for America. Jessica spent most of her summer in
training and orientation with TFA and her new job at Way Academy in Detroit,
After a few days of family time, we jumped right into our home service travel
schedule. From May through the end of July, we visited many of our Living Link
churches in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and a
first-time visit to Portland Oregon! We were also privileged to attend the first
Church of God North American Convention outside of Anderson, Indiana. We were
blessed and challenged at the convention in Oklahoma City.
A common theme in our church visits was the enthusiasm and interest expressed by
the people we met. They asked many good questions and showed a real desire to
become more involved in missions. As always, we were encouraged, humbled, and
very blessed to spend this time with our supporters.
We returned to Haiti on August 1, to discover that the roadwork had resumed and
a sidewalk had been poured in front of our house, blocking access to our
carports. Eventually they finished paving the section of road in front of our
house, and we found ways to use the carports again. In my case that involved
adding a slope of dirt and rock beside the cement. In John’s case it involved
taking the gate off his carport, since it no longer could open and shut. At this
point the entire road is nearly finished, and hopefully after the holidays they
will complete it.
Besides the basic challenges of living, I had a new situation to deal with at
school. We started the year without a second grade teacher. Since the Pre-K
class was very small, their teacher took the second grade and the three Pre-K
students spent most of their time with the Kindergarten class. Fortunately, we
were able to find a new teacher for the second grade class, and everyone is back
to a more normal schedule. Another challenge of this year has been having a
higher percentage of the class who are English language learners.
John is still spending several days a week out in the village of Prospere.
Most days he sees 15-20 patients there, including prenatal and blood pressure
patients. The treatment he devised is keeping many people on track with their
blood pressure. The primary problem, of course, is getting them to return and
stay on medication when they feel fine. John’s other point of emphasis is in
educating mothers in common over-the-counter medications, where to buy them, and
when their child needs them. This may seem very basic, but he is trying to put
responsibility for this onto the moms, so that they don’t need to come to him
In the process of building relationships and trying to make a lasting impact in
the community, John has tried to help create jobs for more of the people there.
At this point, he has helped make jobs for ten people through small loans to get
them started. John also meets regularly with a group of young men, ages 18-30,
in an attempt to disciple them and teach them a bit about the world outside
their village. Out of these meetings, a field trip evolved. These young men know
all about the soccer stars of Haiti, but had never seen them play or even been
downtown to the soccer stadium. So in October, they got to make their first trip
to Port-au-Prince to the national stadium and see a double match with several
Caribbean teams. It was definitely a high point for them!
In other news of Prospere, the playground is still going strong, and in daily
use. However, both the local wells have recently come up with salt water. Fresh
water is a huge need worldwide, and this little village is no exception. Pray
that another water solution can be found for the people there.
THE DARKEST HOUR
A friend recently commented that 2014 seemed like “the Adventiest Advent
ever.” I knew exactly what she meant. World events had conspired to show the
raging darkness at its strongest. In our passport country, our local setting,
and the world stage, things appeared to be reeling out of control. It would be
hard to imagine a world more in need of a Savior.
But that need is also personal. WE, you and I, are in need of a Savior. The time
when Christ was born, and every year since then, we have needed him, God with
us. This poem says it well.
Into the Darkest Hour
By Madeleine L’Engle
It was a time like this,
War & tumult of war,
a horror in the air.
Hungry yawned the abyss—
and yet there came the star
and the child most wonderfully there.
It was a time like this,
of fear & lust for power,
license & greed and blight—
and yet the Prince of bliss
came into the darkest hour
in quiet & silent light.
And in a time like this
how celebrate his birth
when all things fall apart?
Ah! Wonderful it is
with no room on the earth
the stable is our heart.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the
darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
As we begin another year on the calendar, may you shine the true light into the
dark places around you!
Blessed Christmas and a light-filled new year!
Jodie and John Ackerman
Living-Link is a program whereby churches and individuals can give tax free
donations which go to our family’s personal support here in Haiti. Some of this
money is used by us personally for daily needs, and wants, some for things that
make it possible for us to carry out the clinic ministry here such as our office
and car, and medical equipment expenses, some is used for our medical insurance,
continuing education, and travel funds so we can visit and give first hand
reports to those who give to keep us here.
At present we have approximately 97% of our Living-Link budget committed to
us but Church of God Global Missions desire us to have approximately 110% in
order to make sure we’re covered for increases in things like insurance, and
cost of living, etc. As a Living-Link supporting church, the church commits a
designated amount of money per month or per year and for that commitment we, the
missionaries, commit to report on the ministry with our Living-Link partner at
least four times a year and make a personal visit to the church at least once
every five years.
To you our living link supporters please accept our sincere thanks for
making it possible to us to live in here in Haiti serving the Church, the poor
and needy of this land, and Christ. We know that many of you give very
sacrificially for us and we are humbled by your generosity.
If you or your church would be interested in becoming a Living-Link partner
please call Debbie Taylor at the Church of God Global Missions
(1-800-848-2464). She will be glad to assist you.
If you would like to give individually toward our personal support please
send these funds to :
Church of God Ministries
PO Box 2420
Anderson IN 46018
On the memo line of each check please write LL#42.10001 John Ackerman
Haiti still has a haunting natural beauty. View
some photos here!
The Ackermans are Career Missionaries with the Church of
God (Anderson, IN) and would love to hear from you. Their mail in Haiti is
delivered by Agape Flights, Inc. You can write to or email the Ackerman family at the
- Postal address
John, Jodie and Jessica Ackerman
Agape Flights #237
100 Airport Ave.
Venice, FL 34285-3901
- John, Jodie and Jessica
- Financial Support
- The Ackerman's work is supported by contributions from many individuals and Church of God
congregations. Despite the widespread poverty in Haiti, it is expensive to
support missions work there. We appreciate your tax deductible gift and
commit to using it wisely. Donations may be sent to:
Church of God Ministries
PO Box 2420, Anderson, Indiana,
or call (800) 848-2464, ext. 2129
Please be sure to specify the John Ackerman family and
use Project Number 42.10001 in your gift.
For a gift toward projects at the Prospere Medical Clinics, use
Project #42.30233- Haiti Prospere Clinics
Click here for a list of minor things needed
which will go a long way (perfect for children and Sunday School classes)