January 2015

Dear Family, Friends, and Faithful Supporters,

Happy New Year! Behold I come to make all things new!

What new things is God doing in your life today, tomorrow and in this coming year? How is He making your life and your community new? I trust we have eyes to see His work around us this year.

The idea of newness is especially pertinent to us this year as our life is full of new places, people, and situations. What a comfort and hope
to know that in each step, our Lord and Savior walks along with us.

15 July 2014

The last two months were like a marathon…we knew the clock was ticking and our “to-do” list kept lengthening. By the grace of God, we were ready to climb on to the airplane on June 16.

June 2014

Hello Family and Friends,

We made it! Or at least we made it to our first destination of New Berlin, NY. Since mid May when we put on our first sale, it has been non-stop at our home in Port-au-Prince. Sorting, decision making, selling, packing, giving away, farewell gatherings, last times, goodbye hugs, tears, and many prayers.

Decisions like how low are we willing to go on our TV? Who will take our dog? How do we say goodbye to the market ladies that served us for over 20 years? Do we take the fragile ceramic plates and bowls that were made by hand in Haiti, do we put them in the boxes to be shipped, in our luggage, sell them, or give them away?

April 30, 2014

God is leading us to experience and serve him in new ways and new places. Twenty-three years ago God led us on an adventure that brought us to life and service in Haiti with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM). For the past few years we have felt God’s nudges and pushes to take a new leap of faith. And so we have decided it is our time to return to the United States and not renew our contract with CRWM.

March 2014

Van Dams’ Reflections from Haiti

Howard and Ruth Van Dam and family serving with Christian Reformed World Missions and Sous Espwa
Five churches from North Ameri­ca answered our call to come and work on the MCD’s future confer­ence room. In four weeks, theseteams worked side by side the Hai­tian construciton crew to see the completetion of the roof and interior wall finishing. During the last week, a scafolding fell and three of the Haitian crew members were rushed to the hospital. We are thankful that they were not seriously in­jured and were soon back to work.

December 2013

Celebrating the Thanksgiving Spirit in Haiti

On American Thanksgiving , our partner, CRECH (The Consortium for the Reinforcement of Christian Education in Haiti) held their annual National Assembly meeting, with thirty-three member organizations present and ready to participate . This year’s meeting had some interesting, I would even say, unexpected outcomes. In Haiti we don’t celebrate a holiday known as “Thanksgiving Day,” but at this Assembly, I witnessed a spirit of thanksgiving.

November 2013

The Month of Strategic Planning

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed “Proverbs 15:22

There are no attention grabbing pictures on this month’s update. There are no interesting ministry stories to share. There are no exciting trips to track.

However, the month of October was anything but boring.

The whole Sous Espwa team which includes representatives of the agencies of World Renew, Christian Reformed World Missions and Back to God Ministries International met many times to discuss the future of ministry here in Haiti. We could call this month “the month of meetings.”

October 2013

Howard and Ruth Van Dam and family serving with Christian Reformed World Missions and Sous Espwa

Sous Espwa represents all the ministries of the Christian Reformed Church of North America in Haiti. (World Renew, CRWM , and BTGM I)

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” Psalm 127:1

Dear Family and Friends,

Last month we shared how we had opportunity to participate in many exciting activities. Now as we reflect back on September, we again are filled with awe and thanksgiving for the privilege of being a part of God’s Kingdom work in Haiti.

The Christian Reformed Church of Jacquet, the first CRC congregation in Haiti has moved to a new location on their own property and in a large sanctuary. What an exciting day September 29th was when we could celebrate this huge milestone.

September 2013

Hello Friends,
Once again we thank you for your faithfulness. We have much to be thankful for and we have listed a number of them in our attached letter. However, I want to share with you one prayer request.

Our partner, the Ministry for Christian Development (MCD) has been in the process of building a conference center on their property for the past two years. They are anxious to complete this project and begin using it for ministry and income-generating projects. In order to complete it, we need a minimum of six Service and Learning Teams to come down and join us in this venture. So far we have one team that is definitely coming. Would you be interested in supporting the ministry of MCD in this way?

July 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings from a cool and cloudy, Port-au-Prince. We are thankful that God protected the islands by dissipating Tropical Storm Chantel and leaving only light rain and cool weather.


Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Please see our news below, and we trust you are having an enjoyable summer where ever you may be.

June 2013

Van Dam’s Reflections from Haiti 

“. . . always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 5: 20 

Dear Family and Friends,

If you are one of our supporters who only receive our hard copies, I’m afraid its been several months since you have heard from us. Therefore, this letter will be kind of a summary of what God has been doing in Haiti through our partners and the many visitors who have landed in Port-au-Prince.

April 2013

Living in the Power of the Resurrection

Our Easter prayer for you from Ephesians 1: 19 – 20: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, . . and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead . . .” 

March 2013

Dear Family and Friends,  Each month we share with you our prayer requests and praises. We would love to pray for you and your needs as well. Let us know what is on your heart and mind. Use this link to see and read about what God is doing in Haiti so far this year.Continue reading March 2013

December 2012

Isaiah 41 :7  . . each helps the other and says to his brother, ‘Be strong!’ The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer spurs on him who strikes the anvil. He says of the welding, ‘It is good.’ He nails down the idol so it will not topple. ”

November 2012

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!

Dear Family and Friends,

Thanks for joining with us in ministry here in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We have a number of items to praise God for this month and share them here with you now.

1. Ruth participated in a week-long evaluation of Sous Espwa’s partner, PWOFOD, which is a diaconal training program. She enjoyed the opportunity to visit the field and see and hear what God is doing through the work of these faithful servants. One comment that came out of the evaluation often was that the impact of PWOFOD‘s ministry is much greater than what any of us had realized. One of these impacts included implementing literacy classes. Nearly 53% of the population of Haiti is unable to read and write. One young man shared that he had been a part of these classes for a little over a year. When he began, he could not write his name. “lf you ask me today to read the Bible, I could do it.“ And we did. We chose a passage in the Scriptures and this young man read it beautifully. His life has been changed!

October 2012

Hello friends and greetings from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Thank you for your prayers. We feel the power of your prayers in our lives on a daily basis. Please pray and praise your way through the following notes.