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In-Country Staff

FFP staff_DR-Haiti

 

Dominican Republic

Kristin Hamner,
Dominican Republic National Director

Kristin

Our ministry in the Dominican Republic is led by Pastor Kristin Hamner. Kristin joined the FFP team after participating in two short-term summer mission trips through her home church, First Presbyterian Church, Grand Island, Nebraska. During those first mission trips, she saw and felt God actively working in her own life and the lives of those around her. She felt the call to continue serving in a missional context and joined our staff in 2005.

Kristin has grown along with the Dominican Ministry, and has served our communities and the Foundation ministry in many different capacities. She has taught English, worked on our sponsorship programs, and hosted a wide variety of mission teams. She is now responsible for FFP’s year-round mission programs and serves as Chief of Staff of all FFP’s in-country staff and interns.

In 2014 Kristin graduated from Dubuque Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2015 she was ordained by the Central Nebraska Presbytery. In 2016 her ordination was recognized by the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal M.I., one of the denominations with whom we serve in the Dominican.

Kristin is a servant leader who loves serving with the mission groups and feels blessed to have her son, Nicolás serving by her side.

“What a privilege it is to see lives change as we build bridges between churches in the States and churches in the Dominican Republic.”


Dominican Republic Staff

Dr. Griselda Cecilia Lugo, Medical Director 

Pastor Bronny Novas, Director of Maintenance

Lais Montes de Oca, Secretary

Joel Guzman, Assistant Leader of Mission Teams

Celenia Perez, Coordinator of Special Projects

Dominican Republic Scholarship Students

Fania Duralus, Student Intern

Anncito Saint-Ange, Student Intern

 

Dominican Republic Volunteer Staff

Aimee WilliamsonVolunteer Mission Coordinator / Educator-in-Residence
Anna Russ, Nurse-in-Residence
Danielle Large, Summer Volunteer


Additional Staff Bios


Dr. Griselda Cecilia “Cici” Lugo, Medical Director
CiciEver since she was young Cici wanted to be a doctor, and every doll her parents gave her became another “patient” to examine and operate on. It was no surprise when Cici went to medical school.

In 2005 as a medical student, FFP invited Cici to work in a medical clinic – on real patients. She became a regular volunteer at FFP medical clinics. In 2009, Cici joined the FFP staff and oversees all medical and health activities for FFP in the Dominican Republic.

How has working for FFP changed your life? “FFP has had a huge impact on my life. I used to be a princess, looking at life with rose-tinged glasses. Working for FFP I saw what was happening in my country. I never knew there were people who died from hunger and lack of medicines. Before I was like most people, with no reason to look for the bateys. Working with FFP taught me stop thinking about myself and open my eyes to the needs in my country. “

Favorite Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13


Pastor Bronny Novas, Director of Maintenance
BronnyBronny is an inspired pastor and long-time friend of FFP. He’s also an electrical engineer and seems able to fix, build, maintain and install just about anything. Bronny is an invaluable member of FFP and has been an important part of many construction projects in communities including Pantoja, LaJavilla, Pedernales, Anse a Pitre and of course his home church in Haina. He also helps get containers filled with donations from the US through the port and into the country.

Why do you work with FFP? “For me FFP is a passion. Any time I can go to a project and use my skills my spirit rejoices. I give thanks to God for everything I can do to help.”

Favorite Bible verse: “Beat your plowshares into swords. And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’” Joel 3:10


Lais Montes de Oca, Secretary
LaisSince 2008, Lais has worked as a secretary at the Ensanche Quisqueya School behind our FFP house in Santo Domingo. Now, she works with the Foundation for Peace as a secretary and is part of our DR staff.

Lais also teaches Bible study with children in her church and she works with the ministry Castillo Del Rey. Lais likes working with FFP because of how the people express the love and the power of God in different forms.

Favorite Bible verse: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” Colossians 3:23


Joel Guzman, Assistant Leader of Mission Teams
I am 23.  In Easter 2015, I was invited by my pastor to a construction project in one of our churches, which was to be carried out by the Foundation For Peace, in that week I fell in love with that group and with the beautiful work done by the Foundation, establishing interesting conversations with the group and at the same time making new friends, in October of that same year I was invited to participate in the medical clinics as a translator, which I loved and from that time, I have been participating in most of the medical clinics. What I love most about this is to see how we can bring hope and see those smiles on the faces of the communities we visit.

Favorite Bible verse “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20 KJV)


Celenia Perez, Coordinator of Special ProjectsCelenia
Celenia has worked with the Foundation since its inception. She’s been housekeeper and cook; now she serves as the coordinator of special projects—making curtains, gardening, and taking care of our staff and missionaries. Celenia is a hard worker dedicated to the ministry and is a second mother to our mission staff.


Fania Duralus, Student Intern
FaniaFania first met FFP in Fond Parisien, Haiti after the earthquake. Because of her bright smile and incredible work ethic, FFP staff members took Fania under their wings. Fania wants to become a construction engineer and a famous soccer player.

How has working with FFP changed your life? “Even though I don’t speak English I can’t believe how many Americans friends I have made. I feel happy and thankful for the opportunities I have now. I was very different before knowing FFP. Now I’m proud of who I’ve become, the way I think, the way I live and the way I share. I have goals and dreams thanks to FFP.”

Favorite Bible verse: “The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:14


Anncito Saint-Ange, Student Intern
Since I was a child in Haiti I have felt love for animals and at the same time I liked medicine so much!  I moved to the Dominican Republic in 2015 to study veterinary medicine since in my country didn’t have the possibility of studying that career.

Back in that time I had a very special missionary friend who knew the Foundation for Peace and made it possible for me to get in contact with them in 2017. Their beautiful work looked wonderful to me, so I decided to become part of the organization. They gave me the opportunity to work with them while studying, which has been such as a blessing for me and I feel more than grateful to be part of the FFP.

My heart’s big desire is for Haiti to become more productive and for me personally to be able to support my country with veterinary medicine in the future.

Favorite Bible verse: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 (NIV)


Aimee Williamson, Mission Coordinator / Educator-in-Residence
Aimee WilliamsonAimee has spent several summers serving with FFP as a missionary intern. She’s returning for 14 months to serve in an expanded capacity.

This is why I serve in the Dominican Republic with the Foundation for Peace: When I was in the DR in 2014, I met a family with four sons. They lived on the grounds where we stayed with our mission teams. The boys were shy at first but throughout the course of our trip three of the boys started waiting for our bus each afternoon when we would return from the work site. One evening the littlest brother fell asleep in my arms and I walked him back home–where I learned there was an even younger brother, just a baby. Now, this baby is big enough to run and play with our group, and he always waits for our bus each afternoon when we return from the work site. He eats dinner with me each evening and comes to say goodbye in the morning as we leave for the day. I love being able to watch these boys grow over the years and see how our small interactions can make a difference.


Anna Russ, Nurse-in-Residence
I first came to the Dominican Republic as a nursing student. I then graduated and kept coming back with short term mission groups. The last time I was here, I felt that God was calling me to come and be here full time and serve with this ministry. So I quit my job, sold most of my belongings, and moved here. I’m so thankful to work for this ministry that allows me to serve this beautiful culture.

Favorite Bible verse: “but whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What’s more, I consider, everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ. Philippians 3:7


Danielle Large, Summer Volunteer
Danielle LargeDanielle has been a short-term volunteer with FFP for the past two summers.  She attends Eastern University, a small Christian school in the United States and is a part of the nursing cohort of 2020.  She grew up playing soccer and enjoys playing sports whenever she can.  She loves art and learning new worship songs on guitar.  One day she wishes to make an impact on global health.

This is why I serve in the Dominican Republic with the Foundation for Peace: “Working for the Foundation is important to me because I see not only the impact they make right now on the people of the areas they serve, but also the impact that they can have in the future as a progressive organization.  Foundations for Peace has taught me to appreciate a culture other than my own and truly love people who appear different from me.  God has used my experience in the DR to show how similar He made His children despite the difference in background.  God has shown me that my family is larger than I think and that it continues to grow.”

Favorite Bible verse:  “Just as Jesus was coming out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: “’ You are my son of who I am well pleased.”’  At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.  He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.”

Haiti

Pastor Michel Valentin,
Haiti National Director

Valentin

Our Haiti outreach is led by Pastor Michel Valentin and his wife Nadege. Valentin, as most people call him, first met Foundation for Peace after the earthquake when he brought his injured daughter, Manite, to the field hospital in Jimani, DR.

Having been blessed with incredible intelligence, compassion, education and faith Valentin quickly became a valued resource at the hospital where he used his Creole, Spanish and English skills to translate for patients and doctors. His tireless efforts helped deliver critical care to hundreds of patients. In his “spare” time he led spontaneous worship for the hospitals’ patients.

In 2010 Valentin officially joined the FFP team as our National Director in Haiti. He oversees all of FFP’s work in Haiti, especially the Complexe Educatif Men Nan Men project in Ganthier. In all he does, Valentin freely shares his passionate faith, compassionate spirit and endless enthusiasm with all who meet him.

Valentin is also pastor of the Eglise Sanctuaire de la Grace de Croix-Coq, which he and his wife started in 2011. He lives in Croix-des-Bouquets with his wife Nadege and their daughters, Marceline, Stellecy, Michnaelle.


Haiti Staff

Nadege Valentin, Secretary

Hernery Valentin, Construction Supervisor

Wesley FrancoisDirector Ministry Programs

Roger Brice, Translator/Staff member

Saintemene Robert, Translator/Staff member

Garry Leon, Translator/Staff member

Ero Celestin, Translator/Staff member

Josonn Pierre, Translator/Staff member

Nellio Francois, Translator/Staff member

Dr. Marc Osiris, Medical Director

Makesnel Ulysse, Translator

Walmy Ulysse, Translator

 

Haiti Volunteer Staff

Ben Henrie, North American Missionary Intern
Nicole Profetto, North American Missionary Intern
Harley Guzman, North American Missionary Summer Intern


Additional Staff Bios


Nadege Celestin
, Secretary

NadegeNadege is a vital part of the FFP ministry with her husband, Valentin. They share a vision for ministry that she supports in many ways, while going to culinary school and caring for their family. Nadege also graciously and lovingly helps care for the FFP interns who live on the second floor of their home. She currently serves as the FFP secretary and often cooks for FFP mission teams.


Hernery Valentin,
Construction Supervisor
HeneryHernery has extensive construction experience and officially joined FFP in November 2010. He oversees construction at our vocational school—Complexe Educatif Men Nan Men—in Ganthier and other projects in the area. He started working alongside FFP in our relief efforts after the earthquake. Hernery transported much needed materials back and forth to Camp Hope and organized the storage depot. Hernery offers his friendly smile and patient guidance to all who work at the site in Ganthier.


Wesley Francois, Director of Ministry Programs
WesleyWesley translated four languages in the Jimani field hospital after the 2010 earthquake. He also served a health agent in the Haiti Disaster Management Program. He currently works with FFP translating for mission teams and teaching English classes at Complexe Educatif Men Nan Men. Since his first experience teaching English, he has made it a priority; he believes it strengthens people.

Wesley loves God and likes to read. He loves to learn languages, hang out with children, and play and watch soccer. His dream is to become a great civil engineer so he can be a part of making Haiti green, paved and well-organized.

“Together, we are better.”


Roger Brice, Translator/Staff member
Roger BriceBrice is from Jacmel and is the oldest of five children. Currently he lives in Miracle Village with his cousin, where he’s lived since the earthquake. Brice is a top student at the Men Nan Men School where he is studying English and Spanish. His dream is to become a journalist so that he can help his country by keeping people informed of what’s happening.

What makes FFP special? “FFP is one of the best organizations because of the way they treat the students, the community and the workers. I haven’t been treated like this before. They build schools and give safe water. Maybe one day FFP will be one of the great missions of Haiti.
Piti, piti, wazo fe nich li. (Little by little the bird makes its nest.)

Favorite Bible verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”


Saintemene Robert, Translator/Staff member
Saintemene_150pxSaintemene is from Galette-Chambon and is the youngest of seven children. She studied English at Men Nan Men School and was at the top of her class. She’s the only female on the FFP staff and is making her mark in her own quiet way. She’s a hard worker who enjoys working with teams.

How is FFP making a difference? “FFP is making a difference by bringing education to so many students. They also help people by taking care of their health and bringing them medicines at medical clinics. I hope one day that I will be able to help others the way FFP has helped me. As my English improves, I have more opportunities—like working as a member of FFP!”

Favorite Bible verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”


Garry Leon, Translator/Staff member
Garry Leon
Garry is from Thiotte and is the third oldest of 11 children. Presently Garry lives In Miracle Village with his sister who was a victim of the earthquake. He was the top student of his English class at Men Nan Men School. Garry is quiet, but a hard worker, and is excited to be working with FFP.

How is working with FFP making a difference in your life? “Before I started with FFP, I didn’t have anything to do. When I finished high school I did not go to college because I did not have any money. I started learning English in Diery’s school (which FFP built after the earthquake) and then I attended Men Nan Men School after it opened. I am so excited to work with FFP because it helps me to get a better life.”

Favorite Bible verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son, and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”


Ero Celestin, Translator/Staff member
EroEro is from Aux Cayes and is the second oldest of five children. He studied English at Men Nan Men School and was at the top of his class.

How is working with FFP making a difference in your life? “Before I started working with Foundation for Peace, I didn’t have anything to do. I am really thankful to God that He put FFP on my path. It is a huge blessing! Foundation for Peace always tries to give the population the best assistance possible by building a professional school, repairing a school affected by natural disasters, and providing health and clean water. My experience with FFP has helped me appreciate people so much more, especially kids. I am so excited to be a part of this organization.”

Favorite Bible verse: John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.”


Josonn Pierre, Translator/Staff member

I am a 33-year old married man, father of 2 handsome boys. After working for over 5 years as a translator, I am proud this year (2018) to start being part of Foundation for Peace staff. Working with FFP is like ´Killing 3 birds at one time’, like serving those in need, serving my country, and keeping good relationship with God, and with others. Overall, I love the incredible friendship developed between all of us on this wonderful staff.


Nellio Francois, Translator/Staff member

I come from Port–Salut, Haiti. I am a 36-year single old Christian. I live in Delmas with my relatives. I am the youngest among 3 children. I am a computer science engineer, and I teach both Spanish and computer classes. I always like to talk to everyone and to take care of them, that’s my job in life. The pleasure is mine to work with the FFP because it’s a family. When I am working, I feel good! I am so happy to be part of it.

Favorite Bible verse: Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?”


Ben Henrie, Assistant Director of Mission Teams
Ben
Ben first came to Haiti in 2011 and God touched his heart for this beautiful country and its people. We’re happy to have him back on staff to work with our Haitian staff and mission teams. Ben grew up in a strong Christian home and was brought up in the church. While he went to Sunday School and youth group as a youngster, and even attended Christian College, Ben says, “God changed my life when he took me to Haiti for the first time in 2011. Since then I have been back at least once a year. He has worked on my heart each time and I am looking forward to how he will continue to mold my heart after his own heart as I serve alongside his precious children in Haiti.”


Nicole Profetto, Mission Team Coordinator
I am from a small town, and grew up in a Christian family. I felt God calling me to missions in 2008 and I served in Haiti for the first time in 2013. I was able to experience not only the beauty of the country, but the resilience of the people. As years passed I traveled back a few more times and continued to feel a strong connection to the country, and built relationships with people. God has transformed my heart deeply through each trip. I’m excited to show the love of Jesus through serving the Haitian people in whatever way possible or needed.

I serve with Foundation of Peace in Haiti because of who they are and what they stand for. I see the relationships that they have built with whole communities. I see how they have worked together to accomplish the impossible. God is working, moving and making himself known through the staff. volunteers and teams that come down to serve in Haiti. They don’t simply provide physical structures, but they partner with and empower Haitians. The Foundation of Peace is making a difference, and i’m honored to be able to work along side them and be part of that.

My favorite verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest of me.”


Harley Guzman, Summer Intern
I am from South River, New Jersey, but I attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I am a Sociology major, a Linguistics minor and an Education minor. My past volunteer work has consisted of work in Haiti with Konekte, working as a tutor at the Children’s Literacy Center in Colorado, elderly homes in New Jersey, and at the Trenton soup kitchen and food pantry. I am particularly interested in non-profit work and grant writing. I would categorize myself as adventurous, loving, kind, and hardworking. I grew up in a large family (2 sisters and 4 brothers), and they have shaped me into the person I am today. I love them with my whole heart. I am especially close to my mother who has been an example of strength and determination. Because of her, my favorite bible verse is Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”