Evens and Karina Paul serve as Covenant global personnel in Haiti. Evens grew up in La Victoire, Haiti, and studied at Christian University of North Haiti, where he graduated with his bachelor’s degree. Eleven years ago, he came to the U.S. where he earned another bachelor’s degree in agriculture science. He and Karina met while she was in Haiti on a mission trip and he was serving as a translator for her team. They are the parents of Abby, age six, and Hannah, age four. When Covid forced them to return to the U.S., they settled in Chicago, where Karina teaches first grade. Evens travels back and forth to Haiti to continue serving their community there.
What kind of ministry are you doing in Haiti?
We have been with Serve Globally since 2020. Ten years ago we established a primary school and high school in La Victoire in the northern part of Haiti. We serve more than 350 children and youth who come through our doors daily. We also pastor churches we have planted in rural areas where no churches existed before. When I grew up in that area, I used to walk two hours on Sundays just to attend a worship service. Now people can wake up in their own community and worship the Lord.
We are working with Haitians on sustainability. In one project funded by Covenant World Relief and Development, we train 80 families to be successful in animal farming. We have seven different male breeders, which helps us get bigger goats that can give us more meat and more milk to help us fight malnutrition.
We also have a sustainable agricultural program. We teach the young people and children in school horticultural practices, so they can learn how to do crop production—growing cabbage, spinach, hot peppers, sweet peppers. They play and see things grow. When they understand the production, that gives them confidence in themselves to know we have the capacity to grow! They know that God created them with value. And God can use their skills and capacity to do great things.
In our micro-loans program, we train 50 women and provide loans of around $200 at low interest. We train them to do business and take care of their families. They use the funds to buy candy, or soap, or spaghetti and sell them. These women become our Walmart. We go and buy everything we need from them. They have skills, they just need resources. We try to provide those resources so they can care for their families.
What are your hopes for the future?
At six months old, my niece contracted a fever, which she did not survive because she did not have access to healthcare. So my wife and I have been embarking on a journey to build the first medical health center in La Victoire funded by Northwest Covenant Church in Mount Prospect, Illinois and Urban Mission Chicago. In December we will dedicate it and open it to the public.
The one clinic in town does not have services for women when they give birth, so we are creating a space where women can give birth in privacy and their husbands can stay with them. We will have dental services and a medical doctor, plus one nurse, a lab technician, pharmacists, and a whole vision area. People are so excited about this because they can receive proper health care. We want to say that no child will die because of a lack of health care.
We are in the process of building a home for children that will house 32 children. We have been partnering with the Colorado School of Mines, which is designing a solar panel system to power the campus. And they are also designing an irrigation system, which will help us grow food to feed our kids. We have a farming strategy so everything is going to be sustainable—where we can create and produce our own food to take care of our children in the school and also feed them.
Can you tell us how the people of Haiti are faring right now?
While the earthquake this past summer hit the southern part of the country about 200 miles from where we serve, the situation in Haiti affects everybody. No one in the country is exempt from the crisis. The economic crisis is one of the worst that is happening right now—the whole country doesn’t have access to gas, and the lack of security is a big problem as well. The whole country is suffering at this moment. In the midst of everything, we are seeking to bring Christ’s healing and power to the people of Haiti.