Tytoo Gardens

Raising the next leaders of Haiti

Travelling at the Speed of Sound , Part Two!

Sorry that this is a long time coming. It is the follow-up to the blog posted in August



Based on the story, our Starfish Program has a focus “on those we CAN help”.  The Starfish Program is for the mother at the gate with three children who has nobody to help her, and she is watching her children die of malnutrition.  She thinks the only choice is admission of her beloved children to the orphanage, but there is a better way!  We can offer support in the way of food, clothing, medical care and school sponsorship, often at a much lower price than admission to an orphanage.  Sometimes, that is all the mother needs to be able to breathe easier, and know that she is not alone.  We have the perfect opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus when we welcome a family into the Starfish program.  We develop a relationship with the recipients and we can share the love of God much more easily! 

We have had a huge increase in Starfish families recently.  There are several likely reasons for this to happen:  school is out so children are not getting their one meal a day that is usually provided by the local school.  The prices of food here continue to climb, with the price of rice being beyond the ability of most people.  We also have a number of families that lost their main financial supporter with a very serious accident in Cabaret about three weeks ago.  A dump truck lost his brakes and slammed into the side of a roadside store and killed 10 people and injured many more.  It was a sad and brutal accident.  Regardless of the causes of the problem we are blessed to be able to help these families stay together and care for their children!

I think most of you heard that one of our Starfish children, Maxon died three months ago.  He had a serious condition known as hydrocephalus, a problem that causes the head to grow very large and subsequently damages the brain.  Usually these children die young, because their parents cannot feed them, and nobody will help care for them because they look so bizarre.  The child’s head eventually becomes too big to lift and the child usually dies of secondary infection.  We had a young mother present at the gates with a child similar to Maxon just on Monday.  The girls name is Micheline, and she is 8 years old!  She is beautiful, has a killer smile and moves her arms and legs around well.  It is clear her mother loves her very much, and she looks well cared for and loved.  Unfortunately, the mother is struggling because she cannot work, and she has 4 other young children living at home.

It is a priviledge to be able to help this mother!  We were able to lend her a wheelchair that will allow Micheline to sit upright and see what is happening in the world.  We can provide food and some of the more simple equipment that mom needs to continue to love her daughter.  We hope to set her up with bras and other items to sell at her house so she can earn an income without leaving Micheline alone.  We will bring her along with us when we go to hospital next and have the doctor reorder her seizure medications so that we can stop further damage.  Developing a relationship is a wonderful way to be able to witness to these families, and we hope to bring them together for a bible study with Pastor Patrice starting next week.

Elder Feeding Program

With current health status of a developing country, Haiti’s average life span is not very old.  When we find older people in the community it is always amazing that they have survived all the challenges of life.


Travelling at the Speed of Sound

I know that an update is long overdue, but when things are moving so quickly, it is hard to stop long enough to write it al down! Let me try and summarize things:
All of the children are doing well! We had three school failures this year, but all three were explainable. We have seen a quick change of our cesus, with the addition of several new younger children. Our “infant” room has grown to 7, with two Starfish moms living “in compound”. We have an official baby room now, complete with Noah’s Ark on the wall, new tiles on the floor, and a nanny bed for overnight coverage! We have two nannies who care just for the toddlers, and it is a full time job. With such a big compound, Steeve is always “escaping” to play soccer with the big boys! Our new covered eating area serves as the playground, but plans are in the works for an area specifically for the younger children. We will be looking for Little Tikes playground equipment!
The Kenscoff boys are now full time residents of Tytoo, and while at least one of them should be moving to the Transition Program, we are not allowed to move them until IBESR gives the Ok. Still waiting for the visit……. We are averaging at least two requests a day for us to accept more children, and it is very hard to know when a child needs to be admitted or when the parent needs just a little extra help. There has been several young girls, under 18, who know about our Starfish program and so they are clear they do not WANT to participate. They just want to abandon their child. It is so hard to say now when the child is so sick and malnourished, and the mother is unwilling to accept help. I believe the need will continue to grow in this area
We are very blessed to have Taunya DeWeerd, an ECE expert living on compound now to help with the planning and care of the children. It has been fun to see the excitement with new activities and adventures. We have a new reading program, an UNO tournament, and several trips to visit other orphanages. A few days ago, Taunya arranged to have a small boat take the kids over the island for a swim and afternoon fun time! The children were so well behaved, and a bit scared to be in a boat, but it is all part of life experience! We have lots of events planned for the next couple of weeks including a trip to the museum in downtown Port au Prince! (wish us luck!)
With all the work happening at Tytoo right now, there is never a lack of chores to do, and even the smallest ones get in on the excitement. We recently moved all the rocks from the orphanage wall (the inside one) to the end of the dock and into the water. It was a “make work” project that everyone got involved in, with frequent “falls” in to the ocean! We also painted the main outside wall and gates of Tytoo a beautiful blue colour. I am proud to say that it was an equal split between paint on the walls and paint on the children, but everyone helped and then we had a little party afterwards. It is so nice to drive up to Tytoo: a welcoming feeling!
With the change in our census, moving older girls out, and accepting some new younger children we have had to increase our staff. While that is hard on our budget, it has been wonderful to see some mothers with money and jobs to care for their families. One of our Starfish moms was “graduated” from the program because we were able to hire her! We pay our staff very little per month (on average $125.) but it makes a huge difference for their families and their sense of independence! One little boy who regularly visits with his mom came to show me his “new shoes” that his mom had bought with her own money! He was so proud.

Transition Program
We will have THREE youth in university by September of this year!!! WHOOT WHOOT That is success! Only time shows you the real effectiveness of your programs, and we are definitely seeing that improvement happening now. We have Ruebens who is going to attend medical school, Jimmy who will go to GOC for engineering, and Marie Carmen who has just completed her first year of nursing. All three youth have proven themselves to be Godly men and women who want to improve the country of Haiti. Please pray for the funds to pay for their education and to keep supporting them for the next three or four years while they finish their degrees. We have asked all of them to sign a promise that they will give back to Haiti for at least 5 years after they graduate. We will work to keep the educated in country and affecting the Haiti for the future.
We recently moved the girls transition house to ARchiae to be near the boys, or rather, the house parents that supervise the boys! Mr and Mrs. Ficeau have been instrumental in carrying out the program that teaches the youth of Tytoo to be responsible adults who can budget, make decisions and give back to their community. The girls will find the adjustment hard, but I know it will be worth it. We currently have 8 boys and 9 girls in the program.

As many of you know, my father Alan Simpson passed away in May of this year. He inspired me to remember that teaching the children of Haiti is the best way to impact a country. The clinic was funded for running and improvements by Calvary Church in Michigan and private donors from among my father’s friends in Canada. We have completed the improvements and things are going extremely quickly. We have laid tiles, so we can maintain cleanliness, we were able to purchase metal cabinets for all the medications, and a desk to interview our patients. We have opened the clinic three mornings a week, with Wed being designated for maternity. After seeing all the ladies, we fed them a healthy lunch and did a bit of teaching. We hope to establish relationships with mothers early on, to give them vitamens, and to help them create birth plans for the upcoming event! None of these clinics could have happened without the work of one special woman. Karen Crosby, a nurse from Ontario, came and spent her family vacation time sorting and organizing the clinic with medications, emergency procedures, and just plain practicality! It is amazing how much more work I can get done when I don’t need to spend most of the consultation time looking for equipment or medications! Karen’s gift has allowed us to increase the number of patients we see on a daily basis.

We are seeing more and more people from the community and have consequently seen an increase in our Starfish Program, but I will save that information for the next update!

We did have pictures to go with this story, but due to slow internet, it isn’t allowing us to upload them at the moment. I will try to upload them later when the internet is working better.

Tytoo Spring Update

It has been a while since I have written anything here. It has been a combination of poor internet, lack of time and a serious case of writer’s block. Today I have decided that I need to write something before all of my followers abandon me….. AS many of you know there has been a lot of changes happening here at Tytoo since January. Construction has been in full swing and we have been having some significant transportation issues.

We have had several construction projects happening here since the beginning of the year. The roof on the old orphanage building has been replaced, the unfinished room at the back has been transformed into an apartment for American or Canadian staff, a second floor has been added to the old building to accommodate teams coming to help, the old interior rock wall has been removed, flower gardens built around all the trees, sidewalks installed and kitchen and eating area have been completed. All of these projects have completely changed the face of Tytoo. We are hoping that the team rooms will be ready to accept guests in the next couple weeks.


Some of you also know that we have been having some serious transportation problems. Our Mitsubishi Canter (4 ton truck) that was used to transport all the children back and forth to church as well as transporting supplies died suddenly in April. Because of its age and the rough life it had led driving on very rough Haitian roads, it was decided that it was too costly to be repaired. A generous donor in the US committed to matching donations for a new truck up to $25,000. I am happy to report that many of you have come forward and met that challenge. We are in negotiations to purchase a new truck as I write this. The process of buying a vehicle here is a bit more complicated here than it is in Canada and the US. It will be several weeks before we will be able to bring the new truck home to Tytoo. We also had a big problem with our Mitsubishi SUV, When we did the service on it, the mechanic found a big problem with the engine that required almost a complete engine overhaul. Luckily my friend Dell Grooters was able to lend us one of his vehicles while ours was being repaired. I am happy to report that as of 5pm yesterday the SUV is back on the road after a $1500 repair bill.

(Brantford medical team in front of the old Canter)

We have had several amazing teams here since January.
IMG_5680 DSC01010

We thank all of you for your amazing support and care for the children of Haiti


Truly Blessed

It is six in the morning and very quiet here at Tytoo (except for the rooster). I am sitting on the deck staring at a full moon brightly shining its reflection over a completely calm Caribbean sea. This is very unusual here at Tytoo, quiet is something that happens only very early in the morning. There is usually a plethora of sounds all around you, children laughing or crying, staff talking, engines revving loudly, generator running, etc.Normally it is difficult to sit quietly to think and pray. This morning however, I am able to sit here and stare at the beautiful vista surrounding me and realize that I am truly blessed.

The busy pace and frustrations of running an orphanage often blocks out the reality of how God is blessing me, my family and this place. Life’s quick pace makes us forget that God is here and with us at all times. It is moments like this that have become so infrequent that we forget that he is with us and loves us ALWAYS,FOREVER UNTIL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH! And when we are walking in his will, he blesses us greatly. Those blessings are not always what we expect, they can be small things like a child giving us a hug as we walk by or a kind or comforting word from a friend or family member.

We currently have a medical team here from Brantford, Ontario, It consists of an amazing group of people who wanted to come to Haiti and use their skills to bless others. Over the last 2 days, they have seen over one hundred patients in our clinic and in the community. Their enthusiasm and commitment has both blessed and inspired me. Last night one of the team members shared her testimony with us on how God had blessed her and how she felt grateful to to be able to come here to help. She commented on how she felt honored to be able to help Esther and I do our work here at Tytoo. I also spent several hours talking to Dr. Deporis, a Catholic Nun that is the physician on the team. It was a wonderful conversation to be able to discuss my roots growing up in the Catholic church and realize that a Nun was someone you could be friends with, not just someone that yelled at you for not doing your homework. (Catholic School Grade 1-5) It was a conversation that I never thought I would have because of fact that I had left the Catholic church over 25 years ago over an argument with a priest. God placed her here not only to minister to the sick, but to heal a little hurt in my soul.

God is great, he cares and loves us even when we don’t realize we need it and he blesses us even when we don’t always deserve it.

May God Truly Bless all of you,





These Teens Rock!

We recently had the biggest team yet stay here at Tytoo. It was an amazing group of teens and adults from Rock Valley, Iowa.
In today’s media we are barraged with images of teens doing drugs, joining gangs and being selfish and uncaring about anyone but themselves. Headlines scream about gang shootings, school shootings, drug abuse and other antisocial behavior attributed to the young people of today. We are programmed to think that all teens are like this. It is refreshing to see a group of young people prove these stereotypes false.

None of the young people on this team had ever been on a mission trip before, none had seen true poverty first hand, none had seen people living in houses made of tin and sticks. Did these conditions overwhelm them? Maybe a little, but all of them rolled up their sleeves and without hesitation, dug into the work that needed to be done. They poured concrete, painted, shoveled gravel, helped at the local school and especially loved and played with the kids here at the orphanage and the village. All of these young people that recently graduated or were Juniors or Seniors in high school. They were normal kids that played football, volleyball, were cheerleaders and thought about graduation and Prom. Kids that are just like the majority of kids out there. Don't believe what the media is trying to feed us that all the teens out there are thugs, criminals and drug abusers. I choose to believe that kids like these are the majority, they are our future. From what I saw last week, our future is BRIGHT!
Thank you for your hard work and willingness to step out of your comfort zone and help those less fortunate.

He Has Risen!

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Luke 24:5-6

Happy Easter everyone! Today is Easter Sunday, the day we as Christians celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour. The day that he overcame death after suffering for all the sins of the world, past, present and future! A sacrifice that few of us can truly comprehend. Often a sacrifice for us is having to drink our coffee without sugar because we forgot to pick some up the day before. Seldom are any of us asked to sacrifice our lives, the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus did this willingly so that all of us would not have to, so all of us that believe in him and follow him will be blameless and clean when we stand in Judgement before our Father.

May God Bless all of you.


Impacted Interns will change the world!

Tytoo regularly gets requests for internships from young people.  These youth feel compelled to get involved with Tytoo in a more personal way, and to stay for longer periods of time.  They are vital parts of our ministry, and an invaluable extra pair of hands when things get expectedly busy!  There is one thing you can count on in Haiti:  the unexpected will ALWAYS happen! 

While these youth are very helpful with the day to day running of Tytoo, they also help Frank and I personally.  They encourage us, give us a different (perhaps younger!?)  perspective of events that are often difficult.  Most importantly, they pray with us and engage in spiritual studies that keep us all focused on the real reason why we are serving God in Haiti.  We define busy in a completely different way in Haiti!

 We deeply appreciate watching these youth grow and learn.  We don’t have separate kitchen facilities and so these youth are at our family dinner table every evening and we spend a lot of time together.   When they leave to return to thier homes, we feel like we have lost a member of our family.  The children of Tytoo miss these young people, but it is clear that the love and hugs they have been given have made a permanent impact..

Recently we have lost a very wonderful young lady named Rachel.  She stayed for long enough that the children fell in love, and we feel like she was one of our own children!

Last summer we had Ali with us:  a nurse in training.  She was also extremely helpful in making the clinic grow and admitting 20 plus children all at the same time!  After Ali left, she sent me this poem she had written.  It was very moving for me and reflected our emotions when those sick and lost children arrived at our gates in the middle of the night.  I would like to share it with you.


You came without warning.

…Found at the the very bottom of the earth

Far beneath society,

Buried beneath the ruins of the world.

Too small for anyone to see you.

Too lost for anyone to find you.

Too unknown for anyone to care,

….as if you did not exist….

But you came.

Starved of love…….

But you did not know what love was.

Darkness without light;

Cold without warmth;

Suffocated with people,

People….without hearts.

Expecting nothing less than the overwhelming sea of terror that was your life

….but you had never lived.

Your vacant eyes watched me, for  days

You were a ghost, never moving

Never speaking…never smiling.

Until you cried.

And from the depths of your tears,

Your eyes poured out your soul

I saw visions of the demons in your past.

The battles that ensued.

I held you, and you let me.

Shhhh darling, it’s going to be okay.

We did not share a language….but what needed to be said?

Then one day, you reached for me,

Hand outstretched,

Eyes now expecting….hoping.

As I took you into my arms,

You smiled.

Brighter even than the raging Haitian sun.

And you turned into a boy.

As the pumpkin turned into a coach,

The phantom became a child.

For as long as I had with you,

I fought for that smile.

I cradled you, longing to make up for the cruelness of the world…

And I would’ve held you forever.

You came without warning,

But you never left my heart.



After reading this amazing poem, I realized something important.  While we might be there to serve Tytoo and the people of Simonette, we are learning from them too.  Those lessons make us better people.

Praise be to God!

How much is a life worth?

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week we had a number of medical personnel here from Canada and the USA. We ran all day clinics on these three days seeing over 150 people. On Friday, near the end of the day, a young woman pushed her way past the crowd of people waiting at the doors to the clinic, stating that she needed to be seen and was much sicker than all the other people in the line. It turns out that she was absolutely correct. She had a raging fever, was severely dehydrated and had severe abdominal pain with vomiting. After a quick assessment, we started her on an IV and gave her some IV antibiotics as well as medicine to bring her fever down. By 5:30 it was clear that this young lady needed to be in Hospital. My friend Jim (Paramedic) and my assistant Nene took the patient to a hospital near by for treatment. The “physician” there told him that she was epileptic and because it was friday afternoon, we had to bring her back on Monday for tests. We had little choice but to return her to Tytoo clinic for the night. The three of us continued her on her IV and watched over her throughout the night. She remained fairly stable through the night, but by mid morning she started to deteriorate. We decided that she needed to be seen by a real doctor at a real hospital and we took her to Bernhard Mevs Hospital (operated by University of Miami) to be seen. She was quickly diagnosed with a severe appendicitis and without surgery she would die. However as with most things, when you want quality you have to pay for it. The surgery would cost $975.00 US. So what is a life worth? We decided that we could do without a new stove for a little while to be able to save this young ladies life. The sad situation is that if we were not here, by the time you read this post, this young lady would be dead. There is no way that she could ever afford to pay for the surgery and care that she required to save her life. Even the less than adequate care she received from the local hospital would have been out of reach. $975.00 is almost 10 months salary for the average worker here in Haiti.

These situations don’t happen every day here at Tytoo, but they happen often enough to show that the clinic here is a definite need. We don’t have a lot of money to be able to pay for this because our clinic does not have a budget. we don’t want to be put into the situation of having to decide if a person lives or dies because of lack of money. How much is a life worth? Please consider sponsoring our clinic. We can provide a much-needed service to this community and with your help, we will never have to make that decision. Life is priceless.




Some Amazing Teams

Hi Everyone:

I know some of you have an idea of what is happening here at Tytoo Gardens, but I will try to give a comprehensive update so everyone is on the same page. Please feel free to pass this email on to anyone you feel might be interested.

There has been a flurry of activity here at Tytoo since the beginning of the year. As many of you are aware, the concrete roof on the old part of the orphanage was in very bad shape. Because of this fact the building was unsafe to use. In early January the old roof was removed and replaced with a well reinforced new concrete roof. This was what needed to happen for the other changes to start. I will list the changes in order:

Ex-Pat Apartment:

On the back corner of the orphanage there was a group of rooms that were unfinished. They consisted of bare block and a roof. There were no windows, doors, electricity or plumbing, The space was being used as storage for concrete forms stacked halfway to the roof. That has all changed now. The walls have all been finished, windows and doors installed and lights and plugs installed. It is not yet completely finished, needing the plumbing in the bathroom and flooring installed as well as a couple coats of paint. We are currently using it to house some of the many people that have been coming to help.

Kitchen/Eating Area:

Because of the state of the old roof, the area designated as a kitchen was unusable. All meals were being prepared in a small tin covered area that was difficult to keep clean. There was not enough burners for cooking and only a very small sink for doing dishes. There was also almost no where to prepare food. Early in February, the boys and I had the pleasure of breaking down the old cooking area with big hammers and chisels. We also took down the old covered eating area to make room for the new one. My friend Gary came down for 10 days and along with a team of 10 other amazing people, they proceeded to lay a new foundation and floor for a huge covered area  (32′ x 25′) where the kids can eat, play and pray. They then installed metal trusses and a steel roof. This week we have a small team from Iowa that is planning to finish the new kitchen, installing cabinets, counter tops and sinks along with the possibility of a new stove.


My friend Gary’s team also installed nice wide sidewalks extending from the new boys bathrooms all the way to the end of the pods as well as a new sidewalk to the ex-pat apartment. They are 4′ wide and now the boys can have a shower and not get their feet dirty walking back to their rooms.

Team Rooms:

As soon as the concrete forms were removed from the new roof, construction began on two new team rooms above the old orphanage building. We will soon have room to house up to 16 people at a time. The rooms each have their own bathrooms and there will be a big covered deck out front for the teams to sit and relax after a hard days work. As of this morning, all the block for the walls has been laid and they are starting to finish the walls. The next step is to install the metal roof, windows, doors, plumbing and electricity.

The whole look of Tytoo has changed in just under 2 months, we are opening up the yard to make it more usable for the children to move around and play. Old walls are coming down and new walls are being added. It is an amazing transformation.


We have seen the arrival of several medical teams over the last 2 months and we have been blessed with amazing gifts of medicine and supplies. We are currently reorganizing the clinic to make it more serviceable and organized. We have also had the opportunity to bless other clinics with supplies that we have a surplus of, something I never thought would happen!

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you that so selflessly give to Tytoo and the people of Haiti. You are not only giving to the kids here at Tytoo, you are impacting the entire area. Lives are being changed.

God Bless
Frank King

Executive Director
Tytoo Children’s Foundation


ImageI know many of you have heard me talk about this precious gem at Tytoo!  She has captured the heart of all who meet her with quiet demeanor and an undeniable faith in Jesus Christ.  I will never forget the day I first met evil and she showed me how to deal with it!

In the early days of Tytoo, I knew of Voodou but was unsure about my own personal spiritual strength at protecting myself from it.  Like so many sinful things, I figured if I stayed away from it, I would be fine!  Unfortunately, God had other plans.  He wanted me to be prepared; protected and strong, so that God would prevail, and I would stay safe.

The lady at the gate claimed to be Yoline’s mother.  She was there to “borrow” Yoline for a few hours.  I obviously asked why?  She told me that her dead husband, Yoline’s father, had come to her in a dream last night and directed the removal of Yoline from Tytoo and over to  the Voodou priest for “treatment”.  She admitted to me that treatment meant slashing with a knife!  She was desperate to save her life, believing fully that this dead spirit would kill both her and Yoline if she didn’t do what was asked.

I have never seen evil so clearly.  She didn’t look evil, but I knew that it was all around her, like a haze.  The bars on the gate did not offer me much protection and I admit I was afraid.  Would my faith in Jesus be strong enough, or would that haze surround me?  As I stood behind Yoline, I prayed hard for God to surround us and protect us, and to make my words firm.  “I will not allow you to take this child from Tytoo!”  (you need to know, that if the Mom had come back at that time with the police, I would have had no choice but to let Yoline go…we have since fixed that problem!)

So how did I fix this fear?  I didn’t!  God did through the words of a little girl.  Yoline, a 7 year old who was typically quiet as a mouse,  proceeded to quote Psalm 91 LOUDLY from beginning to end, with her hands raised high and her face strong and unyielding…

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord. “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust”.  Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness nor the plague that destroys at midday”.…..Psalm 91:1-5

Wait, wasn’t I supposed to be the missionary? 

The mother backed away and eventually left, and Yoline was spared the pain and fear of dealing with the voodoo priest.  God took care of her, and me, through the child…….. and I learned a very valuable lesson.

Today Yoline still lives at Tytoo.  She is older (9 years old now) but still worships with an abandonment that I want to emulate.  She goes to school and plays happily with the other children of the gardens.  We knew that she was having some visual problems but they didn’t seem to be slowing her down, and finding an eye doctor in Haiti is not easy.

……until our Michigan team arrived!  Dr. Stan took only a few seconds to identify the problem.  Yoline has cataracts.  They don’t look like the ones I see in Canada (white and milky), but they are there dark circles that prevent her from seeing much of anything!

Timing is always right when God wants things to happen.  We contacted a Haitian hospital, where an ophthalmologic surgeon is coming to do cataract surgery on MARCH 19TH!  I am not sure we could find that kind of quick help even in Canada!  The hospital is located several hours drive from Port, but Yoline is worth the drive, and the effort of fixing her vision.

Please pray for Frank as he takes Yoline to see the ophthalmologist, and pray that this doctor can help her.  We also need to pray for the funds to pay for the surgery for Yoline.  If you are interested in helping please contact Kathy Hauer at Sauble Beach Christian Fellowship 1-519-422-1437 or Kathy.hauer@bellnet.ca 

Yoline’s vision does not prevent her from seeing Jesus wherever she goes, but she is worth every effort to help her see His creation through perfect eyes…We will Praise His Name!

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