Mark Lancaster): “…After traveling to NW Haiti in October 2008, I was looking for a way to learn Haitian Creole better for return trips. The UM-KC Comm-University sponsored a class convened by Idalbert Joseph, so along with my wife and a friend, we signed up. Idalbert taught with insight and encouragement that engaged the class. His role was more than teacher, rather ambassador for Haiti as he could see how those of us in class provided care for his homeland. Having moved from Jean Rabel in the NW a few years beforehand, he wanted to facilitate travelers who might help his people.
More than a teacher and ambassador, Idalbert became a friend. He is a rare individual who seeks to teach and encourage, but does not overlook lovingkindness for each student. He also befriends native Haitians who have come to the Kansas City area, helping them learn English and the ways of this society. In this approach, he befriends countrymen who come here, and he makes them more productive people. He and I have also worked to gain proper visa compliance in one case, which allows his Haitian friend to financially care for his family in Port au Prince.
The selflessness of Idalbert is shown during discussion at a Creole class in January 2010. Several of us in that class had ties to Haiti from travel or sponsorship or plans to go there. The devastating earthquake that killed untold tens of thousands and destroyed homes for millions was the buzz of class, leaving little time for practice in language. Around the room, stories and reports were relayed with grief and compassion shared. After most of us telling our tales, someone asked if Idalbert had any family impacted by the earthquake. He whispered that he had five family members killed. I remember the shame of failing to first turn the focus on his connections back home, and instead talking about what I knew. Yet, those of us familiar with Idalbert can see this as part of the man who strives to make other’s lives better, to enable his students and his Haitian clan to be more fully who God made them to be.
Between trips to my house, meeting in church Creole classes, travel to my rural Missouri farm, lunches with Glory House board, I have found Idalbert to be a steadfast encouragement to those around him, even those he has not physically met. I am humbled to call him ‘zanmi mwen’ (my friend).”
(Tim & Sonya Pearson): “…My wife & I became acquainted with Idalbert & Gloria Joseph while we were working on an adoption from Haiti. As we approached the final reality of bringing our daughter home, we reached out to Glory House & the Haitian Community Center. We wanted had some cultural questions, we also wanted to make connection to the Haitian community for our daughter’s benefit. Gloria met us for a meal & we talked about culture & how to transition our daughter to life in the U.S. We could tell her ideas & advice came from the heart. We have stayed in contact with them since then & become acquainted with Idalbert over the course of time. As we’ve come to know them better, I have only one word to describe their hearts – “servant.” Idalbert & Gloria serve people & serve Jesus. It is clear God has called two special people to minister to the people in & from Haiti. Because of what we saw in them & the heart to honor Christ, the church I pastor has come along side of their ministry in Haiti in support from our mission’s budget. We have had Idalbert come share about their ministry here at church more than once. Even without knowing him well, the people at church said, that man has a servant’s heart for people. He has inspired our people to reach out more. We have attended Haitian Baptist church in Kansas City, where they serve faithfully, as well as the annual Gala for Glory House. I have met with Idalbert various times for meals, we even shared lunch in Lawrence, where we met & witnessed to a Voodoo priest. He & I followed that with a prayer time in the parking lot. We value them as friends, but more as a brother & sister in Christ. We text each other frequently that we pray for each other. I count it a privilege to call this man a friend. Idalbert has shown me much about what it means to serve Jesus & others & the heart that takes. We are looking to be able to go with them to work in North West Haiti in the near future & see first-hand what God is doing for the Gospel through these godly people. I thank God for people like him & his wife who God uses for the Kingdom.”
(Darrel Herde): “… I met Idalbert Joseph when I was searching for someone to do some translation work for Haiti. He was very gracious and translated a booklet that I was able to take and teach at a Pastors conference outside of Port au Prince. I am a regular prayer partner for Glory House.”
(Sherry Burns): “…Idalbert had been teaching Haitian Creole through the University of Missouri Kansas City’s Comm-University program for a few years when he met Tom Burns. Tom was a librarian at UMKC and enrolled in Idalbert’s Creole class in the spring of 2017. Tom enrolled in the class due to his interest in Haiti and the culture and language of the island. In class, Idalbert and Tom developed a friendship that led Idalbert to invite Tom to work with Glory House Services.”
(Joubert Metelus): “…As a native of Northwest Haiti, I remember a few years ago looking for an organization that provide aid to the NW region of Haiti. After doing my research and consulting with my family, Glory House became of my choice. My family, spoke highly of Mr. Joseph. In fact, some of my cousins were his classmates back in Haiti. My mother, who usually splits her time between the Florida and Northwest Haiti, was delighted that Glory House was my chosen organization and shared some of their great works she witnessed.
Mr. Joseph and I spoke on the phone and it didn’t take long for us to development a close friendship. I learn how Glory House became to be and his desire to be an agent of change. His heart is dedicated to helping people, through quality education. As educators, we shared a love for learning and both believe this was the only future for a better Haiti. As American citizens, we were not only interested in helping our place of birth, but also being a resource to where we currently live and raise our family. I was impressed with the work he is doing in helping Haitians assimilate to life in Kansas City and helping non- Kreyol speakers learn the language.
Another driving factor for me becoming an Ambassador to Glory House Services is because of the specific region served in Jean-Rabel. My parents were married in the church in Fond Poux and my father was one of the deacons there until he came to the United States in 1979. Mr. Joseph and Glory House is continuing the work which my parents dedicated their lives to doing and I am grateful that my family can put their hands to the plow. Mr. Joseph, we share the belief that are blessed with the opportunity to live the “American Dream”, so that we may be a blessing to others.
Glory House has a clear check and balance system that allow donors to see where their donations are going and how the money is being spent. Under the leadership of Mr. Joseph, Glory house continues to be a success. The lives being transformed are not strangers to me, those are my relatives. I am honored to work with Mr. Joseph in creating change.
(Roger Shoemaker): “…I first met Idalbert when we were coworkers at SI International in 2006 and 2007. Many times it is possible to tell if someone is a Believer just by the way they conduct themselves and that was the case with Idalbert. We soon became good friends and I was interested in hearing his story. Down through the years I have made friends with coworkers but seldom have those friendships lasted beyond our time of working together. That is not the case with Idalbert. We have remained friends and have kept in contact down through the years. He has visited my church and I have visited his. We keep in touch and have met for lunch occasionally and I have had the privilege of getting to know his family. His faith is genuine and his enthusiasm is contagious. He has a love for the Haitian community both here in the Kansas City area and back in Haiti. And that love goes beyond words and expresses itself in actions. It is one thing to read about the conditions in Haiti in the newspaper. It is quite another to hear about it from someone who has experienced it. Through Glory House he has been working tirelessly to improve conditions for all Haitians, both in Haiti and here in the Kansas City area. We all could learn a lot by his example. I value his friendship more than words can express.”
(Marc-Anny Florestal): “….I was born in Cap-Haitian, Haiti then later on I moved to the Capital of Haiti. My whole family are from Haiti and I went to school there and worked as an interpreter at guest house in Port au prince.
I was gonna be able to meet Idalbert Joseph back in 2013 while I was on a trip to Kansas City and met some other members of Glory House services. And get to know the work they do and service they provide in the areas of Kansas City and Northeast of Haiti.
I decided to be a volunteer for the Glory house services and seek how I can help. Went back to Haiti and I was able to volunteer my time to go to North Eastern of Haiti to bring some donations that I received from board of glory house services in October 2013 for a school program they have in the north Ouest (NW) region of Haiti to help paying teachers and help students with meals.
I traveled there on a motorcycle with another Friend of Glory house services his name is Cany Joseph and we both rode together, and drive about 170 miles from Port au prince. The capital. Visiting there was a learning experience and meet the people who live in that community. They have been living in a very poor community where they don’t have access to clean water, electricity and very bad school education system etc and no help from the government. So we talked to the community and see their needs and give them the donation we brought and report that to glory house services.
It was really a nice experience doing that and I am still willing and volunteer for the glory house services with the great work they are doing to help and serve the people in Kansas City areas and the Haitian community as well and the people of Haiti. Here are some pictures I wanted to share with you while I was there volunteer for Glory house in Haiti”
(Lea Ozturk): “…Joseph’s friendship to me has been arranged by our Father in heaven. I never knew I would meet a brother that I sense is as close in understanding the seeking of God’s heart and which really felt like my blood, and would be from Haiti. God is wonderful, how he arranges and blesses us in life about who we will meet on this planet to help us and we too can be a friend to, to feel our Father’s heart and encourage one another. That is the kind of friendship and brother sister friendship I cherish with my brother Joseph.
We met at UMKC through a Haitian Creole class. I was drawn to take the class for fun with a close friend, who coaxed me to take a Comm-University class for fun. We both liked languages, learning about different cultures, history, and such but mostly, she would talk me into doing something outside of ideas I would have for fun. I remember meeting Joseph there I believe in 2012. I had just started my relationship with God and learning who He is, that he send Jesus to us. I grew up very spiritually confused and I am still growing tremendously with His help, but not alone. This is where Joseph comes in. Joseph is blessed with a gentle and thoughtful spirit from God that you can sense just in his fun loving spirit and warm smile and laugh. I know he isn’t perfect but Joseph always keeps running back to our Father. I can tell because he doesn’t give up his joy from Him even when tired. He has been blessed to be God’s eyes in many ways. I see it in Joseph, how he allows Gods heart to work through him. Joseph sees the good in people to encourage them that God loves them and remind them who they are. He has a tenacious kindness that he listens to God’s heart. I cannot count the number of times when I have been battling in my mind’s heart about problems or attacks from the enemy and Joseph will call me out of nowhere. I know it’s the Holy Spirit tapping on my brother’s heart saying, “call Lea, say hi just to remind her she is loved by me and I care about her.”
Joseph has a heart not only for Haiti his people but for others and listening to God’s heart that is how I can sense God’s love. I am thankful God let us or arrange our family reunion. Because I feel God’s love when I see or hear from my brother. This is what I believe God’s business is, to reunite us with Him and then show us who our family is and to help us stay encouraged until our other brother Jesus comes for us.”
(Ron E. Scrogham): “…My association with Idalbert and Glory Joseph and Glory House Services goes back nearly a decade. It began upon my being a volunteer ESL tutor for Haitians in the Kansas City area, hoping to become more proficient in English. We would meet Saturday mornings at the First Haitian Baptist Church, then at 2400 Kensington Avenue, to read together and to learn English vocabulary and grammar. As a French teacher, I could often communicate in French with these students as a means to explain better the lesson. (Sometime later, I would take Haitian Creole classes from Idalbert to learn the basics of the language. These classes have been a valuable resource to people interested in learning Haitian Creole for personal interest and for mission trips to Haiti.) The Haitian community was always welcoming and generous with me. My wife, Christina, and I attended a New Year’s service there, where we enjoyed soupe joumou and followed the best we could, with hymns and a sermon in Haitian Creole.
Seeing firsthand the good that Glory House Services was doing in Kansas City, my wife and I decided to become financial supporters. For years now, we have made a monthly contribution to support the salaries of teachers in northwest Haiti. As teachers, we appreciate the challenges of working as educators with financial constraints. We also appreciate the expressions of gratitude from the teachers there and Idalbert and Glory. Moreover, Idalbert has even taken letters that my French students composed to exchange with students in Haiti. My students were delighted to receive these responses. My wife and I see ourselves as partners both with the teachers in Haiti and with Glory House Services.
Through Glory House Services and our friendship with Idalbert and Glory, we have become friends with other Haitians in Kansas City and traveled to Haiti in 2013. There we witnessed firsthand the evidences of the earthquake of 2010 and the indomitable spirit of the Haitian people. The still intact statue in Port au Prince of the liberated former slave blowing on a conch spoke to this spirit. The beauty of the landscape in Les Cayes contrasted with the piles of rubble and stories of loss of people in Port au Prince. This trip further endeared Haiti to us.
Since that trip, we have better understood the heart that Idalbert and Glory have for Haiti. The support to schools and community that Glory House Services provides makes a difference in the lives of the people there. People are able to go to school, receive essential supplies, and be paid a salary through the tireless efforts of this organization. Its impact extends to the people of Kansas City who develop a friendship with the people of northwest Haiti. This friendship serves an obligation to ensure that everyone everywhere has the essentials for well-being: food, water, clothing, healthcare, shelter, employment, and education–an obligation that Dr. Paul Farmer, a tireless worker on behalf of Haiti, expresses clearly in his book To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation (2013). It is thanks to Idalbert and Glory Joseph and to Glory House Service that we have an opportunity to meet, at least in part, this obligation. For this, we are always grateful.”
(Connie Mistler Davidson): “…My husband and I met Idalbert Joseph at the 2017 Glory House Gala. Bob and I are very conscious of where we spend our money, since we are retired on Social Security. An old friend, Tom Burns, invited us to the gala. We debated spending so much money (a lot for us) on tickets, but we were intrigued by what we saw about Glory House.
We were more fascinated when we got there. The room was lovely and the Haitian art work was amazing. The food was a real eye-opener! But the most interesting moments of the gala came when we were speaking to Idalbert Joseph. Even though we had never heard of Glory House Services before Tominvited us to the gala, Idalbert made us feel like we are a part of the Glory House mission.
He talked about the schools with their dedicated teachers and proud young scholars. We were appalled at the lack of supplies that the schools have to contend with. Idalbert talked about the resilient Haitian people and the richness of their community spirit. He discussed the need for medical help.
Idalbert’s passion for helping the people of Haiti get the resources that they need to live their best lives shines through any time he is talking about his people. We are blessed to have his leadership to help the people of this area bring resources to Haiti. My husband and I have limited resources for charitable giving. Idalbert convinced us, with his vision and grace, to help to support the Glory House mission.”
(Gerby & Danadra Jean-Noel): “…I met Idalbert in February 2014 when I moved to Kansas City through Glory house. He’s a great person with a big heart, he loves his community and he’s very passionate about the people of Haiti who are less fortunate. His mission is to help educate and feed the people of Haiti, and with he has been doing just that with the little resources he collects from Gala and fundraising. I was very fortunate to have met him and then I did because he also helped me settle in Kansas City by connecting me with the Haitian community here. I also have to say that his wife is also a great person and one of the best Haitian cook you can ever eat from.
(Kathleen McCarther): “…The distance from Kansas City to Port-au-Prince is: 1950 Miles (3138.2 Kilometers / 1693.3 Nautical Miles). The approximate flight duration is 4 hrs, 3 mins. I have never traveled to Haiti. I am not a former Peace Corp worker. Matter of fact, I have never been on a mission trip. I met a man and through this meeting, I understood that the plight of Haitians living in the poorest country in the western hemisphere. I met someone who was born in Haiti, educated in Haiti, traveled to the United States for school; and works hard to support his family and is committed with great resolve to helping the children in NW West Haiti. I am a former teacher; I know the extraordinary value of education. Global entrepreneurship is born from education. To be unbound by your environment is through a courageous attack on education and that is how to become tomorrow’s hope for Haiti.
Idalbert Joseph believes in education and does not hesitate to share his beliefs with those who will listen. I met Idalbert when taking a class to learn creole. Relying on my broken French language to learn creole was a luxury. It was quite a leap to think that one day, after learning creole, I would travel to Haiti and spend a week and make a difference. How naive was I. I have heard of the steep climb of commitment from others who have traveled to Haiti. Some have fallen in love with the people of Haiti; some persevere with the thought that things will change for Haiti.
Wealth creation and sustainability are the new buzzwords but how to do this is sometimes unattainable. Idalbert Joseph and Glory House Services have convinced me that staying the course and maintaining the focus on long-term development of wealth creation is through education and ingenuity. On June 14th, a number of volunteers and interested parties across many organizations, churches, and not-for-profits will gather at Rockhurst University to network and learn from each other the effective strategies for working with the people of Haiti. There are many lessons to be learned from our work in Haiti whether we are on the ground or approximately 2,000 miles away. We still have good work to do in Haiti – join and support others doing good things on the ground.”