RIDGELAND, MS – Stan Buckley planned to visit Haiti only on a short-term mission trip in 2010. He had gathered a small contingent from the church he pastored in Ridgeland, Mississippi, to observe first-hand the effects of the epic earthquake. They just wanted to see if there was anything they could do to help.
What Buckley found was a “burning bush” in a young Haitian man named Thomas. Thomas’ story was like so many others’ after the earthquake. His life had been devastated, and his future was bleak. Buckley posed a question.
“What if there was a community that had proper housing, and medical care and a school to continue their education. Would you and your family be interested in living there?”
“But that’s impossible.”
That’s what Thomas said, but what Buckley heard was, “But God.” Those two words resonated within him because he knew that with God, all things are possible. The Lord confronted him with a call for which Buckley felt ill-equipped.
Building, or rebuilding, a community would be challenging. Building a sustainable community would be impossible . . . unless the Lord were to build it.
As Buckley explained, God knows everything that he did not, including how to build a sustainable community anywhere, let alone in Haiti. Just as Moses did not know how to cross the Red Sea, God did. All Buckley had to do was follow the directions.
Within a few short months, the Lord had provided 17 acres of land less than 20 miles from Port-au-Prince.
See what God has done.
In the Spring of 2011, the sustainable community was under construction. In the summer of that year, Buckley resigned from his pastorate and founded But God Ministries.
In early 2012, the six-building Hope Center was erected in the compound. The Hope Center includes full-time medical and dental facilities, dormitories for visiting short-term mission teams, and housing for on-site missionary and medical staff.
Over the past eight years, tens of thousands of Haitian people have benefited from treatment at the medical and dental facilities.
Around 850 short-term missionaries representing Jesus Christ serve at the Hope Center each year.
In 2014, But God began a secondary school at its original compound and built a second Hope Center about an hour’s drive away in the mountain village of Thoman.
In 2015, the ministry began another secondary school in Thoman.
In 2017, But God Ministries started a primary school in Mathias and established a Bread of Life Malnutrition Center where two American missionaries and a staff of 13 Haitians provide specialized treatment, teach nutrition classes, and conduct Bible studies.
See the SPHERES of But God’s work.
See how But God describes its six strategic initiatives through the acronym SPHERES.
Spiritual. Sharing the Gospel. Through two local churches and the Hope Centers.
Physical. Full-time clinics operated by Haitian doctors and American medical directors.
H2O. Digging clean water wells.
Education. Sponsoring more than 950 children with tuition, books, uniforms, supplies, and daily meals.
Roofs. But God has built more than 160 new houses for people who had previously been living in “less than desirable circumstances.”
Economic Development. Job creation and job training are at the core of building a sustainable community. Currently, But God employs more than 150 Haitian people on a full-time basis.
Soil. BGM teaches farming best practices at a training garden and helps native Haitians develop grow chickens and eggs for income.
Making the impossible possible.
The task to which the Lord has called Stan Buckley and his team is still impossible without God. As Buckley says,
“We continue to see God work in an impossible situation. We continue to see Him make a way when there seems to be no way. We continue to realize that we could never build this sustainable community, BUT GOD can!”