GLA - Transparency, Accountability, Opposition, and Legal Challenges
Let us not grow weary in doing good… Galatians 6:9a
We pray that you are doing well in the chaos that 2020 introduced to the world. Many of you received the Christmas newsletter and have contributed to GLA financially in recent weeks as a result. We want to say a sincere THANK YOU for your partnership. Your generosity is what allows GLA to fulfill the mission and vision God has set before her.
As many of you are likely also aware, co-founder and former Executive Director, Dixie Bickel made a social media post contesting much of the content of that newsletter. The US and Canadian board of directors for God’s Littlest Angels stand by ALL statements made in the newsletter as truthful and accurate.
There were concerns of financial mismanagement expressed by major donors, long term volunteers and staff on the ground in Fort Jacques. Many staff and board members resigned as a result of these concerns and the unwillingness to address the issue on behalf of executive leadership.
Any effort to establish healthy structures and policies were met with resistance from Dixie Bickel. Financial records were also in disarray as confirmed by the Auditors. As the board undertook the process of sorting financial records the investigation discovered GLA to have outstanding debts at the end of 2019 nearing $200,000 including credit card debts of almost $100,000, many of which have been carried since 2018. Expenditures have exceeded donation funds and GLA continued going further into debt.
The boards of directors are eternally grateful for all the work Dixie and John Bickel accomplished in Haiti. GLA is a beacon of hope for the hopeless, and their ministry has impacted countless lives. We have striven to be gracious toward Dixie and John in the past year, but we cannot abide the misinformation.
Dixie indicated that existing staff, especially senior staff, Magaly Francois and Ernst Beaublanc would be excellent facilitators of the mission of GLA and would work in cooperation with the Boards to continue operations at GLA. The Boards hired Molly Little to the Executive Director position to begin the next phase for GLA, to put in place policies, procedures and financial accountability. It became apparent that neither Magaly nor Ernst had any intention of working with Molly Little or the US Board, but rather they incited Haitian staff against Molly and the Board of Directors. After much Board communication with Magaly and Ernst, and consultation with legal counsel in Haiti, at the end of October, Magaly and Ernst were let go with the maximum severance required. Additional staff were released at that time, some which were oppositional to the changes required, others due to overstaffing which were still paid monthly, but did not work since before COVID in the spring of 2020. We recently discovered evidence that previously in 2020, Magaly and Ernst secretly opened a new bank account and redirected adoption funds that should have been for GLA. We have no evidence of what happened to those funds. As a result of the above opposition, false accusations and threats were levied against Molly Little. While these allegations were false, these statements cause Molly Little to fear for her safety and required the Board of Directors to take steps for her personal protection. These false accusations and concern for her safety led the US Board to accept Molly Little’s resignation and enable an expedited return to the United States. Molly is continuing to work diligently with GLA to ensure operations continue as smoothly as possible, while we pray and search for a new Executive Director.
In December 2020, Dixie, Magaly and Ernst commenced legal actions against GLA claiming (falsely) that they are the owners of God’s Littlest Angels in Haiti (including owning the property in Fort Jacques), and that the US and Canadian Boards have no authority, power or ownership over GLA in Haiti or the assets. They are asking the court to rule that Dixie, Magaly and Ernst are the only people authorized to have full control over the management, operation and use of funds of GLA in Haiti. As part of their action, on December 15, Ernst and Magaly have frozen the GLA bank account in Haiti, making it difficult for us to purchase food, diapers, water and pay childcare staff in order to properly care for the children. In addition, due to these legal actions, Haitian Social Services has stopped communicating with GLA and will not allow GLA to care for any new premature or at risk children until the court situation is resolved. Please rest assured that the children at GLA continue to be well cared for, safe and healthy.
The board of directors want only the best for God’s Littlest Angels and have striven to be fair and gracious with John and Dixie Bickel over the past year. Dixie’s facebook statement is true that many years ago, the US Board approved funds to be paid to Dixie and John once they leave employment of GLA, and none of those intended funds have been paid to Dixie or John in 2020. The reality is that for most of 2020, GLA could not make the necessary changes in financial accountability and expenditures due to Magaly and Ernst’s interference, and therefore monthly expenditures still exceeded funds received. Due to the lack of funds, there are still significant outstanding wages owing to Molly Little and David Williams, debts to the former US accountant who was released, and the huge credit card debts (over $90,000) still outstanding from 2019. A finance committee of 6 was created at the beginning of 2020 to make decisions of which debts are paid, and which need to wait.
There are many Board members who feel that any future payments to Dixie and John should be cancelled in light of (a) Dixie advising Ernst and Magaly that the Haitian organization is not under the ownership and control of the US, (b) Dixie’s attempt to transfer the assets out of the GLAUS control without authority to do so, (c) Dixie participating in actions against GLAUS attempting to create the independence of GLA Haiti from US control, and (d) the additional legal costs to defend and fight all of these issues. Instead of Dixie working with the GLAUS and Canadian Board, she continues to work against us. This result is not the desired outcome; but we will not turn aside from the truth or the path that God has called GLA to walk. We sincerely believe that the best is yet to come for GLA and her mission in Haiti.
If you would like further clarification or more specifics, we would like to first send you a fact package of the past and present situation with evidence of our statements. Please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media and we will provide that information. Thereafter, if you would like further conversations, one of our board members would be happy to speak with you. We covet your prayers during this challenging time.