Portraits (Wendell)

Here’s the first of our portrait series. Hope you enjoy learning about the people we love!

Wendell Pierre-Louis

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                   Wendell (left)

Wendell Pierre-Louis is one of the many youth members who has grown up in the church in Petite-Anse. He lives and breathes music. Whenever music is playing he can’t sit still. His foot suddenly takes on a life of its own and begins to tap furiously. He grabs whatever is closest to him and transforms it into a makeshift drumstick. Wendell is incredibly talented and one of the main drummers on our worship team.

When Wendell was just a child, his mother recognized that God had given him a gift. With money being scarce, she bought two toothbrushes. The toothbrushes and an old chair provided Wendell’s first drum set. Later, he broke the chair legs off himself and whittled them down to a pair of drumsticks. Pots and pans – anything one could beat on – was fair game for this zealous learner. No matter how loud he played, his mother never said a word. In fact, she encouraged him to keep playing.

One day the leader of our church’s worship team came by the house and heard Wendell playing. I’m going to put you on our worship team. Next time you come to church, you need to be prepared to play, he said. Wendell was very nervous, but rose to the task and has been playing in our orchestra ever since. He is now one of the maestros over our dynamic youth choir and has his own singing group with which he works.

Wendell and the other musicians in the church have an infectious love for music which keeps drawing other young folks to our services. There just seems to be an anointing on any young man who picks up an instrument in our church. Scores of budding musicians are swept up into the current of praise and worship and playing an instrument seems to comes easily for them. But, I believe it’s because of the core group which is already there. Our musicians are making disciples without even trying and we marvel at all the new musicians which are always appearing on our church platform! Wendell is a key player in making that happen.

Would you pray for Wendell? We are proud of the leader he is becoming. His life hasn’t been easy and he struggles for his basic needs and schooling. We are grateful for his contribution to our ministry and for his zeal for the Lord. He is ever ready to share the talents the Lord has given him with anyone who has a desire to learn and his humility in teaching others shines through all he does. Wendell is one of so many young Haitians who dream of a better tomorrow for Haiti.

Catching Up!

A Desire Fulfilled

This is my first post in over a month. My laptop began having problems and was sent to Florida for repairs. Unfortunately, after many attempts to salvage it, I had to resign myself to the need for a new one. Anyone who knows how much I use my laptop knows it serves as a major tool for myself and for the ministry. A friend of the ministry learned of my plight and ordered a brand new Macbook Pro for me just like the one I had. Today, it made it in on the plane! You can imagine how incredibly elated I am to have a brand new working laptop  and how grateful I am to have someone who would care so much about this need. Thank you so much, dear friend, and thank you Lord for placing it on his heart!

New Building

IMG_1809Our multipurpose building is going up at an incredibly fast pace. Our church people are on a spiritual high! Year after year, we would stretch our hands in the direction of the adjoining property and ask God to somehow provide a new building for us. Now, when we stretch our hands in the same direction, we see this amazing structure going up and it gives us goosebumps to see the actual dream becoming a reality. Thanks again to all of you who helped us pray and especially to Orphans Promise, Lifeline Ministry, and our very generous donors for supplying the means to do what we couldn’t do by ourselves.

Sewing Classes

We have begun a sewing class in Petite Anse to provide young men and women an opportunity to learn a trade. We have two sewing machines being shipped to us and four machines with treadles already here from former days. We are able to purchase Singer sewing machines here in Cap-Haitian for $210 US if someone would like to help us with this endeavor and change a young person’s life. Our goal is to have at least 50 machines. Thanks to the friends who have been shipping material to us so the students will have something to work with. We’ve taken the first step. Will you help us make this class a success?

Rehoboth Tax Receipts

Those of you who have been contributing to Rehoboth Ministries will be receiving your quarterly tax receipts once March is over. Most of them will come by an e-mail attachment except for the few givers who don’t use e-mail. I will post a note after I have sent them.

Portraits

Haiti is full of amazing testimonies of how God works in the lives of his people here. From time to time, I’ll be writing a segment called Portraits to give you a glimpse of how the Lord is working in the lives of people that we work with on a regular basis. In spite of tremendous odds of growing up in a poverty stricken nation where one would think that Murphy’s Law is the norm, there are those who have risen above the storm and are living testimonies of what God’s grace can do in one’s life. There are others who are still standing and believing God for a breakthrough after serving Him faithfully for years. You can look forward to a portrait in my next post.

Next Year…In Jerusalem!

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I went to youth choir practice today. While waiting to begin, I took a picture of the work that is going on next door, where our multipurpose building is being erected. It’s been raining here the last few days, so as I stood at the piano working on chords for the next song, I noticed the rain dripping through the old tin roof and observed the puddles of water sitting around in various places on the platform. But, instead of feeling the usual heaviness of watching our choir practice in a building where many folks in other countries wouldn’t house their animals, I felt that warm feeling…..you know, the one that rises up from deep within and fills your chest with that feeling of giddiness and faith. It comes at times when you think to yourself, This is really happening. We’re no longer dreaming about it. It’s coming to pass. We have waited so long for a new building, (we’re into our 27th year) and always hoped that maybe next year we’d get one built.

A friend shared with me the other day something he read in an article. It brought tears to my eyes as I saw the parallel and wanted to share it with you. In his own words he said:

This article said that before the nation of Israel was restored in 1948, every year for centuries all over the world, when the Jews celebrated Passover, they ended by saying, “Next year in Jerusalem.”

While we have (thankfully) not had to wait for centuries, we can now say “Next year” we’ll worship in our new building.

Great Things For Us, Great Things For Haiti

Happy Birthday CFC!

Unknown.jpegYesterday, we celebrated the birthday of our mother church in Petite-Anse. CFC (centre de formation chrétienne) turned 27 years old on 4 February. We had a wonderful and memorable service. It was a time of reflection as everyone knew that next year when we celebrate our 28th anniversary, we will already be in our new church building. Prit recounted to the people how we started our church in an old army tent with a few chairs covered with goatskin. Mostly, our folks sat on a large canvas since our number was few back then. The voudou drums which were played incessantly back then are no longer heard. Most of the people present were not even at that first service. We will never let our people forget the humble beginnings from which we came. There’s no way to describe the excitement of our people over the marvelous things that we will see in 2017.Watching the construction going on right next door only adds to the excitement.

Inauguration of Haiti’s New President

Jovenel-Moise-sworn-in-as-Haitis-president.jpgToday, this 7th of February, Haiti celebrated the official inauguration of President Jovenel Möise. He is Haiti’s 58th President. Our three workers, Cola, Marie, and Anuz sat in our den transfixed as they watched the peaceful transition of government on this historic occasion. Later, Bible school students stopped by to watch the festivities that were still going on. It’s always interesting to watch Haiti’s major events as they unfold through the eyes of our Haitian brothers and sisters. In spite of being the poorest country in the western hemisphere, they still love their country and carry a genuine pride for the first Black republic.

IMG_1715.JPGWe ask for your prayers for President Jovenel. He has so many challenges to face in governing this country. After many, many long seasons of prayer, we have hope that they are being answered. But President Jovenel has many hurdles to face with the economy, the devastation from Hurricane Matthew, and the list goes on and on. After living in Haiti for 34 years, we marvel that this little country is still here. Oh, the prayers of the saints! Speaking of prayer, President Jovenel has declared 3 days of prayer for this nation beginning tomorrow. Looks like we’re getting off on the right foot!

Attention Rehoboth Partners!

images-1Hello Rehoboth Partners! We have mailed all the year-end tax receipts for 2015-2016. If you have not received your receipt in the mail, please let us know. Some receipts were sent by e-mail attachment. Also, if you gave to Rehoboth through another ministry, they should provide a receipt for you unless it was The Lord’s Table. You can contact them with any questions you may have.

For the future, we will be sending out quarterly receipts. This means at the end April, we will begin preparing the next batch. This will simplify things for us here in Haiti and we will send them all by e-mail attachment unless someone doesn’t use e-mail. This way we won’t have to bear the costs of stamps and envelopes.

We are so very grateful to the Lord’s Table Church for lifting a heavy yoke off our shoulders in depositing the support checks once a week and sending us the report. They have asked us to share with those of you that may be giving online and give more than $1,000 at the time if you can please send a check instead. This is because The Lord’s Table has to bear the costs of making such a large deposit. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you so much for your faithful giving into Rehoboth Ministries this year. We could not have done it without you!

We’re Off!

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             Prit, our leaders, and the construction crew members praying together
Today, construction workers who traveled from Archaïe, Haiti, gathered together for the first time on our main compound to commence the building of our new multipurpose building. This is a long-awaited dream as the foundation we laid for the building was around 1993!  We had no idea it would take this long for the rest of the building to follow. But, Haiti was plunged into a succession of natural disasters and increased poverty while the exchange rate began to steadily climb. The costs of building materials became so astronomical that we’ve never completed the means to build. After making payroll for our pastors, teachers, and workers in addition to the many other facets of maintaining a ministry of 5 churches, 3 schools, a Bible institute, and a feeding program for over 1,000 hungry staff and children, the rest of the work fell by the wayside. After many unfulfilled promises from others to help us, we truly understood the scripture – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. (Proverbs 13:2)
 After years of intensive prayer, Orphans Promise, along with some very devoted and generous donors, came to our rescue. Only those who have been here and seen our present church structure firsthand can truly appreciate the enormity of our gratitude for lifting this heavy burden off our shoulders which we could not lift ourselves. In addition to providing the food for our three schools, Orphans Promise has done it once again. They are helping to make our dream for a building come true. With the generosity of our donors, Orphans Promise and Lifeline Ministry are working together to bring this miracle to pass.
 On 4 February, 1990, a fellow missionary donated an old, army medical tent to us so that we could begin church services. After succumbing to the force of heavy, tropical rainfall and gale winds, we next erected a simple structure of poles which supported a palm thatch roof. The thatch eventually caved in from all the rain it was holding and was replaced with a tin roof and some concrete blocks for the side. So, this became our church – dirt floor and all. Imagine spending over 20 years in a makeshift church with no fans or electricity and completely open to the elements. It was not uncommon for roosters to strut past the podium while Prit was preaching or for goats to gather together in the back to escape the rain. Yet, in spite of all this, we grew to a congregation of over 800 and sent out leaders who were raised in this church to plant other churches and schools.
Our dream building should be completed by July. I’ll give more info about it in posts to come. Please pray for Engineer Osmy and his construction crew from Lifeline Ministries, the Orphans Promise team and, of course, our dear donors who are putting legs to the whole project.

Give Your Love Away!

images“One evening before Mary Martin, the great Broadway musical star, was to go on stage in South Pacific, a note was handed to her. It was from Oscar Hammerstein. He had written it to her from his deathbed: ‘Dear Mary, a bell’s not a bell till you ring it. A song is not a song until you sing it. Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away.’ “ Mary gave the performance of a lifetime that night and when her friends rushed backstage to ask what caused her to sing with such power, she showed them Hammerstein’s note. Blinking back tears she said, Tonight, I gave my love away!

Tuesday, 10 January, hit the 34 year mark for us since we landed in Haiti to start the work of Rehoboth Ministries. Since then, we have been giving and giving and giving our love away. With the wonderful partners of this ministry, we have founded 5 churches, 3 schools, and a Bible institute. With the help of Orphans Promise, we are feeding over 1,000 children the most important meal of their day – 5 days a week. After performing countless marriages, dedicating an innumerable number of babies and presiding over the funerals of loved ones here in Haiti, we stand amazed at what the Lord has helped us do. It seems, the more love we give away, the more we have for our Haitian brethren!

We thank all our wonderful partners who have stood with us through the years and invite others to come join us in this great work. For a nation that’s riddled with extreme poverty and which has been devastated over and over again by natural calamities like Hurricane Matthew, the needs of the Haitian people continually loom before us. Yet, it’s the perfect setting for demonstrating the love of Christ. We invite others to come join us. Become a regular sower into this ministry. Come to Haiti and give of your talents, your time, and your goods. The more love you give away, the more you’ll discover you have to give!