My name is Gesner Lefort. I am the pastor of l’Église Centre de Formation Chrétienne (Christian Training Center Church) in Sainte-Philomène, the most recent of three church plants sent out by Pastors Pritchard and Dana Adams.
I accepted Christ on June 29, 1997 in a Baptist church a few miles outside of Cap-Haitien, in a small town called Caracol. Two months after I became a Christian, I became gravely sick. I went to three different hospitals but was not able to find a cure. Finally, I came to the point of death. Being young in the faith, I honestly did not know what to do. I loved the Gospel but at the same time, I was afraid to die. At that time, my father, who did not yet have Christ in his life, went and consulted a bocor (a witch doctor) without my consent. The witch doctor told him that if my father did not bring me to him within three days, it would be “too late for me.”
I remember that it was a Friday when my father told me what the witch doctor had told him. When he told me this, I was truly conflicted. I didn’t want to betray my newfound faith, but at the same time, I didn’t want to die. The next day, on a Saturday afternoon, two young Christian brothers came to pray with me. It was exactly what I had needed. Although at the time I was not even able to stand up, I felt power enter into me as the brothers prayed — I stood up and began to join them in prayer. After the brothers left, I felt that I would be able to walk as well and I began to do so.
While all this was happening, my father was not in the house, but outside in the garden. Convinced that God had touched me, I spoke to my brothers and said, “Guys, I heard Dad say that he was going to take me to the witch doctor’s house, but I’m not going to go.” While I was speaking, my father had walked in behind me and had heard what I had just said. He was filled with hatred and was very angry at me because I had rejected his advice and refused to go to the witch doctor. “Go ahead and die, then!” he told me. “I’ll bury you.” My father abandoned me completely at that point, but God would prove His love for me, just as Psalm 27 promises: “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me in.”
The devil is persistent, though. Although I was convinced that I had received divine healing the day the brothers came and prayed for me, it took me four more months to live fully into the healing that had been given to me. During this time, my father had nothing to do with me, but I went through this for the Gospel’s sake. I went through some really hard times, but finally, after six months, I was back to full health. During this time, I was asking God for only one thing, that He would heal me so that my father might know that only God, and not the witch doctor, possesses the power to heal.
The Bible says to “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” The Lord heard my heart’s prayer. When my father realized that I had truly been healed, he accepted Christ into his life and has walked with Him ever since. Today, he serves as a deacon in the same church where I first accepted the Lord. Hallelujah! Christ healed me and delivered me from death! I want to serve Him forever.
A couple of years after this happened, I dreamt that I was in a medical clinic where a lady was consulting the sick. When the lady got to me, she would not consult me. I asked her why she wouldn’t see me, she simply handed me a shrub and said, “This is a tree shoot. If you plant this, it will become a great tree. We will take from it to decorate the corners of the temple.” In the dream, I saw myself planting this tree as a tremendous rain began to fall.
When I awoke, I knew for certain that God was calling me to ministry within the church. That was in 2000. In 2004, at the Centre de Formation Chrétienne church in Petite-Anse (pastored by Pritchard Adams, who is also the head of the Covenant of Grace Bible Institute), God spoke to my heart, bringing to my remembrance the dream that I had had. I was no longer able to resist the Lord’s calling — I signed up for Bible school and spent the next four years being trained for ministry.
After graduating from Bible school, I began teaching an adult Sunday School class at the church, serving as the youth pastor. A year and a half later, with God’s help and with the support of Pastor Adams, I was sent out to pastor the church’s third church plant in a neighborhood called Sainte-Philomène. The church is called the Centre de Formation Chrétienne (after its predecessor). May God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit receive glory from it.
In addition to my role as pastor of the new church, I also became a professor at the Bible school. Recently, I also launched a school for the children of Sainte-Philomène, called the John Knox Christian Institute. God is at work here, with both the church and the school experiencing growth. To God be the glory!