Twenty-Nine and Counting…

Tonton Macoute soldier brandishing a machete

Twenty-nine years ago today, Prit and I left Tarboro, N.C. to move to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Following the call to missions, we said goodbye to our Rock Church family and left the familiar for the unfamiliar. Leaving the peaceful, lazy countryside, we later landed at the Maïs Gaté airport in the crowded capital city. The quiet life we knew was now met with the constant noise of people, traffic, and animals roaming about in the street coupled with Haiti’s stifling heat. It would take time to adjust to the new smells, a new language, and an altogether new life. The intimidating presence of President Jean-Claude Duvalier’s dreaded tonton macoutes greeted us from the moment we arrived. Dressed in their trademark denim uniforms and wearing dark sunglasses, each made a show of force by brandishing his own submachine gun. The feared Macoutes were Jean-Claude’s private army, a symbol of the brutal, oppressive spirit of a dictatorial government which would be one of many regimes we would see fall during our stay there.

Much water has passed under the bridge over all these years and there are just too many tales to tell of God’s unbelievable faithfulness in the midst of some of the hardest trials of our lives. After teaching at a Christian school for 5 1/2 years in Port-au-Prince, we moved to the other end of the island to eventually plant our first church in the old colonial capital of Cap-Haitian. The apostolic work of Rehoboth Ministries has grown into three church plants with the oversight of a fourth, a Bible institute, four schools, and various other ministries. In the midst of it all, we raised three beautiful children who all now live and work in the U.S. God has brought us through numerous coups d’état, an embargo, a kidnapping, life-threatening health issues, plus a myriad of other trials that would take a lifetime to share.

We thank the Lord for His faithfulness and, once again, thank all our supporters for “holding the line” so that we could serve the Lord all these years in a land that has seen many spiritual casualties. As Paul said in Romans 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

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