Visiting Father’s Heart Fellowship

Yesterday, we were at The Father’s Heart Fellowship in Hampstead, N.C., pastored by Scot and Kelly Painter. It’s always such a blessing to be back among longtime friends.  On the heels of learning about Madame Enock’s death, the Lord provided much consolation through the comfort and fellowship of the brethren. Prit shared from Acts 7 about Stephen’s death and the tremendous sense of loss that the early church suffered because of his departure. Yet, the Lord took this horrible tragedy to bring good out of it and strengthened the cords that bound the early church believers together. We are so thankful for friends of the faith.

On another note, the 700 Club will be airing our interview again tomorrow for those of you that never got to watch it!

Death and Resurrection

I took a walk outside this morning. It’s been in the 70’s here in Jacksonville, N.C. Yet, I noted that the dry, withered trees were begging for spring. “They’ll bloom again,” I thought to myself, then my thoughts turned once again to the news we had just received last night. Our dear friend and sister in the Lord, Sister Enock Massillon had suddenly departed from this earth. She had gone out to the countryside to visit her ailing father and on her return had been involved in a terrible accident. The tap tap she was in collided with a bus and somehow a dump truck was involved as well. I walked and prayed with a heavy heart. Sister Enock’s husband is the head of our orchestra. Their son plays bass and his nephew plays lead guitar. Sister Enock sang in the choir and no one was more involved in the activities of the church than the Massillon family. She had just been assigned as one of our cooks for the new feeding program that was recently launched. Her salary was to be a welcome relief for the needs of her big family.

Death is a harsh reminder that life is temporary. It causes us to refocus our lens on life. Sister Enock’s works will follow her, even though her family is torn to shreds because of this devastating news. Her whole life was one of service, even up to her very last act. She was a true “mother in Israel” and probably one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Even though the sorrow I felt on my walk still lingers, I know this “tree” will bloom again. And this is the hope that keeps each of us putting one foot in front of the other. I hope you will remember the Massillon family in your heartfelt prayers today.

Valentine’s Day Candy

We are busily packing up boxes to ship down to Haiti. One thing in particular that we are gathering together is Valentine’s Day candy, now that it is on sale! We would love to send small Zip-Loc bags of candy to our students and choir members (depending on how much we accumulate). Would you like to help? If you’re up for the challenge, we have 1,250 students and about 70 members from the adult and youth choirs. You could help put a smile on some faces!

Sparking Small Businesses

Natalie is an active member of our church in Petite-Anse and will graduate in May from our Bible Institute.

The Haitian people are an industrious people. Most of them are willing to work hard to provide for their families. Recent events that have devastated Haiti (extreme poverty, hurricanes, earthquakes, cholera epidemic – to name a few), however, have taken their toll on this nation’s inhabitants.  We witness the hopelessness of people who would give anything to have a job on a daily basis, and we have cried out to the Lord for wisdom to help put people to work and not just dole out money, creating a “welfare mentality” in the process.

Often the answer to prayer comes through a simple idea. We employed Natalie Béliard to purchase local oil paintings, each uniquely painted by a Haitian artist. After arriving stateside, we frame them to sell. The proceeds are used to help highly motivated members of our church start small businesses. So far, we have helped Manno, a member of our church, purchase a motorcycle. He uses it as a taxi and it also serves as the “family car,” easily seating two adults and two children. We have bought a paint compressor for Brother Girard Moise. Girard is an excellent painter and has proven his faithfulness both in the church and through his work ethic. The compressor will enable him to do big jobs in a small amount of time. We also bought a laptop for Brother Ernst Massillon. Ernst had a tremendous understanding of technology and has used this “one talent” to launch his own small business called Compusol Multi-Services.

Whenever we’re invited to speak at special services, meetings, etc., we usually come with the paintings. They are greatly loved by many and it is a small way for money to go back into Haiti. If you would like for us to come share in your church, women’s meetings, etc., and are interested in purchasing some paintings for a worthy cause, contact us! Or if you just feel moved to send a small donation to help a brother or sister get a “jump start” in business to help boost their income, you would be a tremendous blessing to someone in need! We’ll be posting pictures of these marvelous entrepreneurs in some upcoming posts.

Meet Pastor Dieudonné Jasmin

Pastor Dieudonné, Edith, and their family

Dear reader, my heart is filled with joy at the opportunity to share my testimony with you.

I am Pastor Dieudonné Jasmin. I am married to Edith and we have three children (Viaud-Murat, Rouley, and Rose-Kiarah). I was born in a village in Haiti called Plaisance to a family that did not know Jesus. When I was growing up, there was no one in my family, on either my mother’s or my father’s side, who was a Christian.

When I was 10 years old, my brother and my sister got very sick and died during the same week. My father was also in the hospital at the time, sick with an undiagnosed disease. My little brother and I also got sick around the same time and had to join our father in the hospital. Next, my oldest brother came down with an illness. It was he who first heard the message of the Gospel, and he accepted Christ as his Savior. I came to realize at that time that Christ was my only hope and I accepted Jesus, too. My entire family eventually came to faith — even my father, who previously had never wanted anything to do with the Gospel — and one by one, every one of us was healed. My mother and my four brothers and two sisters all came under Christ’s healing wings.

When I was converted at age 10, the Lord let me know in my heart of hearts that I would one day be a pastor. As a child, I even began to act like a pastor, and people jokingly began referring to me as such. When I got a bit older, I moved from Plaisance to Cap-Haitien to go to secondary school and then to vocational school. It wasn’t until I enrolled in Bible school that I really felt that I was coming into my own. After I finished Bible school, our church sent me out to be a church planter in Belle-Hôtesse, a coastal town about 45 minutes away, and once again, I felt that I’d found my place. We’ve been partnering with Jesus in Belle-Hôtesse for about four years now. We have now planted a church and founded a school called the “Rehoboth Institute of Belle-Hôtesse.” God is accomplishing many things through our ministry in this town. I would ask anyone reading this to pray for me and my family and the work that the Lord is doing here.

Rise and Build!

Our current church building.

The first gathering place we ever had was an old army tent given to us by a fellow missionary. After the tent was ripped to pieces by the hurricane winds that frequent Haiti, we built a structure made of concrete blocks and covered it with a thatched roof. After years of constant repair from the damage inflicted by torrential tropical downpours, we finally replaced it with a corrugated tin roof. While the foundation for a new church structure lays adjacent to this piece of land, many years have gone by since we first started raising funds for the permanent building. Due to the tremendous growth spurt of our school in Petite-Anse (over 900 students), it was occasionally necessary to borrow from the funds set aside for the building and build more classrooms for our new students. Since this was a more urgent need, we eventually had to leave off using funds on the much-needed church building.

On the first Sunday of every month, our church people take up an offering that goes towards the building fund. This is a huge sacrifice for our people, many of whom don’t even have a job. Yet, year after year, they’ve sown in good faith. For twenty years, they have envisioned a beautiful church building on the adjoining property. Walking for miles in the mud and water to get to church, they have endured the cold, harsh winds blowing into the tonnelle (temporary structure). Men, women and children have faithfully worshipped God in this rustic structure despite rude elements like a dirt floor and leaking roof. During Pritchard’s kidnapping, members of our church literally lay in the dirt, wept, and threw gravel in the air as they prayed until they heard news of his release two days later. If the concrete blocks and the leaking roof could talk, they would tell you of countless miracles and answers to prayer that have taken place in that humble building.

The foundation for our new sanctuary.

In spite of all the memories, however, it is time to move forward. Our church members took it upon themselves to have an all-night prayer and fasting service to implore God to provide the funds to build the new church building. After their all-night vigil, each member then picked up a stone and carried it over to the new building site. There they placed their stones in a heap as a memorial to the Lord.

Upon our return to Haiti, we will be visiting a construction company in the Dominican Republic to find out exactly how much it will cost to put up the new building. The most expensive part will be the roof. It will require a certain type of steel that is resistant to the rains and humidity of Haiti. We know it will cost at least $120,000 for all the materials and labor. Would you please ask the Lord what part you could play in this mighty work? Knowing there are many of you that would like to go ahead and join together with us in this project, we are giving you the opportunity to sow into good soil. As with the ongoing feeding program fund, please make your checks out to Rehoboth Ministries and earmark them for the building fund. ***For those of you that would like to contribute $500 or more to this project, we would like to send you the Christmas CD (Hope Has Come) recorded by City Bible Church in Portland, Oregon. Our son, Gabriel, attends City Bible Church and plays the guitar for two of the songs.