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.
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.