Selfless Givers

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Phyllis Kimrey

Recently, Prit and I were tremendously blessed by two friends. Jennifer Steimel and Phyllis Kimrey teamed up and raised $275 for Rehoboth Ministries. Prit and I met Jennifer while visiting my sister in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Jennifer and Mary Ann work together and she was giving a demonstration for a jewelry party for Premier Designs, Inc. at Mary Ann’s home.

In talking with Jennifer, I learned that she sees her role with Premier Designs as an opportunity to help others. More often than not, she donates her proceeds from a jewelry party to a nonprofit organization. Jennifer told me that if I could find a hostess for a jewelry party, she would come do the demonstration and donate the proceeds to Rehoboth Ministries. I knew that I was talking with a very special lady.

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Jennifer Steimel

I contacted a longtime friend, Phyllis Kimrey, and asked her if she would be wiling to host a party for Rehoboth Ministries to which I received a resounding, “Yes, absolutely!” Since Phyllis lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, it wasn’t too far of a drive for Jennifer to come. Phyllis invited several of her friends and they had a great party. We are beyond blessed to have these two ladies with such big hearts for friends. I was elated to know that Phyllis would receive some beautiful jewelry for her role as hostess. Instead of keeping the jewelry, however, she chose to give it away to some of our Haitian ladies as a gift. When my sister comes to visit us at Christmas, she will come bearing gifts from Phyllis.

Would you like to host a party for Rehoboth Ministries? As long as you’re within driving distance from Jacksonville, Jennifer will come and has promised to give her part of the proceeds to Rehoboth Ministries. We thank the Lord for such wonderful and selfless friends!

Thanks for Giving!

thanksgiving-candy-turkey-trufflesPrit and I want to sincerely thank Pastor Mike and Mary Chatt and the members of Rock Church for making it possible for us to celebrate Thanksgiving here in Haiti. Even though Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Haiti, Rock Church provided a huge turkey with all the trimmings in order to make our day special. It’s so nice to be remembered when you’re far away from home.

Also, thank you to Agape Flights for purchasing the turkey and fixings and flying them to Cap-Haitian for us missionaries! As we enjoy our feast, we remember those of you who sacrificed to make it happen.

Speaking of sacrifices, every time we look at our freshly-tiled floors and newly-painted walls, we remember the nine days that Trinity Church invested here by sending a team to help us with construction needs. Here are some reflections of a few of the team members concerning their time here with us. We are so glad God touched your hearts in a special way while you were here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!

Everyone should take a mission trip to Cap-Haitien, Haiti. The Haitians are a loving, determined people. Prit and Dana Adams, and their son, John, are very dedicated to their ministry in Cap-Haitien. I really enjoyed their fellowship and also interacting with the people of Haiti. The work our team was very fruitful and never did seem like
work. We all left part of our hearts in Cap. I must return someday. – Vic

My experience this year was much different than last year’s. This year I felt like we got to see much more of the normal obstacles in trying to get work done in Haiti: the challenges of every day life just to go to the store to buy tile, the systems that are there and how they have to be maneuvered through to overcome in order to do what would be simple in the States. The weather also played a bigger part this year versus last year. There is no such thing as just plan “A” . We did get plenty of work done with all the challenges though. – Bryan

It was so wonderful to see you & the family again. When we landed at the airport & then drove through the city, it was like HOPE was in the air! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to come serve you & the Haitians. After last year’s trip I felt like I had a dark cloud hanging over me. Several different things were coming against me in my mind & I had let despair set in. But in Haiti again, the Lord rebuked me & he told me as long as I have Jesus, I have hope. In Haiti HOPE was in the air & in the people. This trip took me out of my comfort zone more than last year. I didn’t feel like I was as prepared as I was last year. But the Lord reminded me that I was willing & He honors that. He let me see myself & some other gifts/talents I haven’t used in a while. You &your family are such a blessing & inspiration to me. I love going to Haiti . Something new with every visit. Thank you xoxoxoxo – Kelly

I did not speak much French or French Creole at all, which was a hindrance and an asset at the same time. Instead of talking, I watched. When I was face to face with someone I had to try to express myself through love. It was an entirely different way of communication that I only scratched the surface of, but I think has planted a seed somewhere within my spirit, showing me how to better display God’s love in me. Beyond that, just being able to see the people on the compound and the laborers at work and to play a game with some passing children was a blessing.

I loved our time around the table. It was liberating being free from the usual daily worries and to have it replaced with constant fellowship among believers. I know it made me more open and honest than I would have been otherwise. The real privilege for me came from you and Prit. Hearing about how you both came to Haiti and some of the stories of what you’ve encountered, experienced, and endured was incredibly encouraging and humbling in the best way. You each displayed a relationship with God that showed me ways I could expand my trust and obedience to live with God daily as you do. – Daniel

We are so thankful for the various ministries who make our work in Haiti easier. As we gather around our table, we will especially give thanks for all of you and for our partners in the ministry. Happy Thanksgiving and “thanks for giving!”

Visitors Coming and Going

We said “Goodbye” today to a great friend. George Watson is on his way back to Tacoma as I write and it’s been great having him here. After our Tacoma team from Trinity Church departed, George decided to spend another couple of weeks with us. We’ve truly enjoyed the fellowship and the many laughs we’ve had. Yesterday, we went to Cormier Plage and enjoyed a seafood dinner together and took advantage of the beautiful beach. The weather in Haiti is absolutely perfect this time of year. Thanks George for gracing our home. We miss you already!

Speaking of visitors, my sister Mary Ann has purchased her tickets to come spend Christmas with us! This will be her first trip to Haiti and I am beyond excited that she is coming. Although we will terribly miss seeing Deb, her family, and Gabe, we will find some consolation in showing Mary Ann around Haiti. Gabe will be spending Christmas with Deb and her family and we’re thankful that none of them have to spend Christmas alone. We’re a tad bit jealous, though, that he’s going to have a week with that incredible grandson of ours, Sam. Sam is growing up so fast and we probably won’t see him again until he is at least a year old. *Sigh* But, as grandparents often do, we will share just a few of our many pictures of the most special baby in the world.

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With Christmas just a few weeks away, would you like to make a special gift to Rehoboth Ministries? Supporting five churches, three schools, a Bible institute, and the many others needs we have here is incredibly taxing. Your gift can lighten the load. Simply use the PayPal button on our website or use the Fayetteville address on our home page (rehobothhaiti.com) to send a check. A special thanks to all our partners who consistently demonstrate your love for missions and for the Haitian people.

Come Along, Theodore!

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One of my favorite movies of all time is Little Women. One of the main characters in the movie is named Laurie. Laurie and his grandfather live right beside the March family and he is always intrigued by what is going on in the March home, especially since there are four pretty girls close to his age who live there. One day, Laurie is staring at the house next door when he hears his grandfather’s thunderous voice calling out to him. “Come along, Theodore. It’s time for church!” At this point, Laurie is shaken out of his stupor and promptly obeys his grandfather following him down the stairs to leave for church.

There was something quite humorous to our family about the way the grandfather spoke and the New England accent added a certain twist to it. Countless times, we have looked at each other and said, “Come along, Theodore. It’s time for church!” Church was pronounced more like “chuch.”

Having said all that, at Centre de Formation Chrétienne, it is definitely “time for church!” Our Discipleship School has started back up and we have 15 classes of students of all ages meeting together before the main church service to study God’s Word in depth. Young and old arrive to church at 8:00 sharp. Otherwise, they miss the class and lose any possibility of gaining a perfect attendance record at the end of the year. Prit has taken the Foundations of Life Course that we both took at our home church of Rock Church (Tarboro, NC), and translated the lessons into French. After the lessons have been translated, he goes over them with our son, John. Then John teaches the teachers and monitors every Saturday morning. In turn, they teach our members on Sunday morning. Last Sunday, we had 391 to attend class. We almost hit the 400 mark. Our goal for the year is 600.

What a blessing it is to watch our people as they leave the classes to come into the main sanctuary. They absolutely love learning God’s Word and watching them reminded me that they, unlike Laurie, were not coerced. So, when the bell rings at 8:00 sharp, everyone hears the message, ”Come along, —–, it’s time for church!

Heavy Rains

“Ayiti Cheri” is a land of two extremes. For 23 months, everyone here has been desperately praying for rain. Due to no rainfall, the heat was absolutely intolerable and gardens yielded very little precious fruit and vegetables. The depleted soil and shriveled up roots continued the domino effect of driving up the prices of everything in the market.

Finally, after longing for precious drops of water to fall from the sky, the rains came. Everyone rejoiced in the tropical breezes and the relief from the heat. It may as well have been liquid gold coming down as far as we were concerned. But then it kept raining. Due to Haiti’s massive erosion problem, the little makeshift shanties perched precariously on the mountainside were washed away. The rivers swelled and many people drowned. At least ten people died, but there were probably more that we didn’t know about. Anyone who had a home located by the riverside was sure to have everything inside drenched. Our cook, Marie, came to work one morning looking tired and haggard. “Everything in my house is wet. The bed, my clothes….everything is wet.” I found her later on our front porch sleeping on a bench. At least she had a dry spot to lay her head.

The definition of “wealthy” varies from country to country. As I sat in the living room of our mission house, I realized that I was indeed very rich. The ceiling doesn’t leak, our beds are dry, and there is food in the kitchen. These things alone make me extremely thankful. Meanwhile, we ask you to remember our Haitian friends who are still clearing out the mud from their homes and yards and praying that the rains will not start back up for a little while.

S.A.L.T. (Serving and Living Together)

FullSizeRender-2We just finished hosting a 10-member mission team from Tacoma, Washington for 9 days. We thank Pastor Rollie Simmons and the leadership of Trinity Church for sending some of their members to work with us. Much was accomplished and we are very grateful for the help that was given to Rehoboth Ministries.

The members of our team consisted of four women and six men. The men laid tile and painted rooms in our mission houses and the women taught sewing classes. Due to heavy rainfall the last couple of days, plus innumerable interruptions of all kinds in our schedule, they did not get to see the final transformation of the kitchen/dining area in our smaller house. The work continues. A member of the team was gracious enough to leave funds for Rodelin (our tile man) to complete the work instead. Next, comes the plumbing and the installing of the cabinets – all paid for by Trinity Church.

The women’s group were real troopers, for they had only non-electric Singer sewing machines with treadles to teach the young women that came. (I believe some of them may be considered antiques!) They were scheduled to work with four women and instead seven showed up! The thread kept breaking on all the machines, but somehow they managed to help the young ladies cut out patterns and sew their own aprons to take home with them. The ladies were so excited and eager to learn that they would have kept coming back for days if the team had been able to stay on. They reluctantly said “goodbye” to their teachers and asked if they would be back next year.

The team was also involved in ministry. They traveled to Belle-Hôtesse (our church plant in the countryside) and handed out candy to the schoolchildren there as well as to the kids at the school in Sainte-Philomène. The team’s leader, Vic Langel, ministered in at our annual youth conference on human sexuality and at our Sunday morning service in Petite-Anse. His message, “Does Jesus Really Care About Me?” deeply touched the hearts of our people. On Sunday night the whole team ministered during a healing service and many of Pastor Lefort’s members in Sainte-Philomène came forward for prayer.

We thank the Lord for the servant attitude of this team. One of the team members even washed and massaged my tired, aching feet. Unfortunately, due to the heavy rains, we were not able to visit beautiful Cormier Plage (the beach). The team did, however, drive to Fort Liberté to have a look around. Fort Liberté is an old fort located close to the Dominican Border. Being from Tacoma where it rains over 200 days a year, they did not at all mind getting wet!

One member of the group (Jean-Yves) is Haitian and was returning with this team to his native land for the first time after having been gone since the young age of 17. He and his parents moved to the United States and he, now in his thirties, had not previously had the opportunity to return. When he heard Trinity was sending a team to Haiti, he jumped at the chance to set his feet on Haitian soil once again. It was sheer joy watching him relish the culture, the food, and speaking Creole with his fellow Haitians.

Although we truly miss the team, one of the members chose to stay and spend a couple of extra weeks with us. I guess he likes us! George is consoling us in the team’s absence and we are thrilled to have some continued fellowship from a fellow partner in the Gospel.

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