If you ever thought that serving as a missionary in a foreign land was something glamorous, please allow me to put those thoughts to rest for you. In just the last week and a half, several incidents have taken place in Haiti and we are seriously asking for your heartfelt prayers. Haiti is like the wild, wild west right now and it would only be fair to give you a backdrop of what is going on in this nation so you can better appreciate what Rehoboth Ministries is doing there.
Due to failed elections last year and a vacuum of leadership, there is a tremendous power struggle going on to see who will be at the helm when planned elections take place on 9 October. The US has said it would not be involved in this round after spending $33 million on the last one. The air is charged with tension due to the present political climate. People are already hungry and exasperated over Haiti’s inability to govern. To say that the general population is “on edge” is an understatement.
Our son, John, has returned to Haiti already. He is now the Academic Dean of our Bible institute and had to be back for the orientation of our new promotion of students. John is also teaching middle-schoolers and high school students this year in an English-speaking school outside of Cap-Haitian. Lately, he has seen the enemy up close. Returning from town the other day in our Isuzu Trooper, he was stopped by some men in our neighborhood who were working on the road. They wanted money for making repairs. When John said he didn’t have any to give them, one of the men slung his shovel in the direction of our windshield as if he was going to break it, then put it back down. After that, they let him pass.
Last week, John was called over to the Bible institute by some of the other professors. It seems that one of our new students was out of control. When John tried to calm him down to ask him questions, he became very menacing and began to threaten and insult John. Finally, John had to leave for another meeting and the professors stayed with the student to get him to calm down. Their attempts were futile and the young man proceeded to strip himself naked. They finally called the man’s pastor to come and get him and he was barred from the Bible school. Whether mentally ill or demon-possessed, he would have been a liability to everyone else involved in the school. They are looking into trying to get help for the young man.
Last night, the secretary of our Bible institute messaged me on Facebook. She asked me to pray for her husband (who is a professor in our institute.) I asked her what was wrong and she said that he had fainted and his body was cold. Frantically, she tried to wake him up. “Man Past, he’s been working way too hard and is very sick,” she said. I immediately called Pastor Delinx in Petite-Anse and asked if he could check on Jean-Philippe (her husband.) I also posted a message on my Facebook page asking all our friends to pray for him. Fortunately, Pastor Delinx was able to reach him and he had regained consciousness and promised he would go to the hospital to get checked out.
Sadly, a tragedy occurred around a week ago on the other end of the island in the nation’s capital. A nun was driving through Port-au-Prince and was gunned down in her jeep. She was taking the payroll to her mission in order to pay its workers. The gunmen shot her in the chest and made off with the money. This woman from Australia had been working with Haiti’s poor for several years. You can read the rest of the story here
World Missions is not for the faint-hearted. After 33 years in Haiti, we are still marveling over God’s goodness to us. At the same time, we lean heavily on the prayers of our partners. Please remember to pray for John and all our Haitian leaders that are laboring together to make a difference in people’s lives. Pray for the upcoming elections and our soon return to Haiti (7 October). Rehoboth Ministries is Changing Lives – Impacting a Nation.