Catching Up!

imagesHi Everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. We stay pretty busy here and life is full of challenges. Here are just a few of the things that have kept me busy lately. 1) Working as a tutor 5 days a week, 2) Meeting with our ladies and looking at the articles they’ve sewn, plus trying to determine prices for each article. This way we can set up a gift shop and create a regular income for them. 3) Working with the youth choir to get them ready for an upcoming Easter concert. 4) Translating songs from English to Creole. 5) Writing a monthly letter to our supporters. 6) Preparing a message for the ladies’ meeting coming up around Easter. 7) Juggling finances for all the many needs of Rehoboth Ministries. Where does the time go?

Returning stateside

As you can see, there’s plenty going on around here. Now that we are into March, returning stateside seems a whole lot closer. With a grandchild on the way (due date is 2 June!), you can only imagine how much we are looking forward to family time. If you would like for us to come share at your church, meeting, etc., this would be a good time to contact us.

Bible School Graduation

We are looking forward to having Pastor Matt Garrett back with us in May as the special speaker for our Bible school graduation. Our graduates are working hard to finish up their last year and can finally see the finish line just up ahead.

Needs

We would like to ask you to consider helping us with some vital needs. Most of the needs we post on our site are for the ministry, but today I am listing some of our own in hope that you can help fulfill some long-awaited desires.

A. We live in a small mission house. There are 3 of us sharing one bathroom. Enough said – we greatly need another one! Estimate: $3,000

B. Our kitchen is in need of revamping. Although we’ve done some work on it to enlarge it, it just doesn’t have a practical layout. It takes twice as long to get things done because there’s not enough counter or cabinet space. We need to build a small room off the kitchen for a pantry and to provide a place for our freezer. This would thereby enable us to build the counter and cabinet space in the kitchen area. Estimate: $5,000

C. I have only shared this in our Rehoboth updates for our supporters, but I’m just going to place this right here. If you’d like to help me finish paying off my medical bills, it would be greatly appreciated. Due to the kindness of many friends and supporters, we have raised money for a little over half of my bill. I still owe around $11,000 for my operation and we don’t have medical insurance. Thank you for considering a love offering on my behalf. Every bit helps! Below is the contact information for giving through The Lord’s Table. NOTE: Please earmark what your gift is for so it will be used appropriately by writing Haiti/ —-.

Here’s how to give:

Send Checks to: The Lord’s Table / PO Box 11049 / Goldsboro, NC 27532 / (919) 751-8188 or donate online at thelordstable.org. You can also use this link to give –  Haiti – https://pushpay.com/pay/tltglobalmissions/?f%5B0%5D=Haiti

** Please earmark your gifts HAITI

 

 

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-Team from Victory Christian Church, Pastor Mike (bottom left)

We had a 7-member team with us for 8 days from Goochland, Virginia. It was headed up by MFI Pastor Mike Hennigan. At the same time, a friend that John met from Solvang, California, was with us. Gérald Pierre is a professional photographer. So much was accomplished in one week and we are so thankful they came.

The Virginia team from Victory Christian Church came with clothing material and other items to teach 3 of our seamstresses in the church in Petite-Anse how to make a small beach bag. The first day, the team taught the seamstresses how to hand-stitch the bags. The second day, these 3 women taught the other young people from our Professional School how to do the project, and on the 3rd day, they all gathered together to learn how to make necklaces and bracelets. I wish all of you could have seen the HOPE and excitement in their eyes. This resulted in talks of the team returning to teach them other projects and getting a gift shop up and running in order to sell homemade products from Haiti. Would you pray with us about this? Pastor Mike brought much spiritual food to two of our congregations and met with the key leaders of our network as well. We are so thankful for every member of this team who came with suitcases full of gifts to hand out to the school kids and others in need. Space does not allow me to share all they did while they were here, but they were such a tremendous blessing to our ministry. We got in some fun time too with a trip to the Citadelle and to Cormier Plage (beach.)  Check out the slideshow below for more pics!

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– Gerald (with glasses) with our musicians

Gérald taught our musicians some worship principles and held a photography class. He also took a Sunday (after the morning service) to take pictures of several of the church kids. He is working on a small booklet which will be entitled The Hope of Haiti/L’Espoir d’Haïti. We hope to have these booklets available when we return at the end of May.  Gérald is also working on a short video for Rehoboth from the angle of our history up until today. We are grateful to be benefiting from his beautiful work and can’t wait for you to see the results. Thank you Gérald. It was great having you in our home getting to know you as a friend and as a co-worker in the Gospel.

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It’s Been A Busy Couple of Weeks!

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Out with the old. In with the new!

Yesterday, the old church structure was demolished after 28 years. No one wept. Everyone’s ready to move on. The symbol of the past being removed is a further sign that we have moved into a new season. It’s time to make new memories! We are loving our new church building and we are busier than ever with the work here.

Guests!

This past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy, so I’m just getting around to posting. We had a 7-member team from Goochland, Virginia, with us for 8 days that was headed up by MFI Pastor, Mike Hennigan. What a great team! I will be sharing in further posts about all that was accomplished during that trip and future projects that are coming up. It’s just too much to tell here!

Another guest who traveled all the way from Solvang, California, left today. Gérald Pierre is a professional photographer. John met him through a mutual friend and the two struck up a friendship. The interesting part is that Gérald was born and raised here in Cap-Haitian and moved to California at 27 years of age. He has lived there ever since. The friendship between John and Gérald eventually led to him making a trip to Cap-Haitian to visit family members and part of the time he was here  working for Rehoboth Ministries. We’ll share more about that later too.

Feeding the Multitude

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Last week, while the Orphans Promise team was here, we gathered the whole school assembly for a service in our new building. This will give you a good perspective of how many children we are feeding – and that’s only the main school! Over 800 children gathered together to thank Richard and Linda Baker along with the staff of Orphans Promise which are responsible for this project. Over 800 children, plus teachers and cooks sang and shouted to celebrate this wonderful occasion. One of the young students spoke in their behalf and related that they now wake up in the morning and know they’ll find a hot meal waiting for them at school.    The whole school erupted with shouts of joy and applause.

Wouldn’t you like to be part of this miracle? Most of these children eat ONE meal a day – and that is at school. Here’s how:

Send Checks to: The Lord’s Table / PO Box 11049 / Goldsboro, NC 27532 / (919) 751-8188

OR

donate online at thelordstable.org. You can also use this link to give –  Haiti – https://pushpay.com/pay/tltglobalmissions/?f%5B0%5D=Haiti

** Please earmark your gifts HAITI

 

The House that God Built

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The tonnelle

I have yearned for the day when I could finally write this post. For 27 years, our mother church met in a brush arbor with a dirt floor. We suffered through season after season of insufferable heat and monsoon-style rains. I even remember the Sunday night service where the majority of our members had their umbrellas open INSIDE the church to keep the rain from leaking through the rafters on them. I can’t recount the number of times I watched our people search for a dry place on a bench to sit, all the while placing their feet  carefully on the muddy ground beneath them. Year after year passed as we prayed for a decent building. On several occasions,  chickens would strut through the church while Prit preached. On rainy nights, goats would huddle onto the back benches to stay warm. Well, now we can finally say that long season is over.

 

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–Our New Building

Sunday morning, we gathered together in our brand new, gorgeous building that surpasses anything we could have ever hoped for and worshipped the Lord with all our hearts. But, no one entered the new building without having to first pass through the tonnelle one last time so as not to forget the struggle, the shame, and the fervent prayers that had been offered up on that hallowed ground. I recalled earlier times when our people returned to that  little building, in the shape of Noah’s ark, and laid face down in the dirt to pray. They prayed for our deliverance from a gang which kidnapped us in 2006. I fought back the emotions as I thought of Pastor Délinx at the altar telling our congregation in 2010 that he felt strongly compelled to pray for Pastor Adams. He asked them to join him, not knowing that, far away in Alberta, Canada, Prit had already been  sent to the hospital with two back-to-back brain aneurysms. I remembered the glory that had come into that place countless times as we were all swept up in God’s Shekinah glory. I bowed my head and prayed that we would never lose that fervor which we had – when we had nothing. 

What can we say to those who lifted this huge burden off our shoulders? How can we begin to adequately thank all those who gave to make this miracle tangible – something built for the glory of God that will stand for generations? We begin by thanking Richard and Linda Baker, many other unnamed donors, Orphans Promise, and Lifeline Ministries for doing what we did not have the strength or the means to do. We thank Terry Meeuwsen for obeying the call to start Orphans Promise Ministry. We thank Beth Meadows, Abigail Anderson, and Yuri Khomyak for making several trips to Haiti and dealing with the on-the-ground logistics of bringing all this together. We thank, as well, Engineer Osmy Bozor and his crew members who erected the building. We thank our own people who wept for years, and chose to believe that God would bring us out of this desert to a life-giving oasis. They not only prayed, but they gave out of their poverty and the Lord turned their mourning into dancing. We thank our prayer partners like Myrtle Wickham and others who interceded for years that this building would be erected.

God built this house. He built it with the love and compassion of others who joined together with the tears and prayers of our people. May He be highly exalted and may the glory from His throne fill this temple!

Psalm 30: 11, 12

You have turned my mourning into dancing for me;
You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

 

Remembering the Loss

images.jpeg“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”   Jeremiah 29.11

Last night, Manno called me to ask if I had the money I owed him for putting minutes on my phone. “Driving from Petite-Anse to Sainte-Philomène in the pouring rain on his motorcycle,” I wondered to myself, ”He must really need it to be coming here this late.” Sure enough, a few minutes later, Manno – soaked to the skin – stood before our door  with not even a jacket to cover himself. I invited him into the den to sit down and went to get his money. Manno just lost his wife a couple of months ago due to a botched mastectomy. He has been left alone to raise their two children. The sadness filled his eyes and was painful to watch. They revealed the sorrow that still weighs heavily  on his heart. Feeling a check in my spirit, I asked Manno if he was hungry. ”Yes, the children didn’t cook anything today.” I immediately took him into the kitchen and fed him some heated over beans and rice with the little creole sauce that was left in our fridge. After questioning him, Manno shared with me that he had been working in construction all day without a bite to eat. He didn’t stay long. Dashing back through sheets of rain, he jumped on his motorcycle to hurry home. My heart ached to think of him going back home to only a memory of his sweet wife.

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that shook the south of Haiti. The death toll is estimated to be at least 230,000 but over 3,000,000 inhabitants were affected. The Haiti we see today has already made much recovery, yet she still limps along.

As we reached the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in our new pickup the other day, we saw whole new communities of people had sprung up on the mountainsides – people who had escaped the devastated city to start life again, but far from the home they knew. Haiti reminds me a little bit of Manno. She’s still mourning the losses she incurred and has only the memories to which she clings. So much loss. So much sadness. Yet, so many depending on her meager remaining resources.

Even though we have lots going on here in Cap-Haitian and are expecting a 17 member team to fly in tomorrow, we take this moment to reflect and to remember this horrendous loss. May the Lord wipe away Haiti’s tears. May the Lord do the same for Manno. May new life spring forth with the hope of a better tomorrow. We pray for Haiti’s future – and Manno’s.

 

35 Years & Counting

images.jpeg35 years ago today, Prit and I made the most monumental decision ever that would completely alter our future. We moved to Haiti to teach in a Christian day school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We lived in Port-au-Prince for five-and-a-half years, then moved north to the old colonial capital of Cap-Haitian where we have been ever since. Here, we planted our first church and started raising up disciples. We now have 5 churches, 3 schools, a Bible institute, and are feeding over 1,000 students, staff, and cooks. We have started the grassroots of a Professional School and have sewing classes in progress. We are also sending two young men to the university in Limbé to obtain a 4-year degree; one in Agronomy and the other in Music.

We give thanks to the Lord, first and foremost, for bringing us through some pretty heavy-duty trials and, secondly, our family and supporters who have believed in us all these years.

This is a pretty special week of remembrance! In addition to that, a group of 17 folks headed up by Orphans Promise, will be flying in to help us dedicate our brand new church building. We’ll have more pictures of that later. As we made our 8-hour journey from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitian on Saturday, I was reminded at several points of how the Lord had miraculously delivered us out of the hands of others who meant us harm. I will have to share that with you in another post, for they are many. Meanwhile, we know we didn’t walk this journey alone. The prayers of family, friends, and supporters sustained us all along the way.