If someone was to ask what is one of the most difficult things you face in the ministry I would have to say that it is writing newsletters! I would rather sit down with each of you over coffee and share our challenges and triumphs with tears and laughter. My husband would prefer that too, because he has to edit with me many times before we send it out.
Ironically, this morning’s devotional we were in Matthew chapter 10 and it was just what God knew we needed to hear! Jesus said, “God will give you the right words at the right time, and what I whisper in your ear, shout it from the housetops for all to hear.”
The decision to go to Haiti in March was very difficult and we had a team that had been preparing for months. So it was not just Luke and I but we were responsible for the team. Over the last few months things have been very unstable with the government, many demonstrations in the streets, and road blocks. The violence is worst in the Port aux Prince area. We are in the North.
The Haitian economy is at its worst. Food prices have doubled, and the exchange rate is very high, it is at 16 Haitian dollars for each US dollar.
So we had a serious decision to make and we all were feeling pressure from our families not to go. We did not know what to do! The Lord led us to the old testament and we ended up in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. Yes, we begged the Lord for guidance, and the scripture spoke right to our hearts. We reached out to our ministry team in Haiti and talked to our friends at MFI. After several weeks of praying, Luke and I were leaning on going and after many conversations with the team they agreed that they were not feeling the Lord closing the door and together we made the decision to Go! In unity we agreed God is in control and we were going to trust Him.
We believe one way to bring you up close and personal to our ministry is for you to serve with us. This is one reason we spend so much time with our short term mission teams. We were blessed to have a great team with us in March. We were so happy to have one of our daughters, son-in-law, and granddaughter with us. During one of our debriefing meetings after being out all day doing home to home visits, our son in law shared that he had no idea how involved our ministry was. He had heard us share and seen pictures but nothing compared to his seeing first hand what the ministry does. This newsletter is to share with you some of the team’s activities. We want to bring you there the best we can through a couple stories and pictures.
One day we went out to a village where there are many witch doctors. We broke off into smaller teams to do home-to-home. We always make sure that we get invited into their front yard. We introduce ourselves and start out by asking if they would like their blood pressure taken and then it takes off from there. Usually, a few others will come. We share a little more, ask them questions and we are always received with warm smiles and gracious hospitality. Many will bring chairs out for us to sit in. Soon others will come to see what is going on and before long we are having church!
One man’s blood pressure was 230 / 120 , we were afraid he would have a stroke right in front of us. In time, we found out he had run out medication. We taught him about high blood pressure, the importance to stay on his meds, and what could happen when he stops taking the medication. Its difficult for most because they do not have money for meds. We gave him a thirty day supply and Max and Dieudonne will do a follow-up visit when they do the “Home-to-Home” visits. Near the end of our visit we asked if we could share about Jesus and our daughter shared her own testimony. Then someone told us the man we had been treating was a witch doctor. We took more time with him and he seemed to be receptive to the words we shared. Please pray for this man.
After we left this families home we noticed a makeshift church across the road. Some bamboo post with twigs woven and caked with mud. We entered a door through the side and what we saw was unbelievable. It brought us back to what it must of been like during Jesus time. There were several sick people some sitting and some laying on woven mats. We really couldn’t believe our eyes, they had come to this place to pray. We had no idea we were going to that village that day but God did. In a corner there was a 15 month old little girl laying down with what looked like a burn on her lower half. Her mother was with her. We found out she had a serious case of diarrhea and her bottom area got infected. The child was malnourished, dehydrated and had a fever. We were able to treat the burn area with silvadene, and give Tylenol. The mom told us the baby had improved some. We took time to encourage the mom and prayed with her.
We also treated the others that were there and prayed with them. It was an unbelievable day. We pray that our tender touch and care was an answer to prayer for them and they felt God’s love for them. We had a dear pastor friend tell us that, “before you share show them you care.” Above all else, we want the people we serve to know how much we care.
Throughout the whole week we all came to the same conclusion that it was evident God directed our steps.
Pastor Jovite had asked us to do a youth conference so as planned, four team member ladies each shared a different topic for the conference. They spent the day teaching, sharing their testimonies, sharing a meal, and games. Another team member provided each youth a canvas, paint, and a brush then gave instructions and helped them paint while she shared her testimony, along with some biblical truths.
Another topic shared by a team member was on God’s command to remain spiritually and sexually pure. She discussed the definition of purity as it is seen in the scriptures. Did object lessons, talked about strategies on how to remain pure, relationships, accountability, and health issues that could arise. Some of the scriptures they shared included 1st Thes. 4:3 , 1st Corinth. 6:18-19, 2nd Tim 2:22, 2nd Corinth. 7:1,10;4-5. The youth were involved in reading the scriptures in their own Bibles and a salvation message at the end.
One of the ladies had this to share,”While we were in Haiti (my first visit) I was privileged to present a talk at Pastor Jovite’s church in Bazin. I was pretty anxious about the whole thing, but I felt strongly the Lord was leading me to share about one’s identity in Christ, largely based on the beautiful scripture Psalms 139.
During this week we were finishing up on a home we built for an elderly couple. During the week our son in law helped with the concrete floors and hanging of doors. He shared how much he enjoyed working alongside the Haitian men. By the second day, they were comfortable with each other. He remarked on how they made do with what they had and the methods they use to get the job done.
A few of the team helped our daughter and son-in-law hold a soccer clinic. They had 37 young men for the day and did soccer drills.
The last Sunday there we showed the film, Passion of the Christ at Pastor Jovite’s church. This was the first time they had seen the movie. Pastor Jovite was very happy we showed the movie and thought the people were moved and understood. At the end we recapped what everyone had just seen and Pastor Jovite will follow-up with his church.
To quote Max. “Thank you does not seem to be enough but its all I can say.”
We thank God for His protection and provision. We thank you for your support and prayers. Many of you are an encouragement to Luke and I and for that we are humbled.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…Hebrews 10:24
Warmest wishes for this holiday season. We are humbled when reflecting on 2018. It is difficult to comprehend all the work done through Haitian Ministries this year; we don’t have to fully understand because God knows the inner workings and His accomplishments are wonderful. He has called us to serve and we cling to His truth and His word. When we start to feel totally inadequate Luke and I remind each other. God has it covered, “He will do it” and he wants us to be a participant. Hallelujah. As I write this today my spirit is giddy and I am excited. We thank God for the work he established and accomplished in 2018. We thank God for the beautiful people he brings along to serve with us an those that give in so many other ways, especially with prayer.
As a reminder, the Haitian Ministries mission statement is: Creating Lasting change by Helping Haitians help Haitians for God’s Glory.
To implement our mission statement we focus on 4 cornerstones, here are a few highlights from 2018 that we want to share with you.
1. Education, Discipleship and Evangelism
- In 2018 we ministered to over 340 pastors. The book of James and teaching on Islam.
- We held a ladies conference in 3 different communities.
- A one day youth conference.
We get so much enjoyment from the pastors and positive feedback on how much the appreciate the training and how necessary it is. The ladies conferences are a joy. The topic this time was, We can live victoriously! They not only enjoy the teaching but the fellowship, games and the crafts that are done with them. These gatherings give us time to get to know the ladies personally. They share their burdens and prayer requests. W have been told that anything at all we can do for the women is a blessing. They have so many responsibilities and if we can bring reprieve for one day, and they feel special and know that we love them and more importantly God loves them. It is a blessing to serve these women.
In 2018, Max and Dieudonne visited over 2500 families providing medical care. They are treating many conditions: high blood pressure, diabetes, anemia, malnutrition, skin infection, respiratory infections, worms, inguinal hernias on young children and older men. During the home to home medical visits they discover so many problems, elderly that are abandoned widows, some grandparents that now are responsible for their grandchildren or other children that are orphaned. During the visits Max and Dieudonne will do an exam, consult, encourage, and listen to their stories. If needed they give medication that’s needed to treat the condition, sometimes refer them to a doctor or transport to Milot hospital. They take time to pray, share the gospel, sometimes they give a small amounts of food or money when they have it. This outreach is the heart beat of our ministry. We are reaching out to families that are discouraged, defeated and have given up on life. Max shares the gospel with witch doctor, and listens to their stories. One witch doctor received Christ. We have witness how just one visit lifts their spirit. By the time Max leaves they are smiling, and waving good bye and asking when can he come back. Dieudonne has a burden for the pregnant women she sees in the community. She has has 45 women this year some as young as 14. She visits with each one monthly. She does medical assessments, measures the abdomen which gives her an idea of the size of the baby, weights, blood pressure and listen to the heart beat, which gives the mom a chance to hear their babies heart beat. Gifts are given when we have them, clean birthing kits, and prenatal vitamins. She gets to teach the moms on their pregnancy. Some have never been to a doctor. Building relationships and taking time to get to know some of these families is very important to us. We don’t always have the resources necessary to meet the needs of the patient or request made but we find when we take time to listen, hold their hands, and pray with them you can see and feel that we have brought hope. It speaks volumes that, Someone cares, Someone has reached out, showed up and returns.
Last year we have 3 teams serve with us. This helps us tremendously, and accomplishes extras we would not be able to do. We enjoy our teams, the spiritual gifts and talents they bring and share with us and our brothers and sisters in Haiti. During our home to home visits the team members led 5 different people to the Lord. We see over 125-150 in patients in a day when we hold our mobile medical clinics.
Last year we rebuilt 3 water pumps in the community of Paulette. Our partners raised enough money to purchase pedal bikes for students in Paulette these young people would walk 7 miles one way to school. Over 200 children each week receive peanut butter sandwiches and water during their school year. 1000 Moringa plants have been planted. The moringa leaves have important health benefits that we are able to distribute to the children, and families we serve. We buildt a home for a family of 5. it has been a blessing to this young family. Three patients had successful inguinal operations.
We started another lady in a small business. We are helping Pastor Jovite with an education fund for his school and peanut butter sandwich and drink for his students.
We completed the work on the church building in Bazin. In October we participated in a celebration with Pastor Petit Pierre and the church family praising God for completing the construction of this church.
Please pray for:
January’s pastor’s conference. Dr. Kevin Grant will be teaching on King Saul.
The teams that will be serving with us in March, June, and October.
In March we will concentrate on home to home medical visits, evangelizing and soccer training.
In June we will be holding a basketball camp, including bible teaching. A VBS and home to home evangelizing.
In October we have a small team that will be teaching a group of ladies how to crochet pot holders and dish cloths to sell for small business to help with their children’s schooling and food to eat. We will visit some of the communities and provide medical care.
Prayers for 2019
Please pray Pastor Saintil’s wife, Yanick and his church family. Our dear friend passed away in November. This has been a shock to everyone. Joseph was a dear friend and instrumental in helping with the Pastor training. Dr. Jules Casseus, Pastor Maxis Michel and Pastor Josue Jacques who are part of the pastors committee have a strong desire to see the pastors conferences continue. They will be my new contacts. We will miss Pastor Saintil but are confident the conferences will continue.
Pray for the church that needs a roof to be replaced.
A family that needs help building a small home.
The political unrest.
Safety for Max and Dieudonne traveling on the roads, good health for their children who live in Mexico now.
Please pray for Pastor Jovite and his family.
Marc-endy who is helping us with the micro loans. We love these families.
Luke and I appreciate your prayers as we continue to serve and seek God’s will for the future.
Merry Christmas and may You feel His presence and peace in 2019.
All our love,
Luke and Pam