It has taken me a few days to get my thoughts together to share how incredible this last trip in February was. Incredible but very difficult. But we praise God, our Ultimate Guide, for how He did indeed direct and shepherd us every step of the way.
As you are all aware, we have been praying for a nurse to work alongside Max after Dieudonne’s passing. We prayed and believed God would bring someone that would fit just right in the ministry. And He did!
We praise God for a 2-day interview process – interviewing being something practically unheard of in Haiti – and then unanimously a decision was made, by not only our US team but our brothers and staff in Haiti, to bring Ertha Pieree on the mission team serving with us as a nurse. This was amazing confirmation by the Holy Spirit to have everyone independently select Ertha to work with Haitian Ministries! Praise God!
Ertha (pronounced “Air-ta”) loves God and is excited to serve with us. One of the things she said during the interview is that she went on-line to check us out, and liked what she saw and read. Ertha was a nursing instructor and possessed some experience in community health – just what we had prayed for! She is 26 years old, and Max and the rest of the team have taken her under their wings. Max is already calling her his daughter!
Over this week, we spent time in the book of Ephesians with the team. One thing that the Lord kept reminding me of was the ‘incredible greatness of God’s power and how He will empower us with inner strength through the Holy Spirit.’ And how we need that! What wonderful encouragement He provides through His Word!
This story that I’m going to share with you, a very difficult one, will hopefully give you an understanding why missionaries need your consistent, fervent prayers.
On our team, we have a young woman who has served with us several times. She does anything she can to help, but her passion is children and adults with disabilities. She asked us if she could specifically help us with this if Max discovered anyone with these needs during his home-to-home visits. We had a few discussions about this and what that would look like, and agreed it fit perfectly with what we are already doing. We were blessed that this young woman came with us this last trip and by the end of the week we found 4 people: 2 children and 2 women.
But I feel a burden to share one of our discoveries and how difficult life can be for so many we serve. We will call her Penny. She is 34 years old and is a paraplegic. She also has a mental disability. We were invited into her home to do an assessment and what we found was very sad. She and her grandmother, 80-some years old who is going blind, live in the ghetto. Their home has mud walls, dirt floor, a rusty tin roof, only 2 rooms. Each space had an old twin mattress. Penny’s mattress was all soiled with brown spots and a hole in the middle where you could see the springs, but the hole was open right to the floor, and it was 2 feet in diameter. We still do not know how she could ever sleep on this. The grandmother’s mattress was very thin, and it looked like it was a pile of cardboard with blankets over it.
Penny was sitting outside on a small Haitian chair. She was all wet from urine. She mumbled a few words but we didn’t understand her. Our team member examined her skin condition, how she transferred and how she managed her food intake. We received a little history from a cousin. We found something very disturbing about her: She has been violated many times by men in the past and has had 4 pregnancies. They have had to remove the babies and place them in an orphanage. As you can well imagine, this was heartbreaking. By the time we left this home, we were all in shock and struggled with what to do next. If only we had more money, I kept thinking we could pay someone to take care of her, maybe we should build a home for patients with disabilities. So many things ran through our minds.
And later that afternoon we found another very difficult situation, worse than the one I just shared about Penny, but just too painful to share with you now.
On that following Sunday, we all went to Pastor Jovite’s church. The message and worship were wonderful! It always feels like we are going to our home church when we are there, with many familiar faces and children that we’ve watched grow up.
But during church I received a message that Penny was raped in the night. Yes, again. There are no words for this. They did find the man and will prosecute him. My thoughts were to immediately remove her from the community. One of the family members said they would not be able to find anyone to take care of her and it would take money and wouldn’t know who they could trust. In the community where she is, there is some family that can check on her. Right now, they have a few men that are guarding her home until we can get better doors installed. We have been asked to put better doors on her home with locks. We will be doing that this week. We also have replaced the old mattresses with 2 new ones with new frames.
None of this makes any sense and it’s very hard to understand. I don’t have any answers. Please trust me when I say this is probably not an isolated case; in fact, we know it isn’t. Please pray for this young woman and her grandmother. The damage this does to a woman’s mind, heart and soul is horrific. Only God can heal this woman. Penny went to church before she became disabled and the grandmother goes to a Catholic church.
Pastor Jovite has introduced us to a family of 9 who live in a home across from the church. The home is buckling in on the sides. The roof has holes and is rusting and when it rains it goes into the home. And there are dirt floors.
Jovite asked if we would consider helping them by building a new home. The mother has been faithful for over 15 years. She attends Pastor Jovite’s church with her family. We all agreed this would be a good project to undertake. On Thursday, March 5, as I drafted this newsletter, we were shy $1000.00. But by the time of sending this newsletter, we have received ALL the money to build this home ~ this just affirms to us not only God’s goodness, but His sovereignty as well!! I believe this home will be built by the end of summer.
I also want to mention that we will be having another wedding in July! Clara and Saintfort are getting married. You may remember they are the elderly couple who were living together, and their home was falling down. They started going to church, received Christ as their Savior and want to get married. There are rumors I will be the “marenn maryaj la” – the matron of honor!
Further confirmation of God’s working is that John Pericles, whom we have known for many years, has joined the ministry. He has served with us in the past and we love his gentle spirit.
His passion is serving the Lord and he loves to teach Bible. John will be helping us serve the at‑risk population. He is married with a beautiful family.
Unity with the team in the field.
Our children we found with disabilities
Penny and the grandmother(she is going blind from cataracts but we’re pursuing cataract surgery down there).
Pastor Jovite as he coordinates the team that will be building a family home.
Marc-Endy as he organizes and explains to groups about micro-loans, then finds a group that wants to start a micro-loan business and become a co-op that will hold each other accountable and encourage one another.
John and his pastor friends as they explore and decide the best approach and ways to help the children at risk.
The pastors’ conference in July.
Travel back in April.
The country, its political situation and economic instability
Our nurse, Ertha, and Max. Pray Ertha will not be overwhelmed with the responsibilities of her job.
Pray for Max and his family.
Our new nurse.
The gifts of money that came in for our new home construction.
Safety while we travel on the roads.
The direction the ministry is going.
Thank you all for being there for us, always through God’s working at just the right times!
The years seem to go faster and time flies. Some folks say this is one of the signs we are getting older. I’m not sure if that’s the reason, but we are very sure that God is faithful and we praise his name for all He has accomplished in which he allows us to participate. We find comfort and have confidence in knowing that God is with us.
We praise God – nou fè lwanj Bondye!
We had some wonderful teams who served with us that provided medical care, taught the Bible, played basketball, & soccer with the youth, went to homes to visit and pray with the families and listen to their stories and their praises for God. We cried and laughed. We served with pastors doing VBS programs. Discipled women and youth. With your generous giving, we finished building a family home and put a roof on a church.
It was a very difficult year for our dear brothers and sisters due to civil unrest, an unstable economy, high prices for food and no gas. In the end the Lord prevailed and worked it out. Some things have improved now and we will be going back in February!
We still need prayers for change in the country; good, fair, and principled leaders; and jobs for the people. We have said many times that the majority of problems are due to sin. The sad part as usual are the remnants from sin: fatherless homes, abandoned children, malnutrition, starvation, sickness, and elderly ones who are left alone.
One of the things that keeps us serving there is the beautiful children and elderly. We see genuine Christians – “saints” – who are devoted to the Lord and want our help to continue and improve what they are doing. They would be the first to say their strength and nourishment comes from the Lord, and “I can do all things through Christ because He gives me strength, but it was good that you helped me when I needed it” Phil 4:13-14 (NCV) The word of God is the best! We love that at just the right time God brings from the Word or from a partner just what we need to hear. We are blessed to serve with so many that are family to us: Max, Pastor Jovite, Marc-Endy, John, and Daniel, to name just a few.
We’ve been committed to sharing God’s love to families and loving them like Jesus. We try to encourage and strengthen the saints that are committed to God’s will and His plan for their lives and help the people that Gods puts before us.
Please pray for our plans in 2020 –
We would like to build another family home.
We have been praying for the past 4 years how we can help the children who are “restavecs,” Restavecs are children that have been taken into homes and used for child labor, sexual gain and physically abused. In most cases they are not given an education, clothed or fed properly. God has opened a door and we have a friend that lives in Haiti who approached us about serving with us and would like to help in this. So it appears that this is now God’s timing. The door has opened and He has a plan for us. We are excited but want to make sure we go slowly. We know that if we “commit it to the Lord, He will establish it”( Proverbs 16:3). Also Proverbs 15:22 tells us that “plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” We are seeking advice and asking questions with a pastor who is involved with this. Please join us in prayer for God’s will and His plan going forward.
We will continue growing Moringa plants for our medical outreach.
We will be going back in February to hire a new nurse.
Max and the nurse will continue to serve in communities doing home-to-home medical visits and sharing the gospel.
We are planning a marriage conference in July for the pastors and their wives.
We have 2 young people in school that we help, and we also have a peanut butter sandwich program we help with in 2 schools.
We look forward to 2020 and the plans and people our Father will put on our path. Our desire is to bring hope in the name of Jesus.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”; “For my Father‘s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:35,40).
In January, we will be serving with a team from The Rock Church in Bangor. Our focus will be medical and always sharing Jesus. Due to the prolonged unrest in Haiti and only its recent apparent resolution, we and this team will be serving in the Dominican Republic, with a missionary in a Haitian community there.
We are so very thankful to God for our Board of Directors, who serve and advise so faithfully, always seeking the Father’s will for Haitian Ministries to “go…and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 6:15).
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. Thank you for the precious pillowcase dresses, the sweet baby hats, and receiving blankets that you make for us. They are very much appreciated by us and treasured by those who receive them. You are a blessing over and over again and touch many little lives.
We pray that you have a Merry Christmas, and may God bless you with a joyful, healthy New Year.
It’s that time again to update you about what God is doing in the ministry. We thank you for your continued prayers and support and appreciate each one of you for your faithfulness.
As we continue in ministry, each day we value and appreciate the importance of having a team that works together. God brings the right people at just the right time!
“It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ.” (2 Corinthians 1:21)
It has been a very busy summer, but also a difficult one for us. After the passing of Max’s wife, Dieudonne, in the spring, Max requested some time off, and we were pleased to be able to accommodate him with 2 months to spend with family in Mexico. He was very thankful for this time. Thank you for your prayers. I’m sharing a part of Max’s letter to us:
“Merci. Good morning Miss Pam, Good morning Mr. Luke.
I am pleased to share this with you this afternoon. My field of work is in Haiti and I work with Haitian Ministries that the Good God has given me. He is a fallen soldier, not the whole army. I will return in September to continue working with this poor people whom the Good God has entrusted to me.
We are thankful for Max, and his love for the Lord and his people is undeniable.
In September Max will return and together we will start the process of finding a new nurse to start the “Home-to-Home” medical visits.
For Max’s decision to continue serving with Haitian Ministries
Our faithful friends and new friends
Safe return to the US at the end of June
Our July team
325 more Moringa plants Pastor Jovite planted in our new location where the new well is. Jovite has delivered plants in several communities
Our 2 new micro-loans which Marc-Endy started
Our new friends that helped us with translating in Limbe
A successful basketball camp and VBS – a packed-full week! Over 350 children were fed during the week we were there, and the team ministered to more than 50 young adults through the basketball clinic, and our young adults led the English Bible class!
Shared the gospel during the home-to-home visits
The birth of John and Lundie’s baby boy
Max’s safe travel home to Haiti
Our January medical team
Our friend Rev. Richard Brown from Yuma, Arizona, who will be teaching at our January’s Pastors’ Conference
Hearing-impaired Kessley (photo right), who Haitian Ministries has been supporting and who is starting his third year in school
Our ministry team
Return to Haiti the first of October to find the right nurse to join our team
A new roof for Pastor Phillipe (senior pastor) and (associate) Pastor Bernard’s church
Construction of a family home
Financial support for Dr. Mesedieu’s construction plans on a small building to store supplies.
“We preach the word of God with sincerity, and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.” 2 Corinthians 2:17
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.