Bonswa…Bondye beni ou (Good Evening…Lord bless you),
I have spent the last few days getting my contact list updated to include friends and family from my email, my Facebook, and other sources. This may be your first email from me related to our activities in Haiti. If this is so and you would rather not receive these emails please let me know and I will take your name off of my distribution list.
For those of you that are receiving this update from me for the first time this is one of my emails reporting on how things are progressing with our ministry, El Shaddai Ministries International (ESMI) in Haiti. I joined ESMI almost a year ago as their Projects and Development Director and I am now managing their projects across the country. If you would like more information about our ministry check us out at www.esmihaiti.org.
I did not make it down to Haiti this month but was kept pretty busy. I was given the opportunity to preach for two services at our church here in the Dayton area as well as give a presentation about our ministry during Sunday School. I was also able to share our story at Christ Presbyterian Church in Richmond, IN. Tomorrow they have a team of 11 people headed down to Port-au-Prince to get started building home number 9. I also had the opportunity to ride my motorcycle down to Macon, GA to meet with the missions committee of First Presbyterian Church. I was able to spend a couple of nights at my daughter’s house and hang out with my two precious grandchildren there. As of now I don’t have any upcoming events until the end of April.
The progress on the chapel is coming along quite well. We broke ground on it February 1st and you can see from the picture below that we are ready to put the roof on. I have been working on the detail drawings for the classrooms, dormitory, faculty residences, a cafeteria, and an administration office that will all be part of the university that we are building in Jeremie.
Our Haitian construction team completed homes 7 and 8 and both of them came in right at $4,500. Pastor Guercy Meme and the construction team are doing a phenomenal job on these houses.
I am often asked how the reconstruction of Haiti is coming along. Things are progressing slowly, but they are progressing. However, I would like to share some stories that present another perspective how some things are changing in Haiti.
Over the last week we had two groups down in the Jeremie area. One group was focused on setting up a computer lab at our orphanage in Lundy and teaching the teachers at the school there in the use of the new lab and computers. Below is a picture of these teachers in training.
The teachers and students from Covenant Day School conducted the computer training and English as a Second Language with the teachers of the El Shaddai School in Lundy, Jeremie. Of all the 14 people present, only 3 were familiar with the use of the computer. The teachers were excited to be in the training. At the end of the week the teachers received a certificate for having participated in the training.
Finally, I would like to share a story with you that came in today, which highlights the core of why we are here in Haiti helping people rebuild their lives…
Here is the story directly from Dony St. Germain, the President of ESMI:
This has been such an awesome week of ministry with both of our teams from Chicago, IL and Charlotte, NC. Incredible things have been happening that could only be God-orchestrated. This week the medical team from Chicago have been doing ministry in the downtown church of Les Cayes. The Bon Berger Church in Savannes was constructed after the earthquake to minister to the massive influx of families who sought refuge in this poorer section of Les Cayes. Services in this church began last summer with Pastor Mongerard, a faithful man of God. On Tuesday a well-known gang leader had been experiencing excruciating pain in his right arm. He came to the medical team to ask them for medication to relief the pain that was being caused by a needle. The medical team was in disbelief of his request and asked him to explain. He began to share that several years ago he went to a witch doctor asking him to make him a powerful man. The witchdoctor called upon his spirits and placed a needle in his wrist to empower him. The witch doctor told him not to remove the needle as it was his source of power. The man became very strong physically and very evil in the crimes he committed. With his strength, he rose to the recognition of a gang leader and everyone in the community knew this and feared him. As the years passed, the needle kept moving up his wrist, then past his forearm, then past his elbow and now into his arm causing so much unbearable pain. The medical team listened to his story and sure enough when they felt his arm, they felt the presence of what seemed to be a needle. Pastor Mongerard and the medical doctor shared the powerful news of the gospel with him. The doctor then went on to explain that this needle had to be removed. The man in all these years did not remove it because it was the source of his strength, the source of his notoriety. He had borne the pain for a long time. The response of the gang leader, “Before you remove this needle, there is one thing I’d like to do.” The team was now thinking maybe he needed to speak with a family member, or had a job to do. What came from his mouth was totally unexpected. This is what he said, “Would you pray for me now as I want Christ to be in my life?” You and I cannot imagine the jubilation in the hearts of Pastor Mongerard and the medical team. As I write this testimonial on Friday, February 25 at 2:15pm, our “new” brother in Christ is having the procedure done by the medical team to remove the needle. Isn’t God just incredibly great!!! Let’s keep this dear brother in Christ in our prayers and Pastor Mongerard as he does follow up ministry.
For those of you that have been following our progress on raising our support we are currently at 38%, which comes to 60% with one-time donations added in. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.