Dear Partners in Ministry:
I thank God for the opportunity to serve Him in Haiti. We’ve been here ten months now and it hasn’t been an easy adjustment. There are many challenges that we have faced and continue to face almost daily: challenges with the children’s health; car incidents and accidents; limited electricity and plumbing at times; the heat (it still feels like summer in Jeremie); different pace of life– a bank errand that should take 30 minutes ends up taking four hours when the van radiator overheats and so I never know when I leave my home what time I’ll return because, here in Haiti, life is definitely unpredictable; and the list goes on. Then just recently, Sharon met in a serious car accident in Miami in which the car she was driving was totaled. All these can be discouraging but we cling to God’s faithfulness and His word of encouragement from 2 Chronicles 20:15b: “This is what the LORD says, ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” Through all these and others, we’ve seen God’s protective hands. Thank you for your faithful prayers on our behalf that has kept us encouraged.
I thank God for the executive team He has put together to share the weight of ministry as we serve our sixty-plus pastors, their congregants and surrounding communities; the 6500 school children and their teachers; the 1400 orphans and their care-givers; and as we train pastors and leaders for the other departments.
- Bryan Clifton serves as our Chief of Staff filling in the gap between our US and Haiti staff as well as focusing on the orphan ministry.
- Dale Austin, US Field Director, oversees our short-term teams and we praise God for the more than 500 team members who have served this year in Les Cayes, Port-au-Prince, Gonaives and Jeremie.
- David Short, ESMI’s Project/Development Director, is developing the new construction projects in Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, and the seminary/university in Jeremie, and is doing an excellent job at keeping everyone informed on the different projects.
- Bresile St. Germain, our newest staff person, serves as the Leadership Development Coordinator. In the recent training in Jeremie, one pastor commented that the seminars with Pastor Bresile are enough to bring about revitalization in the Haitian churches. Praise God for how He continues to use this servant.
- Louis St. Germain has been working this year with Pastor Nicolais, whom you will meet in another update, on developing the new denomination: L’Eglise Reformee d’Haiti (ERH), translated “The Reformed Churches of Haiti.” Louis is also overseeing the development of three presbyteries as he works with Pastor Woodman in the Artibonite department, Pastor Moril in the Grand-Anse department, and Pastor Mongerard in the Sud department.
I’ve been focused this year on mentoring and coaching pastors in creating strategies for healthy church development. In the coming weeks, I hope to introduce you to some of these leaders, and to share how ESMI is coming alongside these men to enable them to preach the gospel effectively.
Praise and Prayer Requests
- Praise God for our US pastoral colleagues who came alongside us in conducting seminars focused on: “The Pastor and His Prayer Life,” “The Pastor and the Word,” The Pastor and His Ministry”, “The Pastor and His Family.” These have been refreshing for the pastors who have given testimonies of how these have impacted their ministries and their relationship within the home.
- Praise God for the 147 conversions since the Dr. Nicholas Chapel opened its doors in mid-September. Weekly discipleship and leadership training classes are being conducted. We praise God for how He is changing this community one soul at a time.
- Praise God for His continued protection over us as a family
- Praise God for the two completed buildings in Phase 1 of developing the seminary/university in Jeremie: the Dr. Nicholas Chapel and the Multi-Purpose Building, to serve the immediate community and those in the surrounding Grand-Anse department.
- Urgent Prayer Request for two new 4x4 diesel pick-up trucks for the ministry. The rough terrains, gas mixture of water and kerosene, high gas costs, high maintenance cost on these older automobiles, etc. have taken its toll on all ESMI’s vehicles. The cost to purchase one in Haiti is $33,000.
- Prayers for needed funds for new church plants
- Prayer to complete Phase 1 of the seminary/university. After the earthquake, there is an estimated 21,000 college students who returned to the Grand-Anse department. Our goal is to target these students for the University of Jeremie.
- Prayers as we begin registration for seminary classes. We’re thankful for ESMI’s partnership with MINTS (Miami International Seminary, Miami, FL).
Again, Sharon and I thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support of us as your missionaries here in Haiti. To God be the glory!
To see more about what God is doing through ESMI, visit our website: www.esmihome.org.