First, we want to thank you for your prayers for us as Tropical Storm Isaac made his way across the southeast part of the island. Praise the Lord, all the children living on the seven mission sites fared well, especially Cherette and Casa Major which are situated next to river banks. There were only some minor damages caused by the strong winds. Continue to pray for the family members of the 19 people who lost their lives and for the cities most affected by the storm, namely Port-au-Prince and Jacmel.
Secondly, thank you for your prayers for Jean-Claude. He suffered a broken wrist and a broken jaw for which he is wearing braces. He refuses to stay home any longer and is out and about doing light jobs. We praise God for healing Jean-Claude.
Thirdly, we want to thank God for your prayers and partnership with us in the ministry of the gospel. The Bible verse that has been the theme of my recent messages is from John 14:1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” As I reflect on the challenges Haitians face daily and my own challenges in ministry, I am commanded not to worry but to trust in God’s faithfulness, His provision for the future in Christ Jesus and His guidance as I serve Him daily. And so it is with a great passion, knowing who God is, that ESMI is moving forward with the vision of evangelism through church planting and leadership training, education, empathy and economical development. Here is just a glimpse of the amazing things we are seeing God do since the last update in May.
Evangelism: Leadership Training
Dr. Neil Hegeman joined us again this past July to continue the MDiv program. All the MDiv students are working collaboratively to write a New Testament Commentary for the Haitian churches in Creole and French. Dr. Hegeman has helped the churches in the Dominican Republic accomplish this task and with his help, the Haitian students hope to do the same. We covet your prayers on this endeavor.
In Les Cayes
The Metro Chicago team, led by Pastor Ted, provided training for 66 of our pastors in Les Cayes. The theme: “Mentoring Your Timothy: Serving as Christ Served” was expounded by Pastor Ted, Pastor David and Professor Mattson.
ESMI-Haiti Administrative and Seminary Building/University of Jeremie-Phase 1
Our heart is overflowing with praise to God for our long time partner in church planting who agreed to fund the construction of what is to be ESMI-Haiti’s headquarter and Seminary Building. Construction should be completed in another three weeks.
Upcoming Training: In Jeremie, Gonaives and Les Cayes
In September, I will conduct an intensive study on Systematic Theology. There are 41 students already registered from Jeremie and the surrounding cities of the Department/State of Grand-Anse.
In November, my father and I will head to Gonaives for a leadership training seminar. We have pastors who will come from as far north as Cap-Haitian for the 3-day intensive training. From there, we will head to Les Cayes and be joined by Louis to offer training to the MEBSH (Members of the Baptist Churches of Southern Haiti) pastors. My father was very instrumental in the church planting growth of this denomination and has been asked by the leadership to restore some of the programs he implemented while he was the president of the mission. There are about 500 MEBSH churches now. Pray with us and for us as we seek God’s guidance in partnering with the MEBSH leadership for the revitalization of these churches.
In the USA
In July, I met with a couple Haitian pastors, living in Boston, who are interested in further theological studies and in learning more about the PCA. Then, on December 11-12, there will be a Haitian-American convocation in Naples, Fl. We are expecting at least 100 pastors to attend. Pray with us for the continued ministry to the Haitian-American community.
Here is a recent photo of the School of Joy Building. God’s willing, this high school in Jeremie will open on October 3, the suggested month given by the Ministry of Education to allow parents time to prepare for the new school year. ESMI is excited about the opportunity to offer a higher standard of Christian education for the youth of Haiti. Pray with us for the students, teachers and staff of this school.
Meet Reverend Arcene Nicolas, the High School Director. He is a lawyer, educator, and the pastor of a 4000-membership church in Petitionville, Port-au-Prince. Pastor Nicolas has been in the field of education for several years and is passionate about seeing Haiti’s youth educated to become strong Christian leaders. Pray for Pastor Nicolas as he leads and that God will make this vision for Haiti a reality.
Here are four of the youth from the Cambry Children’s Village. Five years ago they were, well… little boys. It’s amazing to see not only how they have grown physically but also how they have grown in their love for God. Two of the boys hope to become doctors, one an engineer and the other an agronomist. The aspirations and future of these boys is one of the reasons ESMI is establishing a university in Jeremie. Pray with us as ESMI is intentional about preparing the children under our care to be Haiti’s future leaders in whatever capacity God may call them to serve.
The summer was a busy one in Jeremie and Les Cayes with teams coming in back to back for a 5-week period. ESMI is thankful for their partnership in ministry. Teams were involved in VBS, teacher-training, pastoral leadership training, and medical missions. We praise God for their ministry and the blessing they were to the local churches and the surrounding communities.
On August 12, approximately 1200 chicks arrived, the beginnings of the chicken farm business. There are now about 2400 chicks. The goal is to have at least 6 chicken houses. ESMI is now constructing house #3. This is a pilot project that we hope to implement at other church sites as part of their economical development project. We anticipate that the project here in Jeremie will provide income for at least 100 families. Pray with us that God will bless these efforts as we prepare for the sale of these chickens in another four to five weeks.
Thank you for being a part of what God is doing in Haiti. There is so much more we can share with you about the open air services in Bonbon and those coming to know the Lord; the renovations in Fayeton, Gonaives; current counseling for the 16 couples scheduled for a mass wedding in December at the David Nicholas Chapel; etc. We hope to share these with you soon. All of us at ESMI appreciate your faithful prayers and financial support. Please visit our website: www.esmihaiti.org to see more of what God is doing and how you can partner with us in ministering to the Haitian community.