“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”
Matthew 9:35 (ESV)
As Jesus went from city to city, He was teaching, preaching the Gospel and doing holistic ministry. We thank the Lord that He is giving ESMI the opportunity to do the same in the country of Haiti which is now considered the poorest in the world. We also thank the Lord for your continued partnership in ministry and for the opportunity He gives to empower pastoral leaders in the cities across the island.
Here’s an update of what has happened in the last quarter:
Hurricane Sandy passed over the southern peninsula of Haiti causing major damage. We at ESMI felt her ravages. Those of you who have been to Haiti know of the two ministry sites in the south that are very close to river banks namely, Cherette and Casa Major.
Casa Major had the flood waters sweep away a great portion of the land behind the children’s homes. Cherette experienced as much as 6 feet of rain entering into the children’s homes, classrooms and church. The river bed on the east side over flooded and the waters created a new path on the west side with the two water paths converging north of the church building. The Cherette site is now like an island. The La Savanne church site is in a low lying area and was not spared from severe flooding. Pastor Mongerard of La Savanne, Pastor Clotaire of Casa Major and Pastor Nirva of Cherette spent days cleaning up. We are grateful to the Lord that all the children were safe but lots were lost on these sites. In Jeremie, the 4 days of continuous rain flooded the chicken farm creating a significant health hazard for the chickens; we lost about 1,000 chickens. We are working with the vet to correct this situation the next time there is severe rainfall and will begin again in late December with a new batch of chickens.
ESMI’s primary focus is the evangelization of the island of Haiti through church planting and leadership development.
The true change for the country of Haiti begins with a transformation of the heart and that transformation has to be done by the Holy Spirit as the Gospel is shared across the island. ESMI’s main mission is to train and empower key leaders who will be faithful in their exegesis of Scripture to preach the full council of God’s Word to the ten million people on the island of Haiti.
In late August, after months of door-to-door evangelism and a total of 89 people coming to know the Lord, the newest church plant in Cote de Fer, Bonbon, began its first services. A team of ESMI pastors in the Jeremie area have been involved in this church plant. We thank the Lord for our different partners who were involved in the purchasing of the property, the building of the church, and the ongoing support of the work there. Continue to pray for the spiritual growth of this very remote village. Read more about this church plant in the “Empathy” section to hear what happens when a recent medical team from California did a one-day clinic.
There is another Bonbon church that ESMI partners felt a need to assist as they visited this city. The photo shows the First Baptist Church of Bonbon which was started 40 years ago. The building to the right is where this church met for those forty years. When we began attending this church in 2011, they were doing their fund raising project but were still far behind. One of ESMI’s ministry partners, a pastor, was led with compassion to assist this church in their construction effort. Today, this church is meeting in their new building. ESMI hopes to continue to provide church growth strategies and training to the leadership there.
In October, Pastor Bresile and Dony conducted 2 1/2 days of leadership training in Gonaives. There were
over 100 pastors and church leaders in attendance. ESMI’s training is now opened to the women in children’s and women’s ministries. Everyone left these meeting very encouraged. These men and women have a hunger to learn and did not mind traveling from as far north as Cap-Haitienne to attend these teachings.
Meet Mauis and Roesline of El Shaddai Church at the David Nicholas Chapel. In 2009, we met Mauis as we began searching for land to build our home. On every visit to this site, Mauis was always introducing Pastor Dony to different ladies who were the mothers of his children. There were about three and counting. The Gospel was shared with Mauis and when services at the Nicholas Chapel began in September 2011, Mauis was one of the first converts.
On May 19, 2012, Mauis got married to Roseline, the woman with whom he has been living with for the last several years and who has borne him two beautiful daughters. And on November 17, 2012, Mauis and his wife were baptized along with 17 others. Mauis is a changed man. This past March, as former friends from other cities came to his house to celebrate Mardi-Gras with voodoo worship, Mauis told them he was now a follower of Christ and would not participate. He asked them to leave but they would not. So Mauis took his family and left the house to them. Others have seen this change in Mauis and as a result, there were several co-habiting couples who also wanted to make their relationship right before the Lord. Fifteen went through the marriage counseling sessions, and five of these couples will be married on Saturday, December 29. We praise God for the transformation that only He alone can bring about in the life of one individual and then use that life as a testimony to others.
ESMI is continuing to develop the Reformed Churches of Haiti (RCH) denomination. There are currently three presbyteries that meet monthly: Cayes/South, Gonaives/Artibonite, and the Jeremie/Grand-Anse presbyteries. The three presbyteries are currently planning to do a huge youth camp as an alternative to the Carnival festivities during the school break in March 2013. Please pray for God’s guidance and provision for this outreach.
We want to close off this section on Evangelism by giving you a glimpse of what ESMI hopes to do in 2013.
Meet Pastor Tanis, a pastor in Cap-Haitian who has a core group of about 200. He is a graduate of Limbe Seminary, a well-respected institution among Haitian evangelicals, and has gone through ESMI’s reformed teaching. In 2013, ESMI would like to empower Pastor Tanis’ ministry by assisting him in purchasing the building where his core group has been meeting. Please keep this effort in your prayers. ESMI believes that Pastor Tanis is a gifted evangelist who can make a significant impact for our Lord in the city of Cap-Haitian, Haiti’s second largest city.
In the USA
Meet Pastor Clotaire, a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary who has started a vibrant Haitian-American work in Jacksonville, FL. We are working with Pastor Clotaire to transfer his credentials to the PCA. Pray for Pastor Clotaire and his ministry.
On December 11 and 12, MNA Haitian-American Ministry will have its first Haitian-American convocation in Naples, FL. Please pray for this training. We expect about 30 to 40 pastors and church leaders to be present.
ESMI understands the importance of educating and preparing Haiti’s youth to be the future servant-leaders with a biblical worldview.
We are thankful to the Lord for the ministry partners who made it possible for ESMI’s to have its newest secondary school. The School of Joy Building was constructed in loving memory of one of the donors’ mother, Joy. School opened on October 1 with 150 registered students and 26 teachers and staff personnel. Attached is a short video of the School of Joy students singing a hymn at morning assembly.
Meet Gueschen, one of the students at the School of Joy.
Gueschen represents the majority of the youth in the community, extremely poor and rely on odd jobs and his mother’s small market business to assist him to attend school. Gueschen is 15 years old and has shown himself as a hard worker and a smart student. To help him pay his first month tuition, ESMI assisted Gueschen by giving him 20 chickens to start a small business. From the profit earned from the sale, he paid the first month tuition and the rest to keep his small business going. The hope is to have more people sponsor several of our students in this manner giving the students that sense of dignity in their entrepreneurship effort.
One way to reach the “real” need of man with the
Gospel of Jesus Christ is to minister to his “felt” needs.
ESMI’s newest ministry partner spent the last 18 months planning their first missions trip to Haiti. The team of 12 from California was two-fold: medical ministry and assisting ESMI in planning the first orphan care
retreat for the pastoral and administrative leadership. Both outreach ministries went very well. At the orphan-care retreat, we had two professional Christian counselors, Tova and Mike, who spoke on the emotional needs, trauma, leadership, and sexual identity of our children.
The retreat also provided valuable opportunity for the pastoral leadership to discuss the mission of this very vital ministry in their community. After the long day of training, the leadership team spent another three to four hours discussing the spiritual needs of the children and how to accomplish this. As one pastor rightly said: “What we say to our children (at the children’s village), they will echo it back to us, so we must be sure we are telling them the right thing.” The leadership team hopes to write their own manual on the spiritual enrichment of these children which would also involve the spiritual enrichment of the house mothers. Everyone left knowing that there was so much more to be done and agreed that the mission for all the nine children’s village sites was to: Transform Lives for Eternity. Pray that God will give us His wisdom on how to do this effectively. The children see these pastors, their wives and housemothers as their parents and the villages as their only true “home.”
The medical team went on to do a one-day medical clinic at the Cote de Fer, Bonbon church plant. People began arriving from 6:00 am and spent time praying and worshiping until the team arrived. The team felt a bit overwhelmed when they saw about 150 people waiting for them in this sparse unfinished church. But by God’s grace, they saw all the patients until it was dark. Seven people came to know the Lord as the team ministered medically and spiritually. As a result of this medical outreach, the following Sunday morning and evening services were packed. Most of the folks who came were from a small community called La Hatte Torbeck, a 30-minute walk uphill from the Cote de Fer, Bonbon church site. The small leadership team has since started a “station” in this area: holding prayer services and Bible studies for this community.
ECONOMICAL DEVELOPMENT = EMPOWERMENT
ESMI has been involved in creating micro-businesses to assist Haitian churches in becoming self-sufficient and independent of resources from the US
An example of this is that of the El Shaddai Church at the David Nicholas Chapel.
Because of all the construction, the school, and the chicken farm, these provided jobs for the locals. Some of these used the resources to purchase a motor-cycle as a taxi business. The teaching on tithing was addressed in several services and as a result, the church is now able to pay its custodian and musicians. This is a significant step for such a young church in a community that has a deep and dark spiritual strong-hold. We praise God for how His Spirit is moving.
CLOSING PRAYER REQUESTS
We thank the Lord for your faithful prayer and support in this ministry of the Gospel. Please be in prayer for the following:
1. Wisdom, good health and strength for the family
2. Pastor Louis St. Germain, ESMI Haiti Field Director and his family
3. Haitian coordinators and their families: Pastors Mongerard and Clotaire in the South, Pastor Sidney Woodman in Gonaives/Artibonite, and Pastor Moril in Jeremie/Grand-Anse
4. God’s provision for 6 new church plants in 2013
5. God’s wisdom as we recruit, train and coach new church planters
6. Missionary church planter, Pastor Hector Mardy, who began laying the foundation for a new church plant in Jacmel, Haiti
7. Pastor Bresile St. Germain, ESMI’s Leadership Development Director, as he continues to keep a busy schedule of teaching and preaching
8. The first Haitian-American Convocation on December 11 and 12 in Naples,FL
9. There is currently a shortage of Bibles in Haiti. ESMI is in need of 5000 French Bibles, Louis II Edition