“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and the young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”
Well it’s time to welcome the new year and Sharon and I still have so much to share with you on just all that has happened in the last three months. The Lord has kept things moving and by His strength, we keep moving along, desiring to see His will accomplished. Thank you again for your partnership in the ministry of the gospel to the Haitian communities in Haiti and North America. We will highlight some of 2014 as well as update you on the happenings of this last quarter.
On December 14, we had the dedication of the Emmanuel Church in Chateau, Jeremie. Over 700 people attended this service. We praise God for our ministry partner who made the construction of this building possible. The building will also serve as an elementary school for the 53 orphaned children at this Children’s Village site.
2014 Evangelism Highlight: There were approximately 8 pastoral and leadership training seminars. It’s always a blessing to see these leaders’ faces after the training. Thanks to all our US teaching pastors who gave of their time! The 300 discipleship small groups continue to meet in and around Jeremie.
In November, the University of Jeremie (UJ) added the School of Nursing with over 30 students enrolled. God is indeed using this campus. Every day it is filled with well over 500 young people attending one of the following schools: The School of Joy High School, the Seminary, the Professional School, or the University of Jeremie. What a privilege it is to share Christ everyday with these students and to see some come to know Christ and others grow in their faith. We are also very thankful for the teaching staff. We have a few teachers, Haitian Diaspora, who studied and lived in the US and Europe, ask to share their giftedness in teaching at the University.
Cambry, in the South, also opened their Professional School and have 97 students in their programs. What a blessing to saturate the minds of these young people with the Gospel as they learn about agriculture, business administration, nursing, masonry, carpentry, etc.!
2014 Education Highlight: For the past several weeks, the chapel time at UJ has been focused on “Our Value in Christ.” The realization of Christ’s love spoke to the heart of one young lady whom we will call Maria. Maria wanted Christ in her life but this meant she could no longer attend UJ. Why? Because her tuition was being paid by a man who was not her father. She shared her heart with one of the pastors on staff. What a blessing it was for her to know that as a ministry we would pray and assist her not only in her walk with the Lord but also with her tuition!
In September, 2004, Gonaives experienced a terrible storm that killed over 4000 people and hundreds of children were left orphaned. ESMI responded to this need by taking a number of these children to the South, and thus, began the expansion of ESMI’s orphan care program from 20 kids to now 980 children. It also began ESMI’s involvement in this department. There has been a number of heart-aching challenges, but by God’s grace, this Children’s Village was visited by a top official from IBESR, Haiti’s Social Service department, this past November and received high recommendations. Again, we remain thankful to ministry partners who helped with the renovation and sustaining this work during some difficult years. The children now have an “adopted” church that visits them at least four times and the medical clinic opened its doors this November.
The medical team saw over 500 people in 3 days and had 20 come to know Christ! To God be the glory!
2014 Empathy Highlights: Thanks to our 487 team members who partnered with us in ministering in Cayes, Gonaives and Jeremie. Teams encouraged not only the children at the villages but also their care-givers, and served in medical missions and community outreach.
This December, Tonton Nwel (aka Santa Claus), visited Jeremie and had a great time sharing the gospel with the children in the Jeremie General Hospital, children at the downtown church in Jeremie, and at the Emmanuel Children’s Village, Bonbon.
With unemployment being extremely high in Haiti, 80-85%, part of ESMI’s strategy is always to look for ways to empower pastors and church leaders in the work they do by developing a small business in their communities. These take resources. We praise the Lord for our ministry partner who gave the needed resources to develop a water business.
This will help to provide partial scholarships for more students to attend UJ. For 2015 we hope to create a Rental Car business as another resource for scholarships so that the University of Jeremie can have a wider impact in the entire Grand-Anse Department and beyond.
PRAISE & PRAYER REQUESTS
- Praise God for the 3,143 who came to know Christ in the 118 churches in the Sud (South), Artibonite and Grand-Anse Departments!
- For 2015, we are looking for six new ministry partners to help plant six new churches in the Grand-Anse Department
- Pray that ESMI can do a strong, four-day “Marriage and Ministry” Conference for pastors and their wives
- God’s blessings on the water business in January 2015 to provide more scholarships
- ESMI’s vision for our children at the nine Children’s Village Sites is to see them develop into strong transformational leaders. Pray for the community who cares for these children daily: the pastors, mamas, nurses, teachers, etc.
- Praise God for the ESMI board and their leadership and that God will continue to give His wisdom and guidance.
Again, thank you for your faithful prayers and contribution. God is building His Church in Haiti and we are privileged to join with you in His work. A blessed 2015 to you and your family!
Donations can be sent to:
El Shaddai Ministries International, Inc.
c/o The Keyes Company
2121 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 601
Miami, FL 33143