“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
The 3rd Annual Pastor’s Retreat/Conference in Jeremie was met with much anticipation. One could feel the excitement in the air. What opening presents on Christmas morn is to children, that’s the joy we all experienced in welcoming our pastors from across Haiti. These two women, carrying this heavy queen-sized mattress on their head for half-a mile, captures the essence and joy that went into the preparation of this conference.
Other El Shaddai church members at Versailles donated their time to spruce up the newly renovated property. One man made the dangerous feat of chopping down a 50-foot coconut tree with only a rope and a machete.
It was indeed a time to express our appreciation to these men of God. What a great blessing to see God use both His Church in Haiti and in the United States to make the week of May 16-20 an encouraging one for the pastors. Thankful to the Long Hollow Church leadership who made this possible. At the conference:
-200 + pastors with ESMI/Reformed Churches of Haiti represented 5 of Haiti’s 10 states
-The School of Joy High School closed and prepared to host the pastors
-600 meals prepared daily for 4 days
-3000 gallons of water transported
-$8000 US worth of theology books given to our pastors to add to their library
-ESMI board members and major partners participated
-Pastors Bresile St. Germain and Nathan Osborne, our main speakers, challenged and encouraged these men. Truly, a blessed week for everyone!
The El Shaddai Churches at Versailles and the Marketplace are continuing to grow. With weekly evangelism teams and a 40-night prayer services that began late August, 160 people have already come to know the Lord. The churches had to organize small group/discipleship teams to keep abreast with the evangelism teams. God is doing a great work in these churches. To Him be the glory!
AND THEN THE SUMMER: A COLLAGE OF OUTREACH MINISTRIES…
June saw the first graduating class of the vocational/trade school in Jeremie. There were 26 graduates, 15 of whom were the older children from the Nan Lundy Children’s Village. Most of these older children are from the children’s village that was in Port-au-Prince, but after the earthquake that site was closed and the children relocated to this new site in Nan Lundy.
So this was indeed a proud day, especially for these 15 students! ESMI’s goal with our children is to teach them a trade at the same time they are completing their high school studies. Also, a transitional home was created on the university campus for those older teens where they can begin to experience some independence such as: caring for their own rooms, managing a stipend allowance for personal items, preparing their own meals, etc. while still under the supervision of a care-giver.
One of our newest church partners, The Avenue Church, sponsored the building of the Roseaux church plant/preaching point. The congregants are blessed to now have a solid enclosure versus the tarp and aluminium zinc they used as a building.
Thanks to teams from Give Hope Global, and Zanmy-Ayiti from Chicago who served in southern Haiti, Cayes. Their ministry involved medical missions with the children at Cambry and Cavaillon Villages and the surrounding communities; doing numerous upgrades on these sites; installing a water purification system at La Savannes; conducting a 4-day leadership/pastoral training; etc.
In the city of Gonaives, our ministry teams were involved in children’s ministry, and a Women’s Bible study for the pastor’s wives in the area, the house mothers and the older girls at the Fayeton Children’s Village.
Here in Jeremie, the teams loved on the children at the Emmanuel and Nan Lundy Villages. They also visited other church plants in the surrounding cities and ministered to the children there.
On July 31st, ESMI staff in Jeremie participated in the “Restavek Freedom PConcert.” People could be seen for miles and miles in downtown Jeremie as this project brought awareness to child-slavery, restavek, in Haiti.
In the USA, churches in Tennessee and Texas had a 5-k walk and care-package/shoe-drive at their VBS program, respectively. And not to be forgotten, “Farmers Without Fences,” sponsored a two-week educational trip for UJ’s (University of Jeremie) assistant dean at the School of Agriculture to visit their State university which has an exceptional agricultural program. What a great experience and preparation for continued partnership!
My 82 year-old father, Bresile, made two international preaching/teaching engagements this summer to France and Canada, and in between these trips continued to preach week-long services in the South Florida area. God has truly blessed him and his his wife with good health as they faithfully serve Him. Louis continues to be a trusted and notable figure in the city of Cayes, so much so that the government has asked him to take on different roles. We praise God for the influence He has given him to make Christ known in the third largest city in Haiti. To Him be the glory!
AND NOW A PERIOD OF TRANSITION FOR THE ST. GERMAIN FAMILY IN JEREMIE…
The month of August saw us return to the US as a family for, what we hope, will be a short period. In our Spring e-newsletter, we shared with you all that has happened in Jeremie over the last five years. But friends, there is so much more that’s happening in the south and the potential of God’s expanding work through ESMI across the island of Haiti. So under the ESMI board’s leadership, it was thought best to return for a time to focus on fund-raising. I leave in Haiti a team of Christian leaders in Cayes, Jeremie and Gonaives who have a mind to work. There is more to be done as we solidify the foundation for the University of Jeremie and develop the presbyteries of RCH in each department/state toward being self-sufficient in their own church planting efforts. My role as part of that team is to raise the awareness of the work that God is doing through these leaders and how best to partner with them in transforming Haiti one city at a time. My schedule is open to an invitation from your church to share about these things. I look forward to that time.
While in Central Florida, I will also work with our denomination, the Presbyterian Church of America, in their church planting effort among the Haitians in the USA. Lots to do for our King!
We remain thankful for your faithful prayers and financial support and count on your ongoing prayers for the ministry and for our family.
Humbled to be in His Service,
Dony, Sharon, Gracianna and Sarah Joy