“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people...” 1 Timothy 2:1-5 (NIV)
It is a tremendous blessing for ESMI to be focused on the training of Haitian leaders for evangelism and church planting. To entrust these men with the Gospel message, that has the power to transform a people and a nation, is our passion. If the Church is to be God’s vehicle for the Gospel message to go forth, then the training of these pastors to lead their local churches is of utmost importance.
Here’s a brief update and prayer requests as ESMI shares the Gospel message using the four E’s:
EVANGELISM: Church Planting and Leadership Development
-Thankful for our US teaching pastors: Neal, Jordan, Sean, Tom, John who served in Jeremie, Les Cayes and Gonaives. Their teachings covered: Preparations in writing a Haitian-Creole Bible Commentary, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, Principles of Leadership Development, and Eschatology.
-Monthly leadership training continues in Cayes, Jeremie, Gonaives, and Mirebalais with the Reformed Churches of Haiti (RCH) pastors along with the monthly presbytery meeting
-La Hatte church plant in the back hills of Jeremie is now completed. Thankful for our partner who made this possible. May the Gospel message be clearly preached and lived out by all who enter and leave this building.
-Praise God for recent funds to do four more church plants. One new church plant will be in the Nippes Department/State and will be led by an experienced leader who has pastored a church of 6,000 in Port-au-Prince. Under his leadership, ESMI hopes to develop RCH’s fifth presbytery. Pray with us.
-This year, we were unable to secure the needed resources for the annual pastors retreat in Jeremie in May. Pray that God will provide the resources for next year. This has always been a spiritually refreshing time for our RCH pastors across the island as they gather for four days of training and prayer, and then leave with Bible study books to build their “libraries.”
-We praise the Lord that the University of Jeremie (UJ) is now in its fifth year and getting ready for the first graduating class. Pray for these graduates from the School of Business, Nursing and Theology to make an eternal impact for Christ in their communities
-Thankful for the University of Iowa professors and their partnership in the fields of nursing and business
-Praise God for ministry partner who made made it possible to upgrade the Lundi Medical Clinic to have a second floor for UJ’s School of Nursing classes and a practicum site.
-Pray for UJ’s newly appointed Academic Dean.
-Pray for partnership with US ESOL (English as a Second Language) students to do their internship with us at UJ. The goal is to have our UJ students speak and write English by their second year.
-The Lundi Children’s Village is undergoing changes. Pray with us as we now have a new director and new house mothers who are all certified nurses. Our older boys and girls have now moved to new campuses: Boys Transitional Home and Girls Transitional Home. These older boys and girls are required to learn several trades while completing their high school studies. They do this at ESMI’s Vocational School (CESPUJ) in Jeremie.
-Praise the Lord for the newly built “Transition Home” for 16 of our older boys. Thankful to ministry partners who contributed to this building. Pray for the bonding of these boys with their new house parents: Pastor Amos and his wife.
-Very thankful for our five US medical teams for serving in Les Cayes, Duchitie (a new church plant), Jeremie and Gonaives. Because of their ministry, we have heard of at least 60 people coming to know the Lord. With every community medical clinic, there are always church leaders to pray with and present the Gospel to the patients before they leave.
-Praise God the Emmanuel Children’s Village in Jeremie now has a medical clinic to serve the children and their community.
**Pray for healing and growth of several of our girls at the Fayeton (Gonaives) Children’s Village who are sick and currently following medical treatment.
-Pray for the US summer teams as they serve in Les Cayes, Jeremie and Gonaives.
-We are thankful for the ministry partnership with Just Hope International, Inc. in developing the Widow’s Empowerment Program (WEP) by providing small business loans to these ladies. This program was introduced in Cayes this past January. Through this empowerment loan program, local businessmen were challenged to be a mentor/counselor to one of the 18 women.
The inauguration of this program had several Les Cayes businessmen and dignitaries encouraging these ladies as they received their loans. The program was introduced in Jeremie last year and continues to do well by God’s grace. These ladies have been faithful and punctual in the repayment of their loans. Here is what one widow had to say about the program: “Before I was dependent on the church and still went to bed with an empty stomach. But now, I can give to the church and take care of my family.”
-Pray with us for the continuation of the water business in Jeremie and the restart of the chicken farm on a larger scale
-Pray for wisdom to develop strategies and raise resources to start new businesses in the different departments/states, with a focus this year on Gonaives.
HAITIAN-AMERICAN CHURCH PLANTING IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
-Thankful to the leaders of Covenant PCA, Melbourne, FL for their commitment to pray and keep us accountable as we start a church plant in Central Florida. The hope is that this plant will be a training ground for other Haitian leaders to be sent out across the state of Florida where there are approximately 480,000 Haitians. Please pray with us and for us as this work moves forward.
-Thankful too for our Korean PCA brothers who are also committed to see this church plant develop and have encouraged us with their fellowship and prayers.
-Pray that this summer I will be able to visit Boston and Montreal, Canada to see about church planting efforts between our denomination and the large Haitian communities in these cities.
God is doing many other exciting things within our Haitian communities. We are thankful for your partnership to pray and be involved. As I reflect on 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and read through Prayer for the City: Bootcamp for Urban Mission by John F. Smed with Justin Hwang, I am challenged to pray for my Haitian co-laborers. In each of ESMI’s four E’s, a Haitian pastor or a team of Haitian pastors is involved. Will you join me to pray…
…for their personal preparation for spiritual battle
…for their character to be blameless, their lives to be lived faithfully, and their preaching to be truthful to Scripture
…for them to minister with grace and security
…for their preaching to be empowered and simple
…for their personal protection, health, energy, and wisdom
…for their congregations to grow in holiness, love, unity, and empowered by the Holy Spirit
…for them and their congregation to have a heart for the lost
I trust that you will also pray the above for me and my family as we serve in Haiti and the USA. Pray also the needed resources for the ESMI leadership team to be raised.
Fully believing in God’s faithfulness, and thankful for your prayers and financial support, we remain…
Dony and Sharon