Monday, January 18, 2021

Joey and two of our boys

 

 Hello,


I wanted to share some of what Mike shared with me tonight. 

"Last night after the celebration at Bout Nat, we met with Pastor Uben for a while. He is such a server. That quality in a Haitian leader is rare. He comes from a nearby village every morning at 7 am to meet the people for morning prayer. Afterwards many go off to work or school. He talks with and disciples the rest all day. He has Bible study on Wednesdays, and all night prayer and worship every Friday night.

This man loves his people, and is dedicated to seeing them grow. Most of them are so poor, they have nothing. But they have a great love for a God they have only recently met. Pastor Uben calls them his children, and I think under the circumstances that's a good thing. Whether children or adults, we all need a dedicated leader who has our very best interest at heart. We know God does, and He is manifesting Himself through Pastor Uben in Bout Nat. Pastor Uben also volunteers with the weekly sewing class that has helped several develop their skills enough to give them a job. His heart is to help them along the right way. Please pray for Pastor Uben and the community of Bout Nat."

Tomorrow, Joey and Mike will begin their journey stateside. Please pray for them as they travel, for on time arrivals, connections and for safety getting to the airport. Also, please pray for hearts, for Joey's as it is always hard to say goodbye after connecting with the children and the people of Haiti. And for Mike and Nathan, it is going to be hard on their hearts, especially with everything unknown going on in the world right now. We are so thankful for all of your prayers. They mean a lot to us.


Blessings, Chris



Sunday, January 17, 2021



The road to Sedrin

You cross the river a few times

 

 Hello, 


I am so excited to share what Mike sent to me today! We are so thankful for your prayers! God is on the move!

From Mike: "In Acts chapter 3 there is a story of Peter and John healing a crippled man at the entrance to the temple. When the man was healed he went walking, leaping, and praising God. The walking represented his physical healing, the leaping his emotional healing, and the praising God, his spiritual healing. God cares about our whole being, our soul.

This morning at Sedrin we saw all of this at work. One man was carried in by his crutches. But he carried his crutches out. So many of them were lifted high in the spiritual realms. And nothing will break the chains of depression or oppression faster than the presence of God. It was so amazing to watch the same people who looked like they were carrying heavy burdens when they came in, but walking, leaping, and praising God on the way out.....

This evening at Bout Nat was both amazing and humbling to watch God feed his children. They came so hungry. We fed them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 1 new salvation, 2 demons cast out, and hundreds leaving the celebration, walking, leaping, and praising God, for His great love and provision. It has been such a great honor and privilege to serve these beautiful people of Haiti.....
Mike   

God is so good, He cares about each one of us. Nathan, Joey and Mike also passed out 100's of bibles at Bout Nat tonight. We are praising God for His goodness.

Thank you for partnering with us so faithfully. 
Blessings, Chris



You climb down the stairs instead of up the stairs into the Sedrin church

Tithes and offerings

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Ice in some places is such a privilege

 

 Good evening,


Ice in Haiti is such a privilege. The country of Haiti is such a contrast to what we we've come to expect, even assume is owed to us where we live.

Mike said that there has not been power the whole time he has been in Haiti. Power is available about once every two weeks now, but you still have to pay your power bill, even though you do not receive power.

You cannot buy gas, except for very small quantities in the black market. Which then eliminates other alternatives for power, such as generators.

As he and Joey drove through the downtown area, Mike shared that  conditions are so much worse than when we lived there just a short time ago. There is way more garbage and filth in the streets of Gonaives. The canal which is meant for emergency drainage for disasters like hurricanes, is also full of garbage and filth.

Word on the street is that Youri, (who was a senator and is accused of being a gang leader, drug trafficker, and having death squads), word is that if anyone tries to clean up Gonaives they will be shot. It is believed that he and those with him want the country of Haiti to be a mess, because of how it reflects on President Moise.

The main highway through most of Haiti is Route Nationale1, and since Mike has been in Haiti, there has been multiple road blocks, riots, rock throwing and guns in between Port-au-Prince and Gonaives. We had thought they would run out of ammunition eventually because Haiti does not make or sell ammunition. The Haitian government forbids the import of guns and ammunition, unless it is for government use. But, they are letting people cross into The Dominican Republic to buy ammunition and then letting them bring it back into Haiti.
 

There are supposed to be manifestations next week. All this brings the people so much hopelessness, which makes Haiti such a hard place to live in. BUT GOD! Only He can break through the darkness and bring His light, His peace and His hope to the hopeless. He brings life, freedom and joy. We are so privileged to walk with Him, partner with Him and come alongside the People of Haiti with Him. It is what your support and faithful prayers do, you are part of walking with, partnering with, and coming alongside the beautiful people of Haiti. By the Grace of God we can help lift up and encourage and bring His light and truth into the darkness, and then the darkness has to flee. GOD is a GOD OF HOPE.

Tuesday Mike and Nathan climbed the mountain behind the Children's Village. They spent most of the day praying, worshiping and seeking God for vision, direction, clarity and wisdom for their relationship, the ministry, and the people of Haiti. They really appreciated the prayer support from you. They are Hopeful and God is so good to us, He desires that we seek Him.

Please continue to lift the people of Haiti up in prayer, along with the ministry and Nathan. Also please keep Joey and Mike in your prayers. They were originally coming home late Friday/early Saturday morning, but they have extended their trip. It has been too long since Mike has been able to be in Haiti and he felt like he needed more time with our pastors. And Joey has been loving Haiti. Sooo they have extended their time. 

Tomorrow, Friday, they will be having a lot of meetings. And then Saturday will be spent with the pastors having another conference. Please be praying for open hearts and encouragement for them. 


The photo below that has all the color in it is something Joey taught the children how to do. He said it is called light painting. He has been such a blessing on this trip. 

The last photo expresses the heart of why we do what we do here. Joey has done such a wonderful job of capturing the heart of the people of Haiti. Like I said in an earlier prayer partner, "They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I would say at least that!" 

We are so blessed by your faithfulness.
Chris



 

Cross on the mountain behind the Children's Village

Light painting

Confirmation that a picture is worth a thousand words!

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021



In Poteau Church


Oh how I miss Haitian Worship.

And I miss praying for people.

 

 Good evening,


We want to thank you for your prayers. Prayers that move mountains.
On Sunday morning, Nathan, Joey and Mike went to Poteau for church. Mike said church was wonderful, there was good worship and a good ministry time. 

 
Mike shared with me "During ministry time, one man came forward and said that the demons were harassing him all the time. No peace. No sleep. I prayed for God to cast out the demons. I told him (the man) to quit feeding them, then told him, when we lead a witch doctor to new life in Jesus, we make him go to his house and clean all the bad stuff out. I told him to spend time while I was praying for others and clean his house out. Then when I came back to him, we, symbolically burnt all the bad stuff. Then I asked God to fill him with the Holy Spirit. He walked out of there like a new man. Praising God and so thankful." I love it when Heaven invades earth. 

Church in the evening at Pass rein was also really good. Mike said it was good to see all our friends and encourage them. 

Mike and Nathan had a really good meeting with the Radio team on Monday. They are starting construction on the new site now, which is on the mountain behind the Children's Village. After doing some research we have been told that the radio station will have a much greater reach if it is relocated to the hill behind the Children's Village. The Radio team has been putting together a more professional programming schedule that will include a variety of different ways to spread the gospel and serve the public. We have been given the parts for a much taller and more powerful tower too. Praising God for the coming increase on the ability to reach more people for Jesus. And, as before there will be the personal follow up on those calling into the station wanting prayer and/or salvation. Please pray for wisdom as this part of the ministry transitions.

Joey and Mike also visited the schools in Poteau and Marose Monday. I've included a couple of pictures.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), or today, depending on when you read this:) Mike said that he and Nathan will be climbing the mountain, I am assuming prayer mountain which is between Poteau and Pass Rein. They will be spending a good part of the day up there with just each other and God, seeking God for clarity, vision, wisdom and direction for the ministry. Please pray as they seek Him.
Thanks so much for your faithfulness.

Blessings, 
Chris


                                                                                                    

School girl from Poteau

School boy from Poteau

 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. 
I would say at least that! 

With all of his heart, always! 

Mike serving communion 

Blaze serving 

The Elements 

 

 Hearts!

God creates them,
He loves them,
He longs for the returning of them, 
and
He saves them.

The hearts of this group of men and women are incredible. They are extensions of how God loves and serves. They have been so loyal to God and seek after His heart. Some of them have walked through so much. And still they choose Him. Mike so respects and loves them all. At one time each of them knew God in such a different way, but each of them opened their hearts to the Father, daring to believe a Radical Truth, daring to serve a Living God. Daring to do life different then those around them. Daring to break tradition and not worship God as Haitian or American, but as He is in the bible.
I am reminded of a song called By the Grace of God. 


I rest my soul on Jesus
When the mountains shake 
I put my trust in Jesus
The moment I awake

And when my soul is lost at sea
He will be my rock
My vision be in Christ alone
This grace is all we've got

His love is like the mighty ocean
His love for me will never stop
Oh, His arms are strong enough to carry me
through it all, by the grace of God

So I, upon His shoulders
Safely brought this far
Helper of my helpless soul
The King of broken hearts

His love is like the mighty ocean
His love for me will never stop
Oh, His arms are strong enough to carry me
through it all, by the grace of God

You are the passion of my life
Lord Jesus
You are the song within my soul
My strength
My hope
My all in all is You 
Jesus, You

Thank You, Lord

When breath grows still and night draws near
I will not be afraid
I know the plans He has for me 
Don't finish at my grave.

His love is like the mighty ocean
His love for me will never stop
Oh, His arms are strong enough to carry me
through it all, by the grace of God


By Your grace, I'm saved

(This version is by Bethel Music and Brian Johnson.)

Today was such a blessing of sweet community with the smaller more intimate group of our Pastors, about forty. A lot of the Pastors conferences are between one hundred and two hundred attending, but  Mike wanted to have this time to spend with our core pastors. Thank you so much for praying into today. 

Tomorrow morning will be a very hard and special day. Mike has been asked to preach Sunday morning in Poteau. This is the church that lost our good friend Kael in October. You may remember reading about him in a prayer partner near the end of October. Kael endeared himself to Mike early on in the ministry by saying,

"Pastor Mike, I can't believe that I have lived this long without understanding all that Jesus has done for me and that He wants to have a personal relationship with me, WITH ME; CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!" Kael was one of the first pastors to get it. He greatly helped the others to understand that truth. Mike was asked to write a letter that would be read at Kael's funeral and Mike ended that letter with "Kael has occupied a precious place in my heart ever since that day.
"Kael; you sir, will be deeply missed."...
The people of Poteau have requested that Mike come and share with them tomorrow and I know it will be emotional and bittersweet. Please keep Mike, Nathan and the community of Poteau in your prayers. 

In the evening Mike will be preaching in Pass Rein, one of our favorite villages. There will be many happy dances tomorrow night:) Please pray for soft and open hearts. We really appreciate your coming along side of us, we couldn't do it without you.
Blessings, Chris

Mike and Kael
We miss him!

 

Drone shot over Perou

The pilot, Cassandre, Mike, and Joey landing in Gonaives.

Mike and Cassandre

Francesca, Rye and Kalano

 

 Good evening,


I heard from Mike tonight. He said that they had a great day yesterday. Thank you so much for your prayers. Yesterday Morning they really enjoyed their time in Pass Rein. Mike said it was so good to connect with the villagers. Some of the people were sharing just how much had changed since we first felt God had called us to Pass Rein. Thousands have given their lives to the Lord, including many witch doctors, more than I can count. God has been so good and faithful and many of you helped to pray the change in. Even the soil has changed, which is huge for an agricultural community.

In the afternoon they went to Perou, Joey took some drone footage, I've included one shot in this email. While there, Mike was working on an estimate for finishing the roof and floor of the school.  Mike said it was really good to be able to connect with the community in Perou. Our hearts are still so intertwined with the villages we've been a part of.


I have also included photos of Joey, Mike and Cassandre landing in the field in Gonaives and one of Mike and Cassandre at our home in Gonaives. Cassandre is the representative for Partners World Wide that I talked about in the last e-mail.

An interesting story took place today, Mike was telling Cassandre about one of our friends, from our Gonaives neighborhood, that we had mentored. She asked if she could interview them. So Mike asked them if they were okay with that and they were, so Joey filmed while Cassandre interviewed them. I haven't seen footage of the interview, but I do have a couple of photos, so I thought I would share their story, since I know it :)

We met Kalano and his wife one day, because I like to take what I call Baby bundles to new moms in Haiti. So when we heard that Francesca had had a baby, we asked if we could visit. At that time Francesca who had a daughter from a previous relationship was living in one room with Kalano and their newborn son Rye. They only had a bed for them, not the children, and there would not have been room for one. We gave them a used pack and play from the Children's Village for their newborn. Then we just started becoming friends with them.

After a while, I honestly do not remember how long, they started asking about Jesus, they said they were sad because they could not go to church to find out about Him, because they did not own any good clothes. We shared with them about Jesus and they gave their hearts to the Lord. Then we told them they could come to our church, their clothes did not matter. So they started riding to church with us. After a while they became convicted by God and asked Mike if he would baptize them. So he did.

Kalano and Francesca had tried to start a little roadside boutique in front of their rented room. First it was selling cooked hotdogs.  Next they tried to sell some non-perishable food items. When that failed also, we talked to them about trying it again in the little one room building connected to our front gate. They agreed to let us mentor them, in business this time. One of their previous mistakes had been not understanding that as you are paid for items by customers you need to set some of the money aside to purchase more goods, and not just go out and spend it all. They also needed to set aside some money for the wages they needed for their family expenses and learn how to budget along with other simple business practices.

In the beginning, we invested in a small chest freezer and some basic staples for the boutique. Then every evening they would bring the money they received for goods to us, along with a list of every item they had sold. We would show them how much to set aside into each category and such. The evening after the first month was over we gave them back what they had saved to purchase more goods. Then we gave them what they had put aside for their wages. Kalono not fully understanding said "no, I cant' take money from you after all you have done for us". So we re-explained that it was what he had earned and had been setting aside for his own wages. I don't think I have ever seen any man smile and beam as much as he did. He was so proud of himself. He had received a HAND UP not a HAND OUT. We worked with them for about 6 months, slowly transferring more and more of the responsibility over to them as they learned and grew.


A while later they said that they thought God wanted them to be married. So they asked Mike to marry them. Which he did with much joy. Now, about 5 1/2 years later, they run a very successful boutique and clean drinking water depot. They rent a home with multiple rooms, have a moto, so they do not have to pay tap tap (transportation) fees when buying their wholesale goods or when they go to church or take their children to school. And, they have both children enrolled school. They are a living God success story. We are so thankful to God for all that he has done for them.

Tomorrow will be the Pastors Conference. Please pray for open hearts, and that Mike is led by God as he teaches, models and imparts to the Pastors. Please pray they are encouraged. Thank you so much, we value your prayers.

Blessings, Chris



 

Kalano and Francesca

Francesca and her daughter

Francesca and Rye

Rye and I

 

Sunday, January 3, 2021


 

 


Good evening, 

We wanted to thank you for your prayers. Mike and Joey arrived safe in Haiti.


Tomorrow Mike will be going into Port-au-Prince to do paperwork. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for God's favor and safety. Thank you so much.

Blessings, Chris

Friday, January 1, 2021

Joey and Mike