Sunday, April 21, 2013
Our friends from the Seattle area have arrived and are helping to get our house or apartment finished. They have really been a blessing to us. It is good to have friends around who have known you for a long time. Friends who have grown with you, so to speak. Friends who have walked through life with you. They know you well and can speak into your life. Friends who understand what makes you tick :) So the blessing has been not only the help finishing our home, but also fellowship.
Last Saturday we had four weddings, they were a lot of fun to participate in. It is great watching the Spirit of God move and draw people, causing people to want to change their lives and follow Him. Pass Rien is such a changed community. There is a real feeling of community and peace. They are a very welcoming and hospitable community now. The spirit of fear and oppression has left.
We also had a baptism celebration that represented all 5 Good Shepherd churches. First we had a church service. Next everyone hiked about a mile behind a marching band. There were 10 musician's in the band. And as usual by the time everyone arrived at the river the crowd had almost doubled. There were a few hundred spectators by the time we reached the river. We had 3 other pastor's and Mike baptizing at the same time. Becca was also baptizing her leaders from her women's bible study groups. There were between 60 and 70 that were baptized. I tried to catch most of it on video, so at some point we will make a DVD for those of you that would like to experience a Haitian baptism. I did manage to get a couple of photos in between filming. After the baptisms everyone followed the band back up the hill to the church, where we had another service celebrating the baptisms. There was a choir from Acahaie, of 50 men and women. Their voices were absolutely beautiful. They were so clear and the timing of their voices were perfectly matched. Even though we more than doubled the size of the church by opening one of the long sides of our 40' X 60' military tent and using some of our shade cloth making it 100' X 80', we still had many people standing outside of the church. I was one of the people outside on the back side of the tent, and as I was listening to the choir I turned and was facing the hills surrounding us. I was then reminded of a verse in Luke. Luke 19:40, where Jesus says even the rocks will cry out. Pass Rien is a farming community. And as I looked at the ground and then back to the hills, I knew that the choir's worship was echoing from the hills and I felt like God was saying if they continued to worship Him, He would heal their land, which as farmers working the land, it was very significant.
Pass Rien is still having church every night and they will be having all night prayer and worship again this Friday. Please continue to pray for the people of Pass Rien. Pray that the Spirit of God continues to draw the people and set them free from the bonds of voodoo and witchcraft. This morning we attended church in Pass Rien, Nathan lead worship and Mike preached. Jeff and Darrell also shared a little bit.
Jeff, Darrell, Becca, our daughter and our grandson Felice will be traveling home Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Please pray for safe travel for each of them. Please also pray for us, Becca and Felice have been with us for two months now and it will be very hard for us as they leave. Pray also for them as they go and for the women who's hearts Becca has touched. Some of the women from Pass Rien were very sad as they said goodbye to her today. She has helped to open a whole new world for them and she has shown them how to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. They had her sit with them in front of one of their homes today and sent her off with mangoes. She has two home bound women in particular that she visit's and prays for that will also miss her. As I have shared in a past e-mail, the leavings are particularly difficult. We really appreciate your prayer's as we continue to adjust to life in a new land.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
I thought I would write and update you. Both for interest and prayer requests. Our son Jeremy and his wife Davida and my granddaughter Jessie just left for Washington today. They have been staying with us this past week. They helped to celebrate our youngest daughter, Lizzy's birthday. We were able to find a nice place with a small pool to spend a quiet day as a family. Well maybe not so quiet :) we had 8 children with us. But it was good family time. It was with tears that I said goodbye. It is hard knowing I will not see them until December probably. Davida is pregnant and due in July. I will miss seeing the baby.
In one week, we have two friends that we have known for over 30 years coming to visit. They are both very good carpenters and decided that they wanted to help us get into our house sooner, so they booked a flight and are coming next Thursday. They will be leaving the same day our daughter Becca and grandson Felice leave. The coming is great, but all this leaving is very hard. Becca has such a great handle on the language here, not having her with me will make a huge difference in every day living for me. She has had a very amazing and fruitful time here. She has been teaching in all of our villages. She is trying to spend multiple times teaching and developing relationships and leaders in each village. The women spend a good part of the day with her each time. In Pass Rien, she spends time walking through the village now and visiting the women, they are so excited to see her. She usually has a parade of children with her that grows as she visits. There are several women who want her to baptize them on Saturday. When she is finished teaching they sit with her until her ride comes and they bring her coconuts to drink and eat. They have really accepted her and love her. And, there is much fruit, couples who are living together wanting to get married. Women sharing their hearts with her about their struggles and challenges. Women wanting to be baptized. And women growing in their knowledge of Christ and desiring an intimate relationship with Christ. In her time here God has greatly used her. He has showered blessings on the women of Haiti and drawn them to Him. Please continue to pray for the fruitfulness of her teaching.
The following week we have a team coming from Anacortes. So prayer for all of the traveling of different teams and individuals would be greatly appreciated.
We are so excited this weekend. Saturday there are four couples who are new Christians, that will be getting married. All of them have children together. Before coming to know Christ they did not understand why they should be married, each of them is choosing to make their living situation right. Please pray for them as they are married on Saturday.
We are also very excited for Sunday. We will be having church in Pass Rien. It will be a gathering of all 5 Good Shepherd Churches, the name Pastor Nathan choose for our ministry in Haiti. At the end of the church service we will be baptizing about 70 to 80 people. God has been so compassionate and merciful. It should be an amazing day. Please pray for good weather and that God will continue to draw hearts. Please pray that all who want to be baptized will be able to come. Prayer is so important, it is a HUGE part of the revival in Pass Rien. We are SO thankful for for prayers.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
If you have ever been to Haiti with New Generation Ministries, then you have surely seen and felt the passion of “football” (soccer) in Haiti. Soccer is the national Haitian pastime and it isn’t any different at the Good Shepherd Children’s Village. Every evening as the temperature slowly drops the soccer game begins. Our short term mission teams have observed some hard played and passionate games. The kids go all out, especially if another local team has come to challenge our boys.
The problem, and it is a Third-World problem, is that our fields are mostly gravel and the ball really takes a beating. So much so that a good $40 soccer ball will last 2 or 3 days at best. I’ve seen one good game destroy a new ball. The kids are unfortunately left to playing soccer with water bottles and stuffed animals or whatever they can find.
Finally after observing this problem all over the globe, some smart guys were challenged to find a solution. “Futbol” has designed a somewhat indestructible soccer ball only available to ministries like ours to help these kids with their favorite, healthy pastime. “Futbol” can’t be punctured and can’t go flat. It has an extremely durable cover, and yet kicks and feels the same as an official soccer league ball.