Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Dear Prayer Partners,
We so appreciate your comments and feedback from the stories that we send to you from Haiti. We know that your reply's are just a small percentage of those who are blessed and encouraged by them. One of the consistent themes we see in some of your responses is the encouragement to your faith, that God is still alive, and indeed moving in a powerful way to redeem and restore His people.
Since we have been ministering here, God has graciously changed our perspective to allow us to see much more clearly the reality of our oppressive enemy, Satan. To see all that he is doing to rob us of the joy and freedom that God intended for us to have in Him, here and now, in Haiti or the US or any other Nation on this earth. "Jesus came to declare the truth and that truth would set us free." Satan is in an all-out war to steal that truth from you, and thereby keep you in the ruts of this dark world.
Many of you feel so stuck in your world, even though you are a Christian and go to church regularly, you don't see or feel the presence of a real God anywhere. And you often wonder, "what is the point." We write these stories to encourage you and let you know that YES, THERE IS A GOD, AND YES, HE IS ALIVE........
In affluent America, we have so many options to turn to with our pain and our needs. And here in lies the problem. We can go to a counselor, we can go to a therapist, we can go to the gym, we can go to the bars, or a lawyer, or a girlfriend or drugs or just stay at work for longer and longer hours...............This is exactly what Satan wants us to do. He knows that none of these will truly satisfy us in the long run, but in the short term, they can look and feel pretty good.
This is the truth! God created us to "NEED HIM," and "To hunger and thirst for him." This is not a sign of weakness, or a need to be healed. It is how we were made. And God will be faithful to our needs and our crying out to Him. The reason that we see God moving so powerfully here in Haiti, is because the people here are so desperately aware of their needs, and they have very little options to turn to. So when they call out desperately to God, He hears them, and He answers them, and moves powerfully among them. He does it here in Haiti, and He can do it in America too.
We love you and appreciate you. Our mission is to advance the Kingdom of God, here in Haiti and anywhere else in the world. Our prayer is that you will see Him, and hear Him, and truly know Him...........Mike
Monday, August 19, 2013
Today was the baptism for the youth. Several of the youth that chose to be baptized were from our Children's Village. Here in lies the funny story. Mike has baptized 100's of people over the years, but today was a little different. One of the boys being baptized was Junior, from our Children's Village. Junior entered the river and Mike prayed over him like he normally does at a baptism. Then he went to tip him backwards into the river, most people bend their knees at this point and whoever is doing the baptizing lets them down into the water and then lifts them back up. But not Junior :) Junior locks his knees and goes over backwards with his full body weight against Mike's arm. The current is so swift behind them that it knocks both Mike and Junior down and they both go floating down the river. Mike's sandal even came off in the process. They both came up laughing and as soon as it was obvious that know one was in danger, everybody burst out laughing. If you had to pick who that was going to happen to, everyone who knows Junior would have picked him. Mike's comment was maybe God thought he needed to be under the water a little longer than everyone else. For those of you who know Junior I am sure you would have thought this was very fitting. What a crack up :) After the baptism we gave each of the youth being baptized a new bible if they did not already have one.
Church is going great in all of our villages. This week is the last week of the 43 days of revival in Pass Rein. Last Sunday the witch doctor that I wrote about who gave his life to the Lord, gave his testimony. It was great hearing him share about how everything had changed for him and how grateful he was. We had a great night in Pass Rein also, with yet one more salvation. A lady who had been to church many times decided last night was the night she would say yes to Jesus. Her decision affected a lot of people. Sunday in Marotte we had another witch doctor give his life to the Lord. I was talking with Nathan about the witch doctors coming to God and asked him if the people were fearful of the witch doctors coming to God, or if they believed them, or if they were excited about them coming to God. Nathan said it was really encouraging to the people of Haiti. God is really setting people free that appear almost impossible to reach. And like I have shared many times before, your prayers help make this happen. Thank you for being willing to spend your time investing in prayer for the broken, the lost and the needy. It is pure religion according to James 1:27.
Nathan and Mike have been preaching almost every night between the two of them. On Sunday's they preach twice sometimes, in the morning and evening, giving two different messages. Please keep them both in your prayers, for health, safety, perseverance and direction from God.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Thank you so much for your prayers. We were able to send out some text messages to some of you for prayer earlier tonight. And God answered your prayers.
So here is the story........
According to the witch doctor, last night the devil came to him and told him to kill 7 people. The devil told him that he would receive lots of money if he killed the people. But in the morning the witch doctor said that he heard a small voice tell him to go to the church in Pass Rein. So he walked to Pass Rein and showed up at church. During church he asked for prayer (this is when we sent out the text) when Nathan asked if anyone wanted to give their life to Jesus, the witch doctor came forward and said that he did. Afterwards the witch doctor said he needed someone to come to his house and pray, because he had a lot of voodoo and witch craft things in his home. The whole church gathered together and walked several miles to his home. They prayed over his home inside and out. They prayed over his family. They spent time worshiping God and praising Him for what He had done. Praise God He is sooooo merciful and good.
Last week we had another time when God prompted us to send out a text message for prayer. We have come to the realization that under certain circumstances text messaging could be a viable option. We have been limited in who we could text for two reasons, one we have to have your phone number and two we have to know that it is okay with the person receiving the international text, as sometimes they cost more to open. So if you would like to be part of a smaller more immediate prayer partner team, let us know and will try to add you on.
Prayer Partners: Mike here. Yes, it is the "Back to School" season again, and we at New Generation Ministries who have set the education of the next generation of Christian leaders in Haiti as a high priority, have been working hard all summer to get ready. We will be starting a new school this year. Pass Rien will have 100 new students and 8 new teachers. In all, we will be operating 5 schools, each with directors, 740 plus students, 40 teachers and lots of volunteers. We will be providing school uniforms, books, and food for all. This comes at huge cost. But, we prefer to look at it as an investment in the future leaders of Haiti.
Education for these children in Haiti is a good investment. It is guaranteed to lift these children out of poverty and break their chains of oppression. It is guaranteed to give them better skills and job opportunities. These kids really need your help. We will see that your investment goes directly to help these children. Not only will there be great dividends for these children, but you will receive the blessing of God for your efforts.
Our "school sponsorship program" is designed to fund the expenses for these children to receive a quality education and a nutritious meal. But we don't have enough children sponsored out yet, and we just added 100 new children. Please help us with the work that God has called all of us to do, by making a generous contribution towards the start-up of this school year and/or sponsor several of these children helping them to do something that they are unable to do themselves. School sponsorship is only $15 per child, per month. Please join us.
This is doable .....Mike
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Friday, August 9, 2013
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I was writing to a friend and felt like God said to share it, so here goes...
I finally got a night to spend answering e-mails. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I enjoyed reading your letter, which might sound strange. But to me it is refreshing to hear a christian that is honest and does not portray the perfect christian life. My husband likes to tell a story about a guy...... "Who when he was young, was very charismatic and drew large crowds wherever he went, and everyone wanted him to come and speak. As time went on though he seamed to get into trouble here and there. His ministry began to be unable to support him and he had to take part time jobs to survive. Soon the crowds were smaller. He eventually got into trouble with the law, and ended up in jail. Most would say that it was a shame how he failed, how he must have been making poor choices, how he must have let sin into his life. But this story is about the Apostle Paul. Paul did not let sin into his life. In fact he pressed into God more intently as his life progressed".
My husband and I believe that if you are truly following God with your whole heart you will be blessed, and herein lies the problem in the USA and Canada. We interpret blessed as everything going well, being successful, having material possessions, a great marriage, the perfect family, great finances, God making our lives easier, no trials, etc. Paul was following God hard with everything he had. The blessings Paul received did not look like the blessings we think of as blessings. He was persecuted, rejected, hungry, beat, put in prison unjustly, all the things God promised would happen to him if he followed Christ. But Paul was blessed! Some of the strongest and most faithful christian's I know live here in Haiti. And by our western perspective they do not appear to be blessed. But I know they are sooooo blessed. They have the peace that passes understanding, the faith that moves mountains and the joy of the Lord, real joy. Like the words of the song I was referring to by Matt Redman, whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes. It really doesn't get truer than this and even though some days I get caught up into why does this have to happen to me, I look around and get a really good perspective just outside my front door. I really do appreciate your prayers for me. Sometimes things don't seem fair or just, but I need to be reminded that it is not about me. I need to be reminded that it is about Him and the ones He loves.
I was amazed when I was first married, how selfish and self focused I was. Trying to live with a new spouse tends to bring that out after awhile. Then when I started having children I remember thinking how they brought out even more selfishness and self focus. It seemed that my bad traits were so obvious that I had to acknowledge them. When I adopted the last three I can remember thinking "okay what is God going to teach me this time." With the two latest adoptions we are working on I am now thinking " Here we go again." Just as I am amazed that each child can be so different from each other and be amazed that I can love another one as much as the others, I also am amazed by who and what He uses to continue to refine us. I have walked through a lot of crud in my life, that I would not wish on an enemy, but at the same time I value how it has made me who I am. And I am just old enough to see some of the pieces starting to come together, pieces that answer some of the why's, and the how comes, and the I can't believe you are letting this happen, and the it's not fairs. God is so good even when it does not seem like it. And I am barely learning to start walking like it.
I did find a dress and I am praying for you also. Please don't let the enemy accuse you or oppress you over your thought process. Just give it to God, tell Him your sorry you got off track and move forward. Really as cliche as it sounds, it is the very thing the enemy does not want you to do.
So Blessings to you, many blessings, Chris
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Hello,Mike and I are both writing to you in this e-mail. I will start and then add his message :)
A few days ago Nathan asked Mike if he would teach the youth here in Marose about life. The youth group kids are 13 to 19 years old. Mike said yes, he would be glad to teach them. So yesterday the youth met, first they spent some time worshiping. Then Mike spent 3 1/2 hours teaching them. He talked about their life and their life here in Marose and in Haiti. He talked with them about their life in Christ. He talked about making changes in their lives so that they can make a difference. In the end about 40 youth committed their lives to Christ. They also committed to change. They prayed and asked the Holy Spirit into their lives. They have also chosen to be baptized, which in Haiti is usually after the age of 20. So next Monday Mike will be teaching them about baptism. Please pray for guidance for Mike as he shares and for understanding for the kids as they make these life choices. We are asking them to go against the norm in Haiti. They will need Christ's strength to follow through with the commitments they have made. This is hard for youth in any country, but especially in a country that has lost hope for their tomorrows and has learned to live for today only, as there may be no tomorrow. Thanks once again for your prayers, as they make a huge difference.
Prayer Partners: Mike here again. “Thanks and praise be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Even in times when most businesses and ministries are downsizing, New Generation Ministries has been growing by leaps and bounds. Because of this blessing of growth from God, we are reaching more children with food and education. We are reaching more hurting people with the medical attention they need. And we are reaching more lost and desperate people with “the Good News of the life giving gospel of Jesus Christ.”
And because of this blessing of growth from God, we find ourselves in a position of having several amazing volunteer opportunities available in this ministry. We have several positions ranging from 3 to 5 hours per week of skilled participation to 3 to 5 hours per month of unskilled, but sorely needed help. If you have a heart for the orphans, the poor, and the needy, we need you. If you have communication or social networking skills, we need you. If you have entrepreneurial skills, but are home with small children, or have only part time to invest in Kingdom business, we need you. If you have technical or graphic skills, we need you. And if you think you don’t have any skills at all, we will gladly pray for you! Your skills could help this ministry with sponsors, supplies, writing thank you's, designing brochures and web pages, helping with teams, giving and organizing outside input, researching information, social networking, following leads, and many other opportunities.
Because of you, God is continuing to bless this ministry, and with your help God will continue to bless the needy in Haiti. We can’t put it any other way; Your involvement will bless us, help this ministry, and advance the Kingdom of God in Haiti…………..Mike and Chris Leland
Saturday, August 3, 2013
God amazes me, after sharing about living wrecked yesterday.....He gets me again today. Today I was able to listen to worship music during the day, which is unusual. I was listening to Matt Redman's song 10,000 reasons. Part of the Lyrics go "It's a new day dawning/ It's time to sing Your song again/ Whatever may pass/ And whatever lies before me/ Let me be singing when the evening comes". It seems like I am living out words set before me again. As I was returning from Port-au-Prince at dusk, this was the song playing and I WAS singing. One of our translators that we have used for about 4 years is getting married next Saturday. In Haiti they do not have bridesmaids and groomsmen. The bride chooses a Godfather and the groom chooses a Godmother to be in the wedding ceremony and to be a witness of the wedding. They also are supposed to be people they can go to in the future for advice. Jonas our translator has given me the honor of choosing me to be his Godmother in his wedding. The clothing I brought to Haiti is very practical and does not include any wedding clothes, so for the past 6 weeks I have asked to be taken to Port-au-Prince to find a dress. I tried Gonaives, Haiti's third largest city, and there was only one nice dress that fit me and was not really the best choice. I know this sounds unbelievable, but we did have help, problem is there are not stores in Gonaives, like most other countries. Almost everything is sold in the open market. So after being told yes week after week and then when the day comes being told no, I was getting anxious. So finally I said this Saturday I am going no matter what comes up. So we get up at 6:00 am in order to leave Marose at 7:00 am, first problem a flat tire. We go into Gonaives and by a new tube then go to the roadside stand to have it filled and put on. We get about 45 mins. down the road and surprise we have a 2nd flat tire, not only one but 2. So Mike takes the two flat tires and gets on a tap tap with them. He purchases new tubes and has them filled and mounted again and returns carrying both tires while getting a ride on a motorcycle tap tap this time. Next stop we picked up Madame Nathan to help me choose a dress that meets all the requirements for a wedding. We have all 5 of our children with us, plus Madame Nathan and Voltaire a friend to help find the store in Port-au-Prince and help with the language barrier. Then the next surprise, another flat tire. We are now about 3 hours behind schedule, one of the kids is sick and it looks like we have a pattern established with the flat tires. And I am thinking of the song, I have a choice.......am I going to be able to sing when the evening comes, regardless of whatever may pass and whatever lies before me? At that point in 98 degree weather, after what would become 5 flat tires, with the possibility of getting to Port-au-Prince late enough for the stores to be closed and not coming home with a suitable dress for the wedding in one week, I am really being challenged to be thinking of .....10,000 reasons for my heart to sing. The song finishes with "Still my soul will sing Your praise unending/Ten thousand years and then forevermore".
Thank you for your prayers today, we really needed them :)
Last month I felt like it would be good to have a birthday party for the children who had a birthday in June. So Nathan and my daughter Rebecca helped me throw a birthday party. For the July birthdays Nathan and Mike helped me. I baked a cake for the birthday children, gathered up a small gift and Nathan played his accordion and sang Happy Birthday in creole to them among other songs. The children enjoyed it and I would like to continue this each month. So I was wondering if any of you would like to help me accomplish this. It is much easier to make a cake from a Betty Crocker cake mix than from scratch. Also, there is no true powered sugar here in Haiti and what they call powdered sugar is expensive. When I have wanted powdered sugar for frosting here, I have rolled granulated sugar til it is close to powder. So if some one would like to donate Betty Crocker cake mixes and powdered sugar and some little items I can use for gifts I would love it. Please contact Dustin and Melissa at the number below or e-mail us for more info.
Friday, August 2, 2013
Live wrecked! The words in front of me on a hunk of embossed aluminum. The same words from one of my favorite books. Words that sound great in theory, but living them? …… I love living here in Haiti. But it is sooo hard at times. The last two days I don’t think I could describe any other way, but to say I am living wrecked. We have had victories and incredible spiritual attack. I have experienced anger over injustices, and frustrations over the unbelief of most of the people in Haiti that it cannot be different. I have been emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted. Is living wrecked such a great idea? In reality I know it is where I am supposed to be, and with that in mind I wouldn’t be anywhere else.
I will start with sharing a huge victory with you. We have been visiting our villages and talking about leadership and also evangelism. We had a day of evangelizing in Pass Rein day before yesterday. It started at 7:30 in the morning and went until about 1:00 in the afternoon. I shared with the group one of my favorite sayings, “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.” Mike shared that if you knew you had the medicine to save someone who was sick, you would give it to them, even if they did not believe you. Also if you knew someone was floating down the river into danger you would try to warn them about the danger ahead, even if they did not believe it was coming. Mike, Nathan and I shared other things also, then they started going door to door in their community. 45 people received salvation that day, 45! God is incredibly amazing. Nathan was even able to share with the Madame or the witch doctor who is frustrated that she has lost her power over Pass Rein. She did not accept Christ, but she did sit and listen as Nathan shared the gospel with her once again. Please keep praying for her. It has been a long time since she has been even willing to listen to Nathan or Mike.
We only have 2 new cases of the mumps this round. One of them is my daughter Janae. There is a 2 to 3 week incubation period so I still do not know if we are finished with them. We have had 20 children come down with the mumps so far. Please keep praying for the ones with the mumps and that we have no more cases.
We have two new girls. Which is both good and bad at the same time? Bad because more children need help and good because a lot of times girls are not sent to orphanages, they are kept as slaves for both domestic and sexual purposes. Please pray for their adjustment into the orphanage. When gathering clothes and shoes etc. for them I realized that we need more shorts, and skirts for girls size 6 to 10. If anyone of you have any used ones in good shape that you would like to donate that would be great.
There is a lot more to write but this is getting long, so I will try and write again tomorrow. Thank you for listening to me share my heart. Thank you for your prayers also, we depend on them.