The human body is an amazing thing, our cooling system for example. We sweat when our body heats up. The water in sweat absorbs heat from our bodies, that heat converts the water into vapor (evaporation) and as that vapor dissipates our bodies are cooled. A simple yet very important process. Here’s the catch, what happens when the surrounding environment is hotter than your body and the humidity is hovering around 90%? Well Dixie, Joel and Tony experienced a few hot nights in Haiti under these conditions. We didn’t do much sleeping but as Dixie said it gave us time to pray.
Last week the three of us traveled to Nan Wo for a short trip with the purpose of investigating the beginning a Pastor training program. Even with the difficulties of travel and challenges the weather provided it was a huge success and has paved the way for more opportunity to “Shepherd the Shepherds”.
As an organization we have traveled to Haiti with teams for a few years now documenting the children, maintaining the schools and observing the feeding program. In all this time we knew Pastor Louinet was involved with other church leaders we just hadn’t really explored that part of Hope In Haiti. This trip allowed us to explore the Kingdom Building role Hope In Haiti is undertaking. With the help of Joel Madson, Cascade’s Mission Pastor and VP of Staff Development & Oversight with Global Training Network (www.globaltrainingnetwork.org), Dixie and I met with Pastor Louinet and discussed the relationships he has established. We knew that he has been working with eleven other churches but we have not, until now, discussed it much. We now know he has developed a “Timothy” like role with the eleven pastors and he also has had a “Paul” mentor in his life for many years. During our initial meeting in the Upper Room Joel spoke to Pastor through Dixie and discussed the need for being mentored and mentoring as a means to develop and multiply churches. Joel introduced the concept of having Timothys and Pauls in your life. It was a powerful time and with every point Joel made, Pastor was quick to refer to a bible story exemplifying the point. It appears this process is very well understood and has already begun. God is alive and well and His power is working in Haiti. Joel was very impressed with Pastor and his role in mentoring the other men. There have been quarterly meetings with these men and Pastor’s mentor has had a pivotal role in developing his ability to lead. We are very thankful of God’s influence in the lives’ of these men and the leaders under them.
While there we took time to introduce Joel to Haiti as this was his first time to visit the country. We hiked to the ancient fort above the city of Dessalines, built to defend the original capital city from Napoleon’s forces, strolled about the grounds of Ebenezer Glen Orphanage and toured a few homes belonging to students of the Nan Wo School. We were also privileged to witness ten Sunday morning baptisms in a stream near the church, after which Joel spoke to a packed house explaining God’s love through a few parables; The Wandering Sheep, The Lost Coin and The Prodigal Son. He and his interpreter were so animated in tandem during the message that it was hard to not pay attention. During the walk south later in the day a young girl confirmed this by thanking Joel and stating she liked his message.
In the mornings we were blessed with a few meals provided by Madame Pastor. She cooked a typical Haitian spaghetti with hotdog breakfast with a side of watercress and tomatoes. We washed it down with the best fresh lime juice and passion fruit juice I have ever tasted. Dixie and I made coffee and we were ready for the day.
The official meeting with all the men, under a large mango tree behind the church, was a gathering of around thirty pastors, leaders and “Timothys”. Pastor welcomed the men, some of who had walked since three in the morning from beyond Kawo, the commitment of these men in humbling. He handed out paper and pens for them to take notes, stating it was time for them to be the students and learn. Joel spoke, through his amazing interpreter, on the characteristics of the early church of Acts. He even used the Proclaimer (A radio like device storing the entire new testament on an MP3 file in Haitian Creole.) to allow the men to hear Acts 2 in their own language. It was a beautiful application of the technology and a wonderful time of teaching and learning.
Afterwards we retreated to the Upper Room only to find out Pastor continued the talks under the mango tree until well into the afternoon. Later when dismissed some of the men had to hike home under a dense rainstorm pierced by lightning. It is hard to describe the joy we shared to see this training event actually happen. We are eagerly anticipating what God has in store for this part of HIH’s mission. Our last supper consisted of a veggie plate of watercress, tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs. There was a plate of rice and a pan of cooked goat kidneys and liver in a delicious thyme and garlic seasoned tomato sauce.
Our trip back to Port au Prince was a luxurious ride in a new air conditioned pick-up truck. It was amazing how just a few short minutes in the cool air blew away the oppressive heat and lifted our spirits. We stopped for water, sodas and fresh fruit along the way all the while recounting the amazing things God is providing in Nan Wo.
Back in Pack in Port au Prince we enjoyed a cool shower, a meal and a good night’s sleep. Byron and Shelly (Maranatha Children’s Ministries) continue to support all our teams as a base camp of sorts in Port. Their home in Port au Prince is the center of their ministry for early childhood education and adoptions. These trips would not happen without their support. We greatly appreciate them.
Now home we are eager to go back. You can see pictures from this trip on the photos section of the website. A large team of around 16 people led by Brandon and Grace Gloor will be supporting a secondary Kids Camp in July. There are also plans brewing for a second Pastor Training event in August. Please pray for these teams and consider being part of a team in the future.
VP Hope In Haiti