Saturday, March 18, 2017
Thank you so much for your prayers. God is on the move. Last night we went to a church in Mapou, next to Badjo. Nathan led worship and Mike preached. There was one salvation.
This morning at the pastors conference Mike felt like he was supposed to take the whole group of pastors and leaders to Badjo as an outreach. So we made "pen avek mamba", a type of hard roll with peanut butter. Then we drove across the river. When we were across the river we started seeing people from the funeral. This morning they had a large funeral in Gonaives, which the president attended. The president purchased coffins for each of the 46 people who died in the accident. In Badjo many of the families also had their own private funerals, which is why we started seeing people. There were about 500 people at the grave sites when we passed the cemetery We stopped in the front of the witch doctors home that had given her life to Jesus during the accident. I explained this in the last email. There were quite a few people in her yard. We spoke to them for a while, then we asked if we could pray for the different people there. They said yes. 8 people in the yard gave their lives to the Lord. The most fun was a young man with long dreads down his back, which is usually very unacceptable here in Haiti. At first he laughed when we were praying for someone by him and said "you can't preach to me. I won't accept Jesus." Mike then noticed a black arm ribbon on his bicep. Mike asked what is was and he responded that he had gone to a voodoo camp that morning. He said it supported the people who died. Mike asked how it did this as the people were dead, he then said it couldn't but it supported him. Mike asked how it helped him? He responded it shows solidarity. After a few minutes of thinking about it he started crying and he took it off and threw it on the ground and said he wanted to accept Jesus. A huge miracle.
Next we went to another house and met a family of Christians, we prayed for boldness for them to start reaching out to their neighbors, they were like a little light in the darkness. The mama who was very old was so full of the spirit, I loved her. They led us to another house to pray for people. And another 8 people came to the Lord there. Two tough but wonderful stories came from that household. The first was a little old man, he was 77 years old, which is very old for Haiti. He was so bent over that he was only 4 1/2 feet tall. His wife had given her heart to the Lord last Wednesday when they were there. She came running up as we came in the gate and said that we needed to pray for her husband to accept Jesus. He told us no we could not pray for him, because he had quit attending rara's and voodoo ceremonies a few years ago and he was better then Christians. We talked with him a really long time and prayed for him to be willing. Eventually he choose to pray so that " he could be in Jesus house when he died like his wife". He was such a precious little man. No teeth, but a Cheshire cat grin.
At this same house we had a young man around 20 years old telling us "if Christ was so great why weren't we here earlier before his friend had died" He had tons of questions like that. He went on and on. He thought he was pretty tough. Finally, after a lot of talk I said I felt like God said the door is open now and it won't always be, maybe tomorrow your friends and family will be crying over you, like you are over your friend now. Kind of blunt and harsh, but he was arguing and taking the attention from others. It must have been God, he gave his life to Jesus 5 minuets later. In all 16 people gave their lives to the Lord today.
Please keep praying we are trying to follow God's leading, it feels like another Pass Rein, Bon Berger. God is sooooo good.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
God is on the move in Badjo. Many miracles happened this morning. Thank you SO much for your faithful prayers.
Mike, Nathan and the team headed to Badjo this morning, they were going to start with visiting a friend of Nathan's and see where God led after that. But on the way they passed an older women sitting all by herself in her front yard. Nathan stopped the truck and waited and then said he felt like God wanted them to stop and talk to her. So they did, they explained that they just wanted to comfort the people who had lost loved ones in the accident. Her response was absolutely amazing.
This is her story. She said that she was the main witch doctor over Badjo and she was at the Rara and involved in the accident. As I had said earlier when buses hit people they take off, if they stay witnesses usually try to burn the buses, many times with the people still in it. And they kill the driver. So just 3 blocks early the bus had already hit 2 pedestrians, killing one of them. So the bus was trying to get away and had turned its lights off and was not using it's horn to warn people it was coming through. The witch doctor said that for some reason she turned towards the direction the bus was coming, she said the bus came with no lights and no horn. She said the bus came within a few feet of her and she watched it hit and kill many people, as she looked up she said she saw Jesus and that he revealed himself to her. She said that at that moment she renounced satan and voodoo and rara and told him that she wanted to accept Jesus in her heart. As Mike and Nathan talked with her she shared that her son died in the accident. Mike said he was given words for her that she would be influential for God in the community, like she had been for satan and voodoo. Then another women, her daughter said she wanted to accept Jesus. After they shared with them awhile, Nathan asked if there was somewhere else they should go? She said go out the gate in her back yard, anyone they ran into would have family that had died in the accident.
So they started walking and a young girl called to them and said please don't go, there are two women over here that want to give their lives to Jesus. So they went to talk with them. One of them had a mangled eye from being beaten by her husband, who had died in the accident. Both of them accepted the Lord.
They then walked another block and talked to a family, which Mike said was the hardest to talk to, because of their hurting and sorrow. They had lost 4 family members in the accident. The older lady there shared that they had lost 3 teenage grandsons and her son, who was husband and father to some of the people there. 8 different people gave their hearts to the Lord.
They walked a block and came to another house, where a family had also lost 4 family members. They had lost 2 older grandchildren, a husband and an uncle. The older lady that was talking with them said that she was also a witch doctor and said when she heard that her family had died in the accident she right then and there said never again, she was done with satan, voodoo and rara's, and she gave her heart to Jesus, all by herself, just between her and God.
Both the first and fourth family said that Mike and Nathan could not leave them. That they needed them to stay and help. They begged Nathan and Mike to start a church and show them how to live differently.
God's spirit is moving, it is exploding in Badjo, today there were 26 salvations in a 3 block area. Please pray for wisdom and discernment. We do not have an extra pastor to send to Badjo, they will need bibles and people to walk beside them and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Right now the biggest need is for someone to come alongside Mike and Nathan and be mentored to pastor this community. Also they will need bibles. A full Haitian Creole bible is $10. We would also like to be able to reach out to the community and feed them, as they work through their grief, much like we would bring meals to a grieving family stateside or in Canada. We would appreciate help in these areas. Please come alongside of us and help us reach out to the people of Badjo. Please help us be the hands and feet of Jesus. The death toll is up to 46 people now and this is from a very small village, where almost everyone has lost someone.
Thank you and blessings,
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
We wanted to thank you for praying. We have felt your prayer covering. Mike took Hendor to the airport in Port-au-Prince early yesterday morning. Again the trip was uneventful. Things seemed to have calmed down a bit politically . Having Hendor here was such a blessing. Saturday morning Hendor spent time with Mike at the pastors conference encouraging and praying for the pastors. He also spent time with the boys in the Children's Village teaching them how to play flag football. In the late afternoon we hiked through the rain, mud and river to baptize 5 people, one of which was from our Children's Village. Baptisms are always fun here in Haiti. There is singing, praying, crossing rivers, joy and laughter, it definitely is an event. On Sunday morning Hendor preached in Pass Rein and ministered. God touched a lot of people. Sunday night was the last night of the crusade in Marose. It was a great night of worship. Hendor preached again and did ministry. It was his last night preaching and some of the pastors felt led to pray over him.
We also wanted to up date you on the accident in Mapou involving people living mostly in Badjo. Our churches have been reaching out to them. Monday evening one of the witch doctors from the Rara, whose nephew was killed by the bus called Nathan and said he was tired of living the way he had been and wanted to give his heart to Jesus. Such good news!!
We also have an outreach tomorrow morning (Wednesday) in Badjo. We will be holding a worship and prayer time. Along with this we will be serving food as an outreach to the families. We have a teen challenge group that arrived today and they will be helping with the outreach. They will also be sharing their testimonies in Pass Rein tomorrow night. Please be praying for the outreach and the testimony sharing.
Also we need prayer for this coming Friday evening, as Nathan will be preaching in Mapou, one of the villages next to Badjo. This cluster of villages are know for voodoo and are even advertised in travel magazines as a place to experience voodoo ceremonies. It is totally God that has opened this door, Please pray for soft hearts, open spirits and for God to move.
Thank you so very much for all of your prayers, they ARE moving mountains.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
I am writing to request prayer for a couple of events today. The first being a really bad accident happening around 3:00 AM last night. The buses here in Haiti just plow down the main highway at high speeds and honk instead of slow down for cars, motorcycles or pedestrians. As we have shared in the past Carnival is the start of a season of more intense voodoo celebrations leading up to Good Friday, which the people practicing voodoo call Bad Friday. One of the most popular ways to to celebrate is to have a RaRa. Typically they start in the afternoon as a parade that involves music, alcohol and a few whips. But late evening RaRa dissolves into a mob type parade with wild music, voodoo chanting, sexual immorality, violence and most people involved are very drunk. There are vendors with wheel barrows full of alcohol following along with the RaRa. Alcohol being given to anyone regardless of age.
So by the middle of the night most of the people are in no shape to be thinking straight. Well last night one of the buses came barreling through a RaRa in Badjo a village know for its voodoo. Badjo is a small village right next to the village of Debarriers, where we have a church. I don't think either village is more then a few square miles. They are so close to each other it is hard to know where one ends and the other starts. This bus never stopped, going full speed it ran into the people in the RaRa. First reports before 6AM were 23 dead. The main highway to Cap Haitian was blocked off. By 12 noon the highway was open, but with remnants from the accident. The death toll is now at 39. The photos coming in from people we know are very gruesome. The bus hit them head on and plowed through the crowd. The bus headed straight for the police station, most likely to avoid problems. Drivers in the past have been dragged out, killed, and then the bus set on fire. The most horrific part of this is that the crowd was dancing for satan, so most likey they are not with Jesus right now. So please pray for the families, friends and whoever was involved with what happened in front of their eyes, from the photos I can not even begin to imagine the horror they saw. Also this will mean parents not coming home to little children ever again. We have asked three of our churches that surround this village, all within a few miles, Marose across the river from Badjo and Debarriers and Poteou bordering Badjo, to go and pray for the families and people involved. We have asked them to look at this as outreach and to not judge the people that were at the RaRa. Please pray for our congregations that they will reach out and in a healing way.
Our Pastors and congregations are also inviting people from the area to the final night of our crusade in Marose. Pray that God will use the circumstances of last night to heal and draw more people to him. The main witch doctor at the RaRa was witnessed to by Pastor Nathan just last week and he told Nathan "later Nathan later". I hate hearing a witch doctor say those words, it usually means it is his last chance to accept Jesus.
Thank you so much for your prayers, we really need them.
Friday, March 10, 2017
We wanted to update you on what is going on. We thoroughly enjoyed having our friend Sue here in Haiti. She blessed us and just spent time loving and encouraging our family. It was wonderful and needed.
Yesterday, Mike picked up another friend, Hendor, who's ministry is called King of Hearts, from the airport. We want to thank you for your prayer covering this trip to Port-au-Prince was uneventful, which was nice. Hendor and Mike spent today visiting some of our schools and villages that we work with. Tonight he preached at our crusade in Marose. There were about 250 people there. The ministry time was really good, many people were ministered too. God was showing Hendor certain people to call forward for healing and encouragement. There was one miraculous healing.
Hendor will be preaching again during the crusade tomorrow evening. Also he will preach in Bon Berger, Pass Rein Sunday morning and then again Sunday evening in Marose at the crusade. We would really appreciate your prayers for open hearts, and for the Holy Spirit to move.
Again thank you so much for your prayers we really appreciate them.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Hope all of you are doing well, enjoying your snowy winter.
Our good friend Sue Bennett arrived today. We are so excited to see have her here in Haiti with us.
You may be asking what do rocks, flat tires, manifestations, births and prayer have to do with each other. Well let me share part of Mike and Sue's day with you. It started for Sue late last night as she boarded the red-eye flight out of Seattle. It started for Mike this morning at 5:30 a.m. with a flat tire just outside our gate.The roads are so bad in the areas we minister that we go through a set of tires every 5-6 months. These tires were 3 months old. After getting our older boys off to school and changing the tire, he headed to Port. When we head to Port we usually run some errands, as a lot of items are only available in Port. The first errand of the day was closed, after the second errand of the day he headed towards the embassy, it took him 1 hour to travel 2 miles, then another hour to travel the two miles back, it was during this second 1 hour trip that he had another flat tire, he pulled up on the sidewalk to change it and traffic had moved so slowly that he entered back in line almost where he left off. There was a taptap in front of him (basically a mini pickup brightly colored that people hop on and off of and use as a group taxi, tapping on it to tell the driver to stop) Mike glanced into the open back of the taptap and realized there was a man holding a women up from behind her and she was giving birth. She has been riding in the back of this taptap in labor while stuck in traffic and the baby was not going to wait any longer. Mike got out of his truck to tell curious on lookers to keep walking and also check to see if she was okay, then he glanced around and realized that if the taptap went up on the sidewalk where he had changed his tire previously then he could drive faster and get the lady to some help, so he told the driver his idea and the driver took off down the sidewalk. Mike's next destination then became the tire store. After getting 4 new tires, he picked Sue up at the airport. There are strict road rules here in Haiti "any direction, any speed, any part of the road", it is always interesting getting out of town. "Haiti is the ultimate defensive driving school."
This is when things really became exciting and we were thankful for your prayer coverage. About 1/2 way home there is a town know for its political oppositions and they were having a peaceful protest. There were a lot of police out trying diligently to keep things calm and let the protesters voice their views, but as Mike and Sue got close things instantly escalated out of control and the police realized they needed to show some force or there would be a full scale riot. So 6 to 8 policemen raised their guns and began shooting into the air. Mike and Sue were only about 50 feet away, instantly most of the protesters scattered and ran for cover. But many of them turned to throw huge rocks back at the police or at whatever was in front of them, including at Mike and Sue in the truck. A friend recognized Mike and jumped into the truck to help him find a safe way out of the manifestation. After a few blocks of traveling on the highway he decided it looked clear and got back out of the truck. In a few more blocks Mike could see ahead that they had overturned a bus across the road and were setting it on fire. Mike sped forward around some trucks thinking he would escape the problem, but could then see some men causing a truck at gun point to stop sideways in the road to make another road block with fire. He then realized they were going to be stuck between the two vehicles and there were more angry men throwing rocks trying to block the road off and a row of tires going across the road, which would be lit. He quickly pulled over onto a gravel road going up a mountain. This took them way out of their way, but eventually with the help of some of the local kids (angels in disguise, Mike said) they found their way back to the main highway. The road was clear and they were free to travel.
Mike said during the manifestation Sue was asking questions and said that she wasn't afraid. I know this probably doesn't surprise those of you who know Sue :) God was obviously in control and He knows who can handle what. We are soooo thankful for your faithful covering in prayer. Tonight Sue said with a smile it was a memory that she will not forget. Please pray that God continues to protect and bless her visit here with us. And thank you once again for your prayers.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Class 1 with their finished project
Francesca learning to sew
Alice teaching Janae
Doreen and Lizzy
Jan and Coral teaching
First one to finish her skirt
Lydia in her skirt
The girls class wearing their finished skirts
The past 10 days have been very significant here. Our vision for our ministry has always been ....to come along side of the Haitian people to help them help themselves. We believe that initially aid is okay, but for a people group to rise above poverty and oppression they need to move past aid or relief, rehabilitation and development needs to happen.
We have had a team from Cookshill here for the past 10 days and they have reached out to help change lives significantly. Their team has held classes to teach seamstress and tailors how to use an electric sewing machine. They created a project that would teach the class how to use the machine to put in zippers, buttons, buttonholes, appliques, and embellish with fancy stitches. Doreen and the team taught basics sewing skills, with hands on help. The classes were two-three hour sessions. The students did excellent and will now have the opportunity to create a way to support their families. Some of them will have the opportunity to receive a mirco-loan for their business. The students were both men and women.
Coral and Doreen along with the team also held beginner classes for girls from our Children's village who have shown an interest in sewing. This class also included two women who had never sewn before.
The girls were so proud of the drawstring bags and skirts that they learned to sew. A huge boost of confidence and encouragement for them. With the knowledge they have learned I will be able to continue helping them.
The team also taught a "Girls Days" (reusable feminine hygiene pads) class in Poteou and Bon Berger, Pass Rein. Kathy and Coral both work in the medical field and Coral is a nurse. They did a very thorough job of teaching. Through out the days spent here in Haiti Neil spent time going around the Children's village fixing and repairing many things with a couple of the older boys, which helped to train them.
The team left about 4 AM yesterday morning and arrived safely home late last night or rather early this morning. Two of the women had an allergic reaction to bug repellent spray while they were here. Alice is still suffering from the reaction, please pray for her.
Thank you to all who have prayed for us. We finally have internet and power. I had not been able to update you or send out prayer requests since we arrived back in Haiti or while the team from Cookshill Community Church was here. Such a third world problem. I finally sent out a prayer request by phone over facebook and ta da our internet was repaired :) We usually have power most of the day, but since our internet was repaired we have had a power outage. Go figure, power and internet at the same time, what was I expecting. Late this afternoon though we received power and the internet is working. We really do need and appreciate your prayers.
I will try and send out some of the stories from the past couple of months later this week.
Thank you so much,
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Wow, God is Amazing! So many awesome stories happening lately! I wish you could be here experiencing God's move here in Haiti with us.
If you remember a few prayer partners ago I shared the story of one of our prayer partners saying that she could see a picture in her mind of the Madame (Mariette) standing in a dark doorway surrounded by eyes peering out from the darkness. She said that she believed if the Madame were to give her life to the Lord that it would open a floodgate in what was then called DeForce, Pass Rein. Well the Madame did give her life to the Lord, after many years of prayer and fasting. And NOW the floodgates have opened. The Madame's conversion along with the community changing it's official name from DeForce, Pass Rein (place of darkness, where the witch doctors come from) to Bon Berger (place of light) has litertally opened the floodgates. I believe that when God wanted to do a new work in someone's life, sometimes he chose to change their name, Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, or Saul to Paul for example. I think that the villagers wanting to change the name of their village was part of God's plan and with it, the power of satan has been broken in Bon Berger! We can hardly keep up with the salvations. The other day another witch doctor called our radio station and said that he wanted to give his life to the Lord. Joel and John Denis still go to visit every person that calls into the radio station and they share the gospel with them.
In our last prayer partner I shared that Joey and Joshua were able to film one of the witch doctors burning his voodoo things. I also shared that I had prayed for a little old lady that was there in the crowd. Well I found out that she too was a witch doctor and she was the mother of the witch doctor who was burning his voodoo things. She shared that her other son was also a witch doctor. On Tuesday nights Mike goes to Bon Berger, Pass Rein to share as the church visits different homes and has church in their front yards. Well last Tuesday we had the home service for Bon Berger, Pass Rein in the witch doctors front yard, in front of his mud hut. And guess what? She, the little old lady, his mother, gave her life to the Lord!!!! Praise God!!!!!!
Tonight's service was held in the front yard of the second sister of the Madame's who gave her life to the Lord. She shared her testimony tonight. She said she had been witnessed too on November 3rd and had responded that she was not ready to give her life to God yet. The following Monday one of her grandson's suddenly became sick and died, the following Saturday another grandson ( the brother) suddenly became sick and died. Then the next Monday her son, the father of the boys, who was a voodoo priest also suddenly became sick and died. She said she decided after losing three family members suddenly in the course of one week that maybe she was running out of time and better choose Jesus. That was when she decided to give her life to the Lord. And in her words she said "there's no turning back". Hmmm, reminds me of a song!!!!
The Madame's sister shared that her father along with her other two sisters were voodoo priests. These sisters are all probably in their late 50's to early 60's. And God is cleaning house. The floodgates are definitely open. While she was sharing her testimony tonight, one of her neighbors was listening to her and felt convicted and started cleaning the voodoo paraphernalia out of her house, she too was a witch doctor. Nathan felt led to go and pray for her and she gave her life to Jesus. Then her husband came over to the house where the service was and said he too wanted Jesus in his life. Then another women and another man from the area came and asked if they could accept Jesus. Wow!!!!!
You may have read the stories that I have written about our neighborhood coming to Jesus, without much doing on our part. Well last Sunday our neighbor Jerry invited another neighbor to come to church with us, making 9 neighbors, 3 older boys and our family of 7 all riding to church together (were going to be needing a bus soon :) God obviously began moving in our neighbors heart, as she was crying quietly during the service. I prayed for her and Mike invited her over for lunch after church, she shared a heart breaking story of her mother deserting her at 18 months, she does not know who her family is, or anything about them. Well tonight she said she wanted to come to the service with us, we hadn't even told her about it. During the service she was very quiet and it became obvious that God was delivering her. It has been so amazing, we just show up, or answer a call, or feed someone and God does His will. Witch doctors are coming to him, killers are coming to him, the impossible are being reached for Jesus. I so wish you could be here to experience what God is doing here in Haiti. GOD LOVES THE PEOPLE OF HAITI AND HE IS ON THE MOVE !
We are so appreciative of your prayers and very much in need of them. Nathan is ministering daily and nightly, mostly in Bon Berger and Marose. He also is leading worship most nights. Mike preach's most Tuesday nights in Bon Berger, teaches bible study in Marose on Wednesday, bible study in Perou on Thursday, preach's most Friday nights in Marose at the all night prayer and worship service, teaches pastors and leaders on Saturday and preach's again in Marose on Sunday mornings. They are also both ministering to the couples, families and people in all seven of our communities as things come up during the day. They need your prayers for wisdom, guidance, stamina, and discernment as to where to apply their time. They need your prayers as they raise up leaders to carry the load. Mike is trying to teach, preach, and share with the pastors and leaders so that he can give it away to them and let them lead, teach, preach and share in their villages. Your prayers have and will continue to make all the difference. Thank you so much for them.