Wednesday, October 30, 2019

F0T 2019 Celebration in Haiti

The FOT 2019 started relatively slow, but as civil unrest subsided somewhat, they were able to hold services, and food was in abundance!  Unfortunately, my phone died about halfway through the Feast,  so I could not communicate with deacon Joseph Jean after that.  Up to that point, most were able to attend services, with a high attendance of 136.

Below are a few videos Joseph sent before my phone malfunctioned.  As you will see, all were rejoicing and feasting.  Once I am home and get my phone repaired, I will post a more complete  update on the entire FOT in Haiti. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Civil Unrest, Change of Plans--But God's Feast Will be Celebrated!

Due to civil unrest in Haiti, I had to cancel my plans to keep the first half of the Feast with our Haitian brethren.  However, I was able to fly over for a day and deliver the Feast subsidy funds, along with many items donated by brethren from the U.S. and Canada (special shout-out to brethren in Quebec!).

On Thursday, October 10, I took the early flight from Ft. Lauderdale and arrived in Port-au-Prince at 8:00 AM.  Deacon Joseph Jean and his assistant, Fanel, arose very early and began the journey to meet me at the airport.  Joseph had prepared by purchasing gasoline at $15 US per gallon to fill his vehicle and make the trip.  We all prepared by praying fervently for the safety of Joseph and Fanel as they made the two-hour trek from Mirebalais to Port-au-Prince.  We intentionally planned the trip for early morning, as most of the rioting and violence does not begin until later in the day.  Their trip went smoothly, and we met up just outside the airport.  We had about 1 1/2 hours before they had to begin the trip back (and they did make it home safely).

We met inside his pickup truck, and I transferred all the “goodies” to him, including candies, toys and books for the children, soccer balls, dried fruits and nuts, etc.  They were excited and very thankful for all the goods.  They were especially touched by the personal card, with messages from all the congregation, prepared by our brethren in Quebec.

Over the course of our meeting, we had to move the parking location of the pickup three times, as a crowd began forming around it.  The two Haitian men with a caucasian parked for such a long time attracted attention, and folks were hoping to find something they could take from us.

The Feast of Tabernacles 2019 will still take place in Mirebalais.  They will have to meet early in the morning to avoid the chaos each afternoon brings, and only those who live nearby will be able to attend.  But they will feast, spiritually and physically!  With the subsidy, they will be able have delicious meals with either goat or chicken.  Two ladies have been hired to cook, and the meat has been purchased.

It seems I got out “just in time” on Thursday afternoon.  On Friday violence exploded, with a reporter being killed right in the little town of Mirebalais.  In the past 2 weeks, at least 10 have been killed and over 200 shot, and there are people missing.  Violence is expected to increase when United Nations forces pull out as scheduled on October 15.

I was able to get a few photos and a very short video without attracting too much attention.  The Haitians are extremely grateful for your generous donations, and for UCG’s financial suppport.  It is the difference between going hungry and being able to rejoice during the Feast. I humbly thank you on their behalf.

All praise, honor, and glory to God for allowing this short trip to take place, and for protecting us all. He is sovereign, and He will take care of His people.

Please continue to pray for the protection of our precious Haitian brethren--that they can have a joyful Feast, anticipating a much better world, and that God will provide stability and peace in their country.

Fanel and Joseph Jean

Fanel and Joseph Jean

Above is a short video in which Joseph expresses his appreciation to everyone.                                     

Below are some photos of Fanel, his wife, and his two children, Silas and Rose:                                    

Below is a photo of some school children, wearing t-shirts bought with money raised by a group of students at Highland Park School in the U.S.  They wanted a good project for their fundraising effort.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

A Disappointing Change of Plans

Unfortunately, due to civil unrest and dangerous conditions in Haiti, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel our first session of English and Computer Skills training in Haiti.  Please see full details at, posted by Lena Van Ausdle.

Additional information in the excerpt below for an update sent by Chuck Smith to UCG President Victor Kubik this morning, June 26, 2019:

"Some have called it civil disobedience, while others call it a civil war. No matter what you call it - it is sad and disturbing to most everyone, especially our brethren. In a country where it is difficult just finding work or food to survive, imagine trying to live a Godly life where violence is a way of life. A life  where every store, hotel and market has guards with shotguns patrolling the grounds and checking your every move. A place where everything not behind block walls is fair game. And yet,God has raised up a rapidly growing church. 

Our brethren, for the past few weeks, have been protected but we have many who could not get safe passage to church each week. Road blocks and thugs looking to rob have made life even more complicated. Thankfully out church hall is truly a "sanctuary" for most of our brethren.Our hall is behind 10' tall block walls with razor wire on the top. We have secure steel doors to keep everyone safe once they enter the compound. 

We had hoped to have our long planned and uplifting Learning Center up and functioning this week, but due to the violence we have had to cancel the classes that were planned for the next 6 weeks to teach English and Computer Skills to 14 students, which when completed would have made them in the top 5 % of the country job skill wise. But all is not lost as we will just hope pray for a more peaceful time in the months ahead. Youth Corps and Good Works have made this dream possible and we will find a time with God's blessing when we can finish this dream. Our brethren are all safe and we have been able to provide extra food for those times when traveling on the roads are prohibited and food is scarce. Deacon Joseph Jean is seeing to the physical and spiritual needs of our 100 plus brethren in Mirebalais. 

Tuesday June 25 the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution establishing a political mission starting Oct. 16 that will officially replace the U.N.peacekeeping activities in Haiti. U.N. military peacekeepers left the country on Oct.15, 2017 after 13 years, leaving only advisors to help reform the goernment. Will this bring some much needed stability to Haiti? We can only hope and pray, since that is right in the middle of God's FOT. I am praying we can have this year's Feast so the brethren can begin to have a greater picture of the peace and prosperity promised in the coming KOG. Thanks so much for everyone's prayers and support for God's people in this troubled country. I have not been able to travel to Haiti in the last month, but I am hoping for a small window of time so I can complete the FOT plans. God has shown His protection on every trip so far, and there is much to do since the "fields are indeed ripe."

The Church has continued to grow in Haiti.  With the completion of the meeting hall, and the extra space it provides, we now have around 100 in attendance when there is peace and everyone can travel.  Please continue to pray for the safety and well-being of our brethren in Haiti, and for peace in the country as a whole.  Our hope is to proceed with the English and Computer Skills teaching project in the near future, and to hold the Feast of Tabernacles 2019 as planned.  

Monday, April 15, 2019

Almost There!

Mary and I just returned from exhausting but successful trip to Haiti. We were there from Wednesday, April 3, to Sunday, April 7.  On this trip, we had five checked bags containing the new sound system.  We prayed all five suitcases would arrive with nothing missing.  God answered our prayer--not a single item was missing, which is a miracle in Haiti.

On this 5 day 4 night visit we were able to see the church building project up close and personal. The project is about 85-90% complete. What we accomplished this week:
Delivered the sound system, installed and tested it.
Successfully wired the new electrical line into the new breaker box
Installed several 110 outlets on the interior walls
Installed 9 ceiling fans
Sanded and painted the interior walls.
Had wifi installed in the hall

The Church held their first Sabbath service in the building last Sabbath, April 13. Some additional brackets and building ties were to be installed last week as we prepare for hurricane season in the Caribbean. The steel doors have been installed and we are having the handrails for the stairway finished this week.

The much needed assembly hall comes at a time of pressing need. Our Bible Study on Friday, April 6 was overflowing our 58 seat capacity as we had over 70 in attendance. The next morning for services there were 85 plus in attendance. We had a wonderful interactive service as the Haitian brethren took part in proving the history of Passover thru the many scriptures in both the New and Old Testaments. There is a zeal and passion for God's Ways in this financially crippled country. We had 5 baptisms this trip with most having no COG background. 

On Sabbath afternoon, deacon Joseph Jean took Mary and me to a couple of the huts behind his home.  Two different ladies in our congregation inhabit these huts, and both of them are in dire need of repair.  When it rains, the rain pours inside.  One of the ladies owns a small plot of land where we hope to build her a 12x12 block house with a roof to keep out the rain.  This same lady just buried her 3 year old grandchild at the back of this plot of land.  The child was born handicapped and had just passed away.  The funeral was held on Sabbath morning.  We hope we can help both these ladies so they and their families can stay dry when it rains.

The highlight of the trip on Sabbath morning--five people were added to the body of Christ in a baptism ceremony at the Wozo Hotel.

 It was a tiring but worthwhile trip.  Our goal is to have everything 100% completed on our next trip. We thank everyone for your prayers and your support of this great work being done in Haiti. The Mirebalais congregation will keep the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread for the first time. They are excited and eager to learn more by keeping God's Holy Days and learning God's plan of salvation for not only them, but for the entire world. Please keep them in your prayers as they travel down "The Road To Eternal Life!



Finishing the trusses
Tired puppy
Looking toward the front, where the podium will be
Milot doing a little painting

One of the four speakers installed around the room

Electrical completed!

Standing in front, looking toward the back of the building

Steel entrance door
Walando, an excellent carpenter

Back entrance

Outlets along one of the walls

L to R:  Joseph Jean, deacom from COG 7th Day, Chuck, Pastor Michelet from COG 7th Day, Milot (Joseph Jean's assistant)

Testing the sound system
Part of the sound system


Newly baptized members
One of the newly baptized members, washing dishes outside the Jean home
Friday Night Bible Study

The twins, riding to Church
Lively singing during services

Elderly lady on her plot of land.  Her grandchild's grave is right behind her.

The home we hope to repair