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

Friday, January 25, 2019

"I Love It When a Plan Comes Together"

In the infamous words of Hannibal Smith in the TV show The A Team,  "I love it when a plan comes together!" The plan for our new church building in Haiti is coming together nicely. I made a working trip to the island on Sunday Jan. 13 and stayed thru Wed. the 16th. In four days we were able to complete about 1/3 of the rafters for the roof the new meeting hall. The new structure will give the United Church of God not only a place to worship each Sabbath, but also a learning center and a safe haven during the annual hurricane season. The 1700 square ft. building (which is built to international building codes - unseen in most of Haiti) is planned for completion around the 1st of April. Most of the brethren do not have electricity. The new building will have a dedicated transformer with reliable power and internet access for use of the brethren and community.  The metal roof has been ordered and our plan is to have it installed by February 10. This will officially “dry us in!”

On another positive note, on Tuesday morning, Jeanly Libersonn was baptized.  Jeanly lives a four hour bus ride from Mirebalais.  He made the trip to Mirebalais and stayed with Joseph Jean for about a week before the baptism.  He had been studying and communicating with Joseph form some time.  His family come from a different faith, and were not pleased with his new beliefs.  When he was getting ready for the trip to Mirebalais, his family hid his shoes and his clothes.  He had to borrow clothing and shoes for the trip.

A Bible Study was scheduled for the Tuesday night I was there. A heavy deluge of rain ensued, and deacon Joseph Jean thought it best to cancel. It had been extremely hot and humid since I had arrived. I was exhausted from the day’s hard physical labor, and had lain down for a rest. About 15 minutes later, Mr. Jean knocked on my door. He informed me that around 40 people had walked through the heavy downpour to attend the Bible Study, and we needed to go ahead with plans to conduct it. I got dressed and was immediately enthused and energised when I arrived and saw everyone joyfully singing hymns while waiting for the Bible Study to begin. We had a wonderful Bible Study.

We thank our God and Father for the incredible blessing of this building and remember the words from Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Now we must begin to prepare for the spring Holy Days in our new building--the very first United Church of God Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread in Haiti. 

Building as seen from street-level

Side wall prepped for rafters

Rafters are going up!

Baptism of Jeanly Libersonn.  L to R, Mr. Michelet, Milot, Jeanly, Joseph Jean