This past Sunday’s church service was FOCUSED! There was confidence about how we are to deal with the present challenges facing Haiti. This confidence was expressed through the songs sung, the prayers prayed, the scripture read, the message shared and heard.
A special prayer time to pray for the country and the world was announced for Monday morning 8 am to noon, citing that where two or three are gathered Jesus is also there and will hear the prayers of his people. There was a confidence in the words spoken by Pastor Lumanes, “Peyi sa se pou nou! Li pa pou bandi yo nan Potopwens. Tout bagay ki imposib pou lòm li posib pou Bondye.” ‘This country is for us! It is not for the gangs of Port au Prince. Everything that is impossible for man is possible for God.’ The invitation came, “Vini, nap mete tèt nou ansom pou bay Bondye lwanj.” ‘Come, let’s unite together and give God praise.’
So we sang! “Prè la kwa mapè vèyè, kwè, obèyi, priyè, Jouk tan lè la va sonnen Pou li vin chèchè mwen.” ‘Close to the cross I will watch, believe, obey, pray, Until the time he calls to come to get me.’
“Jezi, pran mwen jan ou wè’m la, san fòs.” ‘Jesus take me as you see me here, without strength.’
“Bondye ou Fidel, ou pa janm pa la.” ‘God you are Faithful, you are always here.’
The sense of confidence was displayed all the way to even the name of the women’s choir… “Konbat” which is a verb meaning combat, struggle.
Psalm 1 was the basis of the meditation. (Please take time to read this psalm!) Pastor Lumanes said for mankind, we more easily imitate what is bad than what is good. “Chak jou mechan ap vin pi mechan.” ‘Each day wicked becomes more wicked.’
“Si ou p’ap viv anba yon benediksyon, w’ap viv anba yon malediksyon.” ‘If you aren’t living under a blessing, you are living under a curse.’
There is indeed a continued stronghold in this world that thinks Truth is power enforced through violence, chaos, hostility, and revenge. It is through this cycle of revenge that Satan remains the ruler of the world
NOW… Please search the song and lyrics of “Thank You, Jesus, For the Blood Applied” by Charity Gayle.
The song describes to me how at the cross Jesus paid the debt “I” owed. HE made a WAY and gave HOPE. Jesus took MY place, laid inside MY tomb of sin. JESUS was buried there for three days but then JESUS walked right out again, overturning the verdict of the sentence of death. Now death has no sting and life has no end. By your blood, YOU have saved MY life, brought me from the darkness and into glorious light. Glory to HIS name.
Read what Jesus says in John 12:31-32… “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up, will draw all people to myself.”
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is much more than just a happy ending; it’s the Judge’s surprising verdict! It was the verdict of heaven’s Supreme Court, and it overturned all the verdicts of the rulers of the world. Jesus introduced a new and beautiful truth–the truth of forgiveness. Our God is greater, stronger, higher!
“Everything that is impossible for man is possible for God.“
“This is my house! God gave me this house!” Wilta exclaimed with great JOY and confidence. Wilta’s family, with her husband and four daughters, was selected to receive a new Safe Home as a result of a generous donation to MH Safe Homes fund.
Jean Rene, MH Safe Homes Coordinator (above L), leads the family in dedicating their new home to continually look to God as their refuge. We read together Psalm 23 and Psalm 91. Jean Rene described a common sight here in Haitian culture of little chicks finding refuge from a storm under the wings of the mother hen. The wings of the mother act like an umbrella for the young chicks where they know they don’t need to be afraid. Jean Rene reminded us that as Christians in the ‘daily survival challenge’, we are in a good place, a good place to take shelter; on a good path. That God is where we find safety and we need not be afraid.
Our God is greater, stronger, and higher, than any other!
You may recognize Mizou (back). She and her daughter Alisyen (front) live together with great grandson Dabentz pictured below. On a visit, this past week, they were found preparing beans to cook that they had grown in their garden. Later that day, the beans were cooking in a pot placed on three rocks over a wood fire. Mizou had gone down the path to “chanje kabrit”, to move their goat to a new place to graze.
Some small provisions were purchased from a neighborhood seller: two gode of rice at an all-time high price of 75 gourdes per gode, one gode of cooking oil and a small baby food jar filled with locally made peanut butter. The corn harvest drying in the sun is also from their garden.
Below great grandson Dabentz is taking a sack of shelled corn down the road to be ground into corn meal. As our visit was nearly concluded, it was time to walk their two pigs down the road to find a little something to root out to eat. Everyone participates in the ‘daily survival challenge’.
MH Ag Department is beginning to shell the peanut harvest. No question about it, it is a time-consuming process.
The PRIZE purchase from the Pignon Saturday market… this “Bef” which will provide ‘lunch meat’ for the First Thousand Days program for the entire month of November. The butchering will start as soon as Kalo changes his ‘go to market to buy a “Bef” clothes’…into his ‘Butcher’s uniform’! (below)
Kalo says, “Anpil vyann”, Lots of meat! According to Kalo, this one ‘rump’ hanging from the tree will supply as much meat as eight to ten goats.
Below, Sunday lunch buffet with beautiful presentation.
This is eleven month old Djuvens. He is in Group A of the Sylvain First Thousand Days program. The problem with his lower lip began to show up at three months of age. Insecurity issues in the country prevent travel to Port au Prince where some specialized medical attention is needed.
Here you can see the current school pod for elementary grades one, two, and three. The white paths are part of the Prayer Path that encircles the Sylvain campus. See also the Prayer Labyrinth (right). Soon a second pod for grades four, five, and six will undergo construction to the left of the current pod, to be ready to house fourth graders in September 2022.
You also may recognize Elirose. She is a young wife and mother who is by default in the ‘Daily Survival Challenge’. Elirose herself carried the wood to her small piece of land to start her small home with beautiful Mt Pignon in the background.
Elirose and her family have had many touches from the beneficial ministry functions of MH. She and her husband were married through MH marriage ministry, two sons have passed through the First Thousand Days program and moved on to have a place in MH school.
Along with this is the Power to the Parents program where a family with a first year preschooler is gifted two goats during the first semester. A recent visit with Elirose offered the opportunity for her to share the daily survival challenges she faces with her family. To date she has successfully raised and sold six goats back to MH. When purchased back by MH, there is benefit of some ‘matching funds’ going into an education savings account.
Elirose shares the common daily survival challenge of not having any money to buy food. She says there is no money to buy a little lamp oil to break the darkness of the night. Their three month old baby boy wakes in the night. Elirose says she knows there are roaches crawling on him where he sleeps but she can’t see to help him.
These are the times of real temptation when she says she could quickly decide to take one of her goats straight to the market to sell to get all the money to buy food and other necessary things for her family. BUT, she stands firm against that temptation in favor of investing into her children’s education by selling at a later date and getting the additional benefit of the money put into savings to pay school tuition. Elirose is not giving up.
Last year her son Kerventz was burned by a cooking fire. MH was able to assist with some medical expenses that were out of range for the family to pay. Even with all these hard life difficulties Elirose says she will never be discouraged. She must keep up the fight of survival. The minute you let discouragement steal from you, you have nothing. Her faith and trust that our God is greater, stronger, higher than any other is how she gets through the day with courage and confidence.
“Her faith and trust that our God is greater, stronger, higher than any other is how she gets through the day with courage and confidence.”
Elirose with her husband and third son when he was one day old! They are NOT giving up.
John Muir, a naturalist renowned for the establishment of Yosemite National Park in 1890 is quoted as saying, “The mountains are calling and I must go”. Well, Saturday early morning the mountain called and I went. At the top, as the sun was coming up, God gave this sign. The shadow inside the circle is me with my hiking friend Herby. I heard God say to me, “I know you are here, I love you, and I will always be here with you. See, I have you framed in this circle of light.”
So if Elirose is not giving up, nor Mizou … Wiltha … Djuvens’ family… How could we possibly give up?
Our God is greater, our God is higher, our God is stronger than any other. Into the darkness, You shine! Out of the ashes, we RISE! Our God is healer. If our God is for us WHO could ever stop us? WHAT could stand against us?
(Words taken from “Our God” written by Chris Tomlin)
Jesus continues speaking in John 12:35-36. Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”
So for ME…JESUS has saved my life. He has brought ME from darkness into his glorious light. My job is to BELIEVE—God’s job is the outcome. How could I give up? How could I NOT give my ALL to HIM?