The ladies from Many Hands Market in Spencer, Iowa spent a few precious moments with a respected pastor from Pignon, Haiti. This pastor spoke of pivotal points in his life which shaped him; moments which influence him to this day. He also had one special piece of advice to share with the younger members of the group. Read about this godly man and the special advice he had to share below.
To read yesterday’s blog, click here.
Today was a busy day, full of smiles, blessings and sage advice. We visited Jean-Jean and Kristi Mompremier at the UCI Campus. Their ministry has a pre-school, elementary and secondary schools, as well as a community college. They have a dental and medical clinic, too. Today was a graduation ceremony for their kindergarten class…250 kids and their parents filled the worship center, all dressed to the nines! Some of the children were in costumes and carried flags representing the countries in the Caribbean, and marched down the aisle while the national anthems played. When they played Haiti’s national anthem, and flags were waving, everyone cheered and it was very exciting to watch!
After lunch, we loaded the truck with enough beans and rice for 7 more families in a community north of Pignon. We teamed up with a local pastor, and he introduced us to families in dire need. Some had serious illness issues, two were blind. One lady had no family to help her, another family had 7 people living in three rooms. We struggled with not being able to “fix” everything for them. Rice and beans would not heal their illnesses, would not cure their loneliness. But feeding them, and showing them God’s love was something we could do for them today, right now. And that’s all we can do. We prayed with each family, asking God to protect and guide them, and asked that the food would be a physical reminder that He loves them. The families were so grateful, and we were so blessed for the opportunity.
I’ve saved the first part of our day for the last part of our blog. Our first stop this morning, was to see Pastor Francois. He heads up a church, a Christian school with 300 students, and an orphanage with 65 kids, in Pignon. We sat down with him and his wife, and Christi asked about his mentor, Pastor Bell, who came as the the first missionary to Pignon in 1947. He talked about how Pastor Bell had been very serious about his faith, and did not let anyone stay in his classes if they were not just as serious. Pastor Francois has stayed true to that philosophy throughout his ministry, as well. He is now 70 years old, and praying for God to show him who to mentor to be his replacement someday.
He also told us a story about how he and his wife got together. They had been childhood friends, but never had romantic feelings for each other. But Pastor Francois had a series of three dreams that God was telling him that she would be his wife. After the first and second dreams, Pastor just said “no”. After the third dream, he talked about it with Pastor Bell, and Pastor Bell told him she was the right woman for him. In those days, before you could get married, you had to ask your pastor and the deacons for their approval. As his way of proposing marriage, he gave his future wife 10 Bible verses that talked about marriage and being man and wife. She studied those verses for 3 months before she gave him her answer. They will celebrate their 49th anniversary in December. After his story, he asked if he could give some advice to the “young sisters” in the room. He told them, “Don’t choose [for] yourself. Let God choose for you.” A simple, and yet profound piece of advice, that could be applied for every aspect of our lives.
On a very personal note, after talking with Pastor Francois, we visited a gift shop on their campus that supports their sewing class. I found a linen dresser scarf with a man embroidered on it above the word “Haiti”. I thought it would be the perfect reminder of our time with Pastor Francois, and his advice to the young sisters on our team.
Bondye Bon! God is Good!