We’re preparing for a hurricane. We’ve been in Haiti for two other hurricanes, but this one is bigger and has greater potential for devastation to this very poor island nation. We do not fear for ourselves. We are in sturdy buildings on time-tested mountainsides. We have enough food and water. Currently, we have electricity, internet, and phone service.
Our lack of fear does not come from these factors, however. Anything tragic can happen at anytime – to anyone – anywhere. It just seems like a good time to reassure our friends and family that we know our lives are in the powerful Hands of our God. He has always been in control of our lives, but our assurance came the moment we realized that we are flawed and sinful people and placed our trust in our Savior Jesus Christ for life on this earth and the forever life to come.
So we are ready. Ready for Hurricane Matthew. Ready for the next thing God has for us. Ready for many years on this planet, or only our next breath.
Please continue to pray with us. Pray for the country of Haiti and its people – many of whom cannot say they have the assurance we have. Pray that they would turn to Jesus in repentance and faith in Him alone who can offer the way, the truth, and eternal life – before it’s too late.
God has blessed Baptist Haiti Mission in countless ways over the years. From education to medical to economic development to over 350 churches and schools, the ministry has always been centered on proclaiming the Gospel and building strong evangelical churches in Haiti.
One of the things that excites us most is to see our veteran BHM missionaries effectively teaching the Word of God to our pastors and church leaders. Former Field Director for ten years, Pastor Rob Baker, recently conducted 5 pastors conferences in three different regions of Haiti. The mission’s superintendent of evangelism, Pastor Edrice Romelus, along with current Field Director, Chris Lieb, and veteran BHM missionary, Kyrk Baker, accompanied Pastor Baker at these seminars. Each one was involved in teaching various Biblical topics. To see 196 pastors and leaders come from 72 of our churches to attend these seminars was very encouraging. We heard that one pastor walked six hours (most of it through the night in the mountains) to attend one of the seminars. And when the seminars came to an end, without fail, the pastors affirmed how valuable the seminars were and asked for more. They invariably asked when the teaching pastors would be back. They want at least two seminars every year. Their hunger for God’s Word is seen and heard from their hearts. What a blessing it is to see the Word of God going out with clarity and relevance, meeting needs, and encouraging the pastors and church leaders. As the pastors are encouraged and equipped, so are their churches strengthened and built up.
As we witness these pastoral ministries taking place, it encourages all of us here at Baptist Haiti Mission. As the Body of Christ is made up of many members, so the mission staff is made up of members with various gifts and talents. From logistics and administration to mechanics and hospitality, each missionary plays an important role in supporting the ministry of BHM that God has raised up. And to take it one step further, our brothers and sisters elsewhere in this world also have the opportunity to partner with us and this mission by lifting this ministry up in prayer and supporting it with their hard-earned wages. Together we labor while the harvest is ripe and countless souls are at stake for eternity. May God be honored and praised for His amazing plan of reaching the nations for His glorious Name’s sake!
Dennis and Sara
Summer Bible Institute Graduation 2015
August 29th was a very special day for 17 young men who became the newest graduating class of Baptist Haiti Mission’s Summer Bible Institute. For 2 months each summer for the past 4 years, these men left their homes and families to live on the BHM campus and devote themselves to classes and intense study. Family members, friends, pastors, special guests, missionaries, and fellow classmates in their first, second, and third years were witnesses to this solemn yet joyous ceremony. Most of the graduates had finished high school but had no further education for various reasons. But they had a desire for more and deeper biblical education. BHM established this worthy program many years ago to help the leaders and others in their churches and schools across Haiti to gain solid Biblical training.
We finished our Association of Churches’ annual National Conference this past Sunday with a beautiful morning service that was broadcast via radio throughout the country. This service closed what many thought was one of the best conferences for many years. The conference was very applicable to where our churches are. Former Field Director, Pastor Rob Baker had the opportunity to begin the conference by teaching on sound doctrine. Other topics taught by various pastors and leaders included institutional development, wise management of resources, entrepreneurship for leaders, use and dangers of technology, Christian education, effective leadership, structure of the church, and the family from a Biblical perspective. Some of the conference speakers were graduates who had come up through this ministry through the churches. All of the topics pointed toward having a stronger church and stronger individuals with good testimonies in order to spread the true Gospel throughout Haiti and the rest of the world. Talking about their responsibility as leaders was also a resounding theme.
It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement. Growing maturity with the ASEBACH executive committee was also seen as they functioned together much more like a team. It was great to see the body of Christ working together for His glory and honor.
Our Field Director, Chris Lieb, wrote this about the conference: “As there is much work to do, I was greatly encouraged to see the fruit of the labor and the continual development of the Church. I feel we have a stronger base to input into to really see some great changes in Haiti through the church. I really believe that as we continue to help the churches mature that it will multiply the efforts to spread the true gospel throughout Haiti. I keep using “true gospel” because in this Voodoo culture, Satan is a master in twisting the efforts of evangelization into a false syncretistic evangelism. I feel as a mission we are ready to leap forward to do some great things. I know we have many obstacles, but I believe as we continue to purify the mission with our processes and resources, God will provide the produce.”
We thank God for the very uplifting week we had. Through various kinds of education, medical care, child sponsorships, and economic-oriented ministries, we are here to advance the Kingdom of God through the churches of Haiti. We are here to magnify and glorify the Name of Jesus so that all might see and come to Him as personal Lord and Savior. May God be praised!
Because He Lives!
Dennis and Sara
This is significant to me. I was interested in photographing a poinsettia growing outside behind our apartment here in Haiti. Then I stepped back and included in one of the photos the ‘Crown of Thorns’ plant growing close to it. Anybody know where I’m going with this? The poinsettia is a much-loved and beautiful traditional Christmas plant for well over 100 years; one of the few plants anyone in Indiana will buy in December. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The One sent to the earth by God to be born fully man, yet fully God. He was born so that one day, he would wear a crown of thorns, be crucified, and then triumph over sin and death by rising from the dead. Having these two plants growing so close together in our backyard is a thrilling reminder of the reason we celebrate Christmas.
What an amazing week of eye surgery God gave us here at BHM last week! From the surgical straightening of a 2 year-old’s badly crossed eye to the removal of a large orbital tumor in a 4 year-old girl to new sight for four diabetic young people in their 20’s who suffered from total diabetic cataracts, we witnessed healing and restoration of vision like rarely occurs in Haiti. Take a look below at a couple of the beautiful children whose eyes were straightened. Our ophthalmologist friend from Ft. Wayne, Indiana again returned to Haiti to offer his outstanding surgical skills for four days October 27-30. He ended up doing 24 surgeries, which included three children with severely crossed eyes, several cataracts in patients of all ages, corneal surgery, eyelid growths and repairs, and even removed ear lobe keloids and a scalp hemangioma. The cataract surgeries were done with the same state-of-the-art, small incision, no-stitch procedure currently done in the U.S. called phacoemulsification (or ‘phaco’). It was a busy week indeed.
We praise our awesome God who has a special heart for the hurting and needy of this world. May this ‘new vision’ of our patients impact them and us in a way that ‘opens our eyes’ to the unfading beauty of Jesus! He is the Light of the world, and may we never lose ‘SIGHT’ of HIM!
One of the most exciting and heart-warming things we’ve experienced in Haiti has been to see Haitian churches take evangelistic, “missionary” trips to other places within Haiti. We saw that happen twice while serving with New Vision, and we’ve seen it again this past week with one of our BHM churches. One of our favorite pastors, Pastor Edrice, led 40 of his congregation on a 5-day evangelistic trip over 7 hours away to Anse Rouge in northwest Haiti. This is one of the poorest and least reached areas in Haiti. There is much voodoo, and getting there can be quite difficult. Along the way they picked up some older teenage/young 20’s youth from another BHM church, and taught them how to share the Gospel. When they arrived (20 hours later than expected due to their bus breaking down), they went door to door sharing the Gospel to about 900 people of all ages. One hundred five people made professions of faith in Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and their names and phone numbers were given to the pastors of our churches in that area. What a thrill to see our Haitian brothers and sisters burdened for their fellow Haitians, and stepping out in faith and action to proclaim the Good News! We praise God for His awesome blessing of this trip, and we look forward to seeing this fire spread to other churches! To Him be all glory!