One of our Haitian ministry guys recently told me about his church’s mission trip July 26-30, 2012. They went to another area of Haiti, and it was so encouraging. I apologize for this being so long, but I hope it touches your heart like it did mine.
My friend’s small church is located in downtown Montrouis. Their trip would take them to Miragoane, a city along the coast in the southern hemisphere about 110 miles away (about 60 miles west of Port au Prince). Thirty-three members of the church wanted to go on this trip. It was estimated that the costs for the bus they needed to rent, gas, food, etc. would total $1,000 US. Each member of the church was asked to give $30 each, but only four were able to give $19. Then the nine church leaders tried to pay for four others as well as themselves. But, that couldn’t be done either. The pastor thought they should abandon the trip idea, but my friend said “No”! He asked the other eight leaders in the church to join him for an evening in worship and prayer – asking God to provide the money. “Do you believe God can give us the money we need?” he asked them. They said they did, but it was questionable whether they really believed it. His fellow leaders thought he was a little crazy, but to that my friend replied “That’s not a lot for our God!”
Well, the nine leaders spent four hours one evening worshipping, praying, dancing to God. After that, my friend called a friend of his in the US, and asked him for $1,000. The gentleman in the US promised to pray about it and call back. When he called back, he said he could send $400. But, he later called back and said he could only send $200. My friend said, “OK, no problem”. My friend continued to believe that all 33 would be able to go, and that God would provide. My friend then went to his bank and withdrew 99% of his money – about $132. (He left a dollar or so in the account so the bank wouldn’t close his account.)
After further prayer and ‘brainstorming’, they discovered that a US team that had visited the church earlier in the year had left $120, and that was still saved away. My friend also received $50 from a couple other friends in Haiti. In addition, the church received a bag of rice from someone in the community. Slowly, God was providing for their needs.
By faith, the 33 people boarded the rented bus at 6 am on July 26th and arrived at Miragoave around 12:30 pm that day. They were exhausted from the long drive on rough roads, so they rested and spent the night at the church there. Early the next morning, the 33 ‘missionaries’ divided up into three groups of eleven each. They hiked up into the mountains to visit each house one at a time. They were surprised to find out how far apart each house was. They often had to hike several hundred yards up and down the mountainsides to reach the next home.
My friend shared how they talked to various people – some who had no interest in talking with them about Jesus, and others that were willing to listen. Some were already Christians, and gladly welcomed them into their homes and celebrated their common faith in Jesus. One particular gentleman had no interest in talking about Jesus. Then, a very sweet lady from LaGonave, who was one of the 33 and who overflowed with her love for Jesus, began to talk to him. Slowly he began to listen and take to heart what she shared. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in this sweet woman, this gentleman ended up accepting Jesus as his personal Savior. He immediately wanted to know where he needed to go to church.
Another man they talked to told them he was ready to die, but he didn’t want to die without Jesus. It was very clear that God had prepared his heart for what the mission team was going to share with him, and he gladly trusted Jesus as his Savior. It was a great time of rejoicing for everyone. At another home they stopped lived a local voodoo priest and his wife. The voodoo priest was 76 years old, and told them, “I know Jesus, but I don’t need him. I’ve lived all my life without him. Why would I need him now? Satan is my savior.” His wife was also very prideful, and said the same thing.
Another man really wanted to receive Jesus, but said he couldn’t because of a scar from a cow that attacked him. The mission team kept asking him why not, but he could only say that he couldn’t. At another house, only the woman was home. She was a Christian, and asked the team to pray for her unsaved husband. After fellowshipping and praying together, they left and went on down the mountain. They came across a man along the path who said he would be willing to talk to them. They had no idea who this man was, but went with him to his house. Unknown to all, this was the same house they had just visited and prayed with the woman for her unsaved husband. After talking with him, he received Christ. What a wonderful time the team and wife had in praising God for His immediate answer to their prayers!
The three teams spent all of Friday and Saturday (July 27 and 28) going house to house in the mountains. They visited around 250 people in about 150 homes. All together, 18 people received Christ as Savior, and 15 were restored in their faith. Most people were very kind, including those that didn’t receive Christ. On Sunday, they worshipped with the local church, and had a baptismal service that afternoon where six people were baptized. As part of their ministry, they were even able to give extra rice and food to people in need, and gave money for a sick man to go to the local hospital ($12.50).
So what initially appeared to be insufficient funds for the trip, turned out to be enough – in fact, with enough to share! They returned Monday morning (July 30), and rejoiced in the wonderful time they had in sharing the gospel and seeing God work so powerfully among their fellow people. Already the church is planning their next mission trip to the north coast of Haiti in the Cap Haitian area. Perhaps that is an opportunity God is giving you to participate in what He’s doing in and through these dear people!
August 9. 2012 Update: My friend’s US friend called and said he was going to be able to send the other $200 that he originally thought he could send. This will allow my friend to restore his own personal bank account, and put the remainder toward the next trip! God is so good.