Friends of Haiti,
As you know, we have reached the one year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on Jan 12th, 2010. Jean Alix called this morning and asked that we pray for the people of Haiti. He said that today is going to be an extremely hard day for the entire nation…. Please continue to pray for our Haitian brothers and sisters. Pray that this day would not be one of mourning, but of restoration in the Lord: in a God of HOPE. Pray for the many Haitian churches that are reaching out to the lost and broken, that they would be able to share the Love and Hope that can only come from Him. Pray that the “God of refuge and strength” will lift up the broken hearted. Pray that the Lord will, “turn their mourning into gladness, and give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:13b).
On the news, all that is being shared is the message of defeat and brokenness in Post-earthquake Haiti. I wanted to remind you, in the midst of such negativity, of the joyous amount of HOPE that I’ve experienced. I was in Haiti over New Year’s and have several encouraging stories to share.
1.) Dec 31st marked the end of the “40 Days of Prayer” event that the Guibert church had been participating in. Because of that, and New Year’s Eve, we had a HUGE celebration that lasted from 6pm on Dec 31st to 5:00am on New Year’s Day. This celebration was the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of… and it was just that: a CELEBRATION of what the Lord had done 2010. We literally danced in the New Year, before the Lord, with 300 of our closest Haitian friends! For the first 45 minutes of the year, we spent time in prayer, thanking the Lord for the past year and praying with anticipation for what he has in store for 2011. It was beautiful to watch these people, who had experienced such a traumatic year, worshipping and on their faces before the Lord, thanking Him in the midst of their pain and suffering.
2.) In previous years, my experiences of Haiti have mainly been with our boys and girls in our homes, some of our school children and a few church members. But because of the earthquake, we have been able to get outside of our “typical” ministry sites, and go into the community and create relationships there. As of today, we have helped build 34 homes in our villages! That means we now know of 34 families (ranging in size of 2-25), with whom we have worked side-by-side, building them homes. During the New Year service, I began to notice how many faces I recognized… began to put faces with names and houses… began to match the school children with their parents. And these were people who were LEADING in the service: leading the group prayer, singing solos, reading scripture! The Lord encouraged my heart with this visual of how much of an impact our ministry is having on the community as a whole. We have been able to serve the leaders in the church, and walk alongside them in their ministry, encouraging them as we go!
3.) Ronald is a 10 year old boy who was abused and forced to beg on the streets of Petionville. The Lord brought Ronald to our boys’ home on Jan 11th, 2010. On the next day, the streets where Ronald roamed, were shaken and covered in the debris from all of the buildings that collapsed that day. If Ronald hadn’t been lovingly taken off of these streets, the day before, he would have been crushed by the rubble. When I met Ronald, 10 days later, he was a broken little boy, with no hope or joy in his eyes. He had never been to school, had never been loved. Over this past year, I have seen him develop into a beautiful child. He is no longer the broken shell of a boy I met at the beginning of the year… he now has the hope and joy of the Lord in his heart! When he was sitting by me at the New Year’s celebration, a few weeks ago, he took the pen out of my journal and wrote his name in cursive on his hand, so proud to show me how well he is doing in school. He wrote out all of his numbers, 1-120, in my journal, along with many other words. In that moment, I was overwhelmed with the Lord’s protection and Divine plan for his life! He has come so far in just one year, and I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for him in the future!
I wanted to share these stories of HOPE with you, to let you know that the Lord is doing amazing things in our midst. He has used you this year to go, pray, and give to the work that He is continually doing. We would not be able to have our ministry without people like you who give, so that others can see the love of Christ in action. You have been responsible for sharing Christ with hundreds of people this year, who have been devastated by tragedy. Most importantly, each one of the people we’ve assisted knows the help comes from Christians, who love the Lord.
Thank you for sacrificially giving to our ministry. Please continue to pray for the people of this beautiful nation.