The mission of Hope For The Hungry is to "Share the Bread of Life with a Starving World". God has called us to serve people who suffer from hunger that is both spiritual and physical. According to scriptural mandate, we offer food for the body and salvation for the spirit to those who do not know Jesus Christ and will suffer eternal death without Him.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Final Day

We finished our trip well worshiping our Savior alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters.  The American pastors all had the privilege of preaching in a different church this morning.  Andy in Guibert, Mark in Lefeve, and Danny C in Marotherie.  These pastors preached the Word of God boldly and enjoyed their time of worship and prayer with each church.  We have been blessed by our time here in Haiti this week.

I am immensely grateful for these men of God that gave up a week of their time to come and serve the Haitian pastors and their churches.  These are true servants of God and their churches should be proud of the men God has called to lead them.

I praise the Lord for those of you that have been faithfully praying for our team this week.  We have been strengthened and encouraged by your prayers.  I can say without a doubt that your prayers have been a strategic part of this week and we ask God's blessing for each of you because of your service with us.

Every time I am here, God stirs and renews my heart for the Haitian people and the local churches here.  I can see in their eyes, hear in their songs, and feel in the intensity and earnestness of their prayers, the compelling of the Holy Spirit to live and proclaim the Gospel.  The believers in Haiti struggle in the same way that we struggle, and in many ways that we do not.  But they are firm in their faith and belief that the power of the redeeming blood of Jesus can and will change the hearts and lives of their fellow Haitians.

I see hope in the lives of young men like Etzer, our translator.  Etzer grew up near Marotherie and has work very hard in his education.  He is a fantastic translator and a brilliant, godly man.  Etzer is attending seminary while working as an English translator, preparing for a life of service to the Lord.  I see hope in the lives of young men like Eclesiate.  Eclesiate drove our team yesterday and will take us to the airport in the morning.  He grew up in the Boy's Home in Guibert and is now attending university, seeking a degree in agricultural development.  Eclesiate is a godly young man, serving with the worship team at Agape Church, the new church plant in Petionville.

These young men, and many other young men and women like them, represent a brighter future for Haiti because of the power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives and the determination He gives them to work for something better for themselves and for their country.

Would you prayerfully consider partnering with Hope for the Hungry in seeking to support the work God is doing here in Haiti through young people like Etzer and Eclesiate?  If you are already giving, then we praise God for your generosity and support.  If you are not giving, would you prayerfully consider being a part of God's work through Hope for the HungryFor more general information, visit our website at or follow a link below to learn more about our initiatives that directly impact the lives and futures of the children in Haiti.
"Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter."
~ Proverbs 24:11

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pastor's Conference Final Day

We wrapped up the Pastor’s Conference today.  I believe this trip and this team have been a tremendous success and blessing to these Haitian pastors.  This will definitely become an annual event and I look forward to more opportunities to spend time with these pastors in the future.

We finished today in a time of prayer for the pastors.  It was a wonderful experience to lays hands on and lift these men before the Lord and ask God to use them and bless them for their faithful service.  Before we finished our time today, the pastors gathered around our team, laid hands on us, and lifted us in prayer too.  It was a special moment that we all cherished.  The sound of over 100 voices crying out to God on the behalf of one another is a beautiful sound that reminds me of just how BIG our God really is.

Isaiah 52:7 (ESV) says,
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

All of the Haitian pastors we met this week have “beautiful feet”.  They are serving tirelessly for the Kingdom of God, proclaiming the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.  They have struggles and challenges but they trust in God and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives and redeem souls.  They left today in great joy and with renewed confidence in their call to serve the Lord.
This week was a reminder for me of why Hope for the Hungry works so diligently to promote and support the local church, both in the US and around the world.  Danny C taught this morning that “the local church is the hope of the world”.  As I looked over the nearly 200 pastors and lay leaders in the room, I was in awe of what God can do through each one of their lives and the lives of their churches.  They represent the local church in Haiti.  They represent the conduit through which God will share His message in this country.  It is our privilege, as both individuals and as an organization, to pray for, advocate for, partner with, and support the work these local believers are doing.  It was a blessing to see the pastors of local churches in Texas connect with pastors from local churches here in Haiti.  This week was all about empowering and equipping the local church through the local church.  I am thrilled that Hope for the Hungry got to play a part in connecting these godly men and in so doing bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please continue to pray for our team, we are not done yet.  Tomorrow is a day off and then the American pastors will all preach in different churches on Sunday.  Pray for them (Andy, Mark, Danny C) as they prepare and as the go out on Sunday morning.  Pray that God will speak through them and encourage and challenge the churches that hear their messages.

The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. ~ Isaiah 52:10 (ESV)


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rain & Bibles - Pastor's Conference Day 2

Right now we are experiencing one of the best moments in Haiti - rain.  The rain cools everything off and makes for a relaxing evening and a great nights rest.  The rain brings life and growth after a hard dry season.  The people rejoice because crops begin to grow and families can be sustained.

It is easy for me to forget how precious rain really is.  Although I know there is an impact on my life, I do not feel dependent on the rain.  I know it is necessary for all life, including mine, but sometimes I struggle to fully grasp the concept.  For instance, I have never been to the grocery store and been told, "Sorry sir, because of the drought we are out of tortilla chips" or "Sorry sir, because of the drought we had to increase the price of Dr. Pepper".  Honestly, I live in a very safe bubble that insulates me from some of the realities that other people face, in other countries face every day.

Today, we completed day 2 of the pastors conference.  It was another wonderful day full of fantastic teaching and engaged learning.  But the highlight of the day was when we distributed Bibles to the pastors and church leaders at the conference.  To catch everyone up, part of the planning for this conference was to raise funds to purchase a brand new Study Bible for each of the pastors in attendance.  We also planned to purchase a book for each of the pastors that would give them additional resources on Christian living, pastoral leadership, and/or discipleship.  Thanks to the generosity of many folks back in the US, we were able to distribute these Bibles and books today.  I cannot tell you how excited these pastors were to receive the Bibles and books.  It was a blessing to see the joy on each face.

As I watched the pastors taking their Bibles and the excitement that each of them had in receiving something so precious, I realized how much I take my access to the Bible and other Christian resources for granted.  Just like the rain, I know that it is important to my life but I am not sure that I fully grasp just how much that is true.  I take for granted that, unlike most of these pastors, I have the financial ability to go and buy a new Bible or Christian book whenever I need it.  I take for granted that the Bible or other Christian books exist in great abundance in my country and have been written or translated into my heart language (English) in equal abundance.  I take for granted the numerous conferences and training opportunities I have to strengthen my faith or challenge my life.

Our heart's desire was to bless these pastors by equipping them with training and resources that are not abundantly available or easily affordable.  Our desire is to encourage these pastors to continue pursuing the Lord and leading their people to boldly proclaim the message of Jesus Christ.  As is often the case in serving the Lord, we have found that we are the ones that have been blessed by the faithfulness and humility of these servants of God here in Haiti.  In their joy today, these Haitian pastors reminded us that God's Word brings joy and it is a truly precious thing to be able to read it, study it, and share it...because many in this world cannot.

Pray for us as we finish our time with the pastors tomorrow.  We want them to leave feeling challenged and empowered.  We want them to return to their churches and their communities with a fresh vision for what God can accomplish in and through them.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pastor's Conference Day 1

Thank you all for your prayers today was we began the Pastor's Conference.  We had a wonderful day and a great start to the conference.  Our American pastors (Andy, Mark, & Danny C) all did a fantastic job teaching the Word of God with truth and power.

The Haitian pastors we so engaged and interactive.  They truly enjoyed their day with us and are looking forward to more time tomorrow.  Please continue to pray for the conference.  Pray that God's Word is clear.  Pray for our translators and American pastors, that their voices remain strong and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Pray for the Haitian pastors as they receive the teaching and prayerfully apply it to their own lives and the lives of their churches.

 It was a joy to see how much our American and Haitian pastors have in common.  They shared more than a few laughs and heart-felt agreements over some of the issues, challenges, and joys that come with pastoring a church.  The brotherhood that these men share is a testimony to our Lord and the way in which He orchestrated the plans and details of this conference.  Though they are separated by many miles, though they serve in different cultures, though their people face some different life issues, it was evident today that both the American and Haitian pastors have a deep desire to share the message of Jesus Christ and glorify God with their lives.

 And lest I not do the conference justice, I must mention our time of worship.  As is common in most Christian conferences, each session began with a time of worship.  But I must admit that I am deeply impacted by the way that Haitians worship, especially Haitian men.  "Abandonment" is the word that immediately comes to mind.  There is no pretention or reservation in these men as they unashamedly sing about their Savior.  Their voices are lifted loud in praise of the King of Kings, whether they have musical ability or not.  They sing to glorify their Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of style.  It is a challenge to my heart and a joy to my soul to be in the presence of such authentic worship.

"But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, 'Great is the Lord!' As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me.  You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!"
 ~ Psalm 40: 16-17

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I told a witchdoctor...

Our team of pastors has arrived safely in Haiti and we are enjoying our time already.  We arrived yesterday afternoon to a warm greeting and a hot meal.  We had a relaxing evening visiting with JeanAlix, our Haitian partner.  He is such a tremendous man of God and a blessing to all that know him.

This morning we left early for Drouin, a village several hours north of Port-au-Prince.  It has been a couple of years since I have been able to visit this area and it was great to see parts of this beautiful country that I have not seen in awhile.  Our pastors enjoyed the trip as well, getting to see parts of Haiti that many foreigners do not see.

We toured the school in Drouin and were welcomed in song by each grade level.  The children are so precious and it is exciting to see them working hard in their classrooms.  Every school I visit and every classroom I see is a consistent reminder of the value and difference an education can make in the lives and for the futures of these kids.  Drouin is a difficult place to carve out a living, but these children represent a bright future as they continue to maximize their opportunities and are encouraged and challenged by their teachers.

We visited the local church and were given a tour of the village with the local pastor, Pastor Wilson.  He is a strong and determined man.  The church in Drouin was started in 1997.  At the time, Drouin was a very spiritually dark place, centered around voodoo.  Today, the light of Christ has shown brightly.  The church has grown tremendously and seen the gospel change lives.  Almost all the voodoo witchdoctors have either moved on or come to faith in Christ.  Only one witchdoctor remains active in the village - and we had the opportunity to meet him.  I met him once before, two years ago, and have prayed for him and for his salvation.  His position in the village has brought him status, power, and wealth.  He is arrogant and cocky, but his eyes mask a fear that reveals the deceit of his chosen profession.  His body and soul have been ravaged by the evil he serves and he seems to know that what has made him great in the eyes of man will one day cost him his life, both physically and in eternity.  JeanAlix challenged him with the truth of scripture and his need for the Savior, but his pride and wealth are a huge stumbling block for him.  Pray for him and for his salvation.  Pray that no more are deceived by his false idols.

Haiti is an overwhelming place at times.  The poverty and spiritual darkness stand in contrast to the numerous relief organizations and missions groups that serve in this place.  I am often asked for a reason why, after all the years of foreign aid and mission work, Haiti is not "fixed" or at least gaining vast, noticeable improvement.  I could point to all sorts of underlying issues that result in what seems to be perpetual brokenness across the country.  I could write about the combined forces of history, culture, abuse, and negligence that have converged upon this country and robbed it of a promising future time and time again.  But instead, I choose to highlight the amazing stories of God's power and redemption that we have seen in nearly 32 years of ministry in this country as "proof" that things are getting better, slowly.  We have seen victory after victory in the lives of men and women, boys and girls all across this country because of the power, grace, and provision of our God.

As I listened to JeanAlix share the gospel, yet another time, with the witchdoctor today, I was reminded that our call to serve the Lord is not a sprint, it is a lifelong endurance race that requires unwavering trust in the Lord and unyielding courage in the face of what seem like insurmountable odds.  We may get tired, we may get frustrated, but we never give up and we never quit because our trust is not in ourselves but in the One who never gives up on us.  It would be easy for JeanAlix to give up on this witchdoctor, believing him to be beyond God's redemption.  It would be easy for us to give up on Haiti, believing that the work is more than we can handle.  But we believe in God's call to this place and the power of God to change lives, one person at a time.  Our belief, our trust, and our courage will not let us give up.

The pastors conference starts tomorrow.  Please pray for our American pastors as the teach.  Pray that the Lord's Word is clear and that the Haitian pastors are encouraged and equipped to strengthen the work of their churches.

Each One Matters,
Danny D