Greetings from Croix-des-Bouquets in beautiful Haiti. The Louisiana Baptist mission team has settled in and worked hard for 2 full days of mission work in the areas of Canaan and Croix-des-Bouquets, which are just outside of Port-au-Prince. The medical team, VBS team, clean water project team, evangelism team and pastors conference leaders have all been very busy in minisrty and outreach.
After arriving Saturday afternoon, we made it to our lodging site, Villa Mamika, whch is in the heart of Croix-des-Bouquets. The Chatelain family operates the hotel/lodgiing area and they have gone out of their way to make us feel at home. Sunday we were all up vey early to attend worship with our Haitian brothers and sisters (Sunday school starts at 6AM, so we need not complain too much). I had the opportunity to preach at the Baptist Bible Church (one of many with that name) and the service went very well. There were nearly 40 in attendance, ranging from young children to senior adults. Although I could not understand much of what they said or sung, it was a joy to sit in the presence of God with kindred spirits in the Lord.
Monday and Tuesday we spilt up all over the area to accomplish what we came here to do. The medical team set up in Canaan, an area that did not exist prior to the 2010 earthquake. Nearly 1 million people fled the city of Port-au-Prince and settled there over 5 years ago. The needs there are vast and overwhelming. Most of the medical care has been minor issues, although one young lady was rushed to the hospital today in very serious condition. The VBS team for older and younger chlidren is located near a school in Croix-des-Bouquets. The VBS team has ministered to dozens of children each day, and at lunch time they have fed nearly 200 children. The Lord has provided enough food and patience to accomodate each child. The evangelism team is traveling to remote areas outside of Port-au-Prince bringing the gospel to rural communities. We’ve also partnered with a group from Pennsylvania to start a clean water filttration project for homes in the area. These water filters are state-of-the art and proven to work efficiently for up to 10 years. This is an exciting opportunity to help the people of Haiti obtain clean drinking water, which will eventually cut down on sickness and spread of disease.
I have the privilige of helping to lead the pastors conference, which is actually located at our lodging area. There is a spacious conference room (with A/C!) that has been sufficient to accomodate all of the pastors. It has been a very encouraging time for each of us and we have built some solid relationhships with local pastors. They are encouragiing to us and we pray that we are able to encourage them as well.
The needs here are numerous and yet the door is wide open for God to work in this country. The poverty here is obvious and widely known, but that is not the primary problem in this land. As it is even in our own beloved country, the problem is lostness and spiritual darkness. Spiritual depravity does not have a price tag or income level. Whether in affuence or poverty, Satan has set his traps and had captured many people in spiritual bondage. So many are living aimlessly, from day to day, without any kind of hope for today, not to mention hope for tomorrow. The people of Haiti have felt helpless and witout answers for their struggles for so long now that sorrow and sadness have become deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of the people. This is why they (and we!) so desperately need the gospel. The amazing, life-changing power of the gospel is the only power that can cut through the hopelessness and bring joy to broken lives. We are not discouraged, for the LORD GOD reigns! This land is his land, and every square inch of it belongs to him. The fields are ripe for the harvest. Lives are ready to be surrendered to Jesus Christ. Pray for us that we would be bold and that our work will be fruitful for the glory of God.
– Pastor Oren