Category Archives: Haiti Journal May 2011

Haiti Update 5

Haiti Update 5

WOW! We started off today with an encouraging devotion from one of our team members Rock Kendrick. One of the tools he used in his devotion was scripture cards at each seat for all who are staying in the Florida House. It was a good challenge to all of us.

Our LBC Strategic Ministry Partnership team had a full day of meetings along with some spiritual encounters that were a blessing to the team.

We began the day by traveling to the Nouvelle Eglise Evangelique Baptiste D’Haiti where Pastor Odvald Louis serves as the Senior Pastor. Our primary purpose of going to this church was to take some photos of a new roof that FBC Lafayette, LA VBS Mission Offering collected to help pay for the roof. 

When we got to the church they were having a Worship & Prayer Time because the people of the church are in a season of fasting. This church also practices fasting every Wednesday until sundown and the people come throughout the day to worship & pray.

This experience was one of the blessings God gave us today. The worship as you will hear in the video and seeing some of the pictures I pray will bless and encourage you. (Click on this link to watch video)  Nouvelle Eglise Prayer Service

After leaving the church we went to the Croix des Bouquets Orphanage to meet some of the people at this orphanage. Global Orphan Project operates this orphanage. We had a good experience with the team leader Wes while visiting this location. We also learned about some other possible projects they are doing that other churches we are working with could adapt to meet their needs.

After leaving this location we went to Bon Repos where we checked on the construction crew. As we were walking to where the construction team was working we came upon a Jehovah Witness Team from Grenada going house-to-house sharing their message. As we were nearing them I spoke up and shared greetings with them. One of them proudly announced who they were and I introduced myself to them. The introduction led into a brief orientation from them and when I shared scripture with one of them that person wanted to share some scripture but was not prepared. We were never in a confrontation mode as I shared a Gospel Presentation with them. They simply shared that they do not believe like the Jehovah Witness believe in the US.  They did have the Watchtower Tracts but I loved on them and encouraged them to study the entire Bible.  I felt the Holy Spirit provided protection and brought a sweet freshness to the conversation leaving them knowing we deeply love them and care about their soul and how much Jesus loves them.  After this encounter we moved on to visit with the LBC Construction team. They and the Haitian Workers have done a great job on the house.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Strategic Ministry partnership Team then left to meet with Pastor Edmond so we could learn more about what he hopes to accomplish with a new orphanage and schoolhouse.  The orphanage building he was operating was destroyed during the January 2010 earthquake along with his church. These photos are the temporary site.

After leaving the Orphanage we then made our way to Canaan with Pastor Odvald who has started a mission church through Nouvelle Eglise. We walked through a very small part of Canaan. This is an area where an estimated 1.5 million people relocated after the January 2010 earthquake. The vastness of this area is hard to comprehend, as it is located along the base of a mountain range. While walking through the area to the mission we quickly learned that Pastor Odvald has worked the field because he knew the people along the way. He introduced to people that come to the church and those who do not come.

We then left Canaan to make contact with some potential strategic ministry partners. We did have other opportunities where we shared Jesus with folks throughout the day.

We are learning a lot about opportunities and we continue to pray that God will keep us to focus so the Strategic Ministry Partnership remains focused on evangelism and discipleship.

Thanks for your continued prayer support for the LBC team, as we will have one more full day before we depart on Friday. Please keep the construction team in prayer as they work with the Haitians on a couple of projects while the other team will make some additional contacts with potential ministry partners.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

 

Haiti 4

Haiti Update 4

On Tuesday May 10 the Lord Jesus provided many opportunities for us to minister throughout the day.

The construction team had a good day as they continued working with Haitians building a house in Bon Repos. The team members shared how they learned from their previous day experience. It is a joy to see the passion that these men have for the Haitians they are working with us. As we say in Haiti we are not really building houses we are building relationships. The LBC team is using the vehicle of building houses to share the Gospel with the people they are working with and those within the community. They are taking time to pray with the Haitians, shares a personal testimony of Jesus in their life and then throughout the day they are telling the story of Jesus. Please continue to pray for the construction team, as they will finish up a house this week.

The other team had the opportunity to show Dr. David Hankins and Dr. Wayne Sheppard some of the earthquake destruction and the rebuild efforts in PAP before they departed for Louisiana. While we are out team members had several opportunities to share Jesus with people eon the street. Two of the people that I shared Jesus with are Elsie Do Mi and Mariana Joseph. They both had invited Jesus into their heart. They shared with me that they had been asking the Lord for a Bible or tract to share Jesus with their children so they were excited to take the tract that I shared with them to go and tell their children about Jesus. Perhaps today the Lord has put someone on your mind that needs to hear the story of Jesus. I encourage you to not delay but to stop and pray right now for the Lord to arrange that time for you and the person with whom you need to share Jesus with today.

After we dropped Dr. David Hankins and Dr. Wayne Sheppard off at the airport we made several visits to places for the purpose of identifying some potential ministry partners. In the area where we are staying in PAP is called Delmas and we had the opportunity to visit with the Mayor of Delmas who is also a former Presidential candidate. He was very gracious to us and the local government has built an outdoor amphitheatre that we discussed the possibilities of using for future concerts.

 

 

 

 

During the evening our team members had opportunity to talk about what they sense God is doing and the potential for us in Louisiana to establish a Strategic Ministry Partnership with the Haitian and Florida Convention. While the team is excited about the possibilities we are also cautious as we wait to see how God will lead us. We remain thankful for the opportunities He gave us on Tuesday and how He opened doors for us to meet some new friends. On Wednesday we will be meeting with other ministry leaders in Haiti to discuss potential opportunities. So we appreciate your continued prayer support.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

 

Haiti Update 3

Haiti Update 3

The Louisiana Team got off to a good start on Monday May 9, 2011. Upon our leaving the Florida House we went to the Haiti Rebuild Office and Warehouse operated by the Florida Baptist Convention. Our purpose for gathering at the Haiti Rebuild Office first was to meet, worship and pray with the Haiti Rebuild Teams that are made up of Haitians.

 

We had a wonderful time of singing, sharing scripture and testifying of the things God is doing. While at the warehouse we had the opportunity to see some of the operation in motion as the Haitians started work after the worship time.

At the warehouse the Haitians are doing prefab work on roofs for the 12×16 houses being built. 

As a reminder a 12×16 house cost approximately $2,500. I would encourage you to work with your Bible classes, small groups, etc to sponsor a house. You can donate to your local church, state convention if you are a Baptist or give directly to the Florida Baptist Convention Haiti Rebuild efforts.

 

 

 

 

Our team then went to Bon Repos, which is on the outskirts of Port-Au-Prince. This is the area we are seeking the Lord about establishing strategic ministry opportunities to serve local churches by equipping the saints, disciple believers and share Jesus with those who are not yet believers. If God opens the door for us to serve in this area some of the vehicles to accomplish this work might take place by going along side the Haitians to build houses, plant churches, teach the Bible to people, support an orphanage and establish a strategic medical clinic operation.

The entire team that we have here in Haiti is a multiplication team. They are committed to serving Jesus in Haiti and they are committed to enlisting others.  We are grateful to have with us David Hankins the State Executive Director of Louisiana Baptist and his Associate Wayne Sheppard. Our prayer is that God reveals to us His plan for the opportunities in Haiti and how Louisianan Baptist can work strategically with the Florida and Haitian Baptist Convention as we all seek to join God where He is working.

Upon arriving in Bon Repos half of our team started working with a Haitian team to build a house.   

The other half of the team went to meet with the area pastor, his key leaders and the Florida Rebuild Leaders to discuss strategic ministry opportunities. In visiting with these folks it appears that this area would be an area where we could carry out the strategic ministry opportunities mentioned in paragraph two.  While visiting with the pastor we heard about the pastor operating a licensed orphanage prior to the January 2010 earthquake. The building was lost so he had to send some of the children to other areas in the country. He continues to provide love, housing, meals, Bible Teaching and school lessons to twenty-nine children. However, they are in need of a building so we looked at a block of land where an orphanage, church and community center could be built. The block of land would cost $20,000.  I do not have figures at this time what the buildings would cost. We left their praying about this possibility and to see if this is where God would have us join Him in His work.

We then looked at an area that is called Canaan by the Haitian people. This is a very large area where the people have move to following the January 2010 earthquake. It is an area that you look at and wonder how could that many people relocate along the foot of a mountain range. The locals estimate over one million people are living in all types of temporary housing in this area of Port-Au-Prince. We may have opportunities to go into this area and plant churches as God opens the door.

Upon returning to the house I asked one of the guys that was working on the construction site what he learned today. His reply was “I wish I would have been more of an encourager to the Haitians. He went on to say that he became focused on trying to build a house rather than building relationships, learning from the Haitians and encouraging the Haitian workers. ”  I listened as he shared his broken heart over his missed opportunity. I encouraged him that perhaps God would give us another day to take the things we are learning and apply them to the new opportunities. This is a great reminder to us all within local churches who are leaders is that our responsibilities are not about doing the work but it is about equipping and encouraging people to do the work. We find the biblical basis for this in Ephesians 4. I believe if we can begin doing this in local churches the people will come to see a compelling reason for why those in the church should get connected to the ongoing work of the church. However, if we are only giving them the opportunity to watch we will continue to find churches without labors for the field of souls that are all around us.

May you be challenged to find a way to equip the saints for the ongoing work of the church. Read and pray Ephesians 4:11-16

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

 

Haiti Update 2

Note: The internet where we are staying is not currently working. I along with a couple of other guys went to another location to use internet for a short time before dinner. The latest word I have on our son Grady is that he is doing better. Thanks for your prayers.

Haiti Update 2

Sunday May 8

The LBC Haiti Team gathered at New Orleans Airport ready for the mission with the exception of one team member whom we lost to illness before he got to the airport. I received a call about 2:25 a.m. from Spike Wheeler saying he had a stomach bug and tried meeting others from Baton Rouge but with the stomach issues he would be able to make it. I know he would appreciate you praying for him

The men on this team brought together by God have a ready and willing spirit. They have an incredible attitude of being available for God to do what He would have us do. We enjoyed some light-hearted moments while sitting at the gate waiting to board the airplane.  It was a beautiful day for flying and we had no travel issues as we made our way to Port-Au-Prince. We praise the Lord for giving us safety in travel and for allowing everyone’s baggage to make it to PAP.

Upon arriving at the PAP airport we were greeted by Miguelson a young man who helps with the Haiti Rebuild efforts. He is a man seeking the heart of God. He hopes to attend a college and medical school in the US one day but is in need of a scholarship.  We arrived at the Florida House where we are staying this week and had some time to unpack and rest before dinner and church.

On Sunday evening we attended the Good Sheppard Baptist Church where Pastor Joe serves as pastor of this congregation. Some of the team members were familiar with the church because we had a medical clinic at the church five weeks after the January 2010 earthquake. We had two assessors traveling with us on the first trip after the quake and they were Joel sander and Tom Rabalais who discovered that the building was not safe because of some major cracks in the front wall of the church. We found last night the issue had been addressed by a DR team from Georgia had knocked out that wall and stabilized the roof. The back wall now has an old billboard sign hanging as the backdrop to the pulpit.

It was neat to see this billboard banner because it is about a group of automobile dealerships owned by man from FBC Pensacola whom I have known since 1982. He was a Bible Teacher, an encourager and a person that was always eager to serve while I served in that church right out of Seminary.

We had a wonderful song and prayer service. During the prayer time the people prayed over our team for God’s direction, God’s blessing, God’s safety and thanked the Lord for our coming to serve the Haitian people. Following the song and prayer service I had the opportunity to bring greetings to the people and introduce each team member to the congregation. We then heard David Hankins the State Executive Director for Louisiana Baptist preach a message from Acts 24 -26.

David’s message was about the accusations brought against Paul. His three main points of the message were 1. Watch out if sin is more satisfying than salvation 2. Watch out if earthly things are more important than eternal things 3. Watch out if you are thinking more about pleasing people than you are God.  In closing he challenged all of us to “say yes to God.”

Following the invitation where we sang Just as I am in English and Creole the people came to shake hands and offer encouragement to each team member. This was a sweet time as the children were just pouring out their love on the team members.

We returned to the Florida House where after getting ready for bed I spent additional time reading and reflecting on 2 Peter 3:9 that None should perish. I ask the Lord that He would give us souls this week as we serve hear in Haiti.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

 

 

 

 

 

Haiti My 2011

On Sunday May 8, 2011 I will be leading a team from Louisiana to Haiti. We are going with expectant hearts to be used by God this week. As we go this week we are going to see where we can join God in His work for an extended work through a partnership between Louisiana Baptist, Florida Baptist and Haitian Baptist.

I will be posting updates each day at http://jayjohnston.org/ I hope you will take time to read, pray for us and begin praying how you might join in with this work or simply be encouraged by what God is doing and join Him in His work where he leads you.

In addition to discovering future opportunities of serving Jesus in Haiti if he so leads we will also build several houses this week, minister through prayer, proclamation and witnessing as we go and whatever else is needed to glorify Jesus as we go.

We do have twelve people from Louisiana traveling with us for this mission. They are: David Hankins and Wayne Sheppard with the Louisiana Baptist Convention, Joel Sanders – Istrouma Baptist Church, Baton Rouge, Roy Lee – GraceWorks Church, Baton Rouge, Jay Hebert – FBC Plaquemines, Craig Wheeler – Zoar Baptist Church, Central, Tim Walker FBC Lafayette, Rock Kendrick – FBC Covington, Charles Vandercook – FBC Covington,Chuck Gilpin – FBC Covington, Malcolm Blades – FBC Covington,                  Jay Johnston – FBC Covington.

We appreciate you taking time each day to pray for us. May the Lord Jesus be glorified in and through us as we go with the message of Jesus. I will also pray for you so let me know how I can pray for you. We will also be praying daily for those affected by the storms and floods. Some of our team members have already been helping with relief and most will be serving upon our return from Haiti.

In closing I reflect on this first Mother’s day without my mom hear on this earth. I am grateful for the years we had to together. My mom passed away on October 6,201o. I am grateful that she is spending this Mother’s day in the presence of Jesus.  She always enjoyed going out for a brunch buffet so I can only imagine the brunch she is enjoying this Mother’s Day. I am thankful for my wife Jerilyn who gave of herself to help my mom with many things during the thirteen years mom lived with us. Jerilyn is a Godly lady who is a wonderful wife and mom. I am thankful for my sister who is a great sister, wife, mom and grandmother and for my niece who will celebrate this weekend with her two beautiful children. I am also thankful for my mother-in-law for being an encourager to me and for my sister-in-law Mandy who has three beautiful girls. Happy Mother’s Day, Jerilyn, Pam, Jamie, Mrs. Jeannie and Mandy.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

PS: As I send this out I ask for you to pray for our oldest son Grady who was just released from the ER at a hospital in Lynchburg, Va with possible appendicitis. He is on his way home but feels really bad. I am thankful for some friends in Lynchburg who went to check on him and his wife Ann.