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.
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.
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,