Four lessons from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel and back in one day!

Feb. 13, 2012

We had a wonderful day to learn from various sources today.  Our day was spent traveling to the town of Jacmel located in southern Haiti and is 49 miles from our location. Since road conditions are not the best in Haiti and we will cross the mountain this drive required three hours one-way. The town was founded in 1698 and has not changed much since the late 19th century. It is told that the houses in this town would later come to influence the home structure of much of New Orleans.

Lesson 1 of the day was waiting on our driver. We were to depart at 7:00 a.m. but the driver was 1 hour and 45 minutes so in the midst of waiting we learn to use the additional time God afforded to us to visit with others or read. I was grateful that not one team member was frustrated by the tardiness of the driver. The lesson learned here was not to allow circumstances affect your personal attitude.

The driver did make it and we departed for a beautiful scenic drive to Jacmel in order to spend time with Tommy and Joy Schwindling and Charlie and Martie Elgin who serve as host of the Alabama Guest House along with Tommy & Joy serving as Co-Directors of Children’s Hope Orphanage. 

We arrived at the Alabama House where we spent time learning about the functionality of the house, the ongoing ministry of teams coming to the Alabama House and Children’s Hope Orphanage a ministry of First Baptist Montgomery, Alabama. This time was invaluable to us as we continue to develop strategy for the work God would have us do in Haiti.

After learning about the Orphanage we had opportunity to go visit the Orphanage. We had a great time seeing the facilities and visiting with the children. The children at this orphanage are being well taken care of and very happy. The facilities are excellent being they are temporary. Under Mr. Charlie’s leadership and with the help of volunteers work has begun preparing land for permanent facilities for the children.

It was good to see the work being done by Alabama Baptist and the efforts of FBC Montgomery, Alabama.

Lesson 2 of the day was learning about the call on the life of Tommy and Joy Schwindling as a member of local church receiving a vision for a God Size Work and then joining God in the work. I begin seeing a theme for the day that involves watching, praying and waiting for God’s leadership.

Our trip back across the mountain went well until we neared Port-au-Prince where we found ourselves in a long line of cars because of a wreck about one mile in front of us.  We did learn that while the eighteen-wheeler truck was destroyed the drive did not have any life threatening injuries. After waiting for ninety minutes were back on track heading to the Florida House.

Lesson 3 of the day for me was about waiting when the road is blocked. You see the very location we were stopped prevented anyone from going around the wreck. You could not turn around unless you went back across the mountain and go around a northern route, which would make no sense because of the amount of time it, would take to travel. So the lesson was to wait, rest, pray for the victim and experience God during the stillness of the moment. I can tell you this is exactly what the Lord provided me through as a result of this roadblock. You see it was a temporary roadblock so perhaps you are trying to force something in your own life today but the word just might be to wait upon the Lord.

After taking some dinner our team spent time dialoguing and praying about next steps. This was a great time of fellowship as team members shared, clarity sought and truly a time of iron sharpening iron. It is exciting to see how a strategic ministry strategy is coming together. I will be sharing those with you early next week.

I ask you continue to pray for the people of Haiti and for the part God would have you play in the Louisiana/Haiti Mission Partnership. You might become:

A prayer warrior for Haiti and the Louisiana/Haiti Mission Partnership

One who collects supplies for schools, medical clinics or backyard Bible Clubs

One who goes with a team to serve in a medical clinic

One who will go and teach in Bible School

One who will go and be part of a church planting team

One who will Go and be obedient to God’s call

One who will financially contribute to the Mission Partnership

Lesson 4 of the day is about staying focused and committed to pray! You see we have seven strong individuals on this team that have developed a strategic plan for the ongoing work in Haiti. I believe the fruit of unity, focus and strategic alliances comes about because the team is committed to praying about the work God would have us do in Haiti. God has taken seven strong individuals and molded them and shape them into a team. The mission has become all about God and the focus on the individual has been removed. The work is a God size work so thank you in advance for praying that we will line up where God is at work and join Him.

Thanks for your continued prayer support for the people of Haiti and for us.


With  a Grateful Heart,


you can follow me on Twitter @jaygjohnston


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