Friday, March 30, 2012

Thinking Outside the Box

The work of Baptist Haiti Mission is a group effort.  It is a gift to see the unique and oh so creative way God has designed the body of believers.  He has given each of us different gifts, passions, talents, etc.  Every facet of our life has been orchestrated by our creator.  The missionary staff of BHM are encouraged on a regular basis by the variety of people the Lord connects with BHM.  Last week BHM was privileged to work alongside a team from The Peoples Church, in Toronto Canada.

Mark, Geoffrey, Warwick, Brian, Ted, Tony, Christine, Uli and Kai arrived in Haiti with the task of building two houses.  While their days would be full of physical labor, their hearts were open to engaging and discovering the culture of Haiti.  The team was able to interact with the people in the area around their building projects each day.  They were able to share the love of Christ in a practical way by meeting the physical needs of two families.
Some of the team members had served alongside BHM before, and for others this was their first time in Haiti.  At the end of the week the team had successfully completed the two houses.

Each team held a "House Dedication" service for the family and community when the house was completed.  They sang a few songs together and spent some time in the Word.  The impact of the physical labor of this ordinary team from Toronto will remain.  However, there is more to the story...

The hearts of many of the team members were greatly impacted by their days spent in Haiti.  They were exposed to many aspects of a culture quite different than their own.  Throughout the week while building the houses the team began brainstorming about how they were going to stay connected with the Lord's work in Haiti once they returned to Canada.  What had the Lord given them a passion for that they could use to continue to assist the people of Haiti.

Mark Tenaglia, team leader, has traveled to Haiti a number of times and worked alongside us here at BHM.  He is a gifted photographer.  He has captured a variety of amazing pictures during his visits to Haiti.  Mark has been able to sell some of these pictures and donate the money to BHM!  He has also designed several graphics and brochures for BHM, absolutely free.

Ted, owns several restaurants in Toronto.  One of his restaurants is home to the "Haiti Burger."  When someone orders one of these burgers in his restaurant, some of the money is donated to Haiti.  Many people know about the "Haiti Burger," some people give money to Haiti at his restaurant even when they do not order the burger.

From this team of 9, this is only two specific stories of those who are taking the impact of Haiti back home.  There are many more stories where this came from.  Rumor has it, the team is brainstorming about a variety of ways they can raise the funds to return to Haiti and build a school in the North.  This is no small task.  The team is definitely going to be doing a lot of "thinking outside the box," to develop ways to raise the funds for this endeavor.  We are excited to see where the Lord takes this desire. 

What about you?  Have you served alongside BHM and are now using something your passionate about to share about God's work in Haiti?  Are you currently communicating the impact Haiti made on you with those in your hometown?  If so, we would love to hear what you are doing.  Tell us about it on Facebook, "Baptist Haiti Mission."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Annual Church Conference

After months, weeks, and days of preparation we are currently in full-swing with the Association of Conservative Baptist Churches Annual Church Conference.  The mission property is a very popular place to be this week as we have eagerly welcomed over 300 Pastors, lay preachers, church committee members, and youth leaders.

Sleeping arrangements have been made available for those who are here.  Our conference center which comfortably sleeps around 150 people has been adapted for this special week.  Classrooms in our conference center have been re-arranged into bedrooms for many of this weeks participants.
The conference is scheduled to last until Sunday afternoon.  Meals are provided for the participants throughout the week.  The conference center kitchen is full of a variety of ladies from local churches.  The ASEBACH Office (Association of Conservative Baptist Churches in Haiti) has been in charge of the many details to make this event possible.
Each day is composed of different group sessions focusing on a variety of topics.  They are designed to encourage the churches, as well as, to challenge the leaders.  There are also special guest speakers who will be sharing throughout the week.

Pastor Jim Lacy from Michigan has traveled in to speak for a few different sessions about "Honoring God for His Faithfulness".  Pastor Solect Jean Baptiste, Superintendent of Education - MBCH, spoke on "The Pastor as an Agent for Social Transformation".  Dr. Lesly Jules, a local Haitian leader, spoke on "Good Administration of the Local Church".  

Engineer Jean Marie Claude Germain will be introducing the "Role of the Church in the Reconstruction of Haiti".  Rev. Edouard Poultre will touching on the "Prophetic Role of the Church in Haiti".  Dr. Warwick Cooper from Canada will be speaking on "The Counseling Ministry in the Local Church and Dr. Lomega Jean, a local medical doctor, will be addressing the assembly about health needs and topics.  Each evening is concluded with a worship service with various singing groups and special preachers.
Pray for all of those who are a part of this event.  Pray for the participants as they are receiving A LOT of information this week.  Pray they will be attentive and responsive to the Word of God.  Pray for BHM as we continually seek for the best ways to come alongside and assist the churches of Haiti.  We are so encouraged by these faithful men of God who are seeking to lead the local church.  Praise be to God for the work He is doing among His people. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Weekend is Here!

It is Friday afternoon, the end of the week has finally arrived.  School dismisses, and it is the weekend!  For many students this means rushing home and not thinking about studying for at least 2 days.  However, if you walk past the Education Office on a Friday afternoon on the Mission, the previous description would not be accurate.

You will notice kids in school uniforms standing outside the door of the office.  Some children are quickly reading over pieces of paper.  Others are filling in answers on their worksheets.  What is all this study for on a Friday afternoon you may ask?  It is scripture memory and Bible lesson check-in day!

At the start of the 2010 school year BHM missionary Darlene Winn shared with a few students she went to church with that she would be starting a Bible lesson and scripture memory time for students on Friday afternoon if they would be interested.  Two years later, through students sharing with their friends, there are more than 40 children who WILLINGLY come to the Education Office each Friday afternoon with a completed lesson and memory verse ready to present.

The Education Office is far from quiet for about 1.5 hours as the students file in and present their work.  After the completion of a lesson the child is given a lesson and verse to work on through the week and return again next Friday.  These are evangelistic lessons that teach about who God is, why we need Jesus, and how one can go to heaven.  The lessons are typically 4 pages long and have questions to answer and a scripture verse to memorize.

"There are always fun things that happen when meeting with the students on Fridays," said Darlene.  "One week a question from the lesson asked the students to write down the name of their enemy.  The correct response was Satan.  One little girl presented me her paper and had written the name of one of the girls from her school in the blank."

You never know with students what their responses may be.  Darlene tries to ask many questions to each student about their work on Fridays.  It is important to ensure the children are not just repeating, but learning biblical truths.

There are 2 different courses of work for the children to do.  The first course is 10 lessons long, and the second course is 7 lessons.  There are many students who have completed each course.  Even after completing all the work they have asked if they could start over from lesson 1.  Darlene allows this, after all, it never hurts to review what you learned before!

Pray for the excitement of the students as they dig into God's word and come every Friday afternoon.  Pray that they would learn and apply the truth's they are being exposed to.  Thank God today for children who are being educated to read and write and are able to understand first hand the Word of God!