Monday, December 31, 2012

My take on the mountain top experience

From Shea's previous two blogs, you can see that the leadership training in Pays Pourri has been the topic here. I have been more of an observer on this one, but I wanted to support the team by visiting them on the last day of their first series. What an inspirational experience. A lot of hard work went into the planning and it payed off with a very successful meeting. 
I will have to say this was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in the year that I have been in Haiti. The mountain people are so open to the teaching and so appreciative of the help they received. My prayer is that the seeds planted there will grow and multiply for years to come. 
I was so touched by the trip that I took our whole family up for the first day of the second series and was again rewarded with great hospitality and genuine appreciation.

Please join us in prayer that these leaders will continue to grow and thrive in their faith. That they will be filled with the teachings, being led by the Holy Spirit, learning from the heart since so many of them can not learn by reading. Pray for those that did the teaching, they were the mighty hands and feet of the Lord and the adversary will not be idly standing by.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Leadership Training Seminar

Imagine you are in a pastoral position, leading a congregation of 150-200 believers to serve Christ in spiritual maturity. You are expected to teach on a semi-regular basis. You pray with the sick, counsel those in need, and baptize those coming into the church. 

But every day you face a wall blocking you from nurturing your own relationship with Christ. You can’t read. You have a Bible, you carry it to church, and even open it to preach, but the scrawling marks on the pages blur together before you. You try to recall some of the stories that you know lay within its pages.

You hear other preachers talk of salvation and being sanctified, but that only adds to the depression of your handicap, because you really don’t understand what all that means. 

This is the reality of many leaders in our world today. The 17th through the 20th of December, we hosted the first of two four day leadership training seminars in the mountains of Peyi-Pouri. Of our 89 daily attendance, 26 could not read. All but three of the church pastors made up this group, the rest being deacons and Sunday school teachers.

The attentiveness and enthusiasm of these leaders spoke of their hunger for truth. After each session, questions poured out related or un-related. None the less, the hearts and minds of these teachers were challenged. As Exantus Pierre (one of the leaders) put it, "A lot of this teaching challenges even the way we think."

Pastor Drvilmè Narilus said, "Our churches are dying a spiritual death due to our lack of understanding."

 Bro. Andrew Eversole and Ric Gullman taught our main themes: Effective Christian Leadership and Basic Christian Theology. Mike Martin began each day with lessons from Matt. 5-7 and Emanuel Schrock closed with clear messages on salvation. We were also blessed to have a great team of translators, Wismith Joseph and James Augustin.

I must also commend the ladies in the kitchen who gave of their time to serve food every day, without complaint. We could not have asked for better help.

Also, brother Eralus, brother Chirlton, and good friend Jotasse played roles that no other shoes could fill. 

Upon ending the last day, all the pastors encompassed us in prayer for the upcoming seminar in southern part of Peyi-Pouri. We ask that you to would come to our Lord in prayer, seeking His presence with us next week as we continue to minister in this way.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Seminè Pastè

The month of December has arrived and we have two pastor training seminars planned. Both are in the mountains of Peyi-Pouri.
We now have a team of four teachers and two translators:
  • Andrew Eversole:  IFM field staff -  Basic Christian Theology
  • Ric Gullman:  Pastor of “Morning View Mennonite” in VA - Christian Leadership
  • Michael Martin:  IFM field staff - Various topics
  • Emanuel Schrock:  “River of Life Fellowship” in OH – Various topics
  • Wismith Joseph: Director of “Redeemed Vocational School” – Translator
  • James Augustine: National Bro. – Translator
This team of Brothers will be teaching both seminars, Dec. 17th-20th and Dec. 26th -29th
And so we ask for your prayers in these next two weeks:
·         That God’s name and being would be glorified through our efforts.
·         For health and safety for all participating and teaching.
·         Wisdom as teachers articulate God’s word.
·         For all the logistical details to run smoothly (meals, lodging,ect..)
·         For good weather with no rain.
·         Understanding and Comprehension between teachers and translator as they work together.
·         The Holy Spirit’s work in the hearts of us all.

May God's name be magnified in all the earth.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Trip to visit an agricultural project

     On Saturday, we were able to take a trip to Hinche, about 3 1/2 hrs drive to visit an agricultural project. We went with Haitians from Pays Pourri and missionaries from several other missions. The project we visited is MPP (Movement de Payisan de Papay). It is a Haitian organization that is committed to advancing agriculture.

 One of the things they promote is using old tires, turned inside out as a raised bed, vegetable garden.

 Below is a earthworm bed. The African earthworm and the California earthworm are aggresive eaters. They turn leaves and table scraps into rich compost very fast.

Below is a goat shelter. They promote feeding goats up off the ground to reduce disease. Also with the slatted floor, it is easy to collect the manure.

Below is a drying rack for drying moringa leaves. Moringa leaves are a natural source of vitamins and nutrients. The dried leaves can be ground into powder and added to almost any prepared food.

On the way home, we stopped by the dam. Below is the water generators. We are looking down on it from the dam.

The dam has lots of drop.

The beautiful lake created by the dam.

The dam from the lake side.

We also saw a place where they make sugar cane syrup. This is the press, powered by two oxen.

They boil the juice in this stone kettle. The fire is in the hole underneath.

We saw this man plowing with oxen.

When we were still about 30 minutes from Port-au-Prince, we came on an accident scene. A motorcycle driver was hit by a vehicle and broke his leg. Clint, our driver, felt like we should stop and see if we could help. We ended up taking the man to a hospital in Port-au-Prince, driving through a dangerous area, that we do not normally drive through at night.

We thank God for safety traveling. It was a blessing to be able learn some agricultural techniques. Hopefully, we will be able to use what we learned to help the farmers in the mountains to the south of us.