It sure has been both an eventful and uneventful year. We pray that the presence of our Lord and Saviour removes all fear and that you are blessed with His joy and peace during these uncertain times. We pray believing that the New Year will see us reunited. We greatly miss Pastor Belade and our many Haitian brothers and sisters since we could not travel this past year.
Words cannot express how much we appreciate your continued support of this ministry. Though heavy rains destroyed crops and the pandemic cancelled our visits, the Haitian people are resilient and continue in their great faith to reach out to those in need both spiritually and physically. Schools have been able to stay open, pastors have been able minister and to support their families and conferences have organized all due to your generosity and your heart for Haiti.
The glue of MEPHISH, Pastor Belade’s ministry in Haiti, is his truck. The rugged terrain and the miles between the communities he supports puts great demands on a vehicle. I’ve been in the truck as we bounced over boulders, through dry river beds to communities that can only be reached during the dry season and been jostled along washed-out sections of mountain roads to deliver necessary fuel and supplies. Most importantly the truck carries pastor Belade who always provides encouragement and hope when it is truly needed. Unfortunately, his existing truck can no longer be repaired. He has found a low mileage Toyota Land Rover that is for sale. This sturdy vehicle would provide him with years of safe travel. We have set some money aside as we had foreseen this large expense however the cancelation of our annual fund raiser this year has not allowed us to raise the remaining funds needed. We ask that you prayerfully consider donating to this much needed cause.
I recently read this scripture focusing on the Joy of the Lord giving us strength but just this evening realized the significance of the entire verse.
“Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh 8-10
Again, we cannot thank you enough for your heart, prayers and faithful generosity for the people of Haiti. May the joy of God be with you and bless you.
Earlier in March a mission trip was shorten due to COVID-19. Although their time there was shorten they were able to spend some quality time and was not without purpose. Read Sarah’s and Perry’s trip insights in this newsletter.
Due to the Covid 19 outbreak the team had to regretfully leave Haiti early. You would think we would feel the trip being unsuccessful. On the contrary, we felt very blessed! Every day felt like two days. We unexpectedly were able to witness Belade’s 2 daughters baptism and visited an impressive school and clinic. We also personally were able to give money to start the fencing project to enable more profitable crops. The team had many great times of fellowship and prayer. We certainly felt God’s presence there and in getting us home. Praise be to Him! Perry Huibers
This was my first trip to Haiti, but it didn’t feel that way. I’ve been hearing the names of places and people there for years now; I’d been praying for this country. Stepping off the plane onto Haitian soil felt like pure anticipation, the anticipation of meeting friends, seeing new things, and finding out what God’s purposes were in this trip. We weren’t there quite a week; as COVID brought us back early, but God hand was shown in that as well.
So, on this first trip, what did I see? I saw what maybe you expect when you think of Haiti: people picking through garbage, children begging for money, and rich houses neighbouring whole families living in the rubble of a building destroyed by one of the natural disasters in Haiti’s recent history. I drove over the remnants of the burning tires of a roadblock, symptomatic of the civil unrest and instability of the country. I saw the effects of a lack of education in the panic of the Haitians on the beach yelling at us to go because white people have the virus. However, I also saw much more. In that short week, I saw the beauty of the country and especially the beauty of the people. In that week, I saw congregations of people praising God, devoted to learning about Him, despite beat up drums, generators going out in the midst of evening service, and tarps with holes for sanctuary walls. I heard Belade’s heart behind his desire to rebuild the church on the mountain of Toro, and the determination of the people up there to be faithful despite their lack. Their joy was truly the joy of the Lord. On the way back down from mountain, we stopped to pray with a woman, a member of the church but bedridden. When we stepped inside their little home, she told us to pray instead for her husband, who was dying because of unknown complications from hemorrhoids. The little tin-roofed structure was hot in midday, and crowded; I was overwhelmed with the need of this man, who had wasted away to a level so emaciated that I hardly believed he was alive. Yet in all of that great need, what I saw, over the poverty and over the illness, was faith far greater than circumstances. In short, what I found in Haiti was God, living and moving in the lives and hearts and spirit of our Haitian brothers and sisters.
From a sociological, economical, governmental, and multitude of other standpoints, Haiti is a country in need. Big need. They need everything from safe housing and food to a stable government. That is something Google can tell you. What Google can’t tell you is that they also have a lot to give; I was so blessed by their joy, their faith, and their hospitality. Google also can’t tell us what our role in their need is, but the Bible can – “True religion is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress.” I cannot possibly fill all of the needs that I saw there, but I left very sure that God wanted me to be a part of His plan in it: with my prayers, my finances, and Lord-willing, with my time when I go back again.
Due to COVID, our journey back include a rushed evening booking flights, and a total of four airplanes and six airports over two days, in the middle of a pandemic. Prior to this trip, the thought of navigating six airports alone would have had me wound tight with stress, but I had spent the week learning from the Haitians about trust in God and leaning on His faithfulness and love in the midst of need. And, like the Haitians, I found that my trust was not disappointed; God continues to prove Himself our faithful provider and the Prince of Peace.
Well it certainly has been a challenging year in Haiti with news of rioting in the streets and fuel and food shortages. While these things have been greatly impacting the nation, there is also good news, such as growing churches, growing families, healed sickness and new friends.
Travel to Haiti has been limited over the last year but we are hoping to send a team down soon. January 2019 saw a large team with many first-time visitors that were greatly blessed by the loving hospitality of the Haitian people. If you would like to be involved please contact us for further details.
We have welcomed some new donors this year and we want to thank you all for continuing to stand firm with us.
It has been a year of blessing. The churches within Pastor Belade’s MEPHISH organization continue to grow. The land we have been able to purchase for them continues to produce much needed crops that support the thirteen church communities.
It was a blessing to present a Creole bible to each of the 70 ladies that attended a two-day ladies conference. Some walked 8 hrs to be there!
A team of fourteen travelled to Haiti in January 2019. It is always a blessing to introduce friends for the first time to Haiti. Some answered a call and will be returning to assist with needed projects.
If you feel called to Haiti please contact us to confirm your spot on our next trip.