On August 12-19, 2016, seven members from our church, Westview Baptist church in Opp, Alabama, spent the week in Anse Du Clerc, Haiti. To say we had a great time is a huge understatement. God did so many things in the lives of each team member that we could take weeks just telling of His goodness and faithfulness to us. The sole purpose of this trip was to build relationships with local churches and to start that relationship with discipleship. We have always felt that if Haiti is going to be changed by the gospel, it will be because of Haitians sharing the gospel, not a few Americans here and there. So our purpose for every trip centers on equipping the local believers to reach their communities/villages with the gospel.
We had our base camp behind the church building in Anse Du Clerc and traveled by foot or by boat to Jean Roux and to La Sereign. Base camp consisted of tents, cool showers, cots, stinky toilets, and crowing roosters… as well as the incredible hospitality of Pastor Franky and his family. We could not have asked for a better place to stay.
The hike to Jean Roux is incredibly tough. Steep terrain, muddy trails, loose rocks, and occasional piles of poop made for keeping your eyes on your next step a must. That is, until you get to the top of a few of the mountains and God reminds you of how He sustains His beauty in broken places. Once at the church in Jean Roux, we held discipleship training for three groups- men, women, and children. We talked about the importance of having and using our testimonies as ways to share the gospel. We gave them an assignment to share their testimonies with at least one person before we came back in two days. When we came back and asked about the assignment, every one of them shared of how they had completed the assignment, many sharing with more than just one. Beyond that, several of them told of how people were saved because of hearing their stories. We thanked God that He allowed our team to see the fruit of our vision and our labor… Haitians reaching Haitians with the Good News of Jesus.
Our other place of ministry was La Sereign, which we traveled to by boat (which ran out of gas on one of the trips). This was a very hard place to minister. The church is only two years old, and the people almost had a sense of not caring we were there. They were almost disrespectful even in not paying attention. Our team came back feeling frustrated and dejected, and wondering why we even went. We were scheduled to go back the next day, but we were contemplating whether or not it was the best use of our time there. God had his reason. After talking to Franky that night at dinner and sharing some our frustrations, he said, “Yes, they are very hard people there. Many of them don’t have a relationship with God. The church is young and they act just like the people did here in Anse Du Clerc did… before I started sharing the gospel!” Immediately, God redeemed my sense of frustration and gave me a burden for these people. We changed gears from discipleship, to evangelism and went back and had a wonderful day of ministry and sharing of how God can and will make a change in their lives, their church, and their community. We left the second day much different than how we left the first. God redeemed a team that felt frustrated and a church that felt forsaken, to come together and start what is hopefully a long relationship of reaching people in La Sereign.
We have two trips scheduled to Anse Du Clerc this next year. Because of the relationships that God has allowed us to start, we will always go to Jean Roux because we want to, and we will always go to La Sereign because we need to.