Pray for God’s growing leadership team in Haiti!
During our last trip to Haiti, I had the pleasure of meeting with a number of key leaders to discuss their ministries and what God is doing in their lives. During the Haiti pledge drive, we discussed the fact that the “All In One / One Family” ministry is growing throughout the region, extending further into Haiti and even into Cuba. This expansion has continued, as the good news of God’s work in Haiti continues to spread. We have discussed four churches in this church family, but there are now seven!
While travel can be difficult, and not all leaders were able to attend – most notably the leaders in the One Family Church in Cuba, who were unable to obtain a visa from the Cuban government – we were able to connect with several leaders, and asked them how their ministries were going and how we can pray for them. Here is what they said.
Pastor Vanel is one of the key members of Pastor Kesnel’s team at One Family, as he directs the school there (which, of course, Westbrooke supports). Pastor Vanel organized initial discussions with the teachers and faculty at One Family that led us to prioritize the scholarship and meal program for the students.
Pastor Vanel began by praising God for the progress the school has made over the last year. He believes that by continuing the scholarship and meal programs, they have seen the students become accustomed to regular attendance at school and focus on their education. This is evident in their most recent standardized tests, in which they scored an average above 90%, making them a clear top-rated school in the area! Also of great importance, he said that the students are being led by the Spirit, and have been motivated and excited to learn. This stands in sharp contrast to other schools in the area, where they have reported children falling into hard times and “a bad spirit” that has been impacting their education.
Regarding himself, Pastor Vanel said that he is focused on serving to the end. He asked that we pray that he would continue to be full of faith, and that he would have more patience through both good and bad times.
Finally, some of you might remember that we purchased a book for a number of pastors a year or two ago and our own John Gillespie then used it when providing pastoral training. Pastor Vanel was unable to attend training, so he did not receive the materials, but we heard that he had wanted a book to study on his own so we provided him with one. He said that he loves it, and has treasured it as a resource in his ministry!
Pastor Maxon leads the One Family church at Garroud, one of the mountain churches in Haiti. About a year ago, Westbrooke helped to build a church building at Garroud, replacing a tent with the very structure that church members both worship in and have sought shelter in during hurricanes.
Pastor Maxon reported that things are going well at Garroud! Their church is praying for more musical instruments, like drums, a keyboard, etc. They previously had no musical instruments, until Westbrooke delivered an accordion (one of the two that we have taken to Haiti), which they make great use of!
For himself, Pastor Maxon asked us to pray for his family – that God would increase kindness, as he seeks to be kind in all things and in all situations – and that God will continue to lead him in his walk.
Pastor Jackson leads the One Family church at Maison. This is the second mountain church we have discussed. He began by praising the opportunity for many of the One Family churches to come together, and said that the church at Maison is doing well.
Regarding prayer, Pastor Jackson began by discussing the school at Maison. Like One Family in Croix des Bouquets a few years ago, they are dealing with parents who struggle to make payments to attend school, and hopes for a better program there. They are also praying regularly for a church building, as they have a simple wooden structure sitting on dirt (no foundation) for their congregation, which now has 70 official members and sees as much as 180 attendees each Sunday!
For himself, Pastor Jackson asked that we would pray for his family, that they would continue to grow in their faith.
Pastor Cherinoi leads the One Family church at Baptiste. One of the newest One Family churches, the church at Baptiste was struggling greatly just a few months ago, and attendance had dropped by more than 50%! This church reached out for help, asking One Family to come visit them and help them through their struggles. A team from One Family went to spend several days at Baptiste, and as word got out that they were coming, the church regained most of its members! The congregation asked to become a One Family church and – after prayer – One Family agreed. This church’s leaders are now receiving training and guidance from One Family, and Pastor Cherinoi said that their congregation is reenergized since One Family came there to teach and pray with them.
In addition to his general praise for what God has done at Baptists, Pastor Cherinoi asked that we would pray for construction of their church building, and that he would have more faith in Christ.