After an absence of three years, an opportunity for me to minister in Haiti again opened up, in November 2017 and I spent about two weeks there.
As I had circulated my schedule beforehand, many friends prayed for this mission. The Lord answered by granting many occasions to preach his grace in Christ and by giving attentive hearts.
Many of the old contacts had cooled off, because of the passing of time. In some cases, the doors were not open any more, because the gospel message is an offence. For others, the sheer busyness of life makes communications difficult to establish. It is not easy to find time when you have to fight your way all day to eke out a living for your family.
The general situation in the capital, Port-au-Prince, is full of contrast. It is obvious that many have more wealth than in the past, judging by its big trucks and modern cars. The Haitian families resident in North America provide for this.
At the same time, it is obvious that many live in utter poverty. Corruption is more rampant than ever, including in religion and all the superstitions that go with it. A level of despair and distrust of authority is palpable.
My friend Moïse was on hand to accompany me and take care of the logistics. He was glad to be free to listen to the preaching of the Word every day.
I had been invited to teach in a ‘centre for spiritual instruction’ in Gonaïves. This town is located 2-3 hours’ drive north of the capital. The setting is beautiful. I have been there a few times in the past. The man who runs this centre wants to keep it free from denominational traditions. His project is ambitious and well thought out.
We got there on Sunday afternoon and I preached that evening to a filled room. Then, we had teaching sessions, for three days, from early morning to late at night. About 400 younger people (18-30) attended regularly. The fact they took many notes and asked good questions showed that the Word did not go out in vain.
I am already thinking about having a longer time there next year and teaching more systematically a course on the basics of the gospel — what it is and what it is not.
Romans in five hours
Back in Port-au-Prince, I was asked to teach in a couple of Bible institutes. In one of them, I had been asked to teach Romans in the five hours of the morning session. That was a marathon, but also an opportunity to review the main points of the gospel and of gospel life.
I have found there is in Haiti a real thirst for teaching faithful to the Word. Allegiance to Christless religious organisations and congregations keeps people under a terrible bondage, and the labourers are few.
So it was encouraging to see Europresse books available in another, well attended bookshop in the centre of the city. There is also a missionary organisation up in the hills behind the city which has opened a bookshop and started stocking Europresse books. May the seed of the truth bear much fruit! It was so heart-warming to see their joy at having good material to sell.
I was also able to preach several times in smaller places, some of which I had been to before and others new. Again, it was such a joy to have the opportunity to open God’s precious Word, knowing that this is where the Spirit is pleased to come in power, according to the eternal purpose of the Father.
The rest of my time was spent in revising manuscripts, meeting with individuals, sharing the Word and answering questions. I also spent time with missionary leaders, looking into further possibilities of teaching the Word — they want to train the leaders of the churches planted by their efforts.
All in all, I was quite happy to have had a productive visit and hope that a plentiful harvest will come of it under the Lord’s good hand. Thank you so much to all of who have faithfully prayed and made this mission possible.