It was several years ago now that I purchased some recording equipment. I had plans to record the worship songs I've composed and do some radio teaching programs. Those projects were all on the back burner for a couple of years as I struggled with the equipment. I didn't understand it, then it wouldn't work, then it fell and broke, then I got another one, etc. Finally now! I've got it working. It's been a delight.
Project one is a series of 5-minute radio programs that explore who God is. So often people live defeated lives because they don't know WHO GOD IS. He is amazing. I hope to teach that clearly with creative, five minute sessions complete with sound effects and backed by original music. It's part of ASAPH Teaching ministry, and it could potentially be my biggest audience ever.
Project two is the recording of a bunch of worship songs we use here at our church. For them to be useful in other congregations, I need to have good recordings. That's happening now...slowly. On a weekend I can program a song accompaniment. There are are 25 songs. SO, it'll take some time. Then I'll have the great singers here around me do the vocal parts. (Don't worry, I won't be singing on any recordings...ever again. :) )
These are both kind of 'free time' projects. Pray for their completion so that they can be a blessing to folks far and near.
Steephenson has been living here at my place for over a year. Last year he was in ninth grade. In Haiti, ninth grade is an 'official' class, which means you have to take the government exam and pass it in order to move on to the next class. In June, Steephenson took his state exams. In July, we found out he passed! On to the next grade!
Erntz had lived here at my place for several years. Lately he's been staying up in the mountain community of Labaleine in order to attend school there...12th grade. (In Haiti there are 13.) Twelfth grade is also an 'official' class with state exams at the end. Erntz took his exams in June. In August, he learned that he missed the score he needed by a few points. Students who are close to passing the 12th grade exams are given a chance to re-test in certain subjects. Erntz spent another 4 days taking tests in August. A few days ago we learned he had scored enough points to pass 12th grade and begin 13th grade. This week he began classes at a school in Fon-de-blan.
School is tough in Haiti. It's all about passing (scoring 5 out of 10), and too often kids don't. The state exams are sometimes like a weird game where strong students don't score well and weak students somehow float to the top of the class. I've never trusted the state results, but every student must jump through those hoops. I'm happy that the two kids at my place were able to pass their exams and keep moving up the academic ladder.
Thanks be to God.
The other night we heard a siren coming through town. Some police vehicles have sirens, and I figured that's what it was. But then, we remembered hearing it a couple of days ago. Soon after the siren sound arrived in town, we heard a vehicle entering Delmas (my little neck of the woods). Some guys at my house wondered if it wasn't one of the new ambulances from the hospital up in the mountains...Fon-de-blan. I hadn't heard that the hospital had a real ambulance program. We left the house to go see. Indeed, it was a vehicle from the hospital...flashing lights and all. They were responding to a call from a lady who was having trouble in child-birth. They picked her up and headed to the hospital.
It's a new reality here in our rural area: a phone call that leads to an ambulance ride.
There are positive signs everywhere you like here in Haiti these days. God is blessing this little Caribbean nation. I believe it is because of good leadership at the top. God works through good leadership. IPSO FACTO, Satan works through poor leadership.
Let's pray for authorities everywhere.
Haiti is benefiting from some good national leadership lately. The president and his prime minister have created a positive atmosphere nationwide. The big road being built through our area is proof of his 'make it happen' style of leadership. Schools opened today all over Haiti. For the last three years the date has been pushed back to October. This year the president and his team said that there will be no pushing of the date. It's a big step. Haitian students are already behind much of the world. An extra month of vacation doesn't help them catch up to anyone.
Our church had a two-day seminar on leadership on Friday and Saturday. Our church council currently has five members. Two were present for the training. That's typical Haitian leadership. People here are eager to occupy that place of leadership, but seldom willing to sacrifice in love and humility...things you need to practice in order to really lead progress.
The seminar was positive. The pastor defined good leadership. The problem is that many present are FUTURE leaders. And much of what we learned together will be used to criticize and weaken the current leaders.
I've often told people here (and I repeated it at the seminar) that those who never learn to submit with their whole heart to the leadership of others will never be good leaders. You can't lead without having been a good follower at some point.
ASAPH soccer tournaments are very much about leadership. Young men are placed in a hierarchy that requires respect for those both above and below. It's one way to train people into recognizing and practicing good leadership.
One interesting point in our pastor's presentation was this: A mediocre leader repeats truths he has heard; a good leader explains those truths; a super leader demonstrates those truths; and a wonderful leader inspires followers to practice those same truths. Here's to wonderful leadership in Haiti! And the USA!
Missionary in Haiti.