I've been blessed lately with a 'flock' of new students. I begin each day teaching Creole to a new Water For Life missionary. After that, I have a couple of remedial reading students that I am trying to help read on their own. Then I have music students in the late morning and early afternoons. Two English clubs meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And we have the weekly ASAPH concerts on DVD Wednesday nights. My schedule suddenly became as full as I'd like it to be. :) It's great to have the chance to help people learn.
I am thankful that one year ago these ASAPH buildings were just being set up. Hurricane Sandy came through as we built the kitchen. The Teaching Center happened in early November. A lot of lessons have taken place in the past year here in these buildings. To God Be The Glory!
Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage should be honored by all... It's a message that has been on my heart for the church in Haiti. I was asked to speak at a church up in the mountains and prepared a message for the occasion. I've used much of the same message again in Mouyay Fouket (east of here) and in our own church here in Pasbwadom because I believe marriage is not honored as it should be.
Each marriage is a picture of The Marriage...the Lamb of God and the church. That's what Paul talks about in Ephesians. The BIG TRUTH of marriage is for Christ and the church. So every marriage is a picture of The Marriage: Christ who was wealthy, powerful and honorable takes for His bride the poor, week, lowly church. He blessed her with His purity, and she is presented as Holy. He takes her into His Amazing Reality where she has no business to be...except because He chose to open the door for her. It's beautiful. THE true love story.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!
As the school year opens here in Haiti, ASAPH Teaching Ministry has connected to two more congregations. If all goes as planned, I'll be working each week with musicians from 8 different congregations! This month two more churches contacted me regarding a plan for their musicians.
I already had students from each of the four congregations here in our community. Since last year I also had one student each from 2 churches in the mountain community of Basen Kayiman...they walk over an hour to get here! This fall I've begun working with a group of 7 young men from Mouyay Fouket, and now a group of three from Pisale is coming today to work on a plan of study. Those two groups are putting gasoline in their motorcycles and riding here to study music to the glory of God.
Take a moment to pray for the musicians that will be studying here. My desire is to prepare worshipers who will use music to lead others in worship. So often musicians allow pride to distract them. Pride is the opposite of worship. Pray that these musicians will humbly serve the congregations where they lead worship.
Have you worshiped?
I drove from peak to peak. Estes Park down to Route 70. Long's Peak was fabulous. And the scenery on the way south...inspiring. I was taken by the pine trees, blue sky, and rocks. There's nothing about pine trees, sky and rocks that should be so impressive, yet... The rare deciduous tree among the pines brought flashes of orange into the landscape like a football uniform on a green field. October in Colorado. I hope to get back there again some year.
Fact is, mountains are impressive. The folks here on the plain of Passe-bois-d'orme make jokes about the folks who live up in the mountains. They say those 'mountain' people walk in single file no matter where they are 'cause they're used to walking down little mountain paths. And then there's the joke about how the cruel French masters forced the black slaves to haul dirt up there to make those mountains...on their backs...day after day...with no food...under the hot Haitian sun. We laugh at the joke 'cause people can't build a mountain. You just can't.
God did. Fourteen thousand feet of mountain...that's just Long's Peak. Just one of the amazing Rocky Mountains in a chain from Alaska to Mexico. What a Maker!
O God, you are my God, and I will ever praise you!
You'd think a week of evening prayer services would get to be long. Each evening last week our church gathered for prayer and worship from about 6:30 to 8:00pm. There were no special musical programs, no messages, and no movies. Just congregational singing, readings, and prayer.
It was so good to sit with brothers and sisters at the feet of our Father. Worship aligns things that are out of alignment. Well, I should say that in worship God aligns things that are out of alignment. It's all about God and what He does when we take the correct position before Him.
It's so good to be part of the family of God!
Our church is making strides toward being more organized...once again. It's a tough struggle for folks who aren't really very organized in any aspect of their lives. Discipline is a lost art, you might say. And every institution shows the signs of a lack of discipline.
I believe more and more that worship changes things we can't. Well, I should say that God changes things when we worship.
We should worship.
Here's a tip of the hat (chapo ba) to the good people that surround me and make this ministry possible.
S. Wilphar has been with me since he was a young teenager in 1992! He's all grown up now with a lovely wife and 2 lovely daughters. They are also raising a young man as if he were their own (Where did he get that idea?). Wilphar takes care of banking, mail, and grocery shopping for me...and anything else I call on him to do there in Cayes where he lives. THANKS WILPHAR!
F.Jean-Pierre is the man on whose land I am sitting, literally. He is my landlord and a faithful defender of what I do here. THANKS JP!
P.L. J. Esprenord has finished college and is working as a teacher (Where did he get THAT idea?). He's been writing questions for the academic competition I am preparing. (He led his church soccer team to a victories on the field and off of the field.) THANKS ESPRENORD!
C. Jean-Ronald lives in Port...at least some of the time. Whenever I need a fellow traveler, he is available. And he's a great driver. If I had a vehicle, he'd be my chauffeur! THANKS JEAN!
S. Emmanuel is a welder. My windows and doors are all his work. He's also available as a 'runner' whenever I need one. THANKS EMMANUEL!
C. Erntz is currently a student at a school up in the mountains. He comes home on weekends and helps me to take care of the house and yard. He was my main cook for a couple of years and a faithful friend. THANKS ERNTZ!
L. Steephenson has just begun filling in for Erntz. He's already been a benefit to have around...and promises to be a fine musician if he keeps working. THANKS STEEPHENSON.
C. Christa has been making food for me for a month now. Her meals are a step up from what I've been eating since I came here in 1992. What a blessing! THANKS CHRISTA!
C. Manesa and her sisters have been doing my laundry for years. They keep me in clean clothes. THANKS LADIES!
There are many others who support me and take care of me here. Some I see every day, and some I don't even really know. But they are supportive and work to protect me. The church, my neighbors...all members of the GOOD PEOPLE SURROUNDING ME.
Thank you, God, for good people!!
If you'd like to bless one of these folks, contact me. We'll see what we can do together to bless them. :)
The country of Haiti is back to school after yet another extended 'grand vacation'. The government pushed the starting date from early September to October once more this year even though there was no earthquake, hurricane or volcano episode. As is the custom, SOME schools opened their doors today, October 1st. Many will wait until Monday the 7th because "school doesn't start in the middle of the week...Tuesday". Some schools will wait until the 14th. But then the 17th is a holiday, so that week might fall by the way side, too. In short, school is not a priority in Haiti.
With the start of school, I'll be back into my regular schedule of private music students and English clubs. It seems like forever since I stopped the schedule back in June.
The two young men helping to take care of me and my buildings were off to school this morning. Smiles were wide in their brand new uniforms. We read Psalm 121 and talked about the 'mountain' before them. God is our Help as we climb each day. Amen!
Missionary in Haiti.