Our Haitian missionary service began back in 2011 with Eben-Ezer Mission. The Lord has recently conveyed that our assignment at the Christian University of Haiti (UCH) is to be concluded. We came here to disciple young leaders, teach the Word of God and His commandments, train teachers, and implement principle approach education. By God’s grace and Spirit, we have worked diligently to this end. Therefore, we will be moving back to North Carolina in the middle of November to seek the Lord’s face for His plan.
As we come to the close of our time in Haiti, we would like to remember all of the good things that God has done. We are in awe of God who called us, equipped us, and worked in us to accomplish so much in these past two years. Rejoice with us as we recount for God’s glory the good works and good fruit that He prepared beforehand for us to do here in Haiti.
While still in North Carolina in 2012, God led me (Josiah) to mentor a team of four Haitian educational leaders in principle approach Christian education. I lived with them for twelve weeks doing intensive discipleship and biblical worldview training, led them on historical tours of Plymouth, Boston, Lexington, and Williamsburg, and escorted them to the Foundation for American Christian Education conference in Virginia Beach where they met several key contacts.
From 2013 through 2014 I have been privileged to teach many courses to our UCH students and Eben-Ezer’s school teachers. Working as a team with Brizard and Dr. Claire, we restarted UCH with a 17-week spring 2014 semester with 25 students and four professors, and then prepared for the next 15-week fall semester. It was such a blessing to plant the seeds of God’s Word into the hearts of the students in chapel every morning for fifteen weeks. Also, with the help of our financial supporters, we gave English Study Bibles to nine students.
Our family’s greatest joy has been to reach out to the students and love them, pouring our lives into these future leaders, serving them and discipling them. We were blessed to open our home to feed those students who were not being fed regularly and to enjoy their fellowship and learn some Creole.
Part of UCH’s vision is to send students to America for short-term educational trips. I was given the job of helping to obtain 5-year visas for ten of our students. I accompanied them to the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince, and God poured out His favor and granted all of them the visas they needed. As a result, we were able to send two students to Massachusetts and four to Idaho. This not only gave the students valuable cross-cultural experience, but also opened the door for a new student exchange program.
It has also been a joy and privilege to preach the message of the Kingdom and to teach obedience to God’s commandments and principles. God sent me out to preach in Gonaives and surrounding villages, to teach in several pastors’ conferences, and to preach at several youth camps. There is such a lack of expository Bible preaching here that it breaks my heart to see the sheep not being fed with the words of God. Each time I spoke I could feel God’s anointing and feel the hunger of the people who came to receive the God’s Word.
We hosted many visitors to the mission, including a precious team of high schoolers from Paul Jehle’s New Testament Christian School in Plymouth, Mass. It was my responsibility to plan, organize, and administrate a pastors’ conference and a youth conference at which the Plymouth team ministered. The Word of God and Kingdom principles were taught over three days, and we believe the seeds planted will bring a harvest in years to come. With the muscle and funds provided by the Plymouth team, we began construction on a new school building in the poor village of Pacot.
Working with Brizard and Claire as a team, we completed several three-day seminars of teacher-training for the Eben-Ezer School primary teachers. I was also privileged to teach Biblical principles of parenting to the students’ parents. It was an honor to speak at our school chapel for a number of weeks introducing them to the reading of Pilgrim’s Progress. The students had never heard this classic Christian story and it helped to spark a hunger for reading in their minds.
The Lord gave us many opportunities to be a blessing to the people here. One included raising funds for and distributing trees to school children and farmers as part of a reforestation project. In other projects we were able to raise funds for a water pump and a water tank for the Children’s Home and to facilitate bringing tools from the U.S. to help the mechanics at the mission. God also gave us the chance to assist visiting dignitaries during the Lion’s Club eye glasses distribution.
I would like to share how God has used Brenda, Caydia, and Judah to be a blessing to the people and to grow in their love and faith in the process. We were blessed to be able to integrate the UCH students into our family life through class activities, games, work projects, and meals. Caydia and Judah developed loving relationships with over 20 students. It was a treat to have Caydia and Judah assist me in my classes with games and activities like Bible sword drills. It was a blessing working so close to home, only 99 steps from home to work. The Lord used the proximity of our home and classroom to integrate my life with the lives of my children. God also used Brenda, Caydia, and Judah to teach art and spark creativity in the kids of the Children’s Home through fun weekly art projects and to build relationship with them. Brenda also got involved teaching English in a kindergarten class and then helped with a public presentation of English at the Kindergarten graduation ceremonies.
Our family grew much closer to each other through daily family walks, family devotions, Sabbath days of rest together, games and fun activities, and a family-integrated approach to ministry to the students. We also planted over 40 trees & plants in our yard to provide long term shade and beauty and to improve the property for those who will live here after we leave. Through it all, Brenda was faithful to do the most important work of all, which is to disciple and train our own children to know God, to love and obey Him, to keep His commandments, and to follow Him all the days of their lives (Psalm 78). In spite of the sweltering heat and humidity, Brenda faithfully homeschooled Caydia and Judah during our entire time in Haiti. All glory to God for all that He has accomplished in us, and through us, and for His glory and the glory of His Kingdom in Haiti.
Please pray for us during this season of transition. Pray for God to provide us with a house to live in for at least the next six months in North Carolina while we discern God’s plan for the future. We’ve decided to take our vehicle out of long term storage, so we no longer need to borrow one. We are looking forward to having a time of rest, recuperation, and regrouping so that we can be prepared for God’s next Kingdom assignment to educate generations for Christ.