Press on!

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I once saw a cartoon picture of a crane trying to swallow a frog. The frog, already well into the beak of the bird, had his hands around the throat of the crane squeezing his throat. The caption read “NEVER GIVE UP!”

 In the face of incredible obstacles, much like the frog in the cartoon, the leaders of the communities around me in Haiti defy the impossible and push to advance the work of the Kingdom. I am amazed as I observe the strength of resolve to be found in these common people doing the work of giants.

 

Pastor Phenix, pressed in by the requirements of government and the perils of a budget not yet met, is still adding class rooms to the school. Working with teachers and students in the morning and mixing mortar and hauling blocks in the afternoon he persists in his drive to provide education  to a desperately poor community. Even while he leads the worship in a building with stifling heat he works to develop church leaders and is making plans for building a larger sanctuary.

Croix Hillaire marked my beginning of ministry in Haiti and it has once again become an exciting venue for proclaiming God’s word and his goodness. The church and the school, now being guided by Pastor Remy,  ‎continues to struggle to survive and to operate. He too is pressed in by pressures that sometimes seem just too hard to bear. Yet he has added an English speaking service to the Sunday schedule to follow the morning Creole ‎service. Classes of English as a second language as well as a school for translators and interpretors are being held weekly at the church.. The English service is to support those who want to improve their English skills and often has more than fifty people in attendence. Pastor and his wife are enthusiastic students and attend the services faithfully.

Pastor Enoch watched a lifetime (over 30 years) of labor come crumbling down in the earthquake. Pushing aside discouragement he has orchestrated the rebuilding of the Good Samaritan campus in the seven years since the quake. ‎Today he still has difficulty, just like the other two pastors, in finding food and funding to continue the school, church and orphanage.

These men, my very good friends, continue to press on!

I have been warmly welcomed into this community of faith. I have been allowed the privilege of walking along side these three men. Since my arrival in this community ‎in April our relationships have deepened even though we have been acquaintances for several years. The trials and victories we have shared as we watch God work here has pulled us together. There is a trust and respect growing between us.

Consequently several opportunities have presented themselves. And they are making me giddy with excitement. Pastor Phenix has asked we to share responsibilities with him in leading a Wednesday afternoon bible study at his church.  ‎And he has asked me to bring the message periodically to the Sunday morning worship.

Pastor Remy has invited me to teach or preach as often as I can in their English services. ‎Edward Durand, the teacher of the professional translator school has asked me to assist him in the school by giving students experience translating for a preacher. I have already begun doing all of these things. To my delight I have found those Haitians in the classes and services to be hungry and enthusiastic students of the word of God!

I am even more delighted at how profoundly satisfying it is to me to teach here. It is so much more than what I had hoped for. I shouldn’t be surprised. Isn’t that just the way God works?

 

For those who would like to help with our continued ministry in Haiti the link for online giving is:

https://texasbaptists.givingfuel.com/um-ernie-sharon-rice

For checks, make them payable to BGCT and send it to the following address with a note that it is for Ernie & Sharon Rice’s ministry in Haiti:

BGCT
7557 Rambler Road, Suite 1100
Dallas, TX 75231-2310

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