but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,"
These were the words of encouragement shared at the three pastor's meetings in Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes and in Gonaives this past week. In Port, the ESMI leadership met with 36 key pastors representing different denominations and each having several churches under their leadership. Then in Gonaives there were about another 100 pastors and leaders. The verse was used to encourage and to remind them of God's faithful love amidst a devastation that has affected the entire nation of Haiti.
Church and supporters in North America, thank you for making it possible for us to minister to these spiritual leaders. How encouraged they were as they gathered for prayer and to strategize how best to minister together. To encourage these pastors is to encourage their congregation. And to encourage the congregation, is to encourage the family members of each congregant. And to encourage the family is to encourage the neighbors. And to encourage the neighbors is to encourage that city or village. These men are not easily discouraged and to know that there are other saints wanting to love and support them, is a great uplift to their spirits as they do ministry. We praise God for your support which has gone to help these pastors. May the songs of praise heard through the night continue even in the daylight hours throughout the city of Port-au-Prince.
We praise God for the medical teams from Spanish River, New Covenant and C3 Missions that responded almost immediately to the January 17 letter. What a great week of ministry for the team members. Teams were able to work at the general hospitals in Port and Les Cayes, do mobile clinics in some of the worst hit areas outside of Port such as Leogane and Gressier. They gave out 17 wheelchairs and crutches to the elderly and those with broken limbs. Two new borns were delivered under their care. Lives were saved not only physically but for eternity. God's name was honored as these teams served tirelessly for one week under strenuous conditions.
We praise God for the commitments that have come in for:
15 of the 20 food containers,
4 box trucks
2 dump trucks
1 semi-truck for hauling containers
We praise God for the MNA assessment team: Arklie Hooten and Jordan, and Bryan, a building contractor from St. Andrews PCA, SC, who went down and saw firsthand that the devastation has affected not only Port but the entire country. While with Katrina in Louisiana, the tsunami in Asia and the earthquake in China, many were able to move away from those areas and seek refuge, not so in Haiti. There is no where they can go in their country to find better. Instead the influx of people is causing more strain to those areas. We praise God that these 3 men desire to keep Haiti in the forefront of the North American churches long after the media coverage has faded.
We praise God for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and prayers over the phone. Many of you do not know, but Louis found out one week after the quake that his own home was affected. With each passing week, he is seeing new cracks. He has built a wooden shed for his family and his household to sleep in at night. Louis and Martina have 7 biological children, 3 adopted children and shares his home with others. In the midst of ministering to the community at large, he is also trying to protect his family. Continue to keep Louis, Martina and the family in your prayers.
1. There are 134 known pastors in Port who have lost their church buildings, homes and are now living on the streets with their families. You cannot imagine the stress level of these leaders. The dust, the lack of sanitation from living on the streets is disheartening. They didn't live like that before January 12. ESMI will help those pastors on your behalf. Pray that we can find tents and cots for temporary living for them. Pray for teaching elders/pastors to be willing to accompany medical teams and do one or two days of teaching with these men. There is nothing more refreshing that hearing the truths of God's Word over and over again.
2. The ESMI team visited Gonaives on Saturday, January 30. They learned that trucks have been taking the very injured from the streets of Port-au-Prince and dropping them off outside the general hospital where there is only one doctor. One pastor shared how his son lost both legs in the quake and is waiting for medical assistance on the floor outside. With your support, ESMI has opened the clinic in Gonaives on the Fayeton mission site, hired 2 Haitian doctors and 4 nurses to see as many patients as they can until medical teams arrive this Friday.
3. One goal this week is to purchase a piece of land in Leogan to put a tent church. Leogan is right outside of Port and 90% of that city was destroyed. An aerodrome type tent has already been purchased and it will seat 2000 people. The desire also is to have smaller tents to resume school for the children.
So much more to share and to pray about, dear friends, but it can get overwhelming. I hope these 3 requests will trigger other areas of prayer not mentioned.
May God's name be honored in all that is done and may the transforming word of the Gospel continue to be preached across the island of Haiti in the relief effort. He is the only One who can bring about the change needed. To God be the glory!
If you would like to send a contribution, please send to:
13651 S. Biscayne River Drive
Miami, FL 33161
Or online: esmihome.org
Thanks to all who have already sent funds. Please know that 100% will go toward the relief effort.