Mission Statement

Chicago Metro Presbytery exists to extend the gospel and to oversee the work of the ministry of the PCA throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area to the glory of God.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Haiti Update 2/26

What a great day! Worship, rest, organization, and LOTS of unpacking.

The team is really excited and pumped to get going tomorrow in Savanne. Both teams (medical and water) made sure bags were unpacked, sorted, prepped, and re-packed for a busy day tomorrow of improving the quality of life for many in Haiti.

Savanne is a rough and tumble place and even before the hurricane last fall, which leveled much of it, there was not much to commend it. Poverty is rampant, joblessness at about 90%; it wasn't uncommon to see kids naked in the street with no one to look out for them. In fact, when our teams first visited, other Haitians were impressed because "even our police don't go to Savanne". The poorest area of a poor city (Cayes), Savanne was filled with hopelessness and suffered under a pervasive voodoo influence - both of which are true in many places in Haiti. But ESMI had targeted this place for a church plant, and asked our medical team to go in as a vanguard of mercy ministry to bring attention to the church plant and their evangelistic presence. For that first visit, ESMI paid local gang members to protect our team from unruly crowds and maintain order. From that seed four years ago, a thriving church that brought hope and light to the community was started. Pastor Monchera works tirelessly in mercy, discipleship, and evangelism. His deacons and other leaders are the former gang members who ruled by intimidation, now helping to share their new faith in Christ. Several, including one named Jude, now look forward to our teams' visits with anticipation and spend the day serving in whatever capacity they can.

The medical teams are key to providing help in Savanne, and often literally save lives by their visits, but they can only come twice a year - the only medical care available there, really. But this year, hope and health come in new form: clean water. Engineers will tell you that if you want to impact the health of a community, dig a well. The water purification system our team hopes to install over the next five days will be a sustainable source of clean water for the neighborhood around the church, even providing a few jobs for those who are trained to manage and run it this week. It will just be another way that the church can show the love of Jesus to the people of Savanne.

The medical and water teams will be there early tomorrow and work all day. A few others will take a trip to Cavaillon to do some renovation to the orphanage there, still undergoing repairs for the extensive damage suffered during the hurricane last fall. It's critical to get those tasks done as soon as possible, so the orphans can move back instead of sharing space with the kids at the Cambry orphanage. They all need more space than they've got in that one location. The teaching team will begin an intensive several days in Jeremie teaching pastors who have come from all over that region to be equipped and further trained in theology.

Hard to imagine how 26 people could make any better use of their time!

A few pictures from the day attached. Enjoy!

Please pray:
  • For pacing during busy and stressful days. The water team will be outside in the heat all day long, the medical team in cramped, hot, and noisy quarters inside.
  • For safety as they work. Those same church leaders will be on site providing crowd control for the medical team, but sometimes desperate crowds of people needing medical care become frantic.
  • For logistics for the water team. They are uber-prepared and have actually done this installation before (in Cavaillon last year) but little thing can derail big plans. Pray that nothing does...or that their combined knowledge and practical know-how can overcome it
  • For the spiritual impact of the team's visit. Every person seeing a doc will be prayed for by the team. If they are willing to hear the gospel shared with them, they will hear it. Pray for God to open hearts as he uses our team to help sick bodies.
  • For patience as the teams work out rhythms of working together.
  • For Pastor Monchera, who cares for the flock in Savanne on a daily basis under very difficult circumstances.
  • Praise God for the generosity on display in the contents of the duffel bags. Since the hurricane destroyed their living quarters, the children from Cavaillon have no clothes but the ones they are wearing...except for the donated clothes they'll be getting this week. Thousands of dollars of medicines will allow some in Haiti to return to health, and will almost certainly save some infants' and young children's lives. And every piece of equipment to build a water purification system (bought and paid for by donations) came into Haiti Saturday in those duffels. Praise God indeed.

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