First of all, in case you’re wondering the final numbers for the conference was over 500 participants from at least 35 churches from across the region! Praise God! These young leaders are encouraged and empowered to change their communities and their nations! They also made a bunch of USB sticks to distribute to the pastors to bring back to their churches and help share the teaching they’ve received.
Today we experienced an amazing God led expedition as we entered into the heart of Haiti. We piled into our convoy and ventured out under the cover of the native mango trees, sheltering our pale skin from the scorching rays of the sun. We were on our way to distribute water filters to a small community in the hills that Haiti Arise has been building relationships with for some time. But we didn’t really know what to expect or what was the best strategy for distributing the filters. Petit paradis is aptly named, small, yet gifted with an awe-inspiring view of the mountainside overlooking the crisp blue Caribbean sea. Upon arrival, we spent about 15 minutes assembling filters before making our way to a small clearing in front of one of the homes Haiti Arise has built up there. As word spread through the village, many people gathered and we prepared to present to them.
We then decided that we would do an impromptu skit and Gospel presentation, the youth did very well considering they didn’t have any prior notice, and William did a good job of his testimony despite forgetting his paper back at the compound. Troy presented the Gospel message along with some elaboration from Lisa, and Ronald. We’re not really sure how many, but at least 6 adults responded and received Christ. We had been told earlier that a couple weeks ago the voodoo priest in this community (along with his daughter) threw away his voodoo stuff and received Christ through Pastor Mark’s leading. We believe this really helped pave the way for others in the community to receive the Gospel, and we could feel that chains of darkness had been broken. We then did a presentation on how to properly use the water filters and gave one to each household. By God’s leading we had the exact number of filters with us to give one to each house in the community (45). The community was very grateful for the filters, and one of the old matriarchs of the village made sure she hugged a number of us and asked the Lord to bless us in everything we do. The children of the village also really blessed us with their joy and energy!
In the evening we participated in a lengthy Good Friday service filled with excitement, dancing, one of our skits/testimonies, a message by Pastor Mark, and a lot of singing led by Pastor Moise who was at his best! Communion with the Haitian church was also very moving and powerful. As pastor Moise said, this is a great foretaste for what Easter will be like on Sunday! We celebrated the end of the day with a cold Coke from the fridge and sat under the full moon to pray and share memories and blessings from the day with one another.