Haiti: Matt Roberts & Bijoux

During week one of my trip in Haiti, I experienced God’s work in the lives of the needy. On Tuesday, June 29, 2010, Austin (my encouragement partner), Sylvest (our translator) and I went venturing down an area of the tent city where people tend not to go. Immediately we were taken tent to tent to pray for sick, jobless, and depressed people. It was a challenging day for all three of us. With the heat in the tents and how we personally could not help them we were in a funk.

As we were walking through an area where people sit outside of their tents and call us good doers we came across a man. This man was calling to us because he wanted a better life. He had an angry/upset look on his face and was just standing around. I asked him if he went to church, he responded, “Sometimes”. I asked him if he was working and he said no, but he had a family to take care of. We prayed for him and afterwards he smiled and we went in our opposite directions.

As I began my second week in Haiti, God began allowing me to minister and encourage people I had made relationships with. As I took Casey (my ministry partner) to all the people I had met, I took her to that same area that I had been in the prior week. I saw that man Bijoux Pierre Johanne standing with some of his friends. I approached them with the normal “Bonjour” (good morning) and all of the people turned and said hello. I asked the man, ” Hey do you remember me?” He responded yes, with a huge smile. I asked him how he was and he told me he had been blessed by God with a job. He told me how at first it seemed impossible, but God showed him the way. I was excited to hear this because I was than able to encourage him to come to Bible study.

Even in a week I have seen how God’s wonders. God is doing so many great things in the lives of the people we encounter. Please continue to pray for the people for open hearts and for my new friend and his walk with the Lord.

by Matt Roberts

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Haiti: Hope for Marjolene

What an amazing day!

I wrote about Marjolene just last night. I have been thinking about her all weekend. I really wanted to introduce her to my friend, June. Unfortunately, June goes to school from 7am to 2pm- and I am rarely in the camp in the afternoon or evening. I prayed this weekend that June would be around one morning this week so we could go visit Marjolene.

When we got to camp this morning who did I see? June!! Praise God! I ran over to her to tell her all about Marjolene and my prayers for her to be around in the morning. She was really excited too. It was unusual for her to be home today and she wasn’t totally sure what possessed her to miss school today. I told her all about Marjolene and how I thought it would be wonderful for them to be friends. She totally got on board and was excited to go meet her.

So June, Jean Philipe (the translator), Matt (my ministry partner) and I set out to find Marjolenes tent. I was there on Friday, but apparently didn’t pay close enough attention to where I was going because it took us almost two hours to find her tent again. Finally finding Marjolene was a great victory!

We spent a little over an hour in her tent with her. It was the most awesome thing of my life. June was amazing. She talked to her and encouraged her. Told her about how I prayed she would be home today to meet her. We sang together and prayed together. We read some Psalms and encouraged Marjolene in the hope she can find in Jesus. That God is the author of our lives and our Healer and Provider.

Marjolene told us that she was with her older sister when the earthquake hit. A wall fell on them and her sister was killed. The wall hit Marjolene in the head and now she has difficulty standing up. She gets awful headaches and dizziness. We are praying for healing.

We told Marjolene all about the hope we find in Jesus and the promise of eternal life. She told us she had not accepted Jesus as her personal Savior so we talked a little bit about that. We gently asked if she would like to accept the gift of salvation and she said yes! June prayed with her and the angels danced in Heaven!! It was the most amazing moment.

We saw hope planted in a hopeless life. We saw the seed of joy today planted in a joyless heart. We got to be used by the Almighty Creator to bring the message of peace and love to one who thought she was forgotten.

This is why I am in Haiti.

Please continue to pray for Marjolene. Pray for protection for her because where there is great victory there also is spiritual attack. Pray for her healing. Pray for her provision.

Haiti: Pray for Marjolene

This is Marjolene- she is 24 and of something doesn’t change I think she might die.

Marjolene’s mother participated the the class Adiran Tsingaris taught in the tents last week. After class on Friday she asked us to come pray for her daughter who “isn’t right in the head since the earthquake”.

We wove our way through the tents until we came to a very small tent furnished with only a mattress and a 5 gallon bucket. Marjolene was laying on the mattress passively fanning herself with a page out of a magazine. I’ve never seen such hopelessness. Her eyes are very yellow and empty. She has no money for food and isn’t drinking water. She has no job. She is devastated by the loss of her father in the earthquake. Her mother told us that they went to the J/P Hospital for help and that they gave her pills to take but she can’t take them because she doesn’t have any food to eat with them. The real problem is this: Marjolene has nothing to live for, and unless that changes she will die.

Adrian and I crouched inside her tent for several minutes to talk to her mother and pray with her. Just the few minutes we were in her hot tent wrecked us for the rest of the day. We lost more water in 5 minutes than we were able to drink in the next couple hours.

I laid my hand on her, Adiran prayed and Serge translated his prayer. I agreed with him in prayer and felt the Holy Spirit’s presence in the tent. It was a very intense and powerful few minutes. After we prayed I gave her a Bible and grief care notebook- we don’t normally give them away (we want people to earn them) but this felt right. I asked Marjolene if I could take her picture so that every time I see it I will remember to pray for her. I told her about my Bible study at home full of women her age that will love her from afar and pray for her.

What Marjolene needs is friends. She needs life and hope. I am going to introduce her to my friend June, the hair dresser. June has such life and joy and hope for her people- I think God can really use her to make a dramatic difference in Marjolenes life.

Please Pray for Marjolene:

  • That God will bring her comfort, hope and provision.
  • That God will begin the great work of healing her heart and her mind and ease the trauma in her life.
  • That June will get on board to help her neighbor and love on her with God’s love.

Haiti: Pray for Carmele

This is Tamara (10 months), Dimitri (6 years old) and their mother Carmele. I wrote about them on the 30th.

Since I met them, I have been back to visit and pray with them several times and I sat behind them in church last night. I really feel like God is moving in their lives.

Carmele looks so tired and so defeated. When I come to visit her she won’t look directly at me- to the point where I actually wondered if she was blind. (I saw her out and about in the tent city though, and she was getting along just fine.)

Look at these faces. They are God’s children. He loves them more than you or I could ever even begin to imagine.

Tamara has a lump the size of a ping pong ball under her left arm. Please pray for healing.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’… The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:35-40

Please pray for Carmele and her family- for healing, for comfort, for rest for salvation and for peace.

All That I Can Say

Lord I’m tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I’m so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I’ll stop
Rest here a while

And didn’t You see me cry’n?
And didn’t You hear me call Your name?
Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You’d remember
Where you sat it down

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give

Bridge:
I didn’t notice You were standing here
I didn’t know that
That was You holding me
I didn’t notice You were cry’n too
I didn’t know that
That was You washing my feet

David Crowder- All I Can Say

Haiti: Climb Every Mountain

We were sitting in our ladies Bible study, minding our own business when there started to be a ruckus outside the tent. We ignored it at first (we’ve heard fights and things before, so we thought it was nothing new) but it continued to escalate and people began to crowd and it came time to figure out what was going on.

Supposedly someone was doing food distribution in the camp and people were angry with the pastor for “holding their cards”. (Presumably the cards they have to show to be eligible for aid.) People were yelling and very angry. And hungry.

I felt panic start to rise up in my throat like bile, and I felt the Lord’s hand calm it back down. I called our guys and got them in the tent and they helped me round up everyone else. I felt like it would be unsafe to stay in the church or in the camp while people were angry so we left out the back of the church and climbed up the hill to the J/P Headquarters.

We made it up the massive hill in record time. I really felt like God took over. He gave us calm and peace of mind and almost whisked us up the hill. By the time we got to the top of the hill and got organized the camp police got to the mob and dispersed it, but I really felt like it would be better to just leave for the day. It wasn’t worth the risk.

We got home and had a really good time in prayer. We prayed for the ministries we missed out on, for the hungry/angry people, for the overall situation in Haiti, for the camp, and for Pastor.

I see God’s hand in this, much like when my brakes went out. We could run away scared. We could say, “Why us? Why now?” but rather, I see that things could have really gotten bad and they didn’t. We got out very fast and the crowed was dispersed quickly. We’re not in a safe place, but the God of all Creation goes before us.

This afternoon Brendan told me he couldn’t help but think of the von Trapp family escaping out the back door and following me with my blond hair up the mountain.

God is good.

Haiti: Childlike Faith

The kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.

Our daily woman’s Bible study is not without frustrations. We read a passage and then ask them what it was about. 90% of the time they can’t answer or they say “Eternal life” or “Following Jesus”, which is frustrating when the passage is Acts 2 about the day of Pentecost. It’s like pulling teeth to get anyone to find the answers to our questions and no one remembers the next day what we talked about before.

“Eternal life”

“Following Jesus”

It occurs to me that, indeed, that is all that matters. The Haitians (men and women) are beginning to remind me or Leonard Knight who built Salvation Mountain. His faith is simple and childlike. God is love. Jesus, I’m a sinner please come into my life. That’s all it is for him. Love and salvation.

I am beginning to wonder if maybe the kingdom of Heaven doesn’t just belong to actual children, but those with childlike facilities and faith. It’s not theology. It’s not doctrine. It’s following Jesus to eternal life. Maybe I can learn something from them.

Either way, please pray that our women keep coming back to the study and that God would speak to their hearts and minds. Some of their names are: Yolanda, Josette, Marta,  and Vanessa.

PS…

Holly brought to my attention the difference between children/Leonard and our women is that our women seem to be missing the joy. They haven’t found freedom and joy in salvation and eternal life, they’ve found another set of rules to follow. Pray that God Himself would break these chains and open their hearts to His love and freedom.