Today was a more relaxed day, but still very good. We started the day with 2 baptisms in the Caribbean. It would be tough to start off a whole lot better. That was my first ocean baptism, and it was more difficult than I expected with waves pounding us from behind, but it was still a great time. It is an even I think we will all remember.
We took some time to enjoy the beach as well. There were some nice little homes there at the beach that seemed like very relaxing places to be. They are a far cry from the Haiti we have experienced thus far. Daniel got to take some time talking with Tommy about an internship with CH and missions in general. Daniel and I had a good time last night talking about his potential call to vocational missions. I am very excited to see what comes from this in his life.
That afternoon I did a little bit of construction work around the house and we all went down to say goodbye to the children. Joy had cupcakes ready for one of their birthdays. We did lots of thumb wrestling and taught/learned new ‘secret’ handshakes and fives. I went for the simple Fresh Prince & Jazz five.
We took a little bit of time to shop downtown and see that area. It does have some similarity to New Orleans although not as well kept. Tommy said the story goes that the Haitian people made a deal with the devil to get the French to leave without a shot fired. The country, in many places, looks like a place that made such a deal. I bought a couple of items, one cross for Judith and a globe for my office. I bargained some, but also decided, for the first time in my life, that the monetary difference was a bigger deal to the Haitian that it was to me.
That evening we went out for dinner at a nice hotel in the area. There were some amazing homes around it. The service was slow, which were warned about, but it was nice to have the time to relax and reflect with the team and the missionaries. The meal was pretty good, too, especially the fruit juice. Foreign countries seem to do a better job with fresh juices…probably just a lot of sugar.
That evening the lady from Hands and Feet brought a premature newborn by the house for some medical care. He was given up by his mother. I have a feeling the lady from H&F will end up adopting him. He was so tiny. Most of us were trying to figure out way sot bring him home.
Yup, another great day. We started off by heading over to a mountain for more door-to-door evangelism and medical care. We broke into three groups again, this time with Tommy leading one. We enjoyed getting into the field with him and seeing his heart and skill. We broke the teams up differently this time so that we could each get time with different people. Right away my group ran into an English speaking man. He had some minor medical needs but greater spiritual need. I shared the Gospel with Willy and he prayed to receive Christ. He had three neighbors sitting nearby and, as the doctor went to check on them, I asked Willy if he would like to tell them what he had just done and why. He did. That opened the door for the doctor and I to share with them. Two of the three accepted Jesus. As we made our way up the hill, we went down a short side street and found an older lady peeling peas. This time Rebecca shared the gospel while the doctor checked on her physically while also asking some spiritual questions. Rebecca seemed like an old pro. She really did not need any coaching. She seemed fairly calm and presented the gospel well. She then was able to lead the lady to Christ. Before meeting that lady, we met with a family of devout Catholics. They knew Scripture and had an obvious love for Jesus. We talked about works and grace, confessing to priests and going directly to God. We did not come to any conversion with them, but I believe they will continue to explore Bible passages we recommended to them to find the truth.
As we made our way to the church where we were to meet the other teams, we found that they began an impromptu clinic while waiting for us. We ate lunch there, took turns helping the medical staff, and played with baby goats. Dr. Jones began sharing the gospel with another woman there and gave me the opportunity to finish the job, easing her to Christ. So far, including those from our team, we have seen 7 salvations Monday, 1 on Tuesday, 2 from the team on Wednesday, and 5 today for a total of 15. What a blessing!
We came home, rested a bit and cleaned up. We then grabbed an early dinner before joining a church very close by for evening worship. The singing was beautiful. I was called upon to introduce the team and then later to preach. That was my first experience with having a sermon translated. JP did very well. I did ok I think. JP seems to get very excited about sharing the Gospel, so I bet he added to the sermon where he thought it was necessary. Some ‘amens’ came at times that didn’t seem to fit. It was a fun experience.
We had a good night of Bible study together as well. We spent a good bit of time praying for John Bush and the Children’s Hope Ministry tonight. They have blessed us and the people of Jacmel. We pray that will continue for many others. The girls from the team have asked to be baptized in the ocean tomorrow. That should be a lot of fun. I have not been able to get ahold of our pastor, but I don’t think he will mind that at all. I am looking forward to that experience. I am also really enjoying connecting well with the team.
It’s been another good day in Jacmel. It is hard to remember that it is winter and there is a chance of snow at home when it is 92 and sunny here. We started the day planning to make visits to the sick from Pastor Paul’s church. At some point somebody decided to call everyone on the list and bring them to the church for healthcare, which seemed to work pretty well. We saw 48 people this morning. It was pretty busy and even a bit chaotic at a few points, but we kept it under control. We could have used one more translator in order to get counseling/evangelism time with each patient, but the doctor and nurse prayed with patients and asked them some Bible questions before they left. I also got a few minutes free to share the gospel with the entire group in our makeshift waiting room.
We tried some kind of Haitian pita-eggroll-hotdog thing that was ok. The breading was great, the meat was ok, but the sauce wasn’t the best. One girl got sick from it. Right after lunch I went with a translator, driver, Dr. Jones, and a CH rep to do a medical visit for one of the local missionaries. They recently moved into an apartment behind a wealthy Haitian’s retirement villa. The view was amazing. The apartment wasn’t bad, but it only has power when the grid is on (which is about 14 hours per day), the second floor is only available from outside stairs, it wasn’t very big (although great by Haitian standards) and the water is gravity fed from a water collection tub at the top of the apartment. It would be worth it for the view, though. When we got back to the Alabama House the rest of the team went to the grocery store and a baby clinic while I stayed back to work on a small construction project with Tommy. I enjoyed that and was glad to stay productive. Tommy has been really good about responding to our requests for more work. He doesn’t push, but he provides opportunities. I am impressed with his flexibility and understanding of how different teams can be from one week to the next. He, Joy, John, and Jeannette are excellent at bringing together a custom experience for the team.
I shared the story of Paul and Silas remaining in prison and leading the jailer and his family to Christ tonight. We then each shared how we came to accept Jesus as our Savior. A couple of the girls realized they were not completely sure they had ever really accepted Jesus & had some questions about that. I was able to talk with them, along with Shea helping out, and lead them in confirming their salvation. As of right now they plan to make that public on the Sunday I preach. I really enjoyed the time counseling with them. This whole trip has been good for connecting with people from the church. I also enjoyed conversations with some of the FBC Montgomery folks about faith and family. It has been a very encouraging, although long, day. Praise God for His blessings and encouragement!