Christian Leadership Academy 2018
It was an unusual week of weather here in Grand-Goave, just like it has been for many of you where you are. Florida in the 30s overnight. Gardner, MA (our "other" home) was at -7 this morning. Brrrrrrr! Here, it has still been warm, but we've had a significant amount of rain during the day rather than our normal bright, sunny days. This, along with a major fuel shortage in the country meant that many of those planning to travel to Grand-Goave for the Christian Leadership Academy were not able to make it. That certainly didn't keep the Lord from showing up in all of the meetings, though.
Each minister's message seemed to dovetail with each other. Pastor Rex Holt began the event with a message about having a heart of hope and the energy associated with hope. Wow! Here's our new friend Jeff Manning sharing with a group at the CLA...
Pastor Nick Acker is a deep thinker and many appreciated his insights as they dug into God's Word with him...
The theme of Hope continued throughout the meetings, coupled with breaking chains of bondage. Always, knowing who we are in Christ - identifying ourselves as HIS, makes all the difference. Here's Rev. Jerry Kalinsky, encouraging a group by the ocean...
Pastor Kalinsky shared with me about a woman in her meeting who was moved to tears through the message of hope and deliverance. She returned that evening for the general session and was all smiles. Her burden was lifted and she was equipped to go forward, following Jesus.
Pastor Dan was moved by a young man who shared his testimony with him. The young man had first encountered Pastor Dan with a team from Mission of Hope International that visited the orphanage where he lived. He later came to live at MOHI and eventually he became a part of the Hands and Feet Project in Grand-Goave. He shared with Pastor Dan about the impact he made in his life, just by visiting once or twice a year. The impact was made through acts of kindness, listening, and sharing, and this young man very much saw Pastor Dan as a mentor.
We don't know the impact that we will make ahead of time, but this testimony is a glimpse into the importance of the past decade of visits to Haiti. Seventeen years ago, we wrote a letter to Pastor Dan, inviting him to come visit. He accepted that invitation and so many lives have been impacted by that one decision. His life, the lives of people that were in his church, the lives of many here in Haiti, my life and that of my family. YOUR decisions matter. If your obedience to God can mean life for even one person, it is certainly worthwhile.
We're so grateful to Pastor Enoch, Jephte, and Gama, who carried the brunt of the interpretation duties. Many of our student had the opportunity to share in smaller settings and they are rising stars, for sure!
Lee and Donna spent two days working with our students, making earrings (from recycled plastic bottles -really cool!) that can be marketed for retail. They also offered an earring-making workshop during the Christian Leadership Academy. We were planning to have Ross Dobson from Sir Isaac do a bit of a business class with these students, but the snow in Boston won out. His flight was canceled. We're hopeful, however, that he will be able to arrange another trip to follow up with these students.
Holger and Sigrun, along with the culinary students prepared about 1500 buns for our guest ministers and CLA attendees. The students took such pride in looking good and really serving. AND the bread was so yummy!
Our worship teams were so faithful to be present and on time. We are especial grateful to Angie Sutton and Angela Parayson for their commitment to lead the teams, as well as the congregation into the presence of the Lord.
This picture captured a special moment. It was at the end of our first service in the Gathering Place. Lex was holding his nephew, Gama's sweet little Nyah as she slept, and Pastor Kalinsky was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the Lord has been doing with and for our friends here at MOHI.
As you can see, the Gathering Place was finished enough to be able to hold our CLA evening sessions in it, as well as this morning's closing service. What a JOY!!! Thank you for helping us get to this point. We are now protected from the weather, but we still need to finish the project. Please join us in creating this wonderful Gathering Place by donating today here.
Here are Pastor Rex, Pastor & Rev. Kalinsky enjoying the yummy food at the Missionary Compound (aka Cayes Mirliton).
The day sessions of the CLA were held at the missionary compound (aka Cayes Mirliton), with the choukoun being the central meeting place.
We had an extra special evening, Saturday. After our evening service we went up the hill to the Hands and Feet Project at Ikondo for a little concert. Zach Williams led us into a wonderful evening of praise and worship. We're excited to be seeing Zach again at Soulfest 2018
Zach and his teammates joined us Saturday at the Missionary Compound. and helped serve lunch to all the participants, too.
Up Next? AJay is in the house!!! He will be joined by team G3 tomorrow. We're so excited to be doing outreaches with them this week!!! Look who AJay ran into at the airport - Jim and Karen Murphy! Jim was one of our first visitors when we first started MOHI.