When Missions of Love organized in 1991, the churches of the northwest mountains of Haiti were mostly small in size with the largest at LaHatte. Several congregations, of a dozen or two souls, were meeting in simple pole and leaf mat shelters. The presence of Americans was a novelty that would draw a curious crowd and the message was basic gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
Some further instruction and encouragement would be given when the assemblies were mostly the established believers. Home visits, whether the initial reason was medical, food or shelter aid or other, have always been an opportunity to witness Jesus and encourage faith and conduct. The proclamation of the gospel and prayer for healing has been a part of the clinics from the beginning.
As people believed in Jesus and were pastored by local men like the late Emmanuel Milhomme, Julian Loute, Jean Robert Lewis and several others, the churches grew. Today, several congregations are blessed with solid concrete buildings to meet in. Julien Luthe and men he has discipled, including the young men’s evangelism group, Solidat, has taken the gospel further and higher into the mountains. With one of these to guide, along with an interpreter, several of us have been privileged to visit and witness in some of the more remote locations like the church at BelAir.
The faith and enthusiasm of our Haitian brothers and sisters have always impressed us Americans, and has been a source of refreshing and spurring on of faith in action to many. The Haitian Believers hunger for more meat (of The Word) has led to several conferences and teaching sessions over the years. The most recent American-led conference was in early May. Pastors Johnnie Blount and Willie Wright of Bridge the Gap ministries taught for three days to pastors and leadership men and women on “Your Blessings Are In Your Mouth,” lessons about having the faith to proclaim all the blessings we have been given that pertain to life and godliness and living in that expectation.
The five women of Bridge The Gap Ministries, Kayla Kenneda, Karla Rowland, Kim Watkins, Carolyn Jones and Valerie Kayanja presented teaching to the leading women from surrounding churches on a Sunday afternoon. The ladies also conducted two after-school sessions for children on being a special people for God, a Royal Priesthood (crowns included) assisted by Andrew Ramlal, who was on his first trip to Haiti.
All were strengthened in The Word and in worship with our Haitian fellow believers. In so many ways we are all sharing a mutual gospel to one another.