Monday, February 24, 2014

Down to the River with Edain St Paul

Another man who works with me, Edain, accepted the Lord yesterday. He is an orphan and doesn't have alot of family, so he chose to wait until today to be baptized because he wanted his wife and children to attend. 

When he came to the door, however, I could see he was deflated.
"I told her that I accepted Jesus and asked her to come today with the kids, but she just laughed at me and mocked me." He said. 
We walked him through the Scriptures about baptism, but then we also talked about how Jesus himself said that there would be persecution, that they would even hate us, because they first hated Him, and when that happens to remember it's only because they have no dawn. They don't yet know Him. Then I directed him to another passage from the lips of Christ, 
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done." 

I saw Jean Wilbert leading his cow through the pasture and called to him, "Leave that cow and come to the river." "Ok!" He said with a smile. Pastor Pompee and his wife came as well as some of the kids from the village, and also Gason, the last man in our group who has yet to come to Christ. He was jumpy and afraid to let me touch him, but he stayed close enough to watch. Jean Wilbert poked fun and talked about throwing him in the water too. Gason made sure to stay just beyond our reach. 

Edain walked quietly to the river. This would be bitter sweet for him. An important moment in his life, yet instead of celebrating it with his family, it would be his new family, Christian brothers and sisters, who would witness him going down under the water. Someday I think his wife will regret her decision, but God knows everything, as they say here all the time, and I know somehow through His promise that this too will work out for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
Our dog Bee jumped in first just to test the water for us all, and then Edain walked silently into the river.

Pastor allowed him to declare his faith and made sure he understood his actions, then he took him by the hands and plunged him down.  
My family received him up out of the water, as well as Jean Wilbert and Pastor Pompee's wife, and the children looked on as they always do, quietly watching and learning in the footsteps, pondering in their own hearts about this One called Jesus. Gason followed at a distance as we made our way back to the village, his own heart stewing. 

"I'll keep praying for you my friend." I told him, "You know, God isn't going to stop hitting you. He wants you. He loves you. I know you're strong, but God is more strong." "I know, I know..." He said. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Carmel: A Short-Lived Blessing

Carmel, the puppy we rescued a year and a half ago from our old village, was struck and killed tonight by a car on the National Road in Haiti. He had grown into a wonderful family dog, and everyone knew him in the village. Everywhere I went, he went. Every morning he waited for me to open the gate and go out into the garden. He'd go bounding off, but he'd always return as we'd start devotions with the men. He'd find a spot under my legs and sit down. At dusk if I was still out in the field he would come and lay down next to me, watching me weed or spray the plants. He wasn't content until we were all buttoned up inside for the night.

My favorite memory of him was when we would sing and pray. We would get in a circle and start the singing, and he would come right to the center. The time would come to hold hands in prayer, and afterward we would turn our hands up for the blessing. He'd jump up and put his paws in our hands, just standing there on his two back feet, making sure he got some of that blessing.

He will be sorely missed, and I thank God for the little time we had.

Here was the story about him on our blog.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Early in the morning during Bible study Jean Wilbert knocked on my door to tell me he would be working in another field.
"I have to go plant some corn, but I want to talk with you about a verse in Isaiah when I get back if that's ok?" He said.
"Sure, no problem." I said. I could see something was heavy on his heart, but God has been knocking on the door of this man's soul for well over a year now so it didn't come as much of a surprise.
The morning waxed away and in the heat of a cloudless afternoon there suddenly broke a cool rain. I praised God for watering the gardens for me, and hit the rack to rest and wait for the storm to pass. Then there came a text on my phone from Jean Wilbert...
"Dan, I want to accept Christ, I want to commit now."
I'm pretty sure for a second I thought I was dreaming.
He came to my house and sat down to talk with us.
"I was out planting the corn, and everyone told me to leave it. There was no rain to be found, and the seed wouldn't raise. I prayed to God and said, 'God, if you want me, if you love me, please send the rain.' I finished planting the field. The ground was hot, hard and dry. But then ten minutes later, it began to rain. There were no clouds when I prayed. Who can explain that? I can't. I can't deny Him. He answered me. I have no choice but to follow Him, and no one will ever turn my head!" He said.

"When I was a little baby, a kerosene lantern fell over and began to burn the house, but some plastic melted around my head, and while the fire burned all around me, it never touched me. The doctor told my mother that God had saved me for something big, and that when I grow up I need to serve the Lord.

Then, when I was a little boy, I was bathing in a canal, and a big storm brought a flood of water into the canal. A large log came down the canal and hit me, pinning me under the water. Everyone began to scream that I was dead and finished, but one man came to the log and lifted it, just enough for me to escape. I was saved, once from fire and once from water. I've been listening to Dan and then his cousin and his friends, and now his step-dad. Even my sister's brother...they all bring the same message to me. I have no time to lose. The time is now." Jean Wilbert's face was glowing. He gathered his wife and children so they could hear, and we even got my cousin Nic on the phone in the States, a man who had recently given Jean Wilbert the Gospel. I explained to him that there was no special prayer, that his salvation had already arrived in his heart when he decided to give his life to the Lord. We prayed to thank God for his decision and Pastor Pompee began to talk with him about baptism. He showed him in the Bible how people were baptized after they were saved.
"Let's go!" He said. His wife's eyes were wide.
"You're ok with going now?" I said.
"Right now!." He said with a smile. Immediately we all started for the river. Jean Wilbert held his baby boy Nathaniel, the same little boy I was given the honor of naming when he was born. His wife followed close behind, and my own boy ran to the kid's club to get Wilbert's other son. My mom and step-dad were also there to witness.
We took off our pants and Pastor Pompee let Jean Wilbert declare his faith in Jesus. He explained to him that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change, He took my friend down under the water, and it was my brother who came back up. He held the face of his boy, he held his wife and kissed his baby, and we all started back for the village.

Jean Wilbert is now a child of the Most High King and his name is written in the Book of Life. I praise God for His great works and the fruit He's allowed me to see.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Counting the Cost

501 tomato plants,
543 pepper plants,
190 cabbage,
500 corn,
Lord knows how many beans,
And 2 of the men are bringing their wives and children with them to church in the morning...
Discipleship is happening in the garden.
Even old, stove-up ragamuffin fools can still be useful in the hands of the Living God. Amen?
He's not finished with me yet...