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Sean and Heather Christensen's family and ministry news
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From Palm Trees to Palmettos
April 2022

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,

From tropical Haiti to the Palmetto State, Heather, Ellie and I arrived at our home in Columbia, South Carolina last week.  Our final month was full of packing, preaching, appreciations and adjustments.  The insecurity that Haiti has suffered since 2018 hit a little closer to home when the Agape Flights plane that was supposed to carry us and our remaining household effects from Cayes to Venice, FL was burned by protestors on March 29.*
Heather's first remark as we began to process how this would affect us personally was, "God wasn't surprised by this."  Agape Flights had to halt their flights into Cayes for almost a month, but they continued to service the missionaries through the airport at Jeremie, about 3 hours away, across the mountains and through a river due to a damaged bridge from the earthquake last August.
 
Missionary friends helped us to get our remaining personal effects to Jeremie where Agape could fly it to the States for us.  On our departure day, we prayed that the river wouldn't be too high to cross, since the southern peninsula was inundated with a tropical rainstorm.  By God's grace, the northern coast had sunshine!  Here's a video of the crossing.
Crossing the Grande Anse River at four feet deep!

Courtesy of Trinity Telusma
We got through the river and to the airport and flew to Port au Prince.  At the airport, one of my former students was also flying that day, so we enjoyed a coffee and sandwich.  Then we flew from PauP to Miami, to Atlanta to Columbia, landing at midnight.  Erik's girlfriend, Abigail, picked us up in our minivan and home we arrived.
But not all the news in Haiti is bad.  God is doing a lot of good, through His people, and I've had the privilege of working with some of the bright lights in Haiti.  Our students are agents of change, bringing peace instead of violence, love instead of jealousy, building up instead of tearing down -- all driven by the Gospel of Christ!
MEBSH President, Pastor Napoleon Lusson, far left, and the executive committee presented Sean and Heather with a plaque of recognition for our 13 years of service.

Several of the executive committee members are my former students and we praise God for the ministries and influence these graduates have.  Some are faithfully serving small congregations in remote mountain villages; some are leading highly influential urban churches and non-profit organizations; some are in other countries shining Christ wherever they are.

I've had the privilege to teach 300 Haitian students, all involved in ministry.
The Bible School Director, Pastor Jean Admettre, presented Sean with a plaque of recognition as well.  Pastor Jean and I have worked closely together for the past 13 years.  He is a wise, gentle, courageous man and highly regarded by the other pastors.  The Bible School is doing well under his leadership.
World Team values what we call "incarnational ministry," meaning that our missionaries seek to be integrated into our host culture as much as possible, while imitating Jesus, who Himself walked among us as one of us.  If Heather and I deserve these gestures of recognition, it is only because we were trained ahead of time to live like Jesus in Haitian sandals.  To God be the glory.
A good representation of our 3rd year and 1st year students.  They persevered through two trimesters of New Testament Greek with me.  Some of these students even aspire to be foreign missionaries!  This is the next big step of maturity for MEBSH. World Team is a trusted partner with them in Christ's global mission.
All of our personal effects that Agape Flights transported to the U.S. arrived in Columbia within one week. What a blessing!  We're mostly unpacked and making our new house feel like home.
While Heather and I continue to serve full-time with World Team, we are so glad to be close to our sons again. 

Joey just celebrated his 18th birthday. He will work for Sean's parents in Wisconsin this summer.

Erik will live at our house. He's looking for a job he can do online because his chronic fatigue limits what he can do.

Ian has an on campus apartment and will again work full-time this summer on the maintenance team, as well as being a graduate assistant for the CIU eSports program.  Ian finished his bachelor's program last December, but he will walk for graduation this Saturday.  He's now working on his master's in theology and loves it.
Moonrise over Jeremie on our last night in Haiti.

As the sun has set on our residential ministry in Haiti, our engagement in global missions is about to increase!

Heather is on the WT Child-safeguarding team that sets policy and trains all WT members in best practices to protect children and adults.

Sean serves on leadership teams for the purpose of training missionaries, training international partners, facilitating new teams to reach immigrants in North America with the Gospel, plus filling needs in the agency as they arise.
A short note about donations
 
Just like a pastor receives a salary from the church, the church can only pay the pastor from the offerings given.  In the same way, World Team pays us a salary, but WT can only pay us from the donations sent to WT directed to our ministry account.

Consider us as missionaries stationed stateside. We still require missionary support in order to fulfill the ministry roles we are doing.  We've moved from being field missionaries to supporting field missionaries and WT's international partners.  It is no less strategic.  We have benefited so much over the years from World Team's supportive leadership.  Now it's our turn to provide that to others.

For more details on our change in ministry roles and on our upcoming travel schedule, click here.
Prayer Requests
 
  • Heather has two WT conferences and Sean has three WT conferences in May. Pray for our contributions to be fruitful, for good health and safe travels.
  • We will be visiting supporting churches in Wisconsin for five Sundays in a row. Pray that our words and conversations will strengthen the faith of others.
  • Jesus said the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Pray for new missionaries and partners for World Team's ministries -- new teams are forming in Canada, Chad (Africa), South Asia, plus existing teams on every continent (except Antarctica).
  • Pray for Erik's recovery and for God's purposes in his life during this illness.
  • Pray for all of our kids to walk with Christ and to have a productive summer.  Pray for Ellie as she adjusts to so much change.
With love and gratitude,

Sean, Heather, Ian, Erik, Joey and Ellie Christensen

Training the next generation of leaders for Christ's Church and His mission.
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Sean's US cellphone:                   1-803-542-8561
Heather's US cellphone:               1-803-915-6531

Mailing address:  900 Sycamore Ave, Columbia, SC 29203


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* The protests were not directed at Agape Flights or foreign missionaries.  The march that day was organized and peaceful, protesting the insecurity in the country and the lack of government action. Then some bad characters decided to break down the chain-link fence at the Cayes airport. Those people thought the Agape plane was owned by a former senator--so it became a symbol of privilege and the disinterest of Haiti's leaders to the suffering of so many. In the end, these hotheads dragged the plane out on the road and burned it in protest. It wasn't widely known by the general population until the next day that it was a humanitarian relief plane that serves the missionaries working in the area.  I gave a 10 minute interview on the radio about it explaining the reality, but also sympathizing with the frustration of the population.  God helped me to remember the verse, "Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness" (James 3:18).
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