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Sean and Heather Christensen's family and ministry news
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We're Back in Haiti
November 2021

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,

We arrived back in Haiti on October 13--negative Covid tests in hand (just in time), one-way tickets, expired residence permits, taxi reserved, tickets on a prop plane to Cayes--all went smoothly!  The Bible School director, Pastor Jean, picked us up at the Cayes airport in our truck with a full tank of diesel (God bless him, that was no easy feat!)  Since then, we've given and received countless greetings and we're settling back in to life at Cite Lumiere after a furlough of 16 months.  In most respects, it feels like we pulled off the interstate for rest and refueling and now we've merged back into traffic and onward we go.
But all is not well in Haiti.  Gang violence has held the entire country hostage over the past two years--with little to no fuel for sale at gas stations, limited supplies coming from the seaport terminals, and then an unprecedented kidnapping, three days after our return, of 12 North American adult missionaries and 5 children.  As horrible as that is, it highlights for the world what the Haitian population has been experiencing over the past few years--kidnapping was on the rise when we returned to Haiti in February 2020, only to be shutdown by the fear of getting Covid!  But it was a short-lived reprieve.

Here is an excellent article about the missionary kidnapping and the Gospel-rich response of the families of the hostages:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/october-web-only/pray-haiti-missionaries-kidnapped-cam-anabaptist-love-enemy.html
So how about life in Cayes?

The security situation here is actually better now than it was two years ago, however, because of the lack of fuel, the Bible School has been closed since we returned.  Students can't get to class!  We can buy necessities in Cayes, even five different brands of corn flakes!  The kidnapping is largely confined to the Port au Prince area, 100 miles from us.  The earthquake damage in our town of Simon was minimal and our house suffered minimal effects (not so just 10 miles north of here!).
https://youtu.be/hqgC1tqifV8
Click on the hymn score to listen to a wonderful rendition of this comforting and faith-building hymn.

This hymn has been a source of encouragement for us since we returned to Haiti--not only because of the troubles in the country, but because of the many changes in our lives during this season.

Jesus said, "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor"
(John 12:25-26).
(2018 pastoral training class)
 
This fall FTEL (Evangelical Theological College of Light, in French) was busier than ever.  We accepted 41 new students into our accredited four-year bachelor's in theology program.  30 students continue in their 3rd year program and our 29 would-be-graduates are finishing missing courses due to the unrest over the past three years.  We're looking forward to reopening our doors to these eager students once fuel is available again.
What are the Christensens up to now?

Ellie shared with me before we left behind her brothers and friends in South Carolina, "I prayed and told God that I'm a missionary too; what ministry does He want me to do during our final six months in Haiti?  Then I remembered that there are a bunch of young MKs at Cite Lumiere.  I used to be one of those and I looked up to the older MKs.  Now I'm one of the older ones--I'm going to love those kids and help their moms out as much as I can!"  Heather and I couldn't be more proud of her!  And she is doing just that.  The younger ones flock to our house every afternoon to play with Ellie!

Heather is occupied with homeschooling Ellie and sorting through our stuff for our anticipated departure next spring.  Soon she will start a women's Bible study and restart some women's sports on the mission center.

Sean (me) can still fulfill my World Team leadership roles from Haiti.  I had hoped to find time to write more articles in Creole and now with FTEL closed, I'm working on four articles that expand on "The Six Phases of a Man's Life" that I wrote in 2018.  My goal is to provide useful, understandable resources into the hands of parents and church leaders.

If you haven't read The Six Phases yet, here are the links:

In English
In Creole

And a brief outline of the forthcoming Honorable Sexuality article.
Earthquake Response Update

As promised, World Team's early response to the earthquake was to help the Cite Lumiere clinic provide free medical services to earthquake victims for two months.  Hundreds were served and the gospel of Christ was shared with them.  World Team, through generous donors like you, contributed $30K to Centre de Sante Lumiere for this merciful effort.

Our ongoing response is focused on rebuilding parsonages for local churches.  World Team partners with the MEBSH church association.  My students mostly come from these churches and serve in them. Many of my former students are MEBSH pastors who lost their parsonages in the quake--this is very difficult for their families and it hinders their ministry.  New construction to replace destroyed homes costs between $30K - $40K per home.  We would love to rebuild ten new parsonages.  Thus far, World Team has received enough to build two.  Click on the photo or on the link below to read my initial report and to follow the link to contribute to this effort.  Feel free to share this link with others.

https://mailchi.mp/5e3f7f0f492f/earthquake-update-from-haiti?e=[UNIQID]

Prayer Topics
  • Erik continues to battle chronic-fatigue-like symptoms, with no diagnosis or treatment except sleeping.
  • Our family needs to discern this month whether the boys can come to visit in December--that might sound crazy, but things change often and it's likely their last chance to visit.
  • Pray for the release of those kidnapped--Haitians and foreigners--and for a resolution to the current crisis.
  • Pray for church leaders in Haiti to provide spiritual leadership and counsel during these challenging times, and pray for the Gospel to advance!
Thank you for your love and prayers,

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

Training the next generation of leaders for the Haitian church and beyond
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What's App                         Sean at +509 36 32 43 72
 
What's App                         Heather at +509 32 14 85 60
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Sean's VoIP:                   1-608-208-1874

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