Over the past few months, leadership at Haiti Lifeline has been praying about our purpose and practical ‘boots-on-the-ground’ plan for the future, and specifically for next year. We’re excited that God has begun to make His plan apparent and we would like to share some of that with our friends now.
As we’ve discussed various projects and ways to continue serving, one thing keeps coming to the surface: God’s work is accomplished through His body – the church. It is a humbling privilege to be a part of that body, along with our brothers around the world, and for those of us serving with HLM, in Haiti.
Speaking to and of the church, in the last part of 1 Corinthians 12 Paul states “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a part of it.” Paul goes on to speak to the diversity of gifts and skill within the body but closes the chapter by saying “And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” With this transition to 1 Corinthians 13, Paul brings our attention back to one of the cornerstones of the gospel – Love. To love God and to Love our neighbors, that is our mission as Christians.
With all of this in mind, and with the knowledge that the need is so very great, we’ve determined that our focus for the following year(s) will be building the local church in Haiti. Our desire is that Haitians first and foremost are given an opportunity know Christ as their Savior. Then, to the extent possible, our desire will be to better focus our work in Haiti towards equipping Haitians with the resources, knowledge and skill needed to spread the gospel of love – after all, it is only by Christ and His love that the vast need in Haiti will ever be met.
What does that mean practically? There are many communities in Haiti that do not have a church building – some of them have never had one, but many are still destroyed from the earthquake in 2010. For 2015, we would like to re-build at least 3 of these churches. Those churches are in the communities of Orange Bodarie, Mirraballis & Brush Arbor – each outside Port Au Prince (2-6 Hours). Each of these churches are in one state of disrepair or another. Orange Bodarie has been destroyed during the past few years by natural causes, and the villagers still hope to hold church services in a building. Mirraballis and Brush Arbor have been partially rebuilt, but still need work. In these communities and villages, the church building is often the hub of the community, and we want to help restore that place of refuge, starting with these three.
From there, we would like to see more people involved in practical ways to help equip and encourage these pastors and their churches.
Of course, we will continue our work with Nicole and the orphanage – there will always be work to be done there, children to feed and clothe and medical needs to be met! But, we would like to begin to see Christ’s body in Haiti, healed and built, one small step at a time. They hurt, so we hurt. When they rejoice, we rejoice.
How can you help? God has been gracious to begin meeting needs already. Part of this announcement is that He has blessed us with a $50,000 matching gift to go towards church projects! If you feel called to give towards these projects (and others), this is a great opportunity! We’ve already approved construction (by Haitians) of the Orange Bodarie church, and Lord willing a January 2015 team will camp out at this site to help finish construction of the church by adding trusses and a roof. The other projects will follow and the need is for resources to complete these projects.
Also, there may be opportunities to participate on teams next year to build churches, to work with pastors at a pastor’s conference or two, to continue to provide saving medical care or to help with educational opportunities at the orphanage. We should have team dates out for 2015 within 3-4 months, so watch for those if you are interested.
Please message us if you have questions or would like to participate. The need is great and we are humbled to have the opportunity to be a small part of meeting the need. As Nicole has often said, “God can take a little and make something great out of it”.