At left: Pastor Yvon, his wife and children. At right Pastor Bertrand and wife. They have eight children. Pictures were taken in July, 2003.
I've spent the last two and a half weeks mourning the loss of my friend. But this weekend God put things into perspective for me. We received the following letter from a friend we have visited twice in Haiti, in April 2003 and again in July that year. On the April visit, my husband and I along with a friend ministered at a ministers' conference in Mirebelais. In July I returned with a team to work at an orphanage, painting, cleaning, repairing beds and bringing clothing and toiletries for 13 young girls in a city near Port Au Prince.
Not long after our visit, Haiti's political climate became violent and dangerous for foreigners. We were not able to return the next summer as planned. Fron time to time we have received emails from Bishop Bertrand indicating that things have continued to deteriorate.
Yesterday this email arrived from him:
Dear Pastor Bob.
"Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth convenant and mercy with them that love him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generation Deut.7:9"
"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer: my God, my strength, in whom I will trust: my buckler,and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.Psalms 18:2"
God is worthy to be praised
Greetings to you in the name of the Lord Jesus! I pray this letter will reach you, your family and your ministry well.
It's been a year since security has been very unstable in the city of Port-au-Prince in the other city nearby where they have been kidnapping people and asked a lot of money in USD to release who ever they catch. Unfortunately, a lot of pastors and foreigners missionaries have been victims so far. I have tried my best not to be a victim. As result I have not invited any missionary to come to Haiti since I was being cautious of not going to those Surburbs around Port-au-Prince. Although I have been very cautious, but that did not prevent me from being a victim as well.
On Sunday night of February 18th after the presidential election, there was a gang from another village came in my church as we gathered to pray at our Sunday night service. They came asked for me and for my assistant, pastor Yvon. They came to kill us, but our God was there and He did not allow them to do that. God by His power has protected us by His mighty hands. We were at the church building at that time, my family was there as well, and they could not see us.
As a result they started to shoot at the people during the service. They killed our deacon, and shot our worship pastor twice on his back. In addition, another young man received one bullet on his leg. My assistant pastor and his family are safe. The other leaders and I are in hiding three hour drive away from my village with our family. Our church was closed since then, and some of the brothers decided to reopen last Sunday. I am now in the mountain area where I currently take refuge. I have no access to the internet. I have to go to the nearest town to find a cyber cafe in order to communicate with the exterior. The National Police of Haiti started to make some investigation on that.
Please continue to pray for us because we are still being persecuted. The reason is because the people of our chuch did not vote for the elected president. A voodoo priest and his followers in our village have paid a gang from another village to kill the leaders of our congregation.
I would like to request more prayers from your congregation and yourself for the following:
1) Pray, so God can restore peace in my mind soon.
2) Pray for my proctection with my family as well as the other leaders and their families.
3) Pray for pastor Vladimir Joseph. He is suffering a lot with two bullets in his back. They can not operate on him yet until a month. I will need some financial support for him. Or if someone or an organization that can help to take him to the U.S for the operation that will be wonderful, because I think Haiti may not be able to perform the perfect care that he might require.
4) Pray as well for the deacon's wife who is now a widow. She's only 30 years old with five children. if anyone could help her with some basic monthly support that will be appreciate.
5) Pray for me since I have no place to stay and my children are spread all over now. I need some financial help so I can rent a house somewhere else because I do not plan to go back to that same village. Even though I will not go back but I still have in mind to continue my ministry there.
"Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; and that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 2 Thess. 3:1-2'
In His name ,
Please join me in prayer for this pastor, these people and the rest of Haiti. I'm sure this is not an isolated story.
Does put a different light on things, doesn't it? "God, thank you for reminding me that you have blessed me, indeed."
See also: http://www.jccelgin.org/MISSIONS