Day 18 – Wednesday, March 7th
Relentless Scripture: 2 Cor. 4:16-18
Relentless Focus: The Seen and the Unseen
Relentless Example: “…but the things that are not seen are eternal.”
There’s a lot of good work that is happening here in Pignon, Haiti, as Pastor François has blessed and has been blessed through his partnering with many others. He was born and raised here. He married his hometown sweetheart, Madame François, here. He started pastoring the Philadelphia Baptist Church here in 1982. Over these many years he has learned to be both gentle and streetwise in his dealings with people, places and things related to effective ministry here in Pignon, and nobody does it better.
Of all the partnerships he’s developed over the years here, one ministry is clearly standing out to be a true beacon of light and hope for the Haitian people and is quickly becoming M.B.M.F. (My Best Missionary Friends).
I used to think of Wednesday as a workday to “get over the hump”. In Haiti, I’m now finding it as a workday to help little ones get over their hump of malnourishment and get over to the plump. Let me explain: today I spent the entire morning on assignment with God alongsid a missionary team that I shared about on Day 10. They are Bill and Jennifer Campbell, who for 10 years now have made Pignon their home through the ministry of Haiti’s Home of Hope. I would like to encourage you, if haven’t already, to read my day 11 posting or visit their website Haitihomeofhope.org .
Jennifer and Bill have extended me an open invitation every Wednesday to work with them at their feeding center which today was designed for food distribution for children generally two years or older, who are severely malnourished. This feeding center, in addition to providing various types of milk formula, provides bags of beans, rice, and fish, or packets designed with special nutrients to help accelerate one back to a state of well-nourishment. They also provide some medicines, along with shoes, clothing and hygiene items.
Although the Food Center operates around 8:00 – 12:00 every Wednesday, their ministry serves the Lord 24/7. This morning I had the privilege of again working with Jennifer, her two Haitian daughters, Christy and Alana; Pastor Clebert; Danielle (intern/educator); and a ministry team of seven people from the Great “Show Me State” of Missouri, USA. My Haitian Creole isn’t progressing as rapidly as I hoped, but I at least got to practice my Missourian English.
Throughout the morning we supported around 20 children and/or their Care Givers. Here were some of their stories or conditions:
1) Young teenage mother with breast infection – limiting child’s feeding because of the pain; Mother in need of counsel, medication and instruction on feeding
2) Grandfather caring for young infant whose mother had abandoned it. Baby is still losing weight and is at a critical point … Bill and Jennifer offered to care for the baby at their home to help with its much need weight gain.
3) Baby who father is dying with AIDS and mother is already dead … Child does not have AIDS and is progressing well for now.
4) Blind unmarried mother being guided by her young son; she’s given birth to six children because men have taken advantage of her disability … in need of food (and is now on birth control thanks to Jennifer)
5) Mom with mental illness with her child, in need of food
6) Uncle and Aunt with great nephew (mother abandoned and they have six kids of their own) doing a great job with the kid but in need of some formula to supplement care
7) Child in need of food whose mother has lost six previous children due to malnourishment
8) And the stories go on …
Jennifer and Bill don’t just don’t offer hope to the things that are seen (the temporal)–they also offer hope to the things that are not seen (the eternal). This food center over the years has allowed them to develop personal relationships with those to whom they extend care, and as a result many have come to see and taste that the Lord is Good; and have moved from the domain of darkness into the Kingdom of light of His Beloved Son –Jesus Christ.
Helping people get over the “Hump to Hope” is what they do best. And Pignon, Haiti, is a better place because of them. What a blessing Wednesdays have been for me. Please keep them in your hearts and prayers. Jennifer has asked for continual prayers for God’s Spirit of wisdom and discernment, and that she continue to clothe herself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. God is Good, God is Great!
Tangible Need: A Hardbound Resource Book on Breast Feeding/Problems; A real examination table for the kids.
Pray for Loving Haiti: Half of the children in Haiti are unvaccinated; only 40% of the population has access to basic health care.
Pray for Me: That I keep looking at the things that are not seen, not just the obvious.