New Dormitory for Work Teams Started
A new dormitory for work teams is coming closer to reality. The dormitory is badly needed to house the increasing number of work teams coming to work with the Ministry in northern Haiti. Since its inception, the Ministry has housed work teams in the home of our National Director, Rev. Claude Saintil. This has been a great imposition on Rev. Saintil’s family, and has severely limited the size of the work team. With the expanding of the ministry’s support base and several new ministries planned, the dormitory has become essential to meet our future needs.
The photo below shows a model of the interior of the dormitory. It will become the second story on Rev. Saintil’s house which providentially was built for such an eventuality.
There is currently an enclosed stairway to the second floor and plumbing connections suitable for two bathrooms. There will be two sleeping areas, two bathrooms, a dining/meeting room (which also
includes a kitchenette), and a storage room. The dormitory structure has been designed to meet rigorous standards for withstanding both
hurricanes and earthquakes.
A work team from the First Baptist Church in De Kalb, TX, began construction of the dormitory in October. The team included an experienced block mason, Shawn Daffern, who was instrumental in precisely laying out the wall locations. He also brought the necessary tools and equipment for making quality joints and maintaining proper alignment and plumb of the walls. Finally, he trained ten Haitian masons who will be well qualified to complete the wall construction in the coming weeks.
Nearly one half of the required blocks, about 1,000, were laid by the team and the Haitian masons during the team’s visit. Below are photos of the progress to date
October Work Team
A work team from the First Baptist Church of De Kalb, Texas, was in Haiti from October 12 to October 18 to support the ministry. The team had three objectives: to begin the construction of the team dormitory, to train Haitian masons and to conduct a Bible seminar for the pastors, evangelists, deacons and teachers in the ministry’s churches.
Thanks to their thoughtful preparation and to God’s providing good weather, all three objectives were met in outstanding fashion. In other ministry, Pastor Walter Jackson preached the Sunday morning sermon at the La Suisse church and Pastor Jeff Footer preached the Sunday evening message at the Cap-Haitien church.
Donald Sowell and Andy Wineinger performed needed electrical diagnoses on the power supplied to Rev. Saintil’s house by the city.
Shawn laying out the walls Donald checking
the electrical panel
Lauren laying blocks Jeff taking a break
The October work team in their Sunday clothes
Pictured From left: Jeff Footer, Pastor Walter Jackson, Donald Sowell, Ken Howard, Lauren Jackson (front), Clyde Nevins, Shaun Daffern, Andy Wieninger
A very important accomplishment of the team was the training of ten Haitian masons by Shawn Daffern. This training was considered essential to having the necessary quality of construction in the dormitory. Because of the poor economy, typical block construction in Haiti is skimpy on the amount of cement, and reinforcing rods are few and far between. This was evident in the massive destruction of block homes in Port-au-Prince during the January earthquake.
The team also visited the ministry’s school at the Bas-Fossé church, and while there gave them some gifts, including much appreciated soccer balls.
Pastors Jackson and Footer led a full-day seminar and leadership conference. Following attendance at the Sunday morning service at the La Suisse church, the team participated in a visit to nearby neighborhoods to give the gospel. An estimated one dozen professions of faith resulted from the visits.
News from the Churches
Compiled from reports from National Director Claude Saintil
The Church at Bas-Fossé
Bas-Fosse parish, for some reason or other, has always some kind of difficulty. Big or little, Satan has always woven something else just to discourage the Christians. The well across the ditch has been broken. The handle and top of it have broken and then people of the area did not have fresh water for more than a month. There were some difficulties in drilling the new well because of sand underneath, but now the new well is in operation [see photo below].
Bas-Fossé school has a new teacher. His name is Josué (Joshua) Auguste. He will teach 4th grade in the place of the Principal who will now work full time as the paramedic in this area. The principal and teachers do thank highly those who are helping with school supplies and salaries. They are very happy and very much praying to God in behalf of you all who help and make it easy for both the payroll and supplies. They are also praying for more copy-books, a feeding program and school uniforms.
The Church at La Suisse
La Suisse church is going very well too. There will be baptisms in December. There are already five new Christians to be immersed. Three of them, a mother and two
children, were saved last week. The church was very happy to have the Bible Seminar and Leadership Conference in October. It was a great blessing to have Bro. Walter Jackson and Bro. Jeff Footer be in La Suisse and teach us. The brothers in this church also enjoyed their fellowship with their brothers in Christ from the Bas-Fossé and Cap-Haitien churches.
This church and teachers are very thankful for the school supplies. They all and parents are very much happy for these school materials. They are also very thankful to all of you who make the sacrifices in helping with the school payroll. I personally say thank you for this big help. I feel somewhat relieved even though I will always use my tithes to help with something else for the benefit of this church. [Editor’s note: Rev. Saintil is now using his tithe to provide a new latrine for this church—see photo below].
The Church at Cap-Haitien
Pastor Bastien, as you know, has his eyes problem which apparently has no definite solution unless a miracle to be performed. But the church is going very well. Last month a crazy person in the neighborhood came down and worshiped. During the invitation time, he came to the front and accepted the Lord Jesus as his savior. Since then he has behaved better and has found his good sense. We do praise God for that and for everything He has allowed this church to accomplish for His glory. Please, do continue to lift Pastor Bastien, his family and the church in prayer. The church was very happy to have the team from Texas visit them and for Brother Jeff Footer to bring them a message from the Gospel of Mark on a Sunday evening in October. Also, the many children were so happy to get the candy given to them by Lauren Jackson after the service
Update On Pastor Bastien’s Vision
Your editor visited with Pastor Eliance Bastien during a visit to Haiti in October. Pastor Bastien had just returned from a trip to Port-au-Prince where his eyes had been examined by an eye specialist. The results of the examination were not good. The diagnosis revealed that the damage to his vision was the result of glaucoma and not from the cataract surgery. Damage from glaucoma is irreversible. From this point the best that can be expected is for him to retain the very limited vision he now has.
Pastor Bastien’s attitude is positive, and his one hope is to be able to study the Bible and other theological books in preparation for his sermons via audio books or technology that turns scanned text to audio. We are investigating the available options.
NOTE: In early December, we shipped Pastor Bastien an audio device that will play CD/MP3 format. Included was the entire Bible in French, and a CD containing many doctrinal lessons. Other audio resources in French are being sought.
Bible Seminar & Leadership Conference Highlights
By Pastor Walter Jackson, First Baptist Church, DeKalb, Texas
In the space of this article, I am supposed to share about our trip to Haiti. That’s a tough order. So many words race through my mind in thinking about our week in Cap-Haitien. My desire for our team in coming was that we would be a blessing to the people we met. I trust that we were, but I also know we were blessed by the people we met. Pastor Claude and Myrielle were such gracious hosts and made our stay so nice.
Saturday’s leadership conference at La Suisse was a very encouraging time. With at least 50 people attending it was a privilege to share with them. Jeff Footer taught a Bible study using a survey through the Gospel of Mark and I taught two leadership seminars. From Romans 12, I conducted a seminar on “Loving Leadership” concerning the life of a leader.
The instructions that we find in this chapter speak to our character and growth as well as understanding the place we fit in the ministry of the church. As we grow in the areas of how God has gifted us we are more able to be used by Him at the same time realizing that God has gifted others around us in different ways to complete the ministry He desires for our church. The most important aspect of a leader’s life, in this chapter is seen in our daily yielding to the Lord, leading with humility and living the grace of God to those we have the privilege to lead. In the second session I taught from Ephesians 4, more specifically about what it is we do as leaders. I refer to 4:11 & 12 as my Scriptural job description and the results of that being 4:13 through 4:16. As a pastor, and so to all leaders, we are to build up the people of God. We do this through Bible study or Sunday school classes, preaching, mentoring and planning events to allow people to do the ministry. As this takes place we are raising up new leaders who then step into roles of raising up others.
The question and answer time with the attendees was extremely interesting. I think that Jeff and I got more out of the question and answer session than the actual teaching sessions. We found that churches and people are the same regardless of where we are. The questions dealt with topics such as: (a) people in the church who are at odds with one another, (b) church finance and the reporting of what is being done, and (c) qualifications of elders deacons and pastors—especially in light of divorce. The discussion of these and other questions asked lasted over an hour and a half. The attendees at this conference were so receptive and appreciative of our time with them. At the conclusion of our time with them it was such a joy to hear one man stand and say that some of what I shared was like a personal revival for him.
It was very apparent that the Haitian church leaders are thirsty for Bible teaching and leadership training. From the questions asked in our session, I would suggest that future seminars cover basic Biblical doctrines, church history, and how we came to have the Bible that we have. This was a day I will never forget. There is already talk here at First Baptist De Kalb of another trip to Haiti. We continue to pray and seek the Lord on how we can continue to partner with LLEM in the future.
Pastor Jackson with some seminar attendees.
Reverend Saintil Visits the United States
While in the U.S. for the annual Board of Directors meeting, Rev. Claude Saintil was able to fellowship with supporters of the ministry in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas. He was greeted at his arrival in the U. S. by board Vice President Jim Leftwich, who then hosted him in Green Cove Springs, Florida, before traveling to Marianna, Florida, for the ministry’s board meeting. While in Marianna, Rev. Saintil was able to visit with Mrs. Imogene Dixon, co-founder of Good Shepherd Ministries, with whom Rev. Saintil and the founding Board members have had a long association working in Haiti.
Rev. Saintil was next welcomed by Canon Community Church in Woodbury, Tennessee, the site of the ministry’s appreciation banquet in 2009. Rev. Saintil was given the Sunday evening service to update the church congregation on the ministry’s work in Haiti.
In Huntsville, Alabama, Rev. Saintil was the special guest at a missionary prayer group hosted by Mr. & Mrs. Percy Dreher. This group meets regularly to pray for missionaries, and often is able to welcome them in their evening of fellowship and prayer when in Huntsville.
Rev. Saintil’s last visit was in De Kalb, Texas, where he was the guest of the First Baptist Church of De Kalb. Rev. Saintil filled the pulpit on Sunday morning, and later met a group from the area who were planning a work team visit to Haiti in October.
While in Texas, Rev. Saintil was made a gift of a “10-gallon” cowboy hat.
Highlights from the Annual Board of Directors Meeting
The Ministry’s Board of Directors met on August 21, 2010, at Marianna, Florida. In attendance were Gerry Molitor, President, Jim
Leftwich, Vice President, Clyde Nevins, Secretary, and Rev. Claude Saintil, National Director in Haiti. During the meeting, the board established priorities for both single-outlay expenses and ministries requiring monthly support. The board gave substantial weight to the recommendations of the National Director for the resulting priorities. For the single-outlay expenses, the priorities were:
1. Dormitory construction
2. A latrine for La Suisse
3. School furniture
4. School uniforms
5. New water well at Bas-Fossé
6. Reading/literacy class expansion
7. Sewing class for ladies
8. Completion of doors and windows at the La Suisse church
9. A latrine for the Cap-Haitien church
For ministries requiring monthly support, the board established the following priorities:
1. Pay the school teachers at Bas-Fossé and La Suisse
2. Put the paramedics on salary
3. Increase the monthly Benevolence Fund
4. Institute a feeding program for the school children
5. Hire accounting help for the National Director
6. Provide tuition help for the pastors’ families
7. Raise the salaries of the entire staff
8. Provide monthly medical supplies to the ministry’s two paramedics
The board also voted unanimously to invite Bill Jackson of Middlesboro, KY, to become the fourth member of the board. Finally, the board voted to assume the ownership of the lot upon which the Cap-Haitien church now stands in exchange for the future construction of a new church building.
New Member Added to Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Light and Life Evangelical Ministries, Inc., is pleased to announce that Bill Jackson has joined its board. At its annual meeting in August, the board voted unanimously to offer Bill a seat on the board, and he readily accepted. Bill has been an active and enthusiastic supporter of the ministry since he participated in the May, 2010, work team.
Bill was born and raised in Richmond, Kentucky. He is a US Army veteran. He received a Masters degree in Education from Eastern Kentucky University, and taught Industrial Education and Computer Science for 13 years. Subsequently, he worked for 15 years as a manufacturing and heavy fabrication manager, primarily serving the mining industry.
He is currently the District Technology Coordinator for Middlesboro Independent Schools in Middlesboro, KY, and has held that position for 11 years. Bill’s wife, Patricia, worked as an RN for 30 years before being sidelined with Lupus and MS. They have been married for 22 years, and have two children. Bill’s son Bryan is a computer engineer with Netgain, Inc. in Lexington, KY; and his daughter, Shelli, is an RN and nursing supervisor at Norton's Children's hospital in Louisville, KY.
Bill says, “God opened a door of opportunity for a mission trip to Haiti, with LLEM in May of 2010. It just felt right from the moment I first heard about it, and I never looked back. While in Haiti, I just felt at home every place I went. I thoroughly enjoyed the welcome we received from the Haitian people and the peace they seemed to have in spite of their circumstances. It was particularly refreshing to see the enthusiasm with which they embraced the gospel, and worshipping with them was so uplifting. I hated to leave when the time came, and felt like I had left a part of me behind-- that I needed to get back and check on as soon, and as often, as possible.
I would never have thought that one could foster such close friendships with brothers and sisters in Christ in a foreign land in just five short days. My involvement with LLEM, and the other board members, has been exciting and rewarding, as they are a caring and giving bunch of guys. I’m glad to be involved, and hope to be of service to this ministry for a good long time to come.”
My Mission Trip to Haiti
By Lauren Jackson
In today’s culture and society, as Americans, it is easy to get caught up in greediness. Most importantly, teenagers my age have no idea what they have. We tend to forget that we are the most blessed country in the world. We never have to worry about starving because we aren’t sure when it will be when we can eat next. Haiti opened my eyes to realize that there really are places around the world that need every kind of help possible.
It broke my heart to see the filthiness that these people live in. They don’t know any better because it is all they have ever known. When we went to visit schools, I was not quite sure what to expect. At the time I was not aware of the fact that it is very possible that I was the first white, teenage girl those people have ever seen. I was very humbled when told that. The children were very well behaved while school was in session, but after we all went outside to play with the soccer ball and Frisbee, they swarmed me like bees. They would feel of my hair and skin, almost as if to make sure I was from the same planet as Lauren at the school in Bas-Fossé them. Some older girls would come up to me and blatantly say, “I love you.” These children stole my heart. The people of Haiti are so friendly and I will forever remember this trip. We went there to serve them, but they ended up serving us, which was a blessing. I hope to go back many more times throughout my lifetime.
Lauren at the school in Bas-Fosse