Wow, it is good to be back! In our last update (3 weeks ago, Yikes!) , Kate shared that we would be attending the YWAM Caribbean Conference in the Dominican Republic. It was a great time of both resting and learning. There were a number of great things that stuck out to me while I was there. The first of which was the region wide presence of fellow YWAMers in the Caribbean. Sometimes you just get so focused on what you are working on (In our case, Haiti, Haiti, Haiti) that you forget that the kingdom of God is also moving and advancing in churches and organizations around the world.
There were a couple of sessions that stuck out to me as well. The first of which was a pastoral care session that I had attended. In a nutshell, pastoral care is the caring for those that work with you, helping them to be healthy in all the aspects of their lives. In missions, we live in close proximity (Like we eat, work, and play with these people everyday) to a number of different people which makes caring for each other all the more important. The other session that stuck out to me was the significant marriage session that Kate and I attended together. Not merely having a marriage that was ok, but having a marriage that in and of itself was honoring to God and a ministry to others. We discovered during the session that what we needed from each other had changed after Isaac was born and that we had never really updated what we were doing! Bob and Joy Boyan led the session and we are extremely grateful that they did! You can check out what they are doing on facebook. www.facebook.com/BoyansCrucianAdventure
We managed to get back home here in Haiti and the very next day welcomed a team of 7 from the great white north! This team had been planning their trip for quite some time now and it was exciting to finally see them come down. The primary purpose of their trip was to run a VBS in the 5th Section. The original plan was to spend their first week working around the base, putting the final touches on the VBS, and doing some evangelism around the city. The second week (The week that has just come to a close) would involve going out further and further in the 5th Section, village by village, doing a 1 day VBS in each village. However, plans changed when it became apparent that the rain would not allow us to venture out into the 5th Section. Instead, we wrapped up some projects around base and built up to two 1-day VBS's for all the kids that lived in the area around the base. We just finished up that VBS and had around 350 kids come each day! (We are estimating that a total of 500 kids were reached, because some kids came each day.)
We will say goodbye to this team on Wednesday, but not before they minister in the prison once more and do a few more projects here and there.
As always, thank you so much for partnering with us! We couldn't do it without you!
Things are slowing down a bit after a super crazy week!
Monday the 21st kicked off an 11 day crusade that was split between Gonaives (a city to the north of us) and here on the YWAM base in Saint-Marc. The event was organized by many of the pastors of the two cities, and I would say it was a success! Our (YWAM Haiti Staff's) involvment did not begin until day three of the crusade, when our worship team, lead by a guest worship leader George Dumaine from IHOP, went to Gonaives each night to lead worship there. I was still very sick at this point with Dengue, but I could still hear them practicing during the day in our arena as I lay feverish in bed. It made being sick much more bearable!
Here is an audio clip I recorded of them practicing. Its pretty faint, so you might want to turn it up or plug in some headphones!
The Crusade began for us here in Saint-Marc on the evening of day 7. It was awesome! Each evening went pretty much the same way;
Officially, the Crusade started at 6. But of course, we live in Haiti, and we run on Haitian time. (A.k.a. late) There were very few people in their seats when things kicked off at least half an hour late, but they would slowly file in. Usually a pastor would pray and start everything off, and then we would start the Haitian-ified worship, which can be pretty cool. Basically, a pastor or worship leader from a local church would pick a few songs randomly, and proceed to belt them out over the speaker system while our worship team/band would grab their instruments and figure out the beats and chords as they went along. (Let me just say, we have some talented people around here! God has blessed this base with some people with AMAZING musical abilities!)