Thank you for your prayers for our recent trip to Port au Prince, Haiti. God certainly blessed this joint effort between Piney Grove Baptist Church in Samson, Alabama, and St. Andrew Baptist Church in Panama City, Florida. Our team worked alongside of SCORE International Missions, a worldwide mission organization with a presence in Haiti.

I want to encourage you to read the team member testimonies that will be posted to the blog over the coming days, and you can still access our field updates from the "Blog Archive" link on the right hand side of the page. Thank you again for your prayers!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Darker the Darkness, the Brighter the Light Shines

It has been a challenging, yet rewarding couple of days. Because of cultural feelings towards working on the Sabbath, we were limited in what we were able to do yesterday. We attended the church service in which 300+ gathered to praise the Lord. We used the balance of our time to rest up, get organized, and prepare ourselves for ministry. It is so hot that sleeping is difficult, but we are beginning to adapt to the climate. Fortunately the evening rains yesterday made it somewhat tolerable.

Wake up time came very early this morning. Since electrical power and lighting is either unreliable or nonexistent, the schedule in Haiti revolves around sunrise and sunset. Most people rise around 5:00 am, and even the children are at school by 6:30 - 7:00 am. We spent our day assisting Pastor Edmonds at one of his churches / schools repairing a block wall that was severely damaged during the earthquake. As we worked, we had evangelism teams sharing the gospel with passersby using the evangecube gospel presentation in creole. They had many who sincerely understood the message and prayed to receive Christ as their Savior. Several of our first time team members were able to be a part of those witnessing experiences. Although our overall evangelism efforts have been complicated by a lack of interpreters, we have still been able work through our one interpreter, Gilson.

We have learned many sobering truths these past two days. First and foremost is the realization that most of the suffering that the Haitian people are experiencing far precedes the earthquake. From the open sewers in the streets to the shanty towns that are shared with pigs and livestock, the conditions are brutal. In fact, most of those living in the tent cities were actually homeless street people before the earthquake, and their living conditions now are actually improved over their prior conditions. The entire system is so chaotic that even basic life is difficult for most people, and there is a general feeling of hopelessness. Indeed, it does not appear that there is much opportunity for personal advancement. It has quickly become apparent that helping those that have been directly affected by the earthquake is difficult at best. The logistical and security concerns make virtually impossible to enter those areas that have been affected the most, and the majority of those people that lived in those areas have already been displaced. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed a more desperate and despondent situation, and our prayers are their only hope. Please pray for the Haitian people, that new and Godly leadership might rise up and lead this country out of darkness.

Our team is faring pretty well, considering the conditions. Today I drank over 1.5 gallons of water and was still barely able to keep up with what I lost. We have experienced a few minor aches and pains, but for the most part our team is well. Please continue to pray for our health as we work in the heat, but mostly pray for those we are ministering to. Thank you for your prayers and support!