This morning was a much easier morning than the last two–Chuck G said he even got to finish his coffee. After breakfast Will, Simon, Chuck and I went to Port au Prince to take Will back to the airport, and we had to go to Digicel (cell phone company) to get my account straightened out. (This was the fourth trip I have had to make since January.) This is not just a short ride to Port. It is more downtown, and the traffic is horrible. Of all things, the President of Mexico was coming into the country today, and they had several streets blocked off, making the traffic much worse. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we got out of Digicel. I know a lady there who speaks perfect English, and that makes a big difference. The trip still took us five hours.
By the time we returned, the Pastors’ Conference was over, and Chuck, Simon and I were starving. We quickly made sandwiches, then Mark, Sean, Chuck and I went to the market. It’s a very busy market, with everyone selling their vegetables, clothes, baskets, hats, etc. I love to watch the blacksmiths. It’s like going back in time a hundred years; two blacksmiths forging the metal and swinging sledgehammers in perfect rhythm. After going through the market, we went up to Jerusalem IV to look at some property next to the church that the owner is talking about selling. We are going to pray about buying it, and see what God wants us to do.
When we returned, I asked Sean and Mark if they would change out some ceiling fans that we have in the mission house. Sean wanted everyone to know that without his electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge and expertise, the ceiling fans would not be working today. I am sure that everyone who knows Sean would agree with this.
Tonight Sean will be preaching, and it will be the last night of the revival. Tomorrow will be the last day of the Pastors’ Conference. It is amazing how quickly time flies when you’re working for the Lord.
Thank you for all your prayers for the people of Z’Orange and the Pastors’ Conference. Our Lord has heard your prayers.
Entry by Pastor Mark
When Sean McMahon, the Executive Director of the Florida Baptist Association, first asked me if I wanted to go to Haiti, I immediately began to review in my mind the pictures I had seen surrounding the earthquake here. I remembered the stories and thought, “Hey, I can go help there, maybe.” Sean told me about Chuck Martindale, who leads Truth Evangelistic Ministry out of a place called Z’Orange. I still thought, “Oh yes, I can do that.” Chuck came and met with our church, FBC Carrabelle, shared his testimony of salvation and how God continually moves through the ministry of TEM in Haiti, and I was excited! Chuck is quick to say that it is not his ministry, but HIS ministry. LSS, I came…I am overwhelmed.
We have been involved in the Pastors’ Conference this week, and I am continually amazed at the passion of these pastors. They have come from all over to learn and be sharpened in the ministries God has given them. I am still processing the culture differences here, but one thing I do know–God is moving! The people walk each night to come to church. I guess this would be like our revival services…but they walk…and God moves. You haven’t experienced a worship service until you have been in the congregation of Jerusalem Baptist Church and heard them sing the familiar songs of the faith…in French.
We have visited Sylvest, who came out of voodoo when he received Christ. He is a dear brother in the Lord. There was another man we visited who is still a voodoo priest. We prayed with him, and continue to ask God to deliver him from the darkness of voodoo.
I have met the TEM team made up of Simon and Wisney (our interpreters) and Ginette, who is a culinary artist and has successfully kept me from losing weight all week. BTW, I didn’t know that southern could be interpreted, but Simon and Wisney have successfully done that for me this week. I only had them turn to me twice this week and say “Sir?” (that means “what did you say?”). Then there is Chuck G, who is an amazing source of constant encouragement. He loves the Lord and all those whom the Lord loves. I have been refreshed often in my conversations with Chuck G.
I am learning about the realities of mission work from Chuck Martindale. He has given his life’s passion to Haiti, and has become respected here. I realize it is important to talk to people who are “there” before we strike out for “there” from “here” and try to do missions. The reality is that God loves these precious people, and they don’t need me–they need Him. That is what Chuck M does in Z’Orange by the Lord’s design and provision. It is an amazing place to be. If you get asked, just go! It will change the way you interpret God’s Great Commission.
Mark Mercer, Pastor FBC Carrabelle