Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck
Entry by Sean McMahon
It’s Friday. Our last full day in Haiti. The last day of the annual TEM Pastors’ Conference. More than fifty pastors and church leaders blessed us by sacrificially giving themselves to learn more about serving our Lord. These men, women and even teenagers have been so attentive and engaged, and today was the culmination of four days of teaching. Every Friday of the conference is the “Question and Answer Day” – the time when they can ask questions about biblical doctrine, practice, and how Christ desires His church to be. It is the highlight of the week. Even in this, my fourth pastors’ conference, I never lose the anticipation of what may happen during this time. For two hours the questions came non-stop. What a blessing to be part of a group who has such a desire to learn more about serving our Lord!
It has been ten years since I first came to this impoverished island, and this is my tenth trip. In the early days, working under the umbrella of another ministry, the focus was on building buildings. That had its place. Without it Jerusalem Baptist Church would not have the building they have, and quite possibly both Wright Baptist Church in FWB and TEM might not have the connection they have with this community. But I am so thankful to be part of TEM. The focus has consistently been to build people – especially church leaders – and the blessings have been too numerous to count. This week’s Pastors’ Conference is a perfect example of this, and I thank the Lord for the privilege to be part of the ministry of TEM in Haiti.
As we look around and witness the ways God is working – both in this village and in TEM specifically – it reminds me of two realities: (1) Never doubt what God can do, no matter the situation, hardships, or human limitations; and (2) Never doubt what God can use you to do. The transformation of this area around Jerusalem Baptist Church in Z’Orange over the last eight years is nothing short of remarkable. The mission house and transportation God has provided TEM to have for the work of ministry here rivals anything found anywhere in the world. One can almost feel guilty because we no longer are “roughing it” on the mission field. And yet, I see this as another way God is providing for people who might not be able or comfortable in a traditional “rough” mission setting to come be part of His working in a third world country. There is so much yet to do, and with what God is providing, virtually anyone, regardless of age, experience, or limitation, can potentially be part of it.
Last July, when God moved me to a new ministry, Bro. Chuck asked me to pray with him that God would not move me away from the work with TEM in Haiti. I am so thankful that God answered that prayer affirmatively, and provided a way for not just me to be part of this week, but enabled me to bring along a pastor I serve with in the Florida Baptist Association. I have been incredibly blessed, and have seen God do a great work this week. It is so good to reconnect with the wonderful people of this church and village, to pray and share with my dear friend, Pastor Dorleon; to spend time with my Haitian friends Simon, Wisney and Ginette (our interpreters and cook); to visit my friend Daniel, the voodoo priest I have prayed for and witnessed to for eight years; to work alongside my comrades Mark Mercer, Lane Thompson and Will Tiller; and to meet a new friend, Chuck G (who, like John Mark to the Apostle Paul, has become very valuable to Bro. Chuck’s ministry).
But more than this, the privilege and blessing God has given me to work once again with Bro. Chuck Martindale reminds me that every once in a while God brings someone into your life who makes an impact which lasts beyond moves and ministry changes. Thank you Lord for doing this in my life, and for the privilege to be part of this week, this ministry, this work of God. I pray I was one percent the blessing that I received.