Saturday, July 28, 2012

“Bondye Pap Janm Kite Ou”

“God will never leave you”.

Its one of the truths the Summit team shared with the Kids at the Cote de Fer church during Vacation Bible School last week. With over 200 kids in attendance, over three days the team presented truths from God’s word using skits, songs, and memory verses set to actions to help the kids remember. They also had the kids break up into small groups and review the lessons. And then a mass exodus led the kids outside to games which were designed to reinforce the theme for each lesson as well. They enlisted some of the young folks from the Cote de Fer church to help with the program and lead the small groups and games. The kids had a blast!

cotedefe82The team singing with the kids during VBS.

cotedefe39Playing Duck Duck Goose out in the street

cotedefe97The mass exodus of children during game time.

cotedefe68Singing with the kids



(Left: The kids playing a game to “untangle themselves from one another. Right: Potiphar, His wife and Joseph.)
(Below: Pastor and His future bride pretending to be Newlyweds)

cotedefe100aDuring the week, the team enjoyed getting to know Pastor Roben and his soon to be wife Joslen. Joslen worked with the ladies to cook for the team and take care of us in every way possible. The team fell in love with her and commented many times on what a beautiful woman of God she was and how evident it was that she was created for the role of Madame Pastor. She tirelessly served the team, working with the ladies in the kitchen to prepare meals for the team; she directed the program for the Ladies tea and she helped lead the Vacation Bible School program for the kids. She was up early and to bed late and by the end of the week she was exhausted but the team was so grateful for her contribution and loved the opportunity to get to know her. When the team returns she and Pastor Roben will have gotten married and will be starting their life together.

In addition to the VBS, the team also participated in the more traditional RMI Sister Church Partnership activities such as the Open Air Service, Ladies Tea and the Deacons Meeting. Sunday afternoon, the young people on the team got a chance to sit down with some of the youth in Cote de Fer just to ‘chat among friends’. They talked about life in the US, life in Haiti and asked questions to one another about their lives. Sunday night at the Open Air Service the team sang for the community, Michael preached a gospel message and seven children responded to the invitation and gave their lives to Christ. Monday afternoon the team met with the Deacons and got a chance to learn more about the history of the Cote de Fer church and how things have been after the school and church were both damaged beyond repair in the earthquake in January 2010. They shared successes, struggles, goals and prayer requests and spent some time praying for one other. Tuesday afternoon they had the Ladies Tea where they sang together, laughed together, ate together and enjoyed one another’s company, celebrating their role as women. they gave each of the women in attendance a card with a bible verse as well as a small decorative jewel to remind them how much God treasures them. Wednesday after lunch, the team gathered in the church for one last time. They stood hand in hand, prayed for one another, hugged and said tearful goodbyes.

The farewell circle.

It was a great week working with the kids, getting to know the Pastor and Joslen, fellowshipping with the Deacons and the ladies who served the team. The children were taught how much God loves them, the congregation was encouraged and blessed by the team’s presence and contributions, the church was edified and above all God was glorified.

All the pics from the week can be seen here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The keys to the City

Admiring the painting commissioned just for FBC from the Maniche church taggedMayor of Maniche and Pereguens taggedImagine that! The Mayor of Maniche presented the key to the city to the Florida Bible Church (Hollywood, FL) team upon their arrival. As he addressed them, he expressed his appreciation for all that FBC had done for the community. Their presence and relationship had penetrated through the church and out into the community. The Maniche presented FBC with a painting that had been specifically painted just for them.

Throughout the week, it was clear that the FBC and the Maniche people not only had the key to the city but the key to each other’s hearts.

spoon and cotton race at the men's meeting taggedSunday morning service taggedSunday after the church service, the team had a men’s meeting. One hilarious point was the relay race…something about a cotton ball on a spoon and running around and trying to hand it off the next person without dropping it. The men’s competitive spirit really came out, but they enjoyed the chance to laugh together. Life is so serious and sometimes desperate, little time is left to just laugh and enjoy each other’s fellowship. They also enjoyed receiving hats and ties, 2 things they could really use.

working up a sweat building benches taggedA blood sugar screening taggedMonday’s activities had their heads spinning. In the morning the heavy rain meant that building the benches had to be done inside causing quite a bit of sweating in the heat and humidity, but the benches got done. A blood pressure and diabetes screening and educational seminar was held by a couple of the team members who are Haitian American. Simple education and information goes a long way when one doesn’t understand medical things. The afternoon was reserved for a time with the youth. breakout sessions during the youth meeting taggedThe team did a GREAT job with this activity.Deacons meeting tagged The team presented a Bible lesson and then they had the youth split into several groups. Each group read through some related scriptures and discussed how to apply the verses. Then each group chose a representative to present what they discussed. It was a great meeting and the team was very well prepared. They were impressed with the depth of knowledge the youth brought to the table and were really encouraged by their spiritual maturity. After supper they met the pastor and deacons. It was a great time of encouragement sharing one another's blessings and successes as well as prayer requests and praying together. The team presented them all with domino sets and t-shirts, both of which they really appreciated.

The team with the pastor and deacons tagged

Tuesday the rain continued necessitating the cancelling of their trip to visit a satellite church. The Ladies’ Tea was in the afternoon. The team’s study was on gossip – something that transcends cultures. After snacks, the fun activity was teaching the ladies the chicken dance! They loved it and couldn't get enough. They wanted to do it over and over again! That evening the farewell service was full of thank yous from the team for the great hospitality they’d received, for how welcomed they were made to feel and for the good food. RMI translators Perguens and Marie France sang a duet. Then they were all shocked when Benjamin got up and sang a solo!! Later, the team was ragging on Amy for not doing anything and she joked and said "no one told me it was RMI's Got Talent night in Maniche!

Melissa and her sponsored child taggednon-sponsored child taggedWednesday there were 2 meetings for kids. Inside the church the team met with the sponsored Hope for Kidz children. After a short program that included a skit, they were able to teach them the song and motions for “Rise and Shine”. They also presented gifts to the kids. While that meeting was going on, some of the team members had a special activity for the kids who always hang around in the church yard, but who aren't in school. They performed a skit, did a short Bible lesson, colored with them and gave them some candy. After lunch the farewell circle was quite large as many of the church members came to see the team off.

Thursday was the team’s opportunity to spend some time relaxing, take in a bit of sunshine, beach and ocean as well as reflect on what they’d experienced in Maniche. Some of the highlights from the debriefing: Two of the ladies got to meet their sponsored kids for the first time. They were beyond overjoyed and SOO excited at the opportunity. One of the Haitian ladies on the team shared that she had the opportunity to share the gospel with someone who was kind of an outcast, alcoholic, and who had rejected the gospel many times. Marie felt very compelled to go and speak with him and she shared the gospel with him and he prayed to receive Christ, and he expressed a true understanding of the decision he made and acknowledged his need for Christ. Other things which stood out- a team member commented that he was struck with how this wasn't just a project or a picture of a child on a card, but it was a real relationship - a real partnership.

One cool thing the team did was to record individual greetings from sponsored kids to their sponsors back at the church. That should be exciting to see once they put it together and share it with the church family.

You can see pictures of their trip HERE.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Global Leadership Follow Up Seminar Take 2

Over twenty pastors and leaders from some of our Sister Churches gathered in Cayes for two daysbientot salomon cherette of review and reflection, putting into application many of the things they learned at the Global Leadership Summit that was rebroadcast (in French) last December. In December over 200 Missionaries, Pastors and Community Leaders gathered to participate on the seminar. Last week many of our Sister Church Pastors and some of the leaders from the churches reviewed two of last December’s sessions and then spent several hours digesting the information, and discovering and discussing ways to put the information into practice in their local communities and churches.

Here are a few pictures from the two day event.

(Above: Bientot Salomon, Pastor of Cherette Baptist Church who partners with Estero Baptist. Below: Pastors and Leaders watch the videos and discuss practical application strategies.)