Mission: Haiti 2011
Mission Moments (Jan.-June)
Sharing news from the mission field...
By Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ
Photos by Miguel Rubén Guante unless otherwise noted
CLICK HERE for Mission Moments from July through December 2011.
Saturday, June 25
The lesson for this month's seminary — held again in Thoman and attended by only 16 pastors and church leaders — was “What does it mean to become a Christian?” Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante taught about God's call to us, and how we receive it and respond to it. “Those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified,” Miguel quoted Romans 8:30(b).
Pastors working in a group on questions about God's call.
Attendance was low, in part, because it is the rainy season and many farms are in need of extra help. The pastors were not able to leave their villages.
Even before the rainy season began it was a wetter-than-normal spring. The road from the Dominican Republic into Haiti at Jimani has been flooded out for weeks. It was just cleared this past week so Miguel could cross the border to teach the seminary. Last month, he was unable to travel because of conditions and turned over the teaching to Thoman church leader Milus Jesilus (in bottom photo below).
Monday, June 6
Anika Fischer with (left to right) teacher Patricia Bertucci, Jordyn Keeley, Meaghan Trevor, and principal Martin Swenson at Seton Catholic School in Brighton, N.Y.
Anika Fischer wanted to help Haiti and asked her father if he knew of anyone who was working there. Marc Fischer knew about Climbing For Christ and told his fourth-grade daughter about the work God was doing through us in Haiti.
Anika and her friends, Jordyn Keeley and Meaghan Trevor, decided to raise money to help Mission: Haiti. They started the Bracelet Fun Club at their school, Seton Catholic in suburban Rochester, N.Y., USA. Twice a month after school they supplied materials to interested students to make bracelets. They charged each student who participated $1 and then they sold the finished product at the school’s Open House during Catholic Schools Week.
On Tuesday, May 31, Anika, Jordyn, Meaghan, Seton Catholic teacher and Bracelet Fun Club chaperone Patricia Bertucci, and principal Martin Swenson presented a check for $250 to Climbing For Christ. Our thanks to them for helping us help Haiti!
Saturday, May 28
Climbing For Christ is renewing its focus on serving the vast spiritual needs in Haiti with a greater emphasis being placed on spiritual education. This begins with our monthly seminary.
This month's teaching was again on the Bible — Who wrote it and when. But as missionary Miguel Rubén Guante was preparing to deliver the teaching to our group of pastors and church leaders meeting in Thoman, we received news that the border crossing was again flooded. Bad weather threatened to cancel our training.
“The lake and the road are one,” Miguel said, describing the impassable crossing. He was unable to drive the God truck from the Dominican border town of Jimani, where he lives, into Haiti.
But this did not deter us. Miguel contacted Milus Jesilus, the Thoman church leader who has served with us (helping the teachers in Haiti) and whose mother Carmen God used us to rescue. Milus walked to the border to get the seminary teaching from Miguel and on Friday he taught 21 people in Thoman.
“The low (attendance) was because of the river,” Miguel said, referring to the riverbed, which is normally dry this time of the year, and serves as a “road” for travel out of the mountains. “(Friday) it come down with much water.”
Still, 21 pastors and church leaders were able to hear the Word and learn more about the Bible that God breathed through men.
Milus outside his home (with two of his children) in February during Mission: Haiti 2011. (Photo by Jordan Rowley)
This was all part of God's plan as earlier in the week, C4C had decided to ask Milus to assist Miguel in the work God is doing through us in Haiti. Before we could even make this request, he stepped forward to help with the seminary. Praise the Lord!
Monday, May 2
We have chronicled how the Lord rescued Carmen Jesilus from the clutches of death in the mountain village of Maingrette. [See “Moments” below.] But God did not save Carmen alone. He has used this rescue of a woman with a large, hideous tumor growing out of her mouth to give life to many others.
Fifteen people have joined the church at Thoman as new believers in Christ Jesus.
“The new face of Carmen,” said our Haitian missionary, Miguel Rubén Guante, referring to the removal of the tumor on March 7, “(has brought) five families of Thoman to Jesus.”
The 15 new believers attended worship at the church at Thoman on Sunday (photo above). Miguel preached to a gathering of about 80 brothers and sisters, using Matthew 11:28 as the main verse of his teaching. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The message was “a call to the unbelievers” to obey God and rest in His promises, Miguel said.
He pointed to the man with the shriveled hand (Matthew 12:9-13), the bleeding woman (Matthew 9:20), and the raising of the dead son of the widow at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-24). These are examples of people who sought God’s healing hand.
God healed Carmen and has offered life to many others. For this we give Him praise. We are humbled that He chose to use us in this rescue operation, which is to His glory.
“… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” — Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
Monday, April 25
Fertilizer purchased in Croix des Bouquex, a city near Port-au-Prince, to be delivered to farmers in Malasi.
In what is an all-too-typical story on the island of Hispaniola, the businessman from whom missionary Miguel Rubén Guante used to buy fertilizer has stopped selling it. The businessman told Miguel it was too expensive so he is no longer selling it. Miguel spent several days locating another place to buy the fertilizer, which, of course, cost more. The price went up from US$15 to US$19.62 per bag. “We thank God for after we run up and down, we found a little business where we could get some bags of fertilizer,” Miguel said.
Everything costs more in Haiti all the time. Except salvation, which is freely offered to the millions there who still walk in darkness as slaves to voodoo and the prince of this world.
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
— Philippians 1:21 (NIV)
Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante based his Easter message for the church at Malasi (photos above and below) on that verse. He talked about Paul and how he declared he would live like Jesus. “I let them understand (that) we know they need, but over that (they need) Jesus, as Saul (who became Paul) said. We must keep our eye on Jesus.”
Tuesday, April 19
“The rainy season is giving much water,” missionary Miguel reported. “That may mean a good harvest season. We wait for God to send seeds and sufficient rain, no more than what the farmers need.”
God has provided through Climbing For Christ members and friends — 10 donors in all — US$1,845.25 since our Haiti appeal was made on April 6. Only a small part of that amount was for the Seedling Bank program, which supplies seed and fertilizer to scores of farmers. We remain far short of our need of US$10,378 to cover February, March and April support.
“As it is raining it is time to spray (plants),” said Miguel, who will hand deliver fertilizer and recently donated salaries for the teachers in Malasi this weekend. He may celebrate Resurrection Sunday in Malasi.
“It is time to think about the sacrifice of our Christ for us,” Miguel said.
Saturday, April 9
Sowing corn and preparing to plant beans on the hillsides in the mountain village of Malasi.
On Thursday, missionary Miguel Rubén Guante said: “From last week Pastor Vilcuis (of the church at Malasi) is calling me for fertilizer and seeds because it is raining now.”
Because of funding shortages we are scrambling to see what can be arranged. Miguel, who visited Malasi today, said US$1,500 would be needed for fertilizer and bean seeds.
CLICK HERE to read about our financial appeal for Haiti. We began this appeal on Wednesday in need of US$10,378 to cover February, March and April support. This does not include Seedling Bank contributions.
We were able to wire US$1,055 early in the week to pay our eight teachers' salaries for February. Miguel paid some of the teachers on Wednesday. “The teachers are very happy,” he said. He delivered payments and encouragement to the teachers in Malasi on Friday.