Mission: Haiti 2011
Through faith and patience inherit what has been promised
A touching moment: Pastor Luterne hugs missionary Miguel Rubén Guante during the dedication of the church at Thoman.
Our missionary to Haiti, Miguel Rubén Guante, made his first visit to the church at Thoman in May 2007. Pastor Luterne Polissain had requested the visit one month earlier when Climbing For Christ president Gary Fallesen was in the area and he asked if C4C could build his congregation a church. At the time, they were worshipping in a community-owned building that had been shared with voodooists.
We took this request under prayerful consideration, but it did not feel right. “Thoman was not a good place for C4C work,” Miguel remembered us deciding. Our mission is to go where others cannot or will not. Thoman is a village on a road (albeit made of dirt and stones) on the way into the Chaine de la Selle range, where Climbing For Christ has ministered since the summer of 2005.
But after many months we realized no one else was going to Thoman. God had put it in our path. It was our responsibility.
“The difficulty could have been the faith and patience of Pastor Luterne to wait,” Miguel said, “but he and the church leaders were able to wait patiently for God's answer.” And God's provision. Funding - or a lack thereof - delayed the building of a new church for some time.
Despite this, Miguel said Pastor Luterne never despaired. “Often he said, when he got married he wrote in his house: 'Patience.'”
The church at Thoman.
In late 2009, work began on the church at Thoman. It was completed and dedicated to the Lord on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010.
Pastor Luterne had waited 3 1/3 years for that moment. And he nearly wasn't there to see it. On July 27, he was in a motorbike accident, suffering head injuries that hospitalized him for three weeks. When he left the hospital, Miguel said, it was “not because he was well, but (because) he wanted to be near the church.”
The church is not a building, but a body. A body of believers. Pastor Luterne is a living example of this. He is a Colossians 3:12 type of servant.
Pastor Luterne dances with family at the dedication of the church at Thoman.
“Let me tell you something, my joy was so great, I could not stop crying,” Miguel said after the church's dedication. In spite of (or, perhaps, because of) the hardship and suffering he sees daily in Haiti, Miguel is not often moved to tears. But witnessing Pastor Luterne and seeing his patience rewarded in a very real way was too much for Miguel.
“Until now, I had not seen a pastor feel so much glad, joyful to God through C4C for a church building like Pastor Luterne and his sons,” he said. “All his daughters and sons were singing and crying for joy. Praise God to help all this joy (so it) can be used for His glory.”
This story originally appeared in The Climbing Way (Volume 20, Winter 2010-2011).
Posted June 26, 2011