Mission: Haiti 2012
Mission Moments (January-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 2012
Tuesday, June 19
It had been many months since Climbing For Christ had visited the village where our entire ministry to Haiti began nearly 7 years ago. “The church was in joy waiting for me,” said missionary Miguel Rubén Guante, who represented C4C in Gentilhomme last weekend.
“The church felt very blessed. Example, it was about one month that there was not rain. The corn and beans are perish(ing) by the dry season, and once I arrive there it start to rain from (Saturday) night and (Sunday).”
The church at Gentilhomme on Sunday, June 17.
Miguel returned from the mountain village of Gentilhomme with news of great need: the church — the first we built in April 2006 (CLICK HERE) — is in need of serious repair.
“The church’s building is very damaged in the floor, doors, windows, paint,” Miguel said. “It needs a repair as soon as God provides for it.”
We are praying for His provision of US$3,700 — the estimated cost of rebuilding the floor, the front of the church, the doors and windows, and repainting the entire structure.
Additionally, there is a need for fertilizer — at US$31 per bag — to help the coffee plants (photo above). “The coffee looks nice and in its first production,” Miguel said, referring to plants that started as seedling provided by Climbing For Christ in 2008.
“I had brought a bag of rice and cooking oil and some bags of sugar for Pastor Trezin's wife to share with other people. It was very, very welcome because there is nothing to eat.”
There is so much work and so much need. Pastor Blanco from Climbing For Christ’s Haitian church in the Dominican border town of Jimani was readmitted into the hospital last Friday in Santo Domingo, where he likely will undergo surgery on his thyroid, and Saintela still waits to be taken from Malasi for treatment of her oral tumor.
Here is the problem: we will NEVER fix all of the physical needs in Haiti. We can only work on addressing the spiritual problems. To do so, however, requires physical assistance. We recognize that our battle against hunger and poverty is a spiritual fight, not a physical or social one. The evil must be cured before the sickness of poverty can be resolved. The only weapon is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will continue to deliver His message as we seek to serve the least of these in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Please pray for this work and, if you can help, consider donating to the financial need that has reduced our indigenous missionary to tears. “I'm crying because I'm desperate,” Miguel said.
Wednesday, June 6
While waiting for funds to rescue Saintela, the Haitian woman with a large tumor in her mouth [see April 9 below], another medical emergency arose. Pastor Emilio (“Blanco”) Setoute of the church at Jimani has been extremely ill since early May. Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante took Blanco to the hospital in Santo Domingo for tests.
Pastor “Blanco” before going to the hospital.
“It sounds like Blanco has hyperthyroidism,” said Dr. Steve Quakenbush of Cañon City, CO, USA, who has served on five Mission: Haiti expeditions. “He will probably need a thyroidectomy and/or need to be placed on medication to ‘kill’ his thyroid. He will then eventually need to be placed on thyroid replacement medication, which is fortunately very inexpensive in the U.S. He will probably need a radioactive iodine uptake scan which is moderately expensive. The worse scenario is that he has thyroid cancer. Pastor Blanco is a good man and we will help in any way that we can.”
Dr. Steve’s church, First United Methodist, which has been raising support for the construction of the church building in the Dominican border town of Jimani, contributed US$500 for Blanco’s tests. More is needed.
If you would like to donate to help pay for Blanco’s medical expenses, send your gift to Climbing For Christ, c/o “Blanco Aid,” P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-02990. You can also contribute to the “Rescuing Saintela” fund. We have about US$500 for both medical emergencies. You can also CLICK HERE to contribute online.
Sunday, May 27
Bananas, planted about six weeks ago at the church at Malasi, are growing well.
Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante visited Malasi on Sunday after teaching our monthly seminary in Thoman on Saturday. He reports that “the bananas are growing well.” Coffee plants are not doing as well because it has been dry.
“The church is fine — more than 100 people were there (for worship),” Miguel said. “I preached on Daniel 3 to show the church we need something more than to go to church. We need (believers) like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to serve God and to evangelize. It was a long and fruitful message.”
Pastors attending the May seminary on Saturday, May 26 in Thoman.
Miguel taught about evangelization and had 22 pastors and church leaders in attendance for the May seminary. It was our second meeting in two weeks because the April seminary had been delayed.
Thursday, May 17
Unloading fertilizer purchased for the church at Malasi.
Missionary Miguel was able to purchase 15 bags of fertilizer at US$31 per bag in his hometown of Thiotte to be delivered to Malasi to apply to coffee, bananas and seeds planted at the church. Climbing For Christ could have purchased twice as much fertilizer for that price if we'd had the funding available.
“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
— Mark 4:8 (NIV)
Monday, May 14
The monthly seminary — an essential part of Mission: Haiti — was delayed in April by a lack of funding. Missionary Miguel finally was able to travel to Thoman to teach the April seminary on Saturday, May 12. “The seminary was good,” he said. “There were 14 people: two pastors and 12 (church) leaders.”
The topic was “Searching for a sorcerer,” based on Psalm 1:1-3 (“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked …”).
“We, as Christians, don’t need anything else (other) than God,” Miguel taught.
When there was a funding shortage (again) in April, Climbing For Christ spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley shared some words of encouragement with Miguel. “I believe that the monthly seminary is one the most important things the Lord is using Climbing For Christ to do in Haiti,” Jordan said. “Our enemy wants nothing more than to stop that good work. He does not want people to hear the Truth and grow in Jesus. He wants to distract, discourage, divide, delay and devour God's people.”
Jordan said it was not surprising we were facing challenges holding the seminary, “especially because the lesson you have prepared deals specifically with voodoo! We must do ALL that we can to make sure the seminary takes place so that our brothers and sisters can be taught the Truth of God's Word!”
And so it was. The US$300 needed to print the monthly teaching, and provide food, transportation and basic human necessities (like toilet paper) was provided — albeit seemingly late.
In the meantime, Pastor “Blanco” (as he is known) of the church at Jimani took ill and is in need of medical attention. There is a need for fertilizer to assist the agricultural project begun at the church at Malasi, where we have provided coffee and banana plants. The fertilizer will cost US$930. There are also repairs to the God truck that should be done. We continue to raise support for our “Rescuing Saintela” project (see below), and — of course — the rest of the funding that goes each month to do the work in the mountain villages in Haiti.
Miguel plans to teach the May seminary on May 25-26, Lord willing.
Friday, April 20
About 400 banana plants were delivered and planted this week on the hill below the church at Malasi. “The people are in joy to sow and take care of the farm with Pastor Vilcuis,” missionary Miguel reported.
Tuesday, April 17
Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante returned to Malasi last week as we had planned during our March mission trip to Haiti. He delivered 252 coffee plants, which were purchased with a financial gift from the children at First United Methodist Church in Cañon City, CO, USA. The coffee plants were only the first part of an agricultural plan for the church at Malasi. In addition to coffee, Miguel is having 400 banana plants prepared for delivery this week. The rainy season is upon the Chaine de la Selle range and farmers are busy planting.
Pastor Vilcuis of Malasi sowing coffee plants delivered (photos above) by missionary Miguel in the God truck.
Climbing For Christ has assisted with farming since the summer of 2008, when a Seedling Bank project began with coffee plants, banana plants, and other fruits and vegetables. Hundreds of banana plants are now bearing fruit in the villages where we work.
Pastor Luterne in Thoman last month with fruit-bearing banana plants. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
RESCUING SAINTELA UPDATE: We have received US$391.70 to date to assist the Haitian woman with an oral tumor in the roof of her mouth. See following item for the complete story.
Monday, April 9
There is a great medical need in Haiti. Here's a message from Steve Quakenbush of Cañon City, CO, USA, who has served as the team doctor conducting medical clinics on the past five Evangelic Expeditions to Haiti, including Mission: Haiti 2012 last month:
It was a joy, during our recent trip to Haiti, to learn that Carmen was healed! Carmen was the church member from Thoman who had an end-stage obstructive oral tumor. Thanks to friends of Climbing For Christ, Carmen had been transported to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for a curative surgical procedure. Carmen was near death, but was saved by God’s grace through the hands of Climbing For Christ. [See 2011 “Mission Moments,” Feb. 21-March 22 and May 2.]
In the clinic, during Mission: Haiti 2012, we encountered Saintela Teusaint, another woman with a similar encroaching oral growth. This sister in the Lord is beginning to have trouble swallowing. The fast-growing tumor will soon obstruct her airway and prevent her from swallowing her already meager caloric intake. This already thin woman is losing even more weight.
Carmen’s tumor was benign and curable. Will Saintela’s near identical treatable tumor be her unnecessary demise? Was our appointment with this sister in the Lord an intended divine encounter? Will there be one more needless death in the mountains of Haiti? Or is the Lord again using us to rescue one of His children?
Will you please help Climbing For Christ get this precious soul to the hospital in Santo Domingo for urgent life-saving surgical treatment? Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus to this woman with your prayers and financial support?
God bless you,
Mission: Haiti 2012
Can you help a Haitian sister in Christ who is slowly being choked to death by a growth in her mouth? Please send your financial gift to Climbing For Christ, c/o “Rescuing Saintela,” P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA. Or CLICK HERE and give online via PayPal.
Sunday, Feb. 26
Eighteen pastors and church leaders attended our monthly seminary this weekend in Malasi. Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante taught a study on heaven that was prepared by Climbing For Christ spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley. Jordan will head up a three-day seminary conference during the upcoming Mission: Haiti.
Sunday, Feb. 19
Special “THANKS!” to Ava, a young lady from Climbing For Christ staff member Jordan Rowley's home church in Rochester, NY, USA. Ava presented Jordan with a check for US$150, which she raised last summer at a yard sale, to help us with the work in Haiti.
Saturday, Feb. 11
The first 1,000 blocks have been put in place after excavation of the land upon which the church at Jimani is being built. Columns are been constructed and missionary Miguel Rubén Guante has rebar ready to finish this build. “We stopped until (the Mission: Haiti 2012 team comes) and God provides more money for the roof and to finish,” Miguel said.
Monday, Feb. 6
The month of January brought a new start to a church-building project in the Haitian community living in the Dominican border town of Jimani. This is where Climbing For Christ Dominican Republic and the mission to Haiti is based; it is home to missionary Miguel Rubén Guante.
The Monte Pou Kris (Climbing For Christ in Creole) church at Jimani is our fourth Haitian church. We have been blessed to have the construction funded by First United Methodist Church of Canon City, CO, USA. First United Methodist is the home church for four of the members of next month's Mission: Haiti 2012: Pastor Don Bird, Dr. Steve Quakenbush, Eileen Lakey, and Lisa Mehle-Glab.
Some images of the initial building:
Praying at the construction site for the work that was beginning again.
Also in January, Miguel taught the monthly seminary (topic: heaven) to 17 pastors and church leaders meeting in Thoman, and he began to also instruct 10 leaders in the church at Jimani. He visited worship at both the church at Thoman and the church at Malasi.
Miguel said the spirit of the Monte Pou Kris ministry is joyful.
“There was suffering for the building,” he said about construction of the new church, which had been on hold for nearly a year. “They were thirsty to work in the church. So once the materials were purchased, they enter to work with all their love and wishes.”
Monday, Jan. 9
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Missionary Miguel Rubén Guante visited the church at Malasi and preached about forgiveness. He said there were many people attending, including some visiting from a church in Fond Verrettes.
In Malasi, there were 159 adults and children worshiping the Lord in 2011.
“The people were in joy for the visit and the news about the C4C mission (in March) and the (possible) water mission,” Miguel said. Climbing For Christ has applied for assistance from an international organization that does water projects in Haiti. “Pastor (Vil) is spiritually well but he is still with the pain and (ill).” The pastor has been sick for some time.
Miguel reported that three of the four Monte Pou Kris churches — Malasi, Thoman, and Jimani, DR — had a total of 381 members in 2011. “We are working to increase that number during 2012,” he said. We have not received numbers from Gentilhomme.
Sunday, Jan. 1
The Haitian church at Jimani — the Dominican border town where our missionary Miguel Rubén Guante lives with his family and in community with hundreds of Haitians — worshiped New Year's eve to say goodbye to 2011 and “receive the New Year with singing, praising, and (giving thanks) to God.”
“I hope He will help us with our purpose for the year,” Miguel said. “To me, the big purpose is to bring more people to Christ this year.”
Our prayer is to lead the people out of darkness into His wonderful light — eradicating the grip Satan holds on the people through the evil of voodoo.