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Well, it is hard to believe the trip is already behind us. I have so much information to share that it will take a few emails to get everything out.
Being able to spend a week in Petit Goave, build relationships with the pastors and congregations of Ebenezer, and getting to know the staff at Ebenezer dtc was a huge blessing. What I came away with most is the excitement that is buzzing around the area because of the training center. Wherever we went there were meetings with the pastors and elders over what is going on with this new mission. The pastors would come out all smiles as they heard the vision that was cast.
The first thing that happened was a meeting with the national committee of Ebenezer where Troy and I shared what we saw God doing with this mission, and how our goal was to see the Haiti changed from within through Christian leadership. You could see the light in their eyes as they processed this information and realized that this is completely contrary to what they have heard in the past.
There are 3 aspects of the mission that are in full swing right now, including, the training, team trips, and facilities. For now I want to give you a little information on the training.
The first group of pastors are now into their second month of training. I will post pictures soon. They are excited to have the opportunity to read for the first time and are working hard to achieve this goal. There are 5 employees at this time including Pastor Marc Sorel who is the head trainer and overseer of the mission. Pastor Jacob is the second trainer and also worked hard with us the week we were there. There are 2 cooks, Esther and Ruth, and a groundskeeper who's name keeps escaping me. All are hardworking, humble servants who are laying a great foundation of leadership.
Instead of giving you specifics of how the training is going, I want to share with you a story of our first "graduate". Again, I was not given his name yet, but I will have a name and picture soon.
This pastor's life long dream was to be able to read the Bible for himself, and then preach from what he had read. For his whole life he would have his kids read the Bible to him, and then he would preach from what he heard. Two weeks ago we sent Bibles down that were donated by the Haitian church here in Grand Rapids. When the Bibles arrived they had a celebration at Ebenezer giving thanks for God's provision for opening the mission, and for giving the pastors the opportunity to read. At the conclusion of the event the pastors were given their new Bibles. When they went in to eat supper, this pastor opened his new Bible and started to read it out loud, and as he read he started to preach to the other pastors around the table. As he was preaching he slumped over and died.
This may seem like a sad story, but it has energized the pastors as they are thankful to God that this brother was able to recognize his dream before God called him home. He has become a catalyst to the other pastors who are currently training and those that will follow. God's ways are higher than ours and we praise him for this brother and the testimony that has come from his life.
You see what I mean, there is so much to share. I will end here as to not overwhelm you. I thank you all for your support this far, and covet your support in the future. We currently have a $1000 matching donation. If you would like to help us reach that goal please let me know or go to the World Wide Village web site. They have made it much easier to donate.
I will update more on team trips and facilities soon. God bless!