by Terri DiPietro
"Haiti is hard." -- Everyone
Haiti is hard. Even Haitians will tell you that. Unpredictable travel and communication, poor infrastructure, lack of access to clean water, food insecurity, unemployment, natural disasters, material poverty and political instability are just some of the overwhelming obstacles. Many desire to have a lasting impact, but it often feels like putting a bandaid on a mortal wound. Is there any real hope?
Yes! Just ask any of the more than 100 people who put their faith in Jesus during Xenos’ ministry trip in January. There were 70 salvations at the first clinic on the first day! At the third clinic, Caitlin Kleinpaste and Holly Stewart gathered a group of children in the back of an open bus to color pictures and tell Bible stories. When they shared the story of Jesus calming the storm, the busload of children were eager to ask Jesus into their hearts, to calm the storms they were facing in their own lives. Yes, there is hope. Jesus is our hope.
The Beraka church in Jacmel, Haiti really took the lead during this ministry week. They sent workers ahead to the clinic locations to plant seeds of the gospel in the weeks prior to the Xenos visit. They gathered nurses, a doctor, and evangelists to travel with the Xenos team to the remote sites. Translators, paired with Xenos teammates, were boldly leading evangelism at the clinics, proclaiming Christ in school classrooms and house to house, praying with patients as they exited the clinic. The church planting supervisors, Beliote and Walter and Edry, preached the gospel, made contacts for follow-up visits, and are committed to return weekly to help establish the new home churches that were planted.
Another exciting feature of this trip was the introduction of some simple food dehydration techniques. The information was embraced enthusiastically, especially when the lectures were accompanied by tasty samples of dehydrated oranges and limes! Wanito, a church planter in La Montagne, owns some land that was literally dripping with fruit, most of which was destined to spoil due to the abundant harvest. He marveled at the dried orange slices, saying that “when orange season is finished, the oranges are finished.” Now, with this technique, people can have food even when the harvest has ended.
The Xenos ministry teams are thankful for the many friends who support this work with their prayers and financial gifts. This partnership between Xenos and the Haitian church is producing lasting fruit through acute medical relief, continuing leadership training, sustainable public health measures like clean water education and food preservation, and eternity for all who would put their hope in God.