A few weeks ago, I mentioned on Twitter that Dad was going with a couple other men from our church to teach a conference at a Bible school by Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The condensed time of ministry there seemed to be blessed by God and immensely profitable; I wanted to thank those of you who prayed for their safety and effectiveness! Here in America, preachers, teachers, videos, books and all manner of materials are at our fingertips on virtually any topic we desire to study. I think the abundance of teaching in the States can cause us to forget just how valuable instruction is, when in places such as Haiti, there are hundreds of believers who are starving for truth, seeking for someone to teach them how to live in light of the Scriptures. As I heard of the sacrifices the Haitians made to attend the conference, how they listened with such attentiveness, how they were filled with gratitude and communicated such zeal for knowledge, I was convicted once again that "to whom much is given much is required". We have been given so much in America; what opportunity we have to grow in knowledge and be of service to others who have not been equally blessed. Our focus should always be on deepening our walk with God, not on broadening it. When we deepen our relationship with Christ, there will be no lack of outlets for ministry.
Below are just a couple excerpts from emails Dad sent throughout the week they were gone:
Greetings from Haiti.
. . . At the baggage claim many, many red-shirted attendants converged on us, grabbing our luggage and insisting on significant money ($40+) as they moved us through the crowd to our awaiting pastor and his pickup. From there we drove through pot-holed, rutted Third World streets littered with concrete rubble, garbage, open sewage, and wild drivers, some in pickups with men in back brandishing 12-gauge shotguns and wearing ammunition belts. Everywhere were hordes of people hawking goods—plastic jugs, shucks, wire, used clothes, bananas, etc. In time we drove through a series of nearly impassable alleys, the pastor honked his horn, a steel gate opened, and we were at an orphanage, and soon after that, at the building where our seminar was to be held. It was a little after 9 AM Tuesday. We had slept very little for two nights; nor had we cleaned up. We stepped into an unfinished cinder block building with near stiflingly warm air, high humidity, almost no breeze, and over 30 eager Independent Baptist pastors and church workers. Soon I rose to speak, unshaven and disheveled; then brother Renner; then I; then he. At around 3:00 that afternoon we stopped for the day, a little dizzy but OK, hopped in a pickup with Pastor Jacque, and bounced our way through other Third World streets till we arrived at our hotel.
As I write, we have now completed our second day of teaching, Dr. Renner speaking on Biblical counseling in Christian warfare, and I, on fundamentals of the Christian faith, with Andrew supplying support however He can. We can report our strong impression that God is with us and blessing the work. Thank you for your prayers.
I need to go now. We are a far way from snow but you are close to our hearts.
Hi, everyone. We finished speaking at the Haiti Bible Institute seminar this Thursday afternoon. The attenders appeared to be enthusiastic and grateful. The labor has been full and joyful for us. Following the seminar we spent a couple hours at the orphanage and then took one wild, long ride through very rough, dusty, vehicle-packed, mobs of people-lined, dark streets until we found ourselves in an outskirts tin-roofed church plant prayer meeting, where we were each asked to say a few words following a sermon delivered in Creole. . . . We plan to travel up a mountain tomorrow, then fly to Miami, stay in the airport till morning, and fly back to Omaha Saturday afternoon.
By God's grace, see you Sunday.