Simone as a 6th grader
Simone as a University Freshman
Simone as a 6th grader
Simone as a Freshman
In September 1998, we arrived in Haiti to start our ministry with the Haitian Baptist Convention. We bought a used Isuzu Trooper to help us with our transportation. I had an appointment with the General Secretary of the Haitian Baptist Convention one day but he was not in his office. I decided to go to his home to meet with him where we would have more privacy. A lady was also at his office hoping to meet with him and asked if I could give her a ride. So off we went to his home but ten minutes into our trip a part fell off my old car and it would not steer properly.
I stopped to look for the part I lost and found out it was in the hands of a group of young men hanging out along the road looking for a way to make some money. The minute I greeted them they knew I was not a Haitian. I could not speak or understand a word of Creole at that time, as I had only been in the country a short time. They immediately saw a good target to make some money by extortion.
It took me 6 hours (9 am to 3 pm) to negotiate a deal to get back the needed part, $100. I repeatedly told the lady with me to go on but she refused. After all this time I decided to return to convention headquarters, leave the car there and take the bus home. I asked the lady why she would not leave me. She said “Pastor if I had left you alone you might not be here now. Those gang members were talking bad about you and anything could have happened to you or your car.” She told me she wanted to meet with the General Secretary hoping to get a scholarship for her daughter who was in the 6th grade. She had been selling items on the street to support her daughter but had a mild stroke that left her partially paralyzed and unable to continue. She was without a husband and desperate. I asked her to meet with me the next day.
We met the next day and I promised to help her. Since that time we have been mentoring Simon Kerlene, now a freshman at our university in Limbe. Academically Kerlene is not an A student. However, she has a strong will and determination to better her life and succeed in her studies. Time and time again, she has failed, only to work harder until she passes the class. There have been times when we had to pay for a math or chemistry tutor to help her master the lessons. We are sure Kerlene will graduate with her bachelor degree in Business Administration in 2013.
Sponsorship and mentoring is a hard task. It requires time, patience, understanding and respect for the other person, especially the weak one. Persistence, money and a will not to rush to see the result of you efforts is also a requirement. This is the kind of task we sometimes voluntarily take upon ourselves; marching along side the weak and forgotten of our society. As the Good Sheppard left the ninety-nine to go after the one lost sheep, we are in Haiti to impact the lives of those who would not have a chance to better their lives. This is only possible because you sacrificially give to support our ministry. Simon Kerlene is your prayer, your love offering in action.
We are looking forward to the time she will walk down the University’s Jacob’s ladder with her diploma singing “If I can help somebody, my life has not been in vain…”
We wish you a blessed New Year.
Nzunga and Kihomi
We of Nzunga’s Missionary Partnership Team wish to echo their thanks for your support that allows a wonderful story such as Simon Kerlene’s to happen. Stories of the Lord acting through Nzunga and Kihomi to change lives; to take desperate situations and turn them into joyful situations. If you are not donating monthly, we urge you to prayerfully consider doing so. We are still short of underwriting their total on-going support that keeps them in the field. No amount is too small. Knowing they have a steady income that they can count on will take one burden off their shoulders as they labor to show the love of God in one of the poorest countries in the world.
Nzunga’s and Kihomi’s Missionary Partnership Team
Terry Bivens-Fry, Shawna Gorman, Diana Peysha, Les Roberson, Dennis Shewell