Dear Loved Ones,
Greeting from our beloved Island of Haiti. What can a pickup truck do for a missionary in a poor country like Haiti? Besides providing the missionary with a sure transport means, a pickup can become a hearse to take loved ones to their resting place, the cemetery.
This Tuesday February 13, 2018 we had to take our beloved motorcycle driver Dennis Jean Jacques to his resting place. Dennis was a young man of 35 years old from our village but not a member of our Haut-Limbe Baptist Church.
According to the deep-rooted belief and theology in this community, those who are not members of any church will not have a dignified funeral service in the church. Their last funeral service will be conducted by a good will deacon in a classroom or in what is called Cine, a theatre. And this deacon will preach but will not go to the cemetery because the person was not a convert.
In preaching for such a non-believer person, you can easily tell and hear the condemnation of the preacher. At the end, it becomes so easy to conclude that those in church no matter their hearts and their actions, they are already the saved ones. There is no salvation outside our church.
You can understand why some people become members of a church. Not to have your funeral service in the church is a big shame to the rest of the family members. One has to do all in his power to join a church so that the family members will not have to face the shame and the harsh condemnation of the society.
Besides not being a church member, Dennis was a very good and polite young man that we knew as a boy when we came to Haiti. He served everybody with his motorcycle service. He was sick for a long time and the poor family really needed transportation to the cemetery. This is how we show our love, how we support the poor and how we win the hearts and the souls of our people. This is how we preach by words and by deeds.
Please be praying for us as we cry and rejoice with those crying and rejoicing.
Nzunga & Kihomi
When I first read this, I was upset by the callous nature of the Haitian church. Rules! I thought of Jesus eating from a wheat field on the sabbath and being challenged by the ruling religious rulers of His day. I heard a story of a person living in the USA next door to an orthodox Jew widow. She would have to go over and turn on the air conditioner when it got hot because her neighbor could do no work on the sabbath. Instead of using this time of sorrow to show love and maybe even bring a message of God’s plan of salvation to the attenders of the funeral, they think that shaming them would be a better idea.
Then I thought, does this happen here? I have to say yes. Last year I was trying to help a lady with cancer who had five kids, one being disabled. She told me she had approached several churches for help but was told they couldn’t help unless she joined their church. I was a deacon at a church many years ago and was trying to get the church to help a person whose house burned down. He had attended our church as a boy but never joined. I think you can guess the answer. When will we ever take Jesus’s words seriously. I’m fairly certain that the good Samaritan did not ask the poor man his church affiliation.
Thank you for supporting Nzunga and Kihomi in their work as they do take Jesus’s words seriously. Thank you for helping buy the pick-up that is used in many ways to carry out God’s plan. It is a mobile eye clinic at times, it carries equipment to dig wells, it takes supplies to hurting people after natural disasters, and many items for Kihomi’s women’s ministry. This is what I am aware of but I’m sure there are many more examples of it’s usefulness.
We are in a new year and the goal we need to keep them in the field has increased. Please pray we can find some new donors who would like to invest in this ministry.
Denny Shewell – MPT Communications Advocate & Convener
Diana Peysha – Prayer Advocate
Terry Bivens-Fry – Missions Involvement Energizer
Les Roberson – Specific Needs Advocate
Charles Newman – Financial Advocate