January 2018 Prayer Letter
Helping Hand Scholarships
Christian education in our beloved Haiti is perhaps the second-best opportunity to carry the Gospel into homes where otherwise it would not be received. Students hearing the Gospel in the classroom and carrying it home to their families provides an open door for evangelism. In the past, qualified teachers were scarce for missionaries to find because they required higher pay. Catholic schools were the only ones who could afford salaries for skilled teachers. When Hosanna Schools began some years ago, Pastor Dieupie took on this challenge in order that the children of poor families could have the opportunity to excel and thus have the same chance in the job market. The only way to achieve this was to provide some financial help. So this challenge led us to start the Helping Hand Scholarships. These funds are available to take up the slack for struggling families. It has been a huge blessing. Evangelistically, there have been 56 young people who have made professions of faith since this fall.
Mont Flueri Will be Completed – Medical and Dental Clinics – Ladies Retreat
January will be a busy month for us. Lord willing, the Mont Flueri church construction will be completed. Our team leader, Craig Dehmel, Swartz Creek, Michigan, will arrive with the team on January 6 to put the roofing on, make the benches (pews) for the new church, and add the finishing touches to this project. Following this, there will be a medical team led by Dr. Patrick Hawley, Flushing, Michigan. They will arrive on January 13 and will minister health clinics in rural areas. Following these rural clinics, Dr. Michael Gusar, Boston, Massachusetts, will conduct the first dental clinic for MFH in Jacmel. We are so grateful for the medical care these doctors are willing to give! The final activity is our ladies retreat at Camp Bossier, January 26-27. Mrs. Andrea Pisarcik will be joined by Mrs. Shawn Smith and daughter, Hayley Smith. This retreat is highly favored by Hosanna ladies. Pray for blessings!
(The following are continued excerpts from my parents’ book, Taking Root Downward, Bearing Fruit Upward.)
“We began our ministry in Haiti teaching the Word of God. We had a few opportunities to minister during the first three months while we lived in Cap Haitian becoming acclimated, oriented, and acquainted with the language. The real ministry began soon after we arrived in Pignon. Oran used his skill at boxing to attract the young men of the elite class in the village, and after showing them some points in this art, he began a Bible class for them. I made friends with the same class of young ladies and invited them to our home and began a Bible study for them. They came because we were Americans, but gradually stopped coming when the Word of God was taught without any apologies. Although this period did not last long, it gave us sufficient time to sow the Word in their hearts, showing them the way of salvation and their responsibility of choice, and teaching them the difference between religion and the new birth. However, these young people were very religious and loyal to the Roman Catholic Church, as are all the elite class of people in Haiti, and they found it difficult to leave the Catholic Church and choose the unpopular and despised Gospel message.
“Our second effort of Bible teaching was born by the riverside. I took my flannel board with pictures of Christ and went down to the river with our 2- and 4-year old children to share the story of the love of Christ with the women and children who congregated there to wash their clothes and bathe. Some of the women invited me to go to their homes and share the pictures and stories with their families. Eventually, we had a Bible study class in every neighborhood in the village. In the beginning we did not have a lot of conversions, but the people heard the Word and a harvest was reaped in later years.” (To be continued.)
Tom and I will be leaving for Haiti on January 3rd. Tom will return to the US on the 8th. I will remain in Jacmel until February 2nd. We covet your prayers for all the Hosanna/MFH projects and activities.
Our gratitude and thanks to God for each of you,
Tom & Sarah Bennett