December 2019 Prayer Letter
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light, Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a Light has shined.”
(The following are excerpts from my parents’ book, “Taking Root Downward, Bearing Fruit Upward.”)
“We discovered that Christmas in Haiti was quite different from Christmas in the States. Instead of a season of joy and good tidings, it was a season of fear shrouded by evil spirits. Each Christmas they visited the witchdoctor, who bathed them with his herbs to wash away the evil spirits of the past year in order that they might be able to cope with the evils the new year would bring upon them. They did not know that Christmas was a celebration of Christ’s coming to save them from all their fears and evils. Our hearts were deeply touched and saddened as we listened to these babes in Christ describe how they had spent their Christmas Eves at the shrine of the witchdoctor. So we determined to bring the message of Christmas joy and good tidings to a village that sat in darkness.
“We began to prepare our first Christmas pageant with the new believers God had given us. The choir we had organized learned the Christmas carols, and others memorized the biblical passages. We had Mary and Joseph, shepherds and angels, wise men, and King Herod. We invited the people but were not prepared for the crowd or for their enthusiastic efforts to see and hear the Christmas story. They quickly filled the benches and the aisles. They packed in the doorway and climbed up and sat on the windowsills and moved onto the rafters until they were filled. Then they moved up on the stage so it was difficult to distinguish the actors from the spectators. The message went forth – glory to His Name!
“That first year (1947), the Light was turned on in Pignon and that little village became conscious of what Christmas was all about! New dimensions were added to our programs year after year. Friends back home sent us many types of shiny papers, which we used to make decorations with the message of Christmas to put all over the church walls. Then we introduced caroling. They loved this and made it a December tradition, caroling from midnight to six in the morning and stopping to pray in the homes where they were invited in. Consequently, caroling and prayers began to replace the visits and bathing at the witchdoctor’s den. Hundreds of young people and adults found Christ as Savior through the ministry of caroling and the message of Christmas.”
The Light that shined in their darkness so many years ago continues to shine today!
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (II Corinthians 9:15)
HOPE Has No Expiration Date
Though despair continues, yet believers continue to HOPE because “the Lord will be a HOPE for His people.” (Joel 3:16b) We are praying that situations (barricades, demonstrations, crime, kidnappings) will settle down during the Christmas season and hope that schools will open by January. However, gas shortages remain, causing huge blackouts and affecting the operation of many business and medical facilities. Some clinics and hospitals have been forced to close or limit their services. International mission groups who normally bring in medical supplies are not able to because of gangs. We fear the invasion of various illnesses. Thousands have lost their meager jobs, while others are working with no pay (doing so in order to keep the job), which, added to the high inflation and food scarcity, greatly contributes to the hunger situation. For the above reasons, we will continue the Hunger Fund for a period of time until our Lord will provide a solution and rescue this perishing little country. We want to express our deep gratitude to you who have already contributed to this fund. Please keep this great need in your prayers as you pray for Haiti.
MFH normally plans a medical clinic and a winter ladies retreat. These plans are still in our heart for a possible February date. Please keep all the Hosanna Ministries in your prayers!
With Thanks to God and Gratitude in our Hearts for you,
Tom and Sarah Bennett