Being in Haiti brings back memories of my time in missions to Uganda over ten years ago.  In one sense there is not much difference: tropical heat is tropical heat and poverty is poverty wherever you find it. But driving through Port-au-Prince en route to our destination an hour west, we got to see the extent of the damage done by the earthquake. The presidential palace was still in ruins. Heaps of rubble everywhere.  Make-shift tent villages at almost every turn. When we got to the Mission of Hope’s missionary housing complex on the beach in Grand Goave the first night, I saw something of an extreme makeover. I was told that everything there was rebuilt since the earthquake, for the quake had leveled the entire place. Well, everything except a few showers. Which turned out for their favor, because in the days after the quake the US Navy ended up docking up on their beach to make use of the only standing showers for miles along the coast. This brought in connections and access to heavy operating equipment that allowed the Mission of Hope to start rebuilding at a pace that must make them the envy of many in Haiti. The place is beautiful. Tile floors. A massive gazebo with a thatch roof overlooking the gulf of Gonave. Running showers and bathrooms. Electricity (from generators). All things we Americans take for granted, but true luxuries down here. The rebuilding of this place is a statement of the mission’s commitment to doing everything with a spirit of excellence, employing many in the region with the building efforts as well as a statement of the Lord’s favor on this ministry that has served the orphan and widow and sowed so diligently into the lives of many for the furthering of the gospel. Mission of Hope is aptly named: their thriving rebound after the quake is truly a harbinger of hope in the midst of great havoc, inspiring many in the region and the nation.

Pastor Lex, the leader of Mission of Hope is a Haitian who was blessed to receive a Christian education growing up by the monthly donations from a total stranger through a Christian benevolence organization. Eventually he left Haiti to get an education in Massachusetts where he met his wife and the pastor (Daniel Lee) who invited me on this trip. God began to speak to Lex’s heart about coming back to Haiti over ten years ago. And the Mission of Hope (MOH) began, which is a local church and school with regional impact and an orphanage that houses 32 orphans.

Their orphanage, church and school underwent much damage as well after the quake, but through the entrepreneurial efforts to produce their own cement blocks with a recently procured block press, the church has begun not only rebuilding their own properties, but have become a supplier of bricks to the whole region. Dan informed me that Pastor Lex probably has more influence and respect right now than the local governor does. Their housing complex has become a hub for various medical NGO’s, missionaries and relief organizations.

International news coverage and favor

One such organization that is here at MOH during the time of our visit, in addition to a team of nurse practitioners, is called “Be like Brit.” It is named after a young woman from New England who died serving on a one week college trip at an orphanage during the earthquake. The father of Brit desired to carry on the legacy of his daughter and plans to build an orphanage for 66 children: 33 girls and 33 boys, one for each of the hours that Brit was missing after the quake. Brit’s father Len, connected up with pastor Lex and decided to base his operations from the Mission of Hope’s missionary housing here. The “Be like Brit” story has become international news and in fact, both CNN and CBS are coming down this week to give coverage to the groundbreaking for the orphanage to air on January 12th, the one year anniversary of the earthquake. It will all play into more favor and blessing on Mission of Hope’s ministry.

Another group that is currently down here comes from the church (Sturbridge Worship Center) in Massachusetts Pastor Dan left in order to come to the International House of Prayer. They were all here last year during the earthquake. Hearing their stories was eye opening. One of the staff members is from Germany and was able to contact television reporters in her country and was interviewed on national TV the week she got back. As a result of that interview, Germany raised over 24 million Euros for Haiti which is equivalent to 35 million dollars! $350 thousand of that will go to build Mission of Hope a new school. Not only have all these blessings resulted from the earthquake, but the church’s attendance has tripled since the tragedy. I hear that this is similar to many other churches in the country.

Speaking at Mission of Hope’s Leadership Conference

There was probably over six hundred or so in attendance over the three days. So far, I have spoken five times at the Mission of Hope. Once for an evening service from Isaiah 61, once on the first day of the conference about personal revival, twice on Tuesday: about the urgent need for intercession, and how to pray more effectively, and on Wednesday I talked about growing in listening prayer or what the bible calls the gift of prophecy. God really seemed to show up in every session. Thank you for your prayers! The people exhibited great hunger by enduring the grueling schedule of the conference and staying interested and engaged throughout. The church is a place with dynamic worship teams, state of the art sound equipment, faithful attendees, and a dirt floor. It has been a privilege to be a part of what God is doing with this church, and to witness what good can come out of such tragedy. My only lament is that I cannot speak Creole. I only get translators when I have a microphone, but I wish I could connect with people in more casual conversation.

Today we took the day off, lounging on the beach, which was much welcomed since I have been go-go-going since serving long hours for four days at the One Thing Conference, followed by a full day of travel and four full days of ministry here in the draining heat. Friday and Saturday we will either help build temporary housing or hang out with the kids at the orphanage, speaking at churches both nights. Sunday I will speak at another church in the morning as well as in the evening.

Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for our continued protection, health and that we would be used mightily by God in all that we are doing down here. Thanks!