When our family moved to Haiti nearly three years ago, we began with a plan to exit. From the very beginning, we were in transition. I believe the missionary’s most important task is the outsider-to-insider transition. That is why we have been pouring our lives into a few faithful leaders who will pass on a biblical reproducible discipleship and raise up new leaders to do the same. Jesus is honoring these efforts and we are seeing a great movement of the Holy Spirit across Haiti. As of last month, we are tracking more than 3,000 new church plants and more than 20,000 baptisms. All of this work is being led by an awesome team of servant leaders, all Haitian men and women. One of those leaders is Jephte Marcelin. The following is a word from him:
My name is Jephte and I am one of the servants in Haiti. It is our vision to faithfully obey Jesus by making disciples who make disciples, planting churches that plant churches, and mobilizing missionaries to the nations until there’s no place left. We are doing this by entering empty fields, sharing the gospel to anyone who will listen, discipling those who respond, forming them into new churches, and raising up leaders from within them to repeat the process. This is happening in every different location in Haiti. As these churches are gathering in homes, under trees, and everywhere, we are seeing new leaders and teams being raised up from the harvest.
A great example of this is Joshua Jorge, one of our team leaders. He is laboring for no place left in Ganthier, an area located in Southeast Haiti. Recently, he sent out two of his leaders, Wiskensley and Renaldo, to an area called Anse-à-Pitres. Following the example of Luke 10, they went with no extra provisions and searched for a house of peace. They arrived and immediately began sharing the gospel house-to-house, asking the Lord to lead them to God-prepared people. After a few hours, they met a man in the street named Calixte. As they shared with him about the hope found only in Jesus, he received the gospel and gave his life to Jesus. Wiskensley and Renaldo asked Calixte where he lived and he led them to his home. They entered the house, shared Jesus with his entire family and they all chose to follow Jesus that day. These two ambassadors spent the next four days with this family, training them and taking them out into the harvest to share the gospel with their neighbors. During those four days, 73 people turned and believed in Jesus, 50 of them were baptized, and they formed a new church in Calixte’s home. Wiskensley and Renaldo continued to return to train a few emerging leaders in simple, biblical, reproducible tools. Within just a few weeks, this new church had already multiplied into two other churches! Praise Jesus!
My people have been physically and spiritually oppressed for generations. Haiti tells the people, “You cannot follow Jesus until your life is clean.” They say, “Do not read the Bible because you will not understand it.” Jesus says, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Now we are listening to Jesus. Haitians are finding freedom in the Gospel of Grace. As we follow Jesus’ Kingdom strategy given to us in the Gospels and in the book of Acts, being faithful to obey all of His commands, the Lord of the harvest is doing a great work. We are truly experiencing a movement of the Spirit of God. Thousands of Haitians are accepting their identity as ambassadors for Christ and thousands of new Jesus gatherings are being formed. We are not seeking to build our own kingdom, but giving away God’s Kingdom. And He is multiplying it!
In order for the work to sustain long-term, it must be led by indigenous leaders like Jephte. It is our desire to see the work in Haiti become a self-sustaining movement that will continue to multiply and touch the nations. We now believe that we have that team of leaders in place and my family and I are ready to make our exit. Our plan is to move out of Haiti in December, and temporarily relocate to South Florida. This is a strategic move for our family for three main reasons:
- Coaching from a distance. Rather than abruptly leaving, we believe a transitional period where a return visit monthly to check on the health of the movement is best. We can take a quick inexpensive flight out of Florida to Haiti to meet with our leadership team once every month.
- Mobilizing missionaries. We are praying for a movement of Haitian missionaries mobilizing to the nations. We already have one Haitian missionary in Chile, another in France, and two others about to launch to Argentina. We believe we can best help them mobilize to other countries if we are stateside as we hope to travel to visit them and help them in their ministry.
- Moving to the unreached. Keesha and I have a burning desire to go where Christ is not yet named. We do not yet know exactly where but we are praying about moving to Southeast Asia. One year in Florida will allow our family to prepare for a launch to an undetermined unreached people group in early 2019.
We moved to Haiti with an exit strategy, but we are realizing now God has given us an expansion strategy. Like dropping hot coals into a dry forest, we want to drop men and women from Haiti into other parts of the world to ignite new wildfire movements of the gospel. We are asking the Lord of the harvest to send Haitian laborers into His harvest – Haitians to the nations. We need your support and prayer now more than ever during this transition.