Reaching La Gonave
La Gonave is an island of Haiti located west of Port Au Prince in the Haiti’s Gulf of Gonave. One of our movement leaders, Clarck, is a native of the island of La Gonave and for a long time has had a heart to see his people reached with the Gospel.
Last Wednesday, Clarck and David, another one of our leaders, set off for a seven-day journey to the island of LaGonave. Their vision: To see that there is no place left where the gospel has not been proclaimed.
As a church and team on mission, we were excited to send them off and await their return to hear all that God is doing. We gathered together to pray over them and knew the Holy Spirit would go before them to prepare the hearts of people.
Their first encounters began on the boat as they voyaged to the island. Two young women showed interest in why they were traveling, and at once, Clarck and David took notice of the enemy’s temptation as the women showed more interest in them. Throughout their journey they continued to remind one another “remember our mission.” As they shared the gospel, one of the young ladies turned from her sin and gave her life to Jesus! They then took the remainder of the boat ride to study through Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:18-20 with her. The Holy Spirit guarded their hearts, was already moving, and showing fruit right away. What a blessing!
After they docked, Clarck and David set off on a moto ride nearly two hours into the mountains to an area called Grand Chimen. As they rode, the rain began to fall just as they were coming up on a home. They knew this was a Holy-Spirit-led opportunity to share with the household. The people listened and wanted to know more, but were afraid that they couldn’t come to Jesus as they were. We call this a “yellow light.” Clarck and David faithfully sowed the seed of the Gospel and took their information for follow up. As the rain let up, they continued on their journey looking for a house of peace, a home of God-prepared people.
If wasn’t long before the rains came again. The moto driver urged them to continue on, but the boys knew that they needed to stop again. They came upon a home where six people were sitting on the porch. They shared the gospel and discovered one woman was already a believer. They spent some time training them in making disciples and following the teachings of Jesus. As the woman listened on, she remarked at how surprised she was at their faith and obedience even though they didn’t “look” like the “church”. They exchanged information and moved on again.
They’re journey was far from over however, as they traveled further into the mountains, the rain fell upon them again and they sought shelter. Here, a woman greeted them welcomingly. They shared their mission and she shared that her husband was the pastor of a church in the area. She called her husband to come and hear from them. David and Clarck shared with the pastor the urgency of their mission. The brutal facts are that 500 Haitians die every day and are forever separated from God. The Father’s heart is to see every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to hear the gospel and respond. The only way this can happen is if we commit ourselves to multiplication. Both the pastor and his wife were struck to the heart for their people. They urged David and Clarck to stay and train them how to multiply disciples. This was hard on the guys though, because they had come to the island specifically to find a house of peace where they could raise up new believers to impact their community with the gospel. But as they talked more with the family, it became apparent that this was a church of peace that was ready to obey and share in the mission.
The next morning, without warning, the pastor called the guys up to speak to the whole church and cast vision for “no place left.” They were presented in front of the church, even with hats on and dirty clothes! This was a sign that the Holy Spirit was moving in this place, as it is not cultural appropriate in Haiti to even step foot into a church gathering without the proper attire.
David and Clarck shared their stories and trained the church in the level one of disciple making. They taught them about their identity as ambassadors for Christ, how to share their own story and the story of Jesus, who to share with, when to go and how to be held accountable. The people were amazed. This was the training they had been looking for. The pastor shared how the church stood out from others and was even considered an “enemy” by other churches in the area because they have rejected the extra-biblical traditions that were keeping people from Jesus. David shared with the church the story of the Samaritan woman at the well from John 4, how immediately this woman was sent as am ambassador to our own town. Following the study, one woman from the church ran to a neighbor’s house and asked for forgiveness for a broken and hurtful relationship. The Holy Spirit’s power was evident that day. The church had received the messengers, the message, and the ministry. Praise the LORD!
Their journey continued on to their destination, where eventually they did find a house of peace. Two family members in the home turned from their sin and believed in Jesus and were immediately trained to begin making disciples of their family, friends, and neighbors. Over the course of the week, David and Clarck were able to have more than 100 gospel conversations, saw 6 people give their lives to Jesus, and 1 small church trained to begin multiplying disciples and new churches. They are already planning their follow-up visit for the end of this month.