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Mid Summer Reflections

Hello from Elmira, Ontario.   What a wonderful summer we are having.  I just want to update you on events and activities over the past number of months and to share what God has been doing through the ministry of World Partners, Health and Community Development.

It was a special Sunday July  23.  At my home church in Waterloo, Trinity EMC, we celebrated a baptism as well as testimonies of those who have come to Jesus over the past few months.  We looked at John 1 where we saw Andrew going out to find Simon, his brother and telling him that he had found the Messiah.  Then there was Phillip inviting his friend Nathanael.  We were reminded that we are to invite our friends and family, neighbours and coworkers to know Jesus.   Then it is the  work of the Holy Spirit to soften and warm hearts and draw them to the Saviour.

Feel free to check out the podcast: https://trinityemc.buzzsprout.com

In the afternoon I went out for a ride on my bicycle; I noticed a field which appeared ready for harvest.

harvest field

Matthew 9:36 says that when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  In verses 37,38  we read “He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

The harvest field is just next door and it is around the globe.   The harvesters are you and me ready to invite and ready to share Jesus.

It has been a blessing to hear the stories of new believers in Jesus, as I have travelled this year.  And I have seen small groups growing and faithful Jesus’ followers sharing the Good News.

Just in early July, I was in Haiti with a team.  We visited a fledging “house church.”  I am calling it a house church because they meet in a very small house with the centre partition removed so that it will hold a few more chairs.  They had only begun meeting 1 month prior.  Already they had 16 folks in attendance.  Quite remarkable was the fact that most of the 16 were in their early 20’s.  What a blessing to see that the “band” and “worship team” on that particular Sunday were also young adults who had carried their instruments and speakers etc on the back of motorcycles from the sending church, the A.E.M at Gens de Nantes.   The house was so small that they had to set up outdoors.  By the way, Lindsey R. and I went by motorcycle as well; it was a ride of about 30 minutes.  It has rained a lot the previous days, so the road/path was muddy and slick.  We were grateful for safe travels.  We heard that one of the church’s regular attendee’s was not present that day (they took attendance), because she had just had a new baby.  Lindsey, Mis Ruth (a nurse from GDN) and I walked out to her house after service to pay a visit.  Ruth did some health teaching on the spot.

                

      

Making a house call.

The team from Albright EMC in Winnipeg, travelled to GDN, Haiti with the purpose of teaching English to young adults and high school students who have the potential to use English in their future studies and work.  Since these team members had been to Haiti in this role before, it was awesome to see “former” students come with big smiles and welcome the teachers and give them big hugs.  It was a joy to watch Rob and Lindsey, Lorna and Laurie teaching and to watch the students soak up the information and practice speaking.  The “teachers” were in their element.  The students were so grateful to Mr. Rob and Mrs Lindsey, to Mrs Lorna and Mrs Laurie for taking the time to come and teach English.  I am thankful too, to Albright EMC and the team for sharing their resources in this way.

       

    

     

It was a blessing to participate in the “graduation” of the students.  Four of them shared their testimonies in English.

               

As you know Albright EMC has developed a partnership relationship with the A.E.M church, clinic and community at Gens de Nantes, northeastern Haiti.  They have been supporting Dr. Emmanuel, Mis Keteley  who is one of the nurses as well as the position of the lab technician.

Mis Keteley on her handy “moto.”  She travels 10 km everyday to clinic on it when it is not too muddy!

In May 2017 Portelus came on as the new lab technician.  He is a delightful young man.

      

 

Two weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with one of the recipients of the Yvonne Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund right here in Waterloo Region.  It is a great story: Samuel Charles from Cape Haitian, Haiti and studying at Quisqueya University in Port au Prince had the privilege to travel to Montreal to study for the month of July at McGill University.

     

Several of the Martin family members were able to join together to hear Samuel’s story and to be blessed by the amazing outcomes of the Memorial honouring their mother (nurse) Yvonne who died in the 2010 Earthquake.   The evening gathering was a very moving experience for all who participated.

The weekend of July 29 to August 1,  I participated in the Mission events at Stayner Camp.  My plan was to raise funds for one of the upcoming trips to Haiti in the fall.  Here was my project:

I prepared Gift Jars – a Country 5-Bean and Lentil soup, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookie as well as an Orange Date Bran Muffin mix to sell to the family campers and visitors.  Over the years, God has blessed the various medical teams through the successful sale of these mixes.  Thanks to all the eager participants, $755 was raised which will assist in provision of supplies and transport of the glasses and eye glass examination equipment for the “Eye Team,” which will be serving up to 700 patients over 10 days in northeastern Haiti.

The summer is passing quickly.  I am in the process of preparing a number of teams travelling to Haiti for the fall and early winter to work on various projects:

October 20 to November 2: the “Eye Team” will be serving the A.E.M communities of Gens de Nantes and Carice in northeastern Haiti.

November 7 to 16: Highview Community and Trinity EMC, Waterloo Region – serving in the A.E.M community of Pignon; Stage 1 of a multi year project – Construction of “Housing for Needy Seniors.”

November 15 to 20:  I will be orienting our new Interim Director of World Partners, Joel Zantingh, to the A.E.M (L’Association des Eglises Missionaries), our partner in Haiti along with the projects  that are in progress there.  Lou Geense, retired Associate Director of World Partners will be accompanying us on this tour.

November 24 to December 8:  Macoun EMC, SK and Palmerston EMC,ON will be serving in the A.E.M community of Benoit, southwestern peninsula of Haiti, where last year’s hurricane destroyed the local church.  Project – reconstruction of their church.

Please pray for team members as they contemplate signing up, for funds for the projects and for maximum impact both on the ground in Haiti and for those going.  The  team members will be  “participating in a community of followers of believers on mission to that part of the world”   Please pray that this will be a powerful experience for all.

The “Homes for Haiti” project began Phase 3 early in July.  Under the excellent direction of Claude Almonor, two homes are almost complete in the Benoit community.  As mentioned above, Hurricane Matthew struck the southwestern peninsula of Haiti with devastating consequences.   Today’s report from Claude was that the two families who will be receiving these homes are incredibly grateful to God for his provision in their lives.

Albright EMC is taking the lead in fundraising to build a security fence around the AEM Medical Staff House and Guesthouse property in Gens de Nantes.  This is a large property; thus a large project.  Securing the property will give opportunity for small agriculture projects as well as the possibility for training the local community in Farming God’s Way.  Two men from GDN have already participated in that training.  Tree planting is another option.  Finally there is the possibility of allowing villagers who do not have property to share a community garden on the land.  If you are interested in partnering to move this security project forward, please contact me at mmcilroy@emcc.ca.  The plan is to begin the construction as soon as funds are in place.

I would ask you to pray for me for wisdom as I proceed with ongoing projects and new developments in Haiti and beyond.  One project that is being considered is a new clinic in Gens de Nantes, Haiti.  Then there is the possibility of sponsoring nursing students at SHUATS, the Christian University in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh (India).  I am excited about the possibilities and greatly challenged by them as well.  As I follow Jesus’ path I recognize the need to trust him fully and to depend upon his Spirit along the journey.  This is not about me but about He who will direct my steps.

I thank God for you.  Those of you who support the ministry of Project Manager of Health and Community Development, I appreciate you.  Thank you for sharing your resources.  Thank you to all who are praying as well.   The “road” is not always smooth.  When I travel with teams, there are often challenges that stretch us.   Flights don’t go as planned.  Vehicles break down.   It rains and rains.  When I manage project funds and reports from a distance, there are difficulties.  But God is greater then all of these.    Today I read this in Romans 5:3 NLT  “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for they help us develop endurance.”  I can endure knowing that God is working even through these issues.  Romans 5:4-5 continues “And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”   And wow, down in verse 11 I read this: “So now we can rejoice in our wonderful (new) relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”  And as the song goes, “I am a friend of God.  He calls me friend.”  Praise his name.  Thank you for praying and for supporting people and projects.  You are a blessing to me.

I plan to send out another blog update which will share the joys and blessings of the team that travelled to India early in 2017 along with information about the teams to Haiti in March 2017.

Until next blog post, may you grow in the joy of being a “friend of God.”

My sister Ruth and I this summer.

Marilyn McIlroy  EMCC World Partners, Project Manager Health and Community Development