Psalm 8 begins: “O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens… “ Then in verses 3 and following we read, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers – the moon and the stars you set in place – what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honour. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority – the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea and everything that swims the ocean currents. O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fill the earth! “
I just recently returned from Haiti. The last 10 day part of the ministry was in the community of Benoit. For the team members joining that mission, I suggested that they might consider this “extreme camping.” It wasn’t really. But it did challenge the team members who were mostly all over the age of 60 :-). My point is this: I often was the last one of the day, showering in the outdoor ladies’ shower (basically a tarp enclosure with a basin for bathing). Every evening I marvelled at the “night sky and saw the work of God’s fingers – the moon and the stars He set in place.”
Did you go camping this past summer? Did you sit out under the starlit sky and just wonder … be in awe at the vastness of the space above you? Have you gone to your iPad and opened the app that names all those stars? Do you realize that some of those stars and constellations are named in the Bible? Have you praised God, as the writer of Psalm 8 did, who said “Oh LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Have you declared that out loud lately for all to hear? Try it sometime! Go out some frosty, starlit evening this winter and shout it out for all to hear “O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.”
I appreciate Psalm 8:6-8 as well. My work in health and community development challenges me to think about this fact. God gave created human beings charge over the rest of creation and God put “all things under the authority of them.” I am reminded that the resources of the earth and all things on the earth are to be cared for, to be cultivated, to be nurtured for the sustaining of humankind.
Earlier this year, Phase 1 of a project was begun in the community of Gens de Nantes (GdN). The A.E.M. (Missionary Church Haiti) in this community has a wonderful resource – about 10 acres of property, that up until this time was only serving as housing for guests and the medical staff at the GdN Health Centre. Thanks to our partners at the Albright EMC in Winnipeg, a security wall has been partially constructed. What is the big deal you might ask? And what does this have to do with anything? Well, it is a wonderful blessing! A secure property with 10 acres of mostly unused land is a big deal. In the hands of a young man with an agriculture degree and a BIG vision and desire to move his community forward, an enclosed property is a HUGE BLESSING. Hernso Philogene has been trained in Farming God’s Way. He desires to use this property to begin training local farmers. Hernso understands the need to diversify crops. Locally, the farmers grow protein rich peanuts which they sell as a cash crop. Meanwhile protein malnutrition is rampant in the community. And then there is the need to develop kitchen gardens; green leafy nutritious plants. Marilyn desires to see fruit trees as well as coffee and cocoa planted! Phase 2 which will complete the security wall will begin in 2019. Then Hernso will begin to plant his own garden to show the benefits of “dra Bondye,” God’s blanket, which is fertilizing/covering the soil with compost: manure,leaves, and stalks from the last crop. In this case, he will need to do some serious composting as the land has been unused for years.
Meet Hernso. He and some friends have
developed a small business called “Diri 4 Sezon. That is “4 Seasons Rice.” They are endeavouring to bring locally grown rice back to Haiti. Right now the market is glutted with foreign rice; local farmers can’t afford to grow it. These young entrepreneurs are growing rice on a small plot of land near Ouanaminthe. They are using healthy farming methods to grow and harvest crops with good yield. They are proving that leaving land fallow for a short period of time actually increases their yields. It is Hernso who is willing to work cooperatively with the community in GdN to improve farming techniques and to bring crop diversity to an area where the belief is that “only peanuts will grow here.” We look forward to the first crops being grown and the training of farmers beginning in GDN.
King Solomon writes this in Psalm 72:1-2 “Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him to judge your people in the right way, let the poor always be treated fairly. May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful.” Then later v16-18 say: “May there be abundant grain throughout the land, flourishing even on the hilltops. May the fruit trees flourish… May the king’s name endure forever… May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise. Praise the LORD God, the God of Israel, who along does such wonderful things.” We pray that Haiti will have righteous and just leaders and that the country will flourish in every way.
I am grateful to God for the new young leaders that he is raising up for such a time as this! These leaders care about justice for their people and they care about the future of their nation. Let me introduce you to two of these young adults that I have encountered in the last few months as I have journeyed about in Haiti.
Meet Dr. Samuel and Nurse – Midwife Mis Nerle. God has brought these young adults into my path – Sammy, many years ago, and Mis Nerle 4 months ago. Mis Nerle is employed as midwife in charge of the Maternity at the GdN Health Centre. Dr. Samuel, who was born in GdN is working in Port-au-Prince doing his last year of an OB/GYN residency.
Dr. Sammy graciously serves with teams when he is available. He has recently assisted Pastor Lizand in getting the paperwork in order for the Government Registration of the new AEM clinic in Benoit. Thank you God for these amazing leaders.
Check out the link below to see the recent additions to and the new graduates of the Yvonne Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund:
Phase 1 and 2 of the Seniors Facility in Pignon, Haiti
Several years ago, the AEM church in Pignon identified the need for housing for senior adults in the area. These seniors often have no family or the family has moved away and forgotten them. After the completion of the security wall on an AEM property in Pignon, this ideal location became home for the seniors’ residence. Highview Community Church in Kitchener, ON has partnered with the AEM Pignon on this project. Thank you to our friends at Highview – Brian, Poppy, Colin and others.
We are reminded in God’s word of the importance of caring for the widows and the orphans. We are also challenged to “rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.” Leviticus 18:32 Pastor Abdon Marius and his wife have a desire to see that the older people of their community receive needed care – they desire to provide care in all aspects – yes spiritual, but also housing and food and medical assistance as needed. Pray for the ongoing partnership of Pignon AEM and Highview Community in caring for the elderly in Pignon.
I accompanied the Women’s Health Team to GdN, November 1 to 10. In earlier conversations with Dr. Samuel Raphael, I had developed an increased awareness of the need to screen for cervical cancer at our health facilities. This is the leading cause of cancer within the female population in Haiti. During the 10 days in GdN, our team worked alongside Dr. Emmanuel and an OB/GYN specialist Dr. Narcisse, the GdN health staff as well as some visiting new graduate doctors to provide screening for 148 women from the community and beyond. Results are pending; tests had to be sent to a laboratory in Port au Prince (PauP) for processing.
It was a blessing to be accompanied by Elaine Hilz during the month. We stayed on at GdN to see the completion of the Women’s Health clinic days, catch up on some rest and to check out the depot. Marilyn was able to spend time with the GdN health staff as well.
Then we flew MAF to Port au Prince. Gary, the nurse from Ouanaminthe accompanied us. It was his first time flying. He loved it. Once in PauP, we needed to shop for groceries for the next team. We would be travelling out to Benoit with the “That All May See” Eye team.
The Eye Clinic team as well as Eric, John and Ernst would be in Benoit for most of the last two weeks of November. During that time, Ernst and John would be securing the clinic building. Eric purchased ceramic tile which was installed by a skilled contractor from PauP. Don and Karen Stauffer would lead the “That all may See” team to provide eye consultations for the communities of Benoit and surrounding areas.
While the construction projects were occurring at the clinic, the Eye Team held their clinic in the church which also served as church, our sleeping quarters and dining/living area. It was a challenge but the team members were up for it. Thanks team.
And thanks to Sue and Ruth, Mama and Wadeline for keeping track of the patients and which clinics they were attending. It was certainly a challenge.
Late in the planning of the Eye Team and the construction piece, it became evident, let’s say God gave me a nudge, that if we held an eye exam clinic in Benoit, that there would be the expectation that medical exams and treatments would be provided as well. So at the last minute, Dr. Sammy and the 3 medical doctors who had volunteered at GDN were invited to provide medical consultations. The clinic was fairly well stocked with medicines and supplies. We would just use what was available and treat as we could. In between floors being tiled and furniture being moved from room to room, the doctors and nurses worked to care for the sick and those needing treatments, suturing etc. What a blessing.
Thank you to all who prayed faithfully during the weeks of deployment of the different teams in Haiti. We are grateful to have travelled those many kms over less than favourable road conditions and in less than ideal vehicles and to have arrived safely at our destinations. We are also so very grateful for the protection of our heavenly Father during the times of unrest here in Haiti. Thank you God for wisdom along the way, in our travels and during the activities of the various teams. Thank you Jesus for your mercies upon us. Those compassions were and are new every morning; daily we recognized that great is your faithfulness to us. Lamentations 3:22-23
- Significant year end donations and new monthly contributors have brought my support to a healthy level
- A surprise donation of “speculums” for our Women’s Health Screening in GdN – had our team shouting for joy. We needed 400; we received 1,400.
- Miss Marg Brown joined the Women’s Health team – we celebrated her 80th birthday (which was in September) with our Haitian family – what a joy!
- Plans for the medical team from Regina to Haiti in February, 2019
- For Haiti as there is an increase in unrest and instability
- The EMCC Global Mission Task Force (GMTF) continues to work through the future direction of EMCC World Partners
- The GMTF team will begin a cross Canada tour to meet with churches and mission minded people to further develop the direction.
- Leadership of Haiti; process of renewing registration with the Haitian government
- Missionary Church of Haiti, National Assembly, January 2019. Electing a new president. Pray for a leader with vision to move the denomination forward.
- Wisdom in planning for staffing the new Benoit clinic; pray for God’s “called out” ones.
Happy New Year 2019
Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way , O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
As we approach this new year, let us reflect on the goodness of Father God in the past months. Let us look forward to what he has in store for us in the coming year.
Until next post, thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Marilyn McIlroy, EMCC World Partners, Health and Community Development firstname.lastname@example.org
214 Highland Road East, Kitchener, ON N2M 3W2