Monday, July 15, 2013

Guest post: From the Hills of Haiti

Have you ever witnessed a miracle? This past week I had the privilege to again visit Pastor Actionnel Fleurisma and his new leadership team at OFCB Ministries in Bayonnais, Haiti. Every time I visit I am overwhelmed by what God has done in a remote location of an impoverished country. I am absolutely convinced that what I am witnessing is nothing short of one of God’s miracles.

In a remote mountainous area far from Port au Prince, OFCB Ministries began as a huge dream and an even greater faith. First came a school that started in 1984 with less than 100 students meeting under a mango tree. Today that school has over 2000 students and consistently produces students scoring at the top on the country’s national exams. They have now started a satellite school in an even more remote part of Bayonnais that already has 200 students. A church was built whose Sunday morning service is an inspiration in itself and whose attendance would more than fill the Sardis sanctuary.

In a community of over 80,000 people with no medical care, it had long been a dream of OFCB to build a medical facility in Bayonnais. Two years ago Pressly Gilbert and I were privileged to be visiting when the ground breaking for a new clinic took place. We watched in the days that followed as community members, mostly women, carried huge boulders on their heads all the way from the river to the building site for the foundation. Today there stands a building, which might be rudimentary by our standards, but for these people it is a gift from God. A doctor, three nurses, and a dentist staff the clinic. In a couple of weeks Pressly will talk more about the clinic in his blog.

All of this is truly amazing but what is most miraculous to me is to see the development of these new young leaders. For the most part these are all products of the OFCB School who went on to college to earn their degrees & in some cases advanced degrees. Many past up the opportunities for lucrative jobs in Port au Prince or in other countries to come back to their community and help build a new future. These are all capable, intelligent, and committed men and women dedicated to the advancement of both OFCB and the community of Bayonnais. To see them taking ownership in their future and the future of their community was beyond exciting! It is clear they have truly accepted and embrace this responsibility.

The work is far from done, but with God’s continued blessing, the generosity of you the members of Sardis as well as other church’s in the Carolinas, I am more confident than ever this will continue to be one of shining examples of what walking together in faith can accomplish. So thank you Sardis for your commitment to mission both here and abroad, it does make a difference!

In March 2014 Sardis will again sponsor a trip to Bayonnais. I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us and witnessing this miracle for yourself. 

Sam Coleman currently serves as chair of the Mission Interpretation Ministry.  He is a long time member of Sardis.  Sam lives in Davidson and when he’s not trekking back and forth on I-77, he enjoys reading, fishing, sailing, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

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