Every month Pastor Berthony Elucien and a couple of seminary students travel to the island of La Gonave in Haiti to serve a church in that far flung place. Why don't you come along and experience what it is like to travel with him.
After working as the Seminary librarian at S.T.E.P. during the week, Pastor Elucien awakens early on the last Saturday of the month. He will take a motorcycle taxi from his home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and arrive at the boat dock where he begins the first leg of his journey. All the boats headed to the distant island of La Gonave will usually be loaded with all sorts of goods, animals, and passengers. Although the destination is not that far away it may take a couple of hours by these slow ferries. A faster means of sea travel is available but that costs too much money every month. Since he is spending his own money for this trip, he can't afford to do it because he is also taking two or three ministry interns with him as well.
When they finally debark the overly loaded boat on La Gonave, they still have another one to one and a half hour motorcycle trip. The church is inland from the island coast. Because of it's remote location no real roads exist, only foot paths. The best mode of transportation other than walking is a motorcycle dirt bike.
Upon reaching the church by mid-afternoon they are greeted by a throng of smiling happy children who have been anticipating their monthly visit. The interns have been learning the practical side of church ministry. They have been hosting a kid's club ministry on Saturday with games and age appropriate Bible lessons.
Sunday brings an altogether different type of ministry as they preach, lead singing, teach Bible classes and help to infuse some hope into this community church. Not too many people ever come and visit this area of La Gonave. It's too far and too hard to reach.
The pastor who started this church passed away several years ago and some of the lay leaders have been doing their best to keep things going. A small school was started with about 75 students currently attending. Teacher training is lacking, school supplies non-existent and the facilities crude. However, the people of the church know the importance of education and the kids are receiving the best that they can provide.
The trip from the cost of La Gonave would take 4 hours to hike it on foot. So, motorcycles are an important tool. The ministry team usually will hire motorcycle taxis to take them to the church. We have been praying that God will supply the mission with several motorcycles to help provide the much needed transportation that they need for these ministry visits. Not only will the motorcycles provide the team with a time saving mode of transportation but they also will provide a source of income for the ministry team and the church there. The dirt bikes can be used by local riders to convert them into motorcycle taxis during the week. The money that they generate will provide income to the drivers as well as extra money for maintenance and income for the church.
We praise the Lord that a donor provided the mission with the funds to purchase the first motorcycle for La Gonave. During the recent 2016 Annual Conference in Bradenton, FL Pastor Elucien was presented with a check from the mission to make the first purchase. Below is a picture of the motorcycle that the mission now has put into use for the mission team on La Gonave. Will you please continue to pray with us that the Lord will provide the much needed funds that yet are needed to purchase the other three motorcycles for the team. They each cost $1,000 U.S. and can be purchased already delivered to the small island.
Praise the Lord He is supplying our EVERY need ! We serve a great God!
This year has already given us renewed energy that God is doing great things. We are now recognized in the United States under the name New Hope Coalition and our Kreyol name is listed here to the left.
This motorcycle is tangible proof that "God WILL SUPPLY" !
Oh, but you still have to finish the trip with the student ministry team...
After the Sunday church services they eat together that they have paid to have prepared for them. Usually $8 will feed each of the members of the team Saturday evening Sunday morning and Sunday noon. by 2:00 they jump back on the motorcycle taxis and head back to the island coast.
The boat knows that they are coming so as soon as they arrive they take off. This time the ferry is loaded with things going to market in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. As always it is packed with additional passengers none of who are looking forward to a two hour slog back to the mainland.
This trip happens on the last weekend of every month. Wouldn't you like to come along and see the impact that they are having on the lives of the people in that church?
Pastor Elucien is sacrificing himself, his time and his money for the cause of Christ in Haiti. Will you partner with us?
"Don't sacrifice the permanent on the alter of the immediate" - Unknown
The organization has taken some major steps forward this year and we look forward to what God will do in the coming years. Our leaders and members of the Board of Directors came together at the Annual Conference held this February. We came together to pray for God's guidance and to plan for what lays ahead .
Pastor Berthony Elucien, our Haiti Managing Director, was able to attend the conference in Bradenton, Fl. He was able to share a moving message
on Sunday, the last day of our conference. His message was inspired by passages in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. When walls are broken down in our lives we need to find a way to rebuild them, so as to regain the protection and security that we long to experience. God's Word helps us to rebuild those broken sections of our spiritual walls. Willful ignoring of God's principles, disobedience to God and poor relationships with people in our lives create breaches to the wall. However, as we examine God's Word and look for ways to apply it to our lives, the gaps of our wall can be rebuilt. Once again we can enjoy the security of a spiritual wall that will help us maintain balance in our life. This message was well received and encouraged us to spend a wonderful time of prayer together to close the conference.
Earlier on in the conference we heard from Pastor Tony Ledbetter, missionary to Haiti, as well as a message of encouragement from Darryl Brown. A recently added Executive Board member, Pastor Robert Wagler, also shared a devotional on Saturday morning that opened our eyes to the way that God may choose to work in our lives. He shared with us about the beggar at the Temple that may very well have been in Jerusalem when Jesus was a 12 year old boy teaching the Jewish leaders. He no doubt had seen Jesus pass through the temple many times in the following years. He had been there when Jesus cleared the temple in a fit of anger at how people perverted the use of the temple. He had seen Jesus on multiple occasions, yet he never experienced the physical healing that he so longed for. He continued to cry out, shaking his little container,
"Banm ti bagay!". He remained a cripple until Peter and John passed by, after Jesus' crucifixion. When all hope was gone, he experienced an incredible physical miracle - healing of paralyzed legs. The lesson that we learn is that God may choose to orchestrate the very details of our lives in his own desired time... for a purpose.... to reveal the glory of God!
We also heard reports on the finances of the organization, which encouraged us to pray all the harder. What we learned is that the organization doesn't have a problem with how they are spending their money. It has been incredibly frugal. But rather, it has a challenge in not receiving enough in donations to meet the necessary obligations.
Every year for the last three years the number of families and people served by Helping Hands Outreach ( the community service division) has doubled each year. In Bradenton we are now serving between 80 to 90 families each Thursday and in West Palm Beach between 30 to 40 families every Saturday. These food pantries are exploding, because the need in the community is great. However we still have challenges. Bradenton doesn't have a vehicle to pick up the food ....
but we are finding a way to do it anyway!
The leadership school is continuing to operate and develop multiple leaders. Our biggest challenge is to find a way to help local pastors see the benefit of encouraging their leaders to come and be developed for ministry.
Pastor Berthony Elucien also gave a moving overview of the ministry in Haiti. During the presentation we all agreed that we would long to see a scholarship program developed to encourage young students at the school in La Gonave and give them some hope for the future. He asked us to pray that the Lord would supply us with a piece of property titled in the mission's name. This will help us to become recognized by the Haitian Government as a legal entity in Haiti. He was also pleased to receive a check for $1,000 that will be used to purchase a much needed motorcycle on La Gonave where he takes ministry teams once a month.
Speaking of hope... the Board of Directors made a recommendation to change the name of the organization to New Hope Coalition (Nouvo Espwa Ansanm). This proposal received some discussion and was unanimously voted to accept the new name. Documents will be filed with the State of Florida, the IRS and other legal documentation will be updated to reflect the new name.
Darryl Brown was also presented to the assembly as the newly appointed Executive Director, who will serve in a voluntary capacity. Pastor Robert Wagler, long time missionary to Haiti, was also asked to serve on the Board of Directors as a member at large.
All in all, we praise the Lord for this year's conference. We anticipate what lays ahead and pray that "God will do immeasurably more than we can ever ask or think".
When all the candidates on either side of the aisle are squabbling with each other it is mind numbing to try and figure out which one deserves my vote in the coming election. It isn't just about who makes the best promises, or has the right personality. I believe that there are foundational issues that take precedence over any of these superficial matters.
So, what can I do to have some level of confidence that my vote is cast for the "right" candidate?
Research each candidate on these issues to see if you, as a Christian who believes in the principals found in Scripture, can vote for them. Use the supporting information associated with each point to help you in your research and your decision.
President Obama is “paving the way for change” and this is clearly outlined in a recent interview with Glamour Magazine.
“Well, there are a couple of things that we’ve done. The first is to make sure the federal government is no longer defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA], which essentially orders the federal government not to honor [same-sex] marriage contracts, even in those states that have approved same-sex marriage...My view is that [DOMA] is unconstitutional, and the Justice Department is now arguing the other side. Ultimately the Supreme Court over the next year or two is probably going to be making a decision on this.” -Obama 11/2012 interview with Glamour Magazine
These are only a couple of guiding ideas that may help a Christian decide on who to vote for in the coming election. These are ideas that are based on Scripture and fundamental to the values that all Christians should uphold.
What Can I Give God? - Worship
Message prepared by
First Biblical Baptist Church , Palmetto, FL
September 20-21, 2014
Personal comments and background about Haiti.
Traditional seasons of giving most often focus on giving God a portion of the wealth He has bestowed to us.
Illustration: Memories of Harvest Festival Sunday in Anse d’Hainault, Haiti
In Haiti, just like in the days described in the Bible, people brought physical goods as an offering to the Lord. This was a very practical way of giving, for two reasons:
1. The Gift was a represented the work of the Giver
2. The Gift physically supported the spiritual leaders - the priests.
During this season of harvest celebration we normally look to passages that encourage us towards giving.
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 — "Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
Pa janm mete nan tèt nou se kouraj nou ak fòs ponyèt nou ki fè nou gen tout richès sa yo. Chonje se Seyè a, Bondye nou an, ki te ban nou kouraj sa a. Se li menm ki te fè nou rive gen tout richès sa yo,
The Lord make poor and rich; he brings low, He also exalts (1 Samuel 2:7).
Li fè moun rich, li fè moun pòv. Li desann moun jouk atè, lèfini li fè yo kanpe ankò.
These passages help us to recognize that everything that we have ,even the ability to work… it’s all from the hand of God
We review passages that encourage us to give a financial tithe… a portion of our finances that we dedicate to God. We might look at the verses in Malichi that identify our stinginess as thievery. When we hold back what God expects we are actually stealing from Him.
Reviewing these passages reminds us of the importance of giving to God purposefully, consistently, with intention.
This evening, however, I would like to take a look at a different perspective on giving.
We will consider a few Scriptures together.
I Chron. 29:11-14
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. (1 Chronicles 29:11-14 NIV)
What we see is that everything on the earth and everything in the Heavens already belongs to the Lord. He created it didn't he? So, He owns it.
God Almighty the Creator spoke into being the heavens, stars, sun, moon… He owns it !
It was God who formed our world when there was nothing…. He owns it !
God formed the dry land… He owns it !
He created the mountains…. He owns it !
God designed the oceans and all the creatures that live in the sea…. He owns it
God created the flowers of the field and all the trees…. He owns it !
He created all the animals on the earth.... He owns it..
He created you and me.... He owns us!
So,… during this season of giving we need to first of all recognize that God owns it all… that means everything,….
Psalms 24:1 — "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."
“Se pou Seyè a tè a ye ansanm ak tou sa ki sou li. Se pou Seyè a lemonn antye ansanm ak tou sa k'ap viv ladan l’ “
So,… what does “everything” mean? …. every thing !
The clothes we wear
The car we drive
The house we live in
The phone we carry
Our bank account
Every thing that lives on the earth is included
Every fish in the sea
This includes you and me, He created us, so he owns us…
Matthew 22: 15-22
“Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21 NIV)
“Bay Seza sa ki pou Seza, bay Bondye sa ki pou Bondye.”
Since we belong to God what can we give Him? What would he want from us?
Illust: Buying an engagement ring for my fiancé. My love for her made me desire to give her the very best that I possibly could. I wanted to please her. I wanted to surprise her with my expression of love. I wanted to get the best deal I could with the money that I had. I had saved for some time. I had planned this out. Now I was willing to spend most of my bank account on a piece of gold with a little stone on it. Why was I willing to do this? Because of my love for her. I wanted to make a statement of my commitment.
So when Jesus said to give to God what is God’s what can we possibly Give to God that would please Him that would honor Him for who He is? What gift could we give that would show him our commitment and desire to serve Him.
I believe that there are three gifts that we can Give the Lord that only we can present to Him… The first Gift we will look at tonight and the other two we will look at tomorrow.
God is God and will have what He wants when He wants it. However, God will never demand our love, obedience, and affection. These must willingly be given to Him in view of His mercy and loving kindness.
Worship only belongs to God
1. The first thing God wants from us is our worship. “Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God.” Worship is all about giving God what He doesn’t have. It is our thanksgiving, our adoration and our worship that God really wants.
Worship must be a very powerful thing. It is something that Almighty God wants from us and it is something that Satan seeks to steal from God and direct towards himself. He even tried to get Jesus to bow a knee in worship to him during the time of testing. This must be something very powerful and something that is precious to God. Satan would not seek to pervert and misdirect it if it wouldn't be hurtful to God if he were successful.
Illustration: ?? What does hate do....? It will cause someone to take actions that are harmful and destructive in order to cause emotional, mental or even physical pain to the person who is the object of the attention. If the person knows that their enemy enjoys or takes pleasure in something then they may choose to destroy or disrupt that enjoyment. In the same way... If Satan can get us.... God's loved children... To stop loving God, and instead, begin to worship Satan it will cause God heartache.
What does Scripture tell us about worship.....? It should only be the worship of God Almighty... Not other people,animals, pictures or statues of animals or people, not even things.
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Piga nou gen lòt bondye pase mwen menm sèlman. Piga nou janm fè ankenn estati ni ankenn pòtre ki sanble bagay ki anwo nan syèl la, osinon bagay ki sou latè ou ankò nan dlo anba tè a. Piga nou adore yo, ni piga nou sèvi yo. Paske mwen menm, Seyè a, Bondye nou an, mwen se yon Bondye ki fè jalouzi. Lè yon moun rayi m', mwen fè pitit li, pitit pitit li ak pitit pitit pitit li yo peye sa. Men, lè yon moun renmen m', lè li fè sa m' mande l' fè, m'ap moutre l' jan mwen renmen l' tou ansanm ak tout pitit pitit li yo pandan mil jenerasyon.
So you see… God wants our worship. He longs for us to serve Him and Him only.
So what is worship?
Someone has suggested that worship is
Who is God? According to a passage in the book of Job
He laid the foundations of the earth
He set the cornerstone of the earth while the angels sang
He set the boundaries of the oceans
He knows where the gates of death exist
He knows the very source and abode of light
He is the Father of every drop of dew
According to the Psalms:
He formed us in our mother’s stomach
He knows the number of days we will live
He knows our thoughts
He knows where we are, at all times
There isn’t any place on earth that we can go that He won’t be with us.
According to Jesus:
He clothed the flowers of the field in majestic splendor.
He knows the number of hairs on your head
He knows every bird of the air
He even knows your secret prayers
He is a loving Father who cares for us
And who are we?
We have a beginning and an end — he doesn’t
We know how we sin - He doesn’t…. He is Holy
We often come to the end of our abilities — he doesn’t
We don’t keep our word… He always keeps His word
So, can we celebrate the difference?
But why do we play when we come to church?
Why do say we are worshiping when many times we are really pretending?
Jesus shared some insight about worship with the Samaritan woman, a person who was not perfect. She was far from perfect…She had been married 7 times. This isn’t someone who was perfect… yet he shared with her what God wanted… worship.
John 4:23-24 - Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Men, lè a ap rive, li rive deja: tout moun k'ap sèvi tout bon yo pral sèvi Papa a nan kè yo jan sa dwe fèt. Se moun konsa Bondye vle pou sèvi li. Bondye, se Lespri li ye. Tout moun k'ap sèvi l', se pou yo sèvi l' nan lespri yo jan sa dwe fèt la.
How does Scripture tell us to worship?
In Truth…. sincerity. Not pretending, for others to see.
Jesus gave an illustration of sincere worship when he told about the religious leader who prayed in public for all to hear. He was praying to God for his own purposes. He was the center of attention, instead of God. Jesus went on to describe another man who in a spirit of humility cried out to God and confessed his sin… I am a sinner.
When we recognize who we are before an almighty God … that is when we are engaged in worship.
So,… what can you give to God today? Do you have your checkbook? Have you brought an offering…. Good ! But that’s not what God wants…. He wants our worship. Church… He wants truth in the Church today…. the truth is that we are all sinners saved by grace. When we confess this to a watching world it will change lives… It will be attractive. Those who are not yet converted will recognize God for who He is and will be drawn into His presence.
So,… the question today is have we given Him our best? Yes… He will use our offerings, our gifts of money. But Does He have our best worship?
Let us pray!
North America: Fragmented Church
The main directive that Jesus gave his disciples in Matthew 28 was that they "make disciples". This is the purpose statement that should drive every Christian, in one way or another. So, how can we say that we are in ministry if we aren't doing the very thing that Jesus wanted us to do?