First let me tell you how happy we are, to be a part of this outstanding mission/ministry. We are happy because God is in this. We're happy because, we've seen tremendous positive changes in all levels. We are happy because of the restoration process we've been witnessing lately. Spiritually, many have come to the Lord. We are well aware of the troubles we created for the leaders in Les Cayes Haiti year after year, with so many souls coming into the Kingdom.
There was a time when Haiti used to be referred to as "the pearl of the Antilles." In the Old Testament, when God promises to heal or restore His people, or their nation, or their land (2 Chronicles 7:14), He promises to return these things to the condition, or the effectiveness, or the position they enjoyed when He first called them His people, when He first formed them into a nation, and when He first gave them their land.
When the Psalmist David says, "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation" (Psalm 51:12), He was asking God for a fresh start to return him to the time when he enjoyed God's forgiveness, and God's favor, and God's fellowship.
When the Prophet Isaiah speaks for God and says, "I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city" (Isaiah 1:26), God is promising to return the leaders of Israel to the former faithfulness they once expressed.
When the Prophet Jeremiah speaks for God and says, "'For I will restore health to you, and heal you of your wounds"' says the LORD, "Because they called you an outcast saying: 'This is Zion; no one seeks her" (Jeremiah 30:17), God is promising to bring Israel back to the glory and strength it once had.
Throughout the Old Testament, God finds His people sinning, suffering, struggling and ruled by enemies; in their predicament He promises them restoration. Jesus, our Messiah, came to do the same thing; however, many in His day did not see this.
They were expecting a prophet, one like Elijah, (like our current Haitian president, a politician instead of a popular dancer) to come to them:
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..." (Malachi 4:5-6)
Malachi was prophesying about John the Baptist. Jesus said that John had come "to restore all things" (Matthew 17:11), meaning that he came to call people to repent, to turn hearts, and to prepare Israel to receive the saving and restoring ministry of Jesus.
If you are wondering why am I so scripturally focused in this report, well, it's because we truly believe we are who we are because of the One who called us in this business for such a time as this. We've been struggling for a long time. We've experienced many challenges, many of them you have no idea about, but I believe we are now starting to see a glimpse of His much needed restoration.
We are ready. Are you ready for increase? Are you ready to go to the next level spiritually, physically, financially and emotionally? You may not even realize it, but in 2013 we celebrated 30 years of a vision in existence.
I've found that many people hear the truth that God has more in store for them, and something resonates on the inside. Their spirit comes into agreement with God. But often times, their natural minds will try to talk them out it. Thoughts come like, "It's not going to happen for you. You're not going to have a great year. You know what the economy is like." Or, "You're never going to get well. You saw what the medical report said." "You're never going to get married. You are not ready for a clinic/hospital project, how are you going to do all of that?, And the list goes on and on."
Friend, those are the old wineskins that you have to get rid of. This is a new season. What's happened in the past is over and done. You may have been through some disappointments, you may have tried and failed or things didn't work out. That's okay. BEM truly believes we serve a God of restoration. It's time to get a new vision for your life. It's time to open yourself to a new way of thinking so that you can move forward and receive all the blessings God has in store for us and for you!
Take the example of many young lives in despair, without hope. Through the ministries of RFA under the leadership of my good friend and sister Ellen Donohue, many have been set free and now are enjoying the freedom of a God-given life. Freedom to say never again will anyone hit me, freedom to say I now can go to school just like any other kids, freedom to say I'm an asset to this society and not a liability. I feel an overwhelming heartfelt joy to say it's all happening because of your partnership with us. That's the kind of restoration God is using people like you and me for, to put in place. This year at the children's request we separated the girls from the boys, all of the boys are now in Ducis, while the girls are in Chantal. Why you may ask? Because we respect the voices of these precious children, once voiceless but thank God Almighty they are now voiceful. Their new house is now two thirds complete. A set of loving new parents is now in place to lovingly taking care of them. We will be forever grateful to you for your sponsorship and partnership.
On the other hand at HELO just like in Chantal, we can attest to the same scenario. Orphaned children, many times sick, no opportunity for a shot at life, now find it at HELO. Elisabeth Kennedy (AKA mommy Elisabeth) the mother of one, now becomes the mother of more than 45. Her love, enthusiasm and dedication shows every time she talks about these children. Under her leadership properties have been purchased, a school has opened; the restoration of hope and love for many children has been put in place. Without your ongoing support to HELO, it would be impossible to achieve these outstanding progresses. Kids like Abraham; he came to HELO with many problems but with prayers, love, the hard work of the staff and the support of White Oak Baptist church's youth ministry, he is now thriving. This is the result of your partnership/sponsorship.
In the medical front, it's moving full speed from village to more villages. Our Mobile Medical Director and leader of our April Mission Trip, Debbie Molloy is working extremely hard to see as many patients as possible in more villages. In 2013 we combined the two Bay Dumels, a location visited by our February trip under the leadership of Abbi Bruce from Hartford Hospital. Another team leader, Marla Darius has added one more village to our fleet making her trip to five villages in a week. We currently have three solid medical trips and we are looking forward to add a fourth one this year, perhaps in October. In addition, we are also looking forward to be working with "GO ICS" a new organization in central CT focused in global outreach, we are confident through them we will be able to have access to a stationary medical clinic with a hospital plan soon. The land for such a project is almost completed. Early detection and prevention and immunizations as well as the use of health promoters will be our key to great medical success. In terms of drilling wells for clean water, in some areas, we have been extremely successful, like Brefette, La Croix, Les Cayes, at the Mission house, and Coderre. In some other places like Bay Dumel, where regardless how deep we drilled, we can only find salt water. We are working with some experts to see if we can solve some of these challenges.
Last August, once again, BEM gave the people in the Southern Peninsula an alternative, when thousands came to Les Cayes to celebrate the anniversary of the town; we were ready to preach the Word of God via Radio and TV stations. As usual, the week started with a three day leaders spiritual training which ended on Friday. Once again this year, we were able to add a medical aspect, where a team of three medical professionals, Chip Darius, Michael Teiger, and Abbi Bruce all gave their time each day to address the medical needs of these pastors. Then from Friday through Sunday it was almost non-stop services with the Annual Grand Convention. In addition to myself among the speakers were Chip Darius of the First Church of Christ of Wethersfield CT, Pastors Bill Huegel now retired, and Mark Angerosa of White Oak Baptist. We missed dearly our friend and ministry partner, Pastor David Strosahl, who couldn't make the trip. Please continue to pray for Pastor Dave as he is currently dealing with some serious health issues.
Sponsorship restoration is more good news: 2013 was the year where our sponsorship program truly took off. We now have two great leaders in place, M J Dyke and Sarah Clift Allen. One is in Ohio, and the other in New Mexico. These ladies mean business in making sure children are being sponsored. They started with the school of Les Cayes and they have made an outstanding difference already. Soon, you'll be able to go on the sponsorship page and select a child to sponsor.
In 2013, students from Cedarville University completed their second construction trip to Les Cayes. They worked with the Church of La Croix with a very aggressive construction program. We are so grateful for the leaders of C.U., the leaders of the church are appreciative and always in prayer for the team as they are looking forward to them to come in 2014. It is a delight to see young, Christians living their lives on the mission field in a way where Jesus will be pleased.
In terms of sponsorship, did you know you can also start a special relationship with another church through our church sponsorship program? It's a program that will spark your desire for mission. You will have the chance not to just write a check, but start a partnership. Did you also know you can also support our theological professor Pastor Bill Huegel? In 2014 Pastor could use your financial assistance so he can provide hot meals and purchase French/Creole literatures to help in his quest to properly teach our pastors. He never asks for this, in fact he is reluctant about even mentioning this, but it's badly needed. He is personally working to help support this work, so please help. If your church can add BEM theological support to it budget this year, it would a tremendous blessing.
The women's ministry, under the sponsorship of Katrina Pitt and the women of White Oak Baptist, had their second annual women's conference. It was a great success. It is reported that women came from nearly 15 churches from various villages. Though your contribution to this ministry may seem to be insignificant, I just want to report to you, it makes an outstanding difference in the success of this conference. Sister Gardinette Beaucejour was so encouraged by the love of so many women and has expressed her gratitude for the support she has been given. With the magnitude of this conference, we can clearly say, this group is no longer ignored. Gardinette is busy preparing for the upcoming conference in March. Thank you for your support for her endeavors for this much needed ministry.
This year more than ever before with the help of 5 S E N S E S ministries we fed and gave toys to more than 2,700 children in six villages in the southern peninsula. A group of 19 did a fantastic job. Next Christmas we will have two trips and we hope to cover at least ten villages. That's the kind of restoration I can believe in. Thanks to everyone for your involvement in this life-changing movement.
We have more Pastors in need of a sponsor, more villages in need of medical care, children under the oppression of restavec and need to be rescued, more wells to drill, more business starters are in need of financial guidance, more teachers in need of a decent salary and our needs goes on and on. But I'm still of a firm believer, "the task may still be ahead of us, but it's never as great as the power behind us."
I need to assure you, unlike many other organizations, BEM is and will remain one of the lowest costs in administration fees. We are still a volunteer based organization with only 10 percent of all donations made to BEM or our affiliates going toward administration fees.
In the name of all the program directors, Pastors, workers, students/children and most importantly the founder Pastor Jean and Gardinette, thank you for your support. Let us together make 2014 even a better year.