Albright Church

Service Time

Sundays: 10:00am

Service Information

Begin, Belong, Become

Phone: 204-334-5873    Email: info@albrightchurch.com

415 Maxwell King Drive, East St. Paul, MB - View Map

Partnering in our City with the365 Police Prayer Watch

 Join Us To Pray!

 May 19 - 25, 2019


In Winnipeg, we have the privilege of joining hands and hearts with churches all around the city to be in prayer for our Winnipeg Police Department, 365 days of the year. Albright church continues to partner with churches across our city to play our role in ensuring that together, we are seeking God for the welfare of our city, and our Police Service.


This week we will link together in this chain of daily specific prayer over our Police Service. Prayer is powerful, and as we continue to seek God’s protection, and help, we ask him to do more than our officers can do on their own.


“Those with a badge cannot alone turn the tide of society’s ills. But if we will partner with them in faith, our community and our nation will experience a great victory.” (B.G. Nevitt). Please join us as we continue to seek together God’s will over our city, and our nation as we partner in prayer this upcoming week.


Within the prayer watch we are also encouraged to consider how we can practically bless the police during our week of prayer or at any time, it may be as simple as a verbal thank you to an officer you pass by, or a card sent to a district office. Perhaps you could bless an officer by paying for their coffee or lunch. It may take some extra effort, but it would be well worth it to bless those who serve us so faithfully in simple practical ways as Jesus would lead us.


Let this week be a catalyst to remembering our Police Service regularly in personal prayer throughout the year.

 

Suggestions for Daily Prayer


Monday              

Thank God for police willing to do a job that is often sacrificial and challenging. Thank for officers you know personally. Pray:

  • about crimes that have affected you or people you know.
  • for Chief of Police Danny Smythe, and all in leadership in the Winnipeg Police. Pray for wisdom in how they use the resources available to them as they face increasing budget constraints.


Tuesday              

Pray:

  • for change in our city's reputation as "murder capital of Canada" to “City of Refuge”.
  • that God will expose and root out violent crime, paedophilia, human trafficking, drugs, pornography, domestic violence & child abuse.
  • for God’s wisdom for those dealing with these types of crime.
  • Pray for a change of heart in offenders. Pray that they would come to know God’s love for them and find purpose in their lives.
  • Ask the Lord to end the Meth Epidemic in our city and to provide a detox centre and long term rehabilitation centre for users.


Wednesday      

Pray:

  • for victims or people affected by crime,
  • for healing and peace, for a new sense of safety and hope.
  • that God would help them to forgive those who have hurt them, so they can be free from bitterness, depression and hopelessness.
  • for an end to anti-social behaviour, gang culture, knife & gun crime.
  • Ask the Lord to protect new immigrants and refugees from gangs, and to move the Church to action in reaching out to these newcomers.


Thursday            

Pray for the legal system:

  • that it would truly be founded on God’s truth and justice.
  • that people will feel confident to trust the integrity of the system, and that breach or failure would be dealt with firmly and appropriately to restore confidence.
  •  for integrity for judges, magistrates, and all who uphold the law.


Friday                  

Thank God for relationships that police have in many communities where they are welcomed and respected. Pray:

  • for relationships with groups that find it hard to trust the police.
  • that God would bring down barriers and build bridges, creating opportunities for relationships to be built and that police officers would show compassion, even in very difficult situations.
  • especially for relationships with young people who feel marginalized or disaffected.
  • for protection over police, physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally as they engage with people who do not respond positively.


Saturday             

Pray for police officers and staff:

  • for their marriages and families.
  • that they would have opportunities to spend quality time with their families, and that they would be able to manage their work / life balance effectively.
  • for support and healing for those who have experienced traumatic situations in their work.
for spiritual protection over them as they face some of the darkest aspects of human nature. Ask God to give them the qualities they need to be able to do their job and not to become hardened and cynical. Pray that they would find hope and peace in Jesus. Pray for continued integrity and fairness in all that the police do.
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Two Years ago, Albright Church fundraised to build the first phase of an enclosure wall around the AEM (Association Eglise Missionaries, our national partner church in Haiti) Guest House Property in the community of Gens de Nantes, Haiti. This property already serves several functions. It is the property at which guests in the community will stay, (visiting mission teams, denominational leaders from the AEM, delegates from the Haitian Health Department); And the buildings also are housing for temporary and permanent staff for the AEM Clinic that operates just down the road from the Guest House Property.


 

Currently only about a third of this property is made use of. We want to help our Haitian friends maximize their use of this great resource of land that they own.


One of our partners, a young Haitian man named Hernso Philogene (graduated with a degree in agriculture and is passionate to see agricultural development in his community) is developing plans for the unused portion of land. It is Hernso’s desire to begin to grow ‘learning plots’ on the property based on a program called Farming God’s Way


 


Through these learning plots, community members will be given access to learn good agricultural practices that restore the health of the soil and allow for diverse growth of many fruits, vegetables, and rice. Our vision together is to see many Haitians in the Gens de Nantes region gain the knowledge and tools they need to begin growing more efficiently on their own land and create greater food security in the region. The enclosure project is needed to stop animal and people traffic though the AEM property that currently is hindering these kinds of ‘learning plots’ from being developed.


Once completed, the enclosure will serve several purposes, it will help to control traffic through the property, ensuring that there is safety and a measure of privacy for the clinic staff who live there as well as for guests when they are present. It will also protect several important facilities on the property from being damaged or stolen (the water pump, the motorcycle depot, generator, tools, and cooking supplies). Finally, it will provide a secure space for present and future projects that will encourage the agricultural and economic development within the region of Gens de Nantes for years to come.


Earlier this fall we celebrated the completion of Phase 1 construction.



With a great start having been made on the enclosure, we have begun phase 2 fundraising to see this project to completion and this Sunday, in addition to our burrito breakfast fundraiser taking place after the service, we will also be launching our tree fundraiser which we hope will raise another $20,100 toward our target goal of raising $40,000 to complete this project.


We all have the opportunity to participate regardless of how much we are able to give. Every donation matters and can make an impact! Join us this Sunday to see how you can participate in the ongoing growth and development of the nation of Haiti as we partner together for God’s glory!

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It seems safe to say that this week, Spring has finally arrived.  The sun has been breaking through the clouds and warming up the earth below.  The melting snow revealing all that it has covered up over winter.  As the seasons change we also begin to see, if only from a distance, neighbours that we have not seen all winter long. We may have a deep relationship spanning many years with some of these neighbours; some we may not even know at all.  But regardless of how long we have known our neighbours, it should be our desire to build relationship with them so that we can love them in the way Christ has loved us.


“This is the message that you have heard from the beginning. We should love one another.” 1 John 3:11


As we celebrate this Easter season, we are reminded of what had been done for us.  We have been redeemed from an eternity apart from God and all of His goodness.  We have been shown an abounding love by our Saviour Jesus Christ.  A love that is as wide as outstretched limbs nailed to a tree.  “For this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:24.  Through His sacrifice, He has conquered sin and death; He has made a way for all who believe in His name to be saved.


The truth of Easter weekend is not just for us.  As much as we receive the good news of Jesus Christ with joy in our own lives, we are not called to stop there.  As we have come to know what love is by the servant sacrifice of Jesus, we are called to reciprocate that love to others.  “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:17-24.


As we have experienced the love of Jesus in our own lives, we are called to love others in a way that addresses their needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually through action, not only in words.  As we continue in our journey together as a church body, we seek to not only begin and belong, but to BECOME more committed followers of Jesus; and this is what Christ has asked of us, “…to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded.” 1 John 3:23.  It is my prayer that collectively we grow in our willingness and ability to love others in all areas of our lives.  Whether among co-workers, our neighbours, our families, or strangers, we are called to look beyond ourselves to see the needs around us.


How do we discover the needs?  We need to first be growing in our ability to listen.  As we talk to people in all of our relational spheres, we can serve them by listening to them.  Hearing about their past, inquiring about their families, asking about their hobbies and interests, being concerned for their well-being, celebrating their victories.  Listening is the beginning of building any trusting relationship. Intentionally building relationships is so important as we seek to share the life and love of Christ with others.  As we build relationships continue to pray that God would soften the heart of those you are walking with and that, by His Spirit, they would begin to explore the truth of Jesus.


So, wherever you are over this Easter Season, take time to consider ways that you might build relationships with those around you who are uncertain what the Gospel means in their lives.  Seek ways to bless those you have relationship with.  The goal being that they would know the love of Christ alive in us, for this is where we are called to start in relationship with those who do not know Him.  As we seek to be active in blessing, we will continue to rely on the work of the Holy Spirit in those around us; that God will build His kingdom as we open ourselves up to be part of His work.


- Nathan Wachal, Associate Pastor Community Initiatives and Worship Arts

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Operation Christmas Child is a hands on way for Canadian's and other countries to bless struggling children in the developing world by filling shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, clothing, etc.  The boxes are collected in November, checked and prepared for transit at a local processing centre and then distributed in the name of Jesus Christ to children in over 100 countries throughout the year. 


Video - Luis God's Instrument

 

There are still so many people worldwide that still need to hear the Good News and Great Joy of Jesus Christ.  Operation Christmas Child's mission is to do that by distributing gift filled shoeboxes in the name of Jesus Christ to children in over 100 countries.  OCC is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse which exists to follow the example of Christ by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the gospel.


Operation Christmas Child equips local churches and ministry partners to provide teacher training to teach the 12 lesson discipleship program called The Greatest Journey.  For every 25 shoeboxes packed, 4 children come to know Jesus as Lord through the follow-up discipleship lessons.  Worldwide over 10,000,000 shoeboxes were packed in 2018.  The Lord is doing great things as we share the gospel with these beautiful young souls.  Many of the children that have received shoeboxes have gone on to minister to their own communities and continue to make an impact for the gospel. 


Last year in Canada,  517,437 shoeboxes were packed, with 36,164 coming from Manitoba.  At Albright Church, we packed 164 shoeboxes, which translates to 27 children coming to know the Lord Jesus through them!


Please continue to pray for Operation Christmas Child and the children receiving the shoeboxes that God's name would be glorified in all the earth through these simple gifts.  If you are interested in packing a shoebox, they can be done through the year on-line or during the fall collection time.  Operation Christmas Child also has many other volunteer opportunities available on their webite.


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”    Matthew 28:19-20

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It is through serving that God so often teaches us something about ourselves. As we seek to be living on mission from neighbors to nations, we are also constantly being changed. God is, “seeing to completion the good work He has started in us.” (Philippians 1:6) Even as we minister to help others come to the Savior, Jesus, we are reminded that we are still in desperate need of the Savior. Over the past year and a half, some in our church community have been travelling regularly to Stony Mountain Institution to lead a time of worship through music, and to spend time in conversation with inmates, encouraging one another, praying for one another, and sharing our mutual hope in Christ.  As one of the team members put it, “A great way to connect with the inmates through worship, but more importantly, through fellowship”.


Sometimes it is difficult to relate as we come from such divergent backgrounds, family histories, and lifestyles, not to mention the added barriers of a relatively short amount of time to connect and the inability to share our lives fully with the inmates for security reasons. It can be difficult to find common ground by which we might encourage and build one another up. 


But several times, God has been teaching us the fundamental reality of the common ground all people stand on before Him. All of us share the brokenness of sin. All of us have the choice to deny God’s authority and commit unspeakable acts. All of us can be quick to judge another person’s situation and determine they are beyond saving, while we ignore the transformation that God is calling US to.


“It’s humbling and inspiring hearing the inmates’ stories of how they are striving and continuing to pursue Jesus in the midst of their surroundings and sentences.” ~ Matt


But as we have come to know a few of the inmates we worship with, we realize that, outside of the cross of Christ, the state of our heart is not any different than theirs. Inside of us all is the capacity for great evil, and the capacity to hurt others in life altering ways. We all need the Holy Spirit to be at work within us so that we can turn away from wickedness, and live to honor God.  We are all on a journey towards living in the freedom of the grace of Jesus.  And Jesus will judge rightly, our call is to LOVE. We grow in our understanding of what it means to love as we learn the depths of God’s grace to ALL sinners. So great is the love of God that we can find common ground with an inmate at Stony Mountain and stand together in prayer and praise to worship the Lord Jesus!


If you would like to hear more about the ministry at Stony Mountain Institution, or maybe even consider being a part of it with us, send an email to missions@albrightchurch.com.

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Over the past two years, Albright Church has had the opportunity to partner with SOAR Heartland to see youth from our congregation have the opportunity to grow in their understanding what it means to live on mission with Jesus. SOAR Heartland is a 10-day discipleship training and mission program that runs over the course of spring break. Youth teams from across the prairies join together in Winnipeg to worship, learn, eat, and dorm together. They also have the opportunity to practice what they are being taught as they partner with various organizations who are serving the needs of the vulnerable in Winnipeg.  


We celebrate the growth that we have seen in the lives of youth at Albright and greatly appreciate the work that the SOAR team does to create an atmosphere of disciple making and mission engagement for youth all across our city! 


This year, our neighbour, Eastview Community Church is hosting SOAR at their facility and although we were unable to commit to sending a team of our youth, we have the awesome opportunity to partner with SOAR in a new way.  Albright Church will be the sleeping site for the SOAR leadership team from March 21-30. We are grateful that God has made a way for us to continue to support the ongoing efforts of SOAR and to work together as the greater body of Christ together with our brothers and sisters at Eastview!  If you happen to see any of the SOAR Leadership team here at Albright at the end of this week or next, be sure to give them a high-five and a word of encouragement! 


 SOAR is also looking for volunteers to help out at Eastview with Breakfast Prep, Breakfast Cleanup, Lunch Prep, Lunch Cleanup, Supper Prep, Supper Cleanup and Facility Cleaning. This is another way we can practically come along side to help our youth grow in their walk with Jesus. No role is too small! We all can participate in what God is doing in our city as He gives us eyes to see the opportunity! 


If you are available to help or would like more info about serving in any of the above areas, please contact Kathleen Kopp, Volunteer Coordinator for SOAR at 204-470-6688 or kkopp4@gmail.com


Even if you are unable to serve in a hands on way, we encourage you to bring SOAR Heartland before God in prayer. Ask for the movement of His Spirit in the lives of young people to transform, to encourage, and to strengthen. Seek God's strengthening for the SOAR leadership team and pray that God would move in a mighty way to lead the next generation of Jesus followers! 

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As we continue to partner with our friends in Gens de Nantes Haiti, our focus remains to learn from and journey with our Haitian brothers and sisters, to seek poverty alleviation from all its forms to the ultimate glory of God! We believe that God is leading us to continue our partnership by supporting and encouraging agricultural development in the region.


In the summer of 2017 Albright set a target goal to raise $50,000 towards building Phase 1 of an enclosure around the AEM Guesthouse property. This past September we celebrated that not only were the funds raised, but that the enclosure has been constructed as far as available funds have allowed.



The purpose of this property enclosure is to support the vision from our partners in Haiti to use this amazing 10 acre property for growing agricultural teaching plots. As you might have caught last week, our friend Hernso has a burden and vision to teach sustainable farming practices to others in the community, teaching the value and potential of the soil they are living on. All this produce: bananas, mangos, potatoes, onions,  tomatoes, carrots, cassava, pineapples, rice and so much more can all be grown right in the soil that God has provided. We praise God for our partners like Hernso, who see this potential and want to help their community see it too. This project is not just about a physical structure, it is about investing in the vision that God has given to our partners. It is about creating a space where Hernso and those who join him can share the gospel through teaching farming God’s way. Creating space for development to happen through the people of Gens de Nantes. Not about the project, our partnership continues to be about people walking together in the journey following Jesus.



At this stage the enclosure is about half built around the entire 10 acre property, but will still not secure the property from animal/people traffic that would make it very difficult to begin to develop these growing plots. As a church our desire is to see this project not left undone and so we have set a Phase 2 target goal to raise $40,000 to complete the project. Please pray with us that God will provide and prayerfully consider if God is calling you to participate in our partnership in this way. We look forward to all that God will continue to do through our partners in Haiti as they continue to be faithful to use and steward well the resources God has given them! We are so blessed to be in partnership with these incredible people!


Continue praying for Haiti. Celebrate and praise God that even as He is inspiring and teaching us in Winnipeg to be living on mission to proclaim the gospel and practically meet the needs of our neighbors, He is doing the same in Gens de Nantes. We join hands as brothers and sisters in Christ, to bring His good news of restoration and reconciliation both in Winnipeg and in Haiti. We praise Him together!
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In the spring of 2018, Albright Church came alongside our Haitian partners to partially build a secure enclosure around a 10 acre piece of property owned by the AEM (our national church partner in Haiti) that up to this point has been used solely for housing guests and medical staff for the Gens de Nantes Clinic. What is the big deal you might ask? Well, an enclosure is a wonderful blessing! 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.


Meet Hernso.


A young man with an agriculture degree, training in Farming God’s Way and experience in growing rice to sell at market, he continues to grow in His gifting. As the enclosure construction progresses, He is already developing the vision for next steps. He desires to use the property to build learning plots, and begin training local farmers. Hernso understands the need to diversify crops and to work to increase the health of the soil for greater growth. He desires to teach and encourage his community that they can grow more than just peanuts!


We pray that God will continue to raise up others in the community alongside Hernso who will be willing to work the land, teach others to do the same, and be a leading voice for agricultural development in the region of Gens de Nantes. The land has so much potential, but needs much work and care.


We praise God for raising up leaders like Hernso in the community, who want to see their community move towards greater food security, and who recognize the potential of the land God has provided. It is wonderful to come alongside in partnership to support local leaders who are bringing vision and hope to their community as they follow Jesus.


Please pray for Hernso, pray for others in the community to catch the vision for this property, and pray that together we will continue to steward the resources God has given us in Haiti, and in Canada well so that He would be given glory through our partnership!


For more info on Farming God’s Way visit (https://farminggodsway.com/)

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As a church we have so many opportunities to live intentional lives of blessing from Neighbors to Nations,  It is not only through long term partnerships that we can be witnesses to God’s grace and love for us, but even through the one time, seemingly insignificant, opportunities that God opens for us to love others in the way Jesus has loved us.


Two weekends ago, we received a request from one of our community connections in East St. Paul to see if as a church, we could provide meals to three families who were without heat following a massive power surge that damaged appliances in several East St. Paul homes. A few people within the church body were contacted and over the next few hours, a plan was set in place to deliver meals to these families, simply to bless them, and to let them know there are neighbors who care for them. We are so thankful to those at Albright who saw, and stepped into this opportunity trusting that God would use it for His glory.


Here is the response of one family:  We cannot thank you enough for the AMAZING meal you brought today. It was absolutely delicious!  Your kindness means so very much to us!Thank you again!


We don’t know for sure how these families will be impacted by this simple, but intentional act of love, but we trust that Jesus will continue to use opportunities like this to reveal His heart of compassion and love to all people. Each one of us has opportunities like this where we can be intentional about sharing the love of Jesus in practical ways to our neighbors.


Pray for our community of East St. Paul. Pray for the neighborhood you are living in, Pray that God would reveal the opportunities you have to bless others and invite them to follow Him, and pray that you would have a willing heart to respond when the opportunity comes.


Let's continue to be prayerful, listening for opportunities, and willing to have our lives interrupted so that we could be part of sharing the love of Jesus together!

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Acts One:Eight

On Mission to Neighbours and Nations


 


This is Herlynda, one of our ministry partners in Haiti!


We first met Herlynda when our Haiti Partnership began and we never could have imagined the ways that God would use her in the community of Gens de Nantes.


God has given this young lady some incredible gifts that she is growing in and using for His Glory! Now a business school graduate she has returned from Port Au Prince to humbly serve in her home community at the clinic in Gens de Nantes. She is using her gift and training in administration to provide the organizational support to the Doctor and Nursing staff that will aide the clinic in moving forward toward self sufficiency. We celebrate that God has led her to work at the clinic in the amazing timing of His will!


In the fall of 2018, we also received news that Herlynda has been affirmed by the leadership of the AEM (the national church in Haiti) to serve as the liaison between the AEM and the EMCC (our national church in Canada). This means that she will be a primary link in Haiti for the EMCC as we continue to send short term teams, sponsor clinic staff, and manage physical development projects in Gens de Nantes. We continue to pray that God will equip Herlynda as she continues to learn and grow as a leader in her community!


Herlynda is passionate to see God transform her country and in humility has been willing to step into greater roles of responsibility to be part of God’s work. Please pray for her, pray that she will have boldness, courage and strength, to continue to lead in the way God is leading her.


Over the years we have been so encouraged by Herlynda’s willingness to be faithful in the small things; and her willingness to remain faithful in larger things as God continues to open up opportunities for her to grow in capacity. She is using what God has given her to impact the lives of others in her community! To God be all the glory!


“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.”

  ~ Marilyn McIlroy, EMCC Partner


We praise God for His faithfulness in answering our prayers for a new generation of leadership to begin to rise up among the people of Gens de Nantes. He continues to be at work in ways we can’t think or imagine.


If you want to learn more about our Haiti Partnership and how you can participate in supporting the local church there, head to our website:   www.albrightchurch.com/missions-abroad

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This week we get to hear a little bit more about this past summer’s Haiti trip from Laurie Nemez.  As she reflects on the teams’ final evening, we will hear about how our ongoing partnership continues to have ripple effects in our lives, and the lives of our friends that we are partnering with. 


On our last evening in Gens de Nantes, our team (including Marilyn McIlroy) had the opportunity to sit down and visit for a couple of hours with Pastor and Madame Andre, and Portelus (the new Lab Technician at the clinic supported by our sponsorship). It was such a blessing and a mutual encouragement to be able to have this discussion with them about the community, the school, and the challenges and blessings they have experienced and are experiencing. Portelus, although he had only been working in the community for a little under 3 months, was clearly so happy to be working at the clinic in Gens de Nantes! He told us that he loves working there because the community is very peaceful, and Pastor and Madame Andre are like a father and a mother to him. I was so touched to hear him express his 

love and appreciation for them, and to witness Pastor and Madame Andre’s joyful laughter in response! This led to the rest of us joining in the laughter and talking about how we are all part of God’s family – as brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Portelus also told us that he was very happy that the Canadians had come to Haiti to help them, to encourage them, and to support the clinic and staff. He expressed his thankfulness for Albright Church, and asked us to come back again. Pastor Andre shared that the English teaching teams and classes are a huge benefit to the community. He also said he wants us to come again and hopes that we can stay longer next time! How encouraging this was for us to hear!

 

I am so thankful to God and to Albright Church for the opportunity to serve the community of Gens de Nantes, and I am extremely blessed to have the privilege of getting to know our friends there. We have been able to see how God is at work in this community and how He continues to use our partnership to bless and encourage them in their work, their studies, and their faith! Thank-you for your prayers, and please continue to pray for our Haitian brothers and sisters!


Obviously, there is much more that could be said by each of the team members then has been included in these reflection blogs. If you have been tracking with these blogs, we would encourage you to consider joining us on September 30 at our Hearts for Haiti dessert evening. We will have an opportunity to hear more from the team members about how our ongoing efforts to bring English language training for a short period of time have long lasting effects in the community! 

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As we continue to hear back from this years' Haiti team, we will be hearing a little more from Rob Runtz on some of the interactions that he was able to have with four young men. What a blessing it is to hear about the testimonies of these men.  God is at work in the lives of those in the community of Gens de Nantes.

 

 

Rob’s Reflection Blog

 

Looking back on this most recent trip to Gens de Nantes, a few differences between this trip and my previous two trips stand out.  For the first time in my experience, the team faced some challenges during our travel to and from Haiti.  Yet through all of that, we knew that God was with us, and that He was guiding our journey.

 

Haiti in July is quite different from Haiti in March.  The most obvious difference of course is that the temperature and humidity are significantly higher.  Because of this unique difference, we had multiple opportunities to experience Haiti Thunderstorms, something that I had not experienced in previous trips.  It was a delight for us to see the local kids playing and dancing in the torrential downpour.

 

It was very good to see familiar faces from previous trips, and to renew acquaintance with people we had met on past trips. While we did not have as many opportunities on this trip to make use of our knowledge of the Creole language, it was still fun to try to communicate with the locals in their own language.

 

For me, the highlight of the trip was that I had the incredible privilege and blessing of being able to work individually with four young men to help them write their testimonies, and to help them prepare to present their stories as part of the graduation celebration. It was truly inspiring to hear how one young man narrowly escaped death in the 2010 earthquake in Port au Prince, and how another young man was able to find forgiveness for his birth father, because of the relationship that he has with his heavenly Father.  What was even more amazing for me was that these young men not only did their presentations in English, but with short notice they then presented their testimony in Creole, translating on the spot.

 

The future of Haiti is with their young people.  It was a blessing to get to know some of the young men and women of Gens de Nantes, and to know that God continues to shape and mold young lives that have great potential to be the future leadership of this community.

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As we continue to hear back from this years' Haiti team, we will be hearing a little more from Lorna Woroniak on some of the interactions that she was able to have with students in her English Language class. We are excited to hear from Lorna how many of the students she worked with are setting goals for their future, please pray for these students this week as we continue to seek God to build up future leaders within the community of Gens de Nantes.

 

 

Lorna's Blog post reflection:

 

I was excited and blessed for this opportunity to return to the community of Gens de Nantes, Haiti for my fourth visit, and my second time serving on an English Teaching Team. 

 

As I prepared for the trip I was looking forward to renewing acquaintances with those I had met on previous visits, and especially eager to see some of the students I had met in 2016.  I wondered how they had been developing in their English studies as well as how they were getting on in life.   I also anticipated meeting new students who were anxious to learn English.

 

God provided me with lots of opportunities, in various ways, to renew friendships and make new acquaintances. One unique way was through the Dialogue Journals that we teachers exchanged with our students.  Each teacher was assigned several students to ‘dialogue’ with during the span of our teaching time in Haiti.

 

These Dialogue Journals allowed us to communicate on a personal level with our individual student and ask questions about their life, family, and plans for the future. They in turn would write their replies to our questions and ask some questions of their own.  Each journal entry was translated from English to Kreyol and vice versa.  This task kept our translator, Willy, very busy but it meant that the messages could be read and understood in the language each one was most comfortable with. Another benefit to having the messages written in both languages is that it would become a good practice aid for the students to keep. 

 

On our first day of class one student showed up with her journal from last year clutched in her hand. We were so touched to see that she had kept it safe and that it was valuable to her.  Another student was so anxious about their journal they came prepared with a list of 51 words that they wanted translated into English just so they could practice them with a friend!

 

These journal conversations were such a valuable tool for getting to know each student as an individual and understanding how I could pray for them, both as their teacher and after I returned home.  Many students expressed their deep desire to learn, and have set goals for their future.  Their messages often included words of thanks and appreciation to us for coming to help them learn.  My journal responses provided encouragement for them to follow their dreams and to always listen for God’s voice and direction in their lives.   He has plans for them!  He is their friend and can always be trusted. 

 

Each of the students now has their Dialogue Journal to keep and to reflect on.  I have the gift of being able to pray for them to affect change in their community and country, and for God to guide them in their future goals to become doctors, nurses, agronomists, lab technicians and evangelists.  These students are the future of Haiti! 

 

I am thankful to God that I had the opportunity to make a small investment in that future.

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As our Haiti Team returned this year, the leadership of our Haiti Partnership has been blessed and encouraged by their reports. We were also encouraged to receive a request from the team members to share more of their personal experiences through the blog. For the next several weeks, we will post reflections from each team member regarding a specific experience they went through. Some of these posts may be a little longer than the posts we received from the team during their time in Haiti, but we encourage you to take time to read and engage with the exciting news remembering that each one of us can have an active role in our Haiti Partnership through our prayers, our praise to God, and our continued support and interest in God’s active work through the church in Gens de Nantes.

 

 

Lindsey’s Blog post reflection:

 

I continued to learn that prayer is powerful and God is a faithful, miracle working God. God has shown me that the seeds that have been planted and watered over the years are producing an abundant harvest for His Kingdom in and around Gens de Nantes. God also taught me the importance of friendship, encouragement and perseverance! 

 

I didn’t worship at the Gens de Nantes (GdN) AEM church on Sunday morning as I had the opportunity and blessing to travel to Marionette, a small community up in the hills a half hour motorbike ride north-east of GdN. My morning in Marionette was one of the highlights of my trip to Haiti this year. Seeing God’s beautiful creation - the green hills and mountain vistas was awe-inspiring! However, the people of Marionette and the support and encouragement of the GdN AEM Church youth and young adults was even more awe-inspiring!

 

The church in Marionette is relatively new. This small yet thriving congregation was started only 2 months ago by a man who came to Christ from watching The Jesus Film. There are now approximately 40 people who gather on Sunday mornings to learn, worship and pray together. They meet in and around a small wooden shack that can seat up to 30 people on rows of plastic chairs. Others gather outside and sit in the shade of a large mango tree. It was an encouragement and blessing to witness a group of young people from the GdN AEM church loaded down with sound equipment, guitars and a small generator on motorbikes travelling to Marionette to bless and encourage this new congregation. Each Sunday morning different groups of young people and lay leaders travel to Marionette to lead, serve, and bless this new church. They linger after the worship service to fellowship together and build relationships that will last for all eternity. Just as we have gone out in faithful obedience to bless and serve the church in GdN, that congregation is now too going out, blessing and serving others. 

 

I was also encouraged to hear about the Marionette community prayer meetings. The week before they had 60 in attendance. This small congregation was challenged to double that number and hoped to see 120 people join to pray on the following Wednesday. We heard testimonies of the power of prayer - miraculous healings and God’s work in and around the community. One elderly gentleman had been afflicted by mental illness for many years, he has been healed after he met Jesus and is now fully alert and in his right mind.

 

Another man who shared how he always knew there was a God, and recognized the creator by all the beauty he saw around him, yet his life was empty and unfulfilled. He had a gambling addiction, a very common problem in Haiti. After this man submitted his life to Jesus his addiction is completely gone! He now fills his time worshipping God and serving the church. He is praying that his extended family will also come to know the Lord in a real and personal way.

 

The Scripture lesson that Sunday morning was based on 1Thessalonians 5:12-24, a good reminder to “Be joyful always; pray continuously; and give thanks in all circumstances”. We, along with our Haitian brothers and sisters, have much to be joyful about - even in the midst of troubles and heartache. We have much to pray about and be thankful for. The church in GdN and Marionette are alive and well. They are doing the work of discipleship - they are going out in faithful obedience witnessing, praying and doing the work of the church. God is being glorified and His Kingdom is coming as we pray! There is much we can learn from their faith and obedience - prayer is powerful, there is always hope, seeds that are planted are being watered and producing an abundant harvest – may I never forget my day and the lessons learned in Marionette!

 

I’m so thankful for all the prayers and support we received during our time preparing and serving in Haiti. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Gens de Nantes and surrounding area and for our on-going partnership there. God is at work and lives are being changed!

 

Praise God!

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We did most of the packing and inventory count last evening. We met with Pastor and Madame Andre for a debrief session. It was so good to share with them again.

 

We are planning to get away by 10:30 am to have time for lunch and catch our flight in good time. The taxi does not sound so good so we are praying for it to get us to Cap Hatian in good time.

 

We made it to the airport, went through security and boarded only to hear the announcement that there are electrical problems with the plane . . . and so our plans changed. We were able to find lodging for the night and were glad for a snack and and early bedtime.

 

In early morning, we were at the airport along with 200 of our closest friends and that's when the airport's power went out. As we waited to board our flight we checked flight connections in Miami. And now we are on our way, off to Miami. When we'll actually get to Winnipeg . . . well, keep praying for  the remainder of our flights. Perhaps we'll see you Sunday morning!!

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(My apologizies for this one being out of order)

 

Today was the final day of teaching, and our afternoon sessions. Following classes we prepared for graduation, organized the hostess gifts to share with those who served us while we were here, and now we are ready for Haitian Soup Joumou! 

 

It is still very humid and rained once again, we hope it will cool down for sleeping.

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The team was up early and off to the church to prepare for the Graduation Ceremony. The celebration was awesome. It is such a blessing to worship together and hear the testimonies!!

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We had another good day of classes and large group times. We taught our clinic students as well in the afternoon. Herlynda became one of my (Laurie) afternoon students on Saturday . . . such a bright and joyful young woman!

 

We were blessed by a beautiful rainbow after yet another thunderstorm this evening. A wonderful reminder of God’s promises to us. Looking forward to another slippery, muddy, walk to class in the morning. Water everywhere except in the rooftop holding tank! Thankful for Zoe who hauled pails for us.

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On Saturday we had a great morning of teaching and learning. Our students are working very hard . . .from 8:30 to 12:45 in the heat!

 

All is well on this relaxing Saturday afternoon. We are sitting on the porch waiting out another thunderstorm, playing games and practicing English with a few students and young boys from the neighborhood.  A few of us will go by motorbike in the morning to visit a house church.

 

We had an awesome worship time this Sunday. Marilyn and I (Lindsey) went to Marionette on motorbikes. We heard wonderful stories of God at work in a new church community. Rob, Lorna and Laurie shared greetings from Albright to the AEM church in Gens de Nantes.

 

We did a jungle walk to video the Guest House property in preparation for building the property enclosure. Now we need to prep lessons for Monday morning.

 

Later, Lorna and I (Lindsey) walked up to visit our elderly Grandma, she had a stroke earlier in the year but is doing well under the circumstances, such a blessing to see and hear her amazing faith and testimony. What an encouragement for us to be faithful prayer warriors. Lots of God moments today.

 

Lolance has the generator in many pieces. It has not been working well at all even after “maintenance” with the parts we brought. He leant us his generator for last evening. Hopefully he will be able to get ours working well again.

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We have had a very full and busy day. Our class sizes are growing each day, a true blessing to meet each student. Many of the grade nine students were writing exams this week and missed the first few days. The level 1 class is now up to 12 and the level 2 has 10. We will teach tomorrow but our numbers will be down again as not everyone is able to attend on Saturday. We are pleased that the students are very receptive to not only the English classes but also the bible lessons that we are leading.

 

We were asked to stop by the clinic after our long morning of teaching. Nurse Kathleen and the other clinic staff planned, prepared and hosted a celebration lunch to honor Ms. Marilyn. Many speeches, hugs, kisses and prayers! Marilyn was presented with a commemorative plaque. Our team and Albright church were also recognized and thanked for our years of support and encouragement. 

 

After prepping our lessons and doing journals and conversation circles we were looking forward to a relaxing evening but the clinic staff stopped by for an evening visit, much fellowship and laughter ensued; so different from our first visit many years ago. Such a blessing that long term relationships are being built.

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