As the new year begins at Hope Center, Galette Chambon, we feel so blessed by the many teams that come to serve along side us in our village. God uses so many faithful people to do His work here, and on behalf of the people of our village, we say thank you for saying YES to God’s call to serve. I am going to try to get in the habit of recapping each week’s team activities, but if you have been here before, you know how crazy-busy things get around here! It might be a rather steep goal, but I am certainly going to give it a try. Thanks for stopping by to check things out!
The first team of the new year was a combo team from Gulfport, MS, and Pensacola. It was the perfect team for kicking things off because they helped energize us, encourage us, and get us ready for the many teams coming behind them. Our friends Kaye and Doug along with a dear friend Renee, all from the Pensacola area, joined us once again to minister to the orphanage staff and children, work in the orphanage garden, and help us get the clinic ready to open back up. We also had a group from the Gulfport area join us. Kent, Kim, Victoria, Amy, and Clarisa were amazing in VBS, Ladies Bible Study, and just general help in and around Hope Center and the orphanage.
For several days, the team helped Tony get the clinic completely cleaned and organized for opening hopefully next week. Each morning around 9, they would host a ladies Bible study, which is always very popular among the ladies of our village. Then each afternoon around 2, children from far and wide would flock to the church for VBS. It’s always fun to hear their laughter, singing, and group Bible recitations float through the air while the team leads them and Alex and Frantz crank up the songs and games that make times like these great fun for the kids of the village. These seeds being planted will grow for many years to come.
On Wednesday, we changed up the pace a bit and had a mobile clinic at a local church in the village. The team worked in Carisa and Renee worked triage, Kim and Kent ministered to people in evangelism and one-on-one prayer, and Kaye, Amy, Victoria, and I worked pharmacy. Tony and Dr. Shubert were the providers for the clinic, and Vladimir, Alex, Marc, and Frantz all helped with translating. We saw 64 patients from the village, kissed many babies, gave out many suckers (piwili’s) to people who came to the clinic. Four people even prayed to accept Jesus at the clinic!! That’s what it’s all about, right?!!
While we were at clinic, Doug and Charles worked in the garden at the orphanage, getting it prepared for a great variety of crops.
On Thursday, we went on a ministry walk through the village. We stopped by many houses in the village and prayed with people concerning their health and provision. We gave out vitamins to both adults and children throughout the village and of course, gave out many more piwili’s. We held a few babies and played with a bunch of kids that joined us on our walk. Sharing the love of Christ and building relationships with people in the village is such an important ministry. We love it when teams join us in this.
One particularly cool thing that happened on our walk was when we stopped by one of the voodoo temples in the village. The priest at this temple is the father of twins that Tony delivered about 7 or 8 months ago. One of the twins died after about 2 months, and we have been trying to check on the other one about once every 2-3 weeks. Back when the twins were born, Tony was able to share Christ with the priest and his other wife as well as pray for God to provide for their family. God did provide when the mother of the twins needed to receive blood after she developed a complication following her delivery. Tony prayed with the priest that God would provide the funds to get the blood she needed. After that, Tony was able to give him the exact amount he needed to help his wife recover because the team at the time gave him an envelope of left over money to use as God led him. Since that time, the priest’s other wife has become a Christian, and the priest has asked us to pray for his baby on several occasions including this week. We had stopped by to visit with them, but the priest wasn’t there. A lady that was there told us she would tell him we came by. We went on to the next house to play with the children and love on the three babies that live there and the lady from the priest’s house came to tell us the priest was back and wanted to see us. We returned to the voodoo temple where he was waiting for us, and he agreed to let us pray for his family and their baby who is in the hospital sick with stomach issues. Please join us in praying for this baby and the entire family as God works a miracle in their lives. One day we hope to tear down that ugly voodoo cross in front of his house and celebrate the victory of Christ in his life and his entire family.
On Friday we took a trip up to Thoman to see Hope Center II and take a hike down to the river. As soon as we told the village children that we were going to the river, they all grabbed their empty water jugs and joined us on our hike. We had no less than 25 children walking along with us, laughing, singing, and helping us keep our footing on the steep, rocky pathway that led to the river. They took us to a part of the river that was clean because many of the women from the village wash clothes in the river where it is wider and the water is dirty. When we arrived at the clean part, the landscape became lush with elephant ear plants, an onion field, and coconut and mango trees. The river separated into about 4 or 5 streams and we could hear giggles coming from under the elephant ears as children bathed in the streams. They all filled their jugs at an open spring, and then we prepared to head back up the mountain to Hope Center. The hike back up is pretty difficult, and it amazed us all that these children were carrying no less than 30 pounds of water on their heads back up the mountain, knowing they probably do this several times a day. Once we arrived back at Hope Center, we gave them the piwili’s that we had promised them, and prepared to head back down the mountain to Galette Chambon.
It was a good week at Hope Center this week. The days were filled with various ministry opportunities for people in the village, and then the evenings were spent ministering to one another as people shared their testimonies and we recapped events from the day. We are so thankful for every team that comes here to minister with us. If this one is a preview of coming attractions, we are confident we are in for an amazing year!