Whatever our relationship, you are standing with us! We are in our third year of ministry in Haiti, our fifth year of marriage, our first year as parents and our 26th year of life, and we are blessed, grateful and encouraged BY YOU.
"To this end also we pray for you always,
that our God will count you worthy of your calling,
and fulfill every desire for goodness and
the work of faith with power,
so that the name of our Lord will be glorified in you,
and you in Him!" 2 Thess. 1:11-12
Because you stand with us, it has been on our hearts for a while now to share in more detail exactly what we (and therefore YOU) do here, along with more information about each part of our lives for your interest or for your prayers...all the while making it abundantly clear that the only things we do that make any difference are those Christ does through us by His grace, and not we ourselves!
We want you to know what you're a part of! Please email us if you have questions or comments or ideas regarding any of this!
Hebrew- Matt, 4th year students, 8-9 am M-F
English- Stacey, 1st year students, 8-9 am M-F
Psalms- Matt, 4th year students, 9-12 am M-F for 10 days
Isaiah- Matt, 4th year students, 9-12 am M-F for 10 days
1st Samuel- Matt, 4th year students, 9-12 am M-F for 10 days
Hebrew and Psalms- Matt, anyone interested in downtown Cap-Haitien, 2-4 pm, every Monday
OMS Haiti missionaries- Matt, different segments of the Bible, every other Tuesday, 3:30 pm
Psalms of Ascent- Stacey, female staff at seminary and guest house, every Tuesday, 9 am
We Evangelize. (tell people about the love, forgiveness and new life found in Jesus Christ)
Surrounding Areas- Matt, alongside of students and staff of Emmaus Biblical Seminary, 1 time a week, Stacey & Lily, 2 times a month (please pray for this ministry, every Wed. and Thurs. 1-3 pm)
Unplanned- opportunities that arise on the compound, off the compound, in town, on the way to church, etc.
Master's of Divinity- Matt, Wesley Biblical Seminary, Mississippi, Bible, Theology and Practical Ministry, 2nd year, for the purpose of being better equipped to teach the Bible. (Matt leaves for his 3rd 2-week residency October 4th...please be praying!)
Preparation- we are daily studying in preparation for teaching, Bible studies and classes
Personal- Every morning from 5-6 Matt studies the Bible, prays and worships, every morning from 6-7, Stacey does the same (please be praying that the Lord would continue to reveal Himself and His Word to us during this precious, necessary-for-survival time!)
As a mission- all OMS missionaries and nationals, together once a month
As missionaries- all OMS Haiti missionaries, every Tuesday, 3:30-5:00 pm
With other young moms- Stacey, every Friday in our home from 3:30-? (until someone's husband calls)
With specific families- on a weekly/bi-weekly basis we visit the same families the Lord has put on our hearts, ie..the blind woman down the road we have told you about, the mute little girl from a recent post, people we've met doing evangelism, etc.
With our students- every single morning, at 8:00 am
As a family, as a couple, and as individuals
Student Sponsorships- Stacey works to ensure that every student at Emmaus Biblical Seminary has a sponsor committed to praying and providing a scholarship for them to study God's Word and how to preach it! I take pictures, translate testimonies, create sponsorship materials and maintain correspondence on behalf of our students. Check out how you can partner!
Website- Stacey has created a website for Emmaus Biblical Seminary to help inform and promote what God is doing in Haiti through EBS and its' students...check it out!
Wednesday Nights- One or two Wednesday's a month, we are able to join our students and staff in putting together a program for visiting teams about Emmaus' ministry in Haiti
Travel and Speak- Much of what we do the 6 or so weeks OUT of Haiti each year is travel and speak in churches about what we see God doing in Haiti and about coming alongside our students to help make Him known in Haiti...if your church or group would be interested in hearing more about this, send us an email!
Churches and pastors- Every Sunday we join our national brothers and sisters for church services, usually focusing our visits on the churches of our staff and students. We are then better able to pray with and encourage them, as well as get to know their families. One or two times a month, Matt preaches in one of these churches to help the pastors and to encourage congregations with the Word!
Open office, open door- We continue to realize how important the ministry 'at our door' is! We have made personal commitments to deliberately treat each student, friend or stranger that comes to our office or home as Jesus, seeking to invite them in and share with them, listen, pray, and encourage them with God's Word
Tithe- This is exciting! Many of you give so that we can be here, and then we're giving here from what you're giving there... For example, perhaps you support several missionaries and ministries around the globe. From some of that money, we support several missionaries and ministries around the globe, too...as well as Haitians and the local church! Your giving is going more places than you realize!
Giving- In addition to our regular tithes, we are frequently blessed with opportunities to get plugged in here with families and individuals who have very real needs...from Bibles to medical bills to bags of rice, there are a lot of ways to give for His glory! (If you are interested in getting plugged in financially, let us know your interest and we can help you find the ministry God might be calling you to be a part of!)
Field Council- Matt is the president of this OMS Haiti council, helping to lead monthly meetings between the missionaries regarding the OMS Haiti field, plan and take care of annual missionary retreat, and help represent our field. Check out who that is... (not yet included on that link: Sam and Cammie Aberle, Dave and Marilyn Graffenberger)
Spiritual Life Committee- This committee strives to deepen the spiritual lives of the missionaries serving here, of which Matt and I are both a part. This committee plans and leads Tuesday prayer meetings and times of teaching as well as the spiritual aspects of annual retreat.
The Lord has been unmistakably giving us both greater hearts for pastoral ministry here, and we're thankful for these opportunities to be more deliberate about growing as a missionary body...not just together but in Him!
Keeping family at a high priority over work has been an important commitment for us to
be continually making! Of all the things we feel that the Lord has given us to take care of, there is no arguing that He GAVE us Lily :) For our family, this commitment includes not putting Lily under the care of anyone other than Matt and I for more than 10 hours a week unless an emergency arises.
As such, we are seeking creative ways to incorporate her in as much ministry as possible (the seminary men continue to joke that Lily is the first person attempting to evangelize babies :) Please pray with us for Lily and that the Lord might constantly be showing us how to train up and love this dear one and that He might continually give us HIS priorities!
With Haiti- our personal testimonies, the stories and truths of the Bible, how we see God at work NOW, the HOPE that we have in Him!
With YOU- This is one of our favorite parts of life here: sharing it with you! When God speaks to our heart, through His Word, through an experience, through a person, through a trial, we love to tell you about it, hoping and trusting that God might use our lives here to work in your life as well. We do this through our Blog, which you have found, and through quarterly newsletters. If you are not receiving our newsletters and would like to, please send us an email with your address and we'll get you on the list!
Happy B-Day Martin!
WHEW! Thank you for standing with us as we all share our lives together! If anyone asks what you did this weekend, be sure to let them know what Christ is doing through you in Haiti!