While our time stateside has been fantastic so far, we’ve got to admit that the most exciting stuff we’re experiencing is living vicariously through Junior!
Every time I talk to him, I want to write down his stories immediately, which is exactly what I’m doing now.
We’re on our way to New Bedford, and called to see how the last few days have been. From the moment Junior answered it was obvious he was glowing, and now we are, too.
The J’s took a few days away from Trou-du-Nord to do a two day conference on the book of Acts. Their goal was to work alongside of one of our new Haiti-hearted friends, Brandon, and share the Biblical Acts version of what the church looks like without saying anything about the Haitian/American/Canadian/etc. church.
So, Brandon focused half of the conference on asking these questions out of the book of Acts: How did they go? How did they preach? How did they live?
As participants worked through this and discovered what the church’s DNA was, Junior, Jodenel, Jean-Baptiste and Jean-Marie helped put some skin on these ideas from a Haitian context, sharing a bit about their first few weeks in Trou-du-Nord and previous church planting experiences.
At the end of the conference, a woman raised her hand.
“So, you just shared with us the Gospel message.”
“If that was the Gospel message, I have never heard the Gospel before, and I’ve been in church my whole life.”
“Yup” (this is very Junior…he doesn’t want to knock the church….just paint a picture of what it needs to look like.)
“If what we just studied is the Gospel message, then the church is NOT preaching it, and I have not been sharing it. The Gospel –the TRUE Gospel—is not being preached in Haiti! We have to DO something about that.”
“Let’s do it!” Junior says he told her…So excited that someone came to the same conclusions on their own that he has been trying to share for years.
They’re set up to share this same Acts message in several more conferences this summer!
Meanwhile, things in Trou-du-Nord are going so well. With eight groups having been formed and meeting daily to listen to the stories that make up the Gospel, the guys have been busy!
Each day they are spending time memorizing and practicing the Bible in chronological Bible storying methods with Juniors help, and then are spending the rest of their time sharing the stories, relationship building and praying with people in the zones.
Once a week, all eight groups were meeting together to hear the stories together, and finally, the groups asked if they could all meet together more often.
So, Junior happily shared with me today that instead of meeting in eight places each day, they are all now meeting together once a day, with over fifty people coming to yesterdays Bible storying.
They start by reviewing previous stories and asking questions, then share the next story, then ask and discuss questions from that story and address cultural issues that come up. Each day, more people come, with the core group of people being the same every day (discipleship!)
Don’t you wish you could be there…meeting with these 50 new or non-believers, listening in to these stories that are just unlike anything you’ve ever heard before in your life but that are stirring inside of you, watching these strangers who have been living on a cement pad and walking through your town daily sharing these stories… I wish we were there!
Finally, he shared with me an exciting story of miraculous healing. Apparently there was a young girl he met a few weeks ago who was lame and who has been lame and quite sick for a while now. He met with her and her mother, an active follower in their daily storying.
Cammie was there that day, and they prayed together for this young girl, clearly in a lot of pain.
“Then, on Thursday morning,” Junior told me, “She woke up and said to her mother, ‘I feel like I need to walk.’”
“Then WALK,” her mother said, which just resonates such Biblical faith to me.
So she walked. So she RAN. And when Junior—and everyone, for that matter—saw her…what a story! A story much like those they’d been hearing, been sharing, been believing!
Praying for more stories, more understanding, more awe at the Gospel, more hearing, more healing, more faith. In Junior’s life. In mine. In yours!