One of the first things I got involved with when I moved to the Mole was our Women’s Ministry. I felt a strong nudging from the Holy Spirit that I am to walk alongside the women in the Mole. I found this nudging to be SO strange.
My mom begged me to join her in women’s ministry when we all lived in St. Louis du Nord but I had absolutely no desire. I’m a nurse – I didn’t go to Bible College like all my brothers & sisters.
Maybe it was because of the earthquake – maybe it was because I realized I’m no longer a child and I have an obligation to share with others about Christ. Regardless – that nudging I felt from day 1 is still palpable 6 years later.
Beginning of Women’s Ministry…
We started with 8 women who were less than engaged in the ministry. We had women who would fight (literally push/hit) over the trinkets we would pass out to go along with the lesson. They would show up an hour late. They would not evangelize on their own. If an American wasn’t speaking at the class many times they wouldn’t come at all.
This went on for a good 2 years and was very discouraging to all of us who were completely invested and desperate to see a harvest.
We’ve come a long way since that then but not without many tears & frustrations. The devil does his best to distract, to discourage, to blow-up drama, and to leave you feeling defeated. But greater is HE that is in me – than he that is in the world.
During those first 2 years – we found that the women needed encouragement in order to be more involved. So each month we would randomly have a small gift for them… sometimes it was a small bag of rice, toiletry items, laundry detergent, clothes, etc.
I’m careful to remember that – what you win them with… is what you win them to.
I don’t want them to only come because I’m giving something away. But I also don’t mind setting up blind dates with the women & Christ. If I can get them to show-up even if at first it’s for the trinkets….. once they hear about Christ – how can they not want Him? If I can bring them together every week – surely the love of God will compel them to keep coming back.
And it did. The “encouraging gifts” began to dwindle away and the women still kept coming back.
Present-Day Women’s Ministry
We now have an amazing group of ladies who are completely invested in the ministry – tithe to the ministry – started a choir – actively lead in the ministry – and are full engaged.
We now have women who group together on their own to evangelize. We have women who are happy to partner with those that don’t know Christ. We have women who will walk 8 hours from Mare Rouge to bring a donkey – not for themselves – but for their discipleship partner. We have women who will walk 45 minutes to disciple the women in Karenage without any reward for themselves – other than knowing they had a part in winning women to the Lord.
But it all started with 8 women… tears & frustrations.
Men’s Ministry…The Beginning
I share this story with you because I want you to understand how difficult ministry can be here.
Pastor Agenor has been trying for nearly 3 years to begin a men’s ministry. He’s shed many tears as he too feels God is nudging him to walk alongside the men in the Mole.
He’s tried to lead a weekly men’s Bible Study. He may have 2 men show up – but most of the time no one comes. Even when we invite our Americans to lead the men – there is only a handful that come….. compared to our women’s ministry where 100 will come to hear our Americans share about Jesus.
In October we had a team from Shively Christian Church come to Haiti for the first time. Geoff & Jeff spent several afternoons pouring into Pastor Agenor along with several other pastors from our area.
Pastor Agenor shared his struggle & discouragement with trying to lead the men in this community. Doesn’t everything change when the men in this village rise up?
This group went home & began sharing Pastor Agenor’s struggles & heart for the men in this community. Unfortunately – he doesn’t have any resources to encourage the men to come. Because the men are out looking for work – they can’t understand how the Bible study would be more important. The men are focused on the life they live here not realizing that eternity is at stake.
FIRST MEN’S DISCIPLESHIP GROUP
So 2 months ago Pastor Agenor started a discipleship group with 5 men. These 5 men do not know Christ. He met with them every Wednesday for 8 weeks. The men were told if they came every week – then at the end of 8 weeks – there would be a gift for them. They met weekly together but he also went to their homes to pray with the men.
These men had so many questions about Jesus and why He allows them to suffer. They had questions about the power of Christ compared to the power of satan. They didn’t believe they were lovable. They didn’t believe they were worthy. They didn’t believe they could make God proud.
Pastor Agenor extended so much grace, humility, & humbleness as he tried to answer their questions – realizing he has some of the same questions himself. But he explained what it means to have Faith & believing that God has a purpose & a plan to prosper us.
He explained that life WILL get better – – if not here on earth than in Heaven. He explained how all the suffering ends when you enter the gates….but it’s important to have a personal relationship with Christ here on earth – if they want to enter in.
Yesterday was their last meeting! He started with 5 men. After 5 weeks – he still had 4 men who were actively engaged.
Yesterday these 4 men received a pair of goats as their “encouraging gift” for being apart of the men’s discipleship group for 8 weeks.
Three of the 4 men are now coming to church every Sunday. Two of the three men are beginning deeper discussions on what it means to be a follower of Christ and what they need to do to enter in the gates of Heaven.
In February – Pastor Agenor is beginning another discipleship group with 10 men. Please begin praying for him as he begins the difficult journey in winning the men of this community to the Lord. Pray that he will not be discouraged, distracted, or defeated.