Haiti: “zanmi mwen!” – (my friend!)

This is Debuston & Andel. I have become really close these sweet brothers, and I love when the bus pulls up to the village and I get to see their smiling faces running my way!

A recent Sunday afternoon I was giving a tour out in Leveque, and I really felt like it was a good time to go meet Debuston and Andel’s parents. They took me down to their house to meet their dad, Exantis, and their mom, Ozanna. We talked in broken Creole, and I told them I was so happy to be friends with their sons and happy to see them.

Ozanna and I

When I left Leveque, I kept wishing I could speak better Creole and that I could have had an in-depth conversation about the Gospel with them.  I went to bed that night praying for the family, and that the Lord would be present in their home.

The very next day, my team was scheduled to go to Leveque for village time! As soon as the bus pulled up to Leveque, Andel was right there to say hi! Myself, a few North American team members, and our translator/Church Rep (Martial) went to Exantis and Ozanna’s home. I was so excited to have Martial there to translate, because I knew we would have the chance to talk about Jesus.

When we got to their home, Ozanna was so excited to see us! She went and pulled out all of the plastic chairs in her home, as well as from surrounding neighbor’s yards so we could sit on her porch and visit.

We talked about her 10 children (yep, 10!), and 3 grandchildren. We talked about her husband and how he has a really bad pain in his chest. We talked about culture, and life in Haiti. We got to tell her that we were there to build a relationship with her and to be her friend, but most importantly, we wanted her to know the love that God has for her and the free gift of salvation He offers her because of what Jesus did on the cross. She had heard all of this before, but she said her and her family couldn’t go to church because they did not have nice enough clothing. Martial (our Church Rep) did a great job of explaining to the North Americans that we don’t want to promise material blessings to someone in order for them to come to Christ. We want the Holy Spirit to open up the heart of the person that they come to Christ for who He is and for the beauty of the Gospel.

I thought we were about to leave, but Martial said, “God has given me a gift to preach the Gospel. I want to share my testimony with her, and present the Gospel to her. But first, we must pray.”

We sat there on Ozanna’s porch and Martial asked the Holy Spirit to speak through him and for Ozanna to be awakened to the Truth of Jesus Christ and the joy found in Him. Martial prayed from such a humble spirit, and it was so beautiful to see how passionate he was to share the Gospel.

I was convicted at how often I go about things on my own power, without asking the Lord for His guidance and for Him to lead the conversation. Martial’s dependence on the Lord spoke volumes to our group!

We all prayed silently while he shared (in Creole) his testimony and the Truth of Christ with Ozanna. When he finished, Ozanna said something in Creole and Martial looked at us and smiled and said, “She is ready to accept Christ.”

Praise. The. Lord.

I’ve been praying for a better understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit. It was such a humbling moment to see how when we humbled ourselves and prayed (2 Chronicles 7:14) and asked the Holy Spirit to change hearts, He did.

I was in awe listening to her pray and accept Christ. Afterwards, we found out that Exantis, her husband, had accepted Christ a few weeks prior at a revival that was out in the village, and had been praying for his wife to come to Christ. (*insert incredibly excited face here*)

The Lord amazes me, y’all.

Exantis, Debuston, myself, Ozanna, and Martial!

Now, each time I’m in Leveque, I go to Exantis & Ozanna’s home and walk into their yard saying “zanmi mwen!” (my friend!) and give Ozanna a giant hug! We sit outside on their porch and visit…sometimes the conversation is simply us laughing at how we don’t understand each other. Sometimes, the kids and I take pictures and make silly faces. I love new friends.

Debuston rockin’ my leopard print sunglasses. ha!

Jeff, Debuston, & Andel

squishy face!

Andel & I

cheesin!

such a cutie.

Jeff, Andel, & Debuston.

This is just one of the families out in Leveque. And, Leveque is just one of the villages in Haiti. There are so many more incredible stories like this out there.

One of the things that I am so very excited about is that Mission of Hope just broke ground on a church out in Leveque! Also, another HUGE answer to prayer is that there is now clean drinking water right there in the village.

The Lord is moving. I am desperate to see Him move more. I fully anticipate to see hundreds of more families come to Christ as this village grows. I am excited to see how God is glorified through these sweet people. Would you join me in praying for the village of Leveque and for the Lord to raise up church leaders in the community that will preach the Gospel with boldness?

Would you pray for Ozanna and Exantis, and their family? That the Lord would continue to work in their hearts and they would grow more in love with Him each day? That the children would be raised in a home that is bathed in prayer and in a home that is following Christ? Would you pray for them to trust in the Lord for His provision and promises?

Also, would you pray for Martial, the Church Rep/translator? His beautiful wife, Cassandra, is pregnant and is due in mid-August! They already have 2 daughters, and are so excited to meet their new addition to the family. Would you pray that the Lord continues to teach them more about who He is, and to be with Cassandra as she is getting ready to have their baby? I wish everyone had the chance to meet Martial and see his heart for Jesus. I am so encouraged by my brother-in-Christ, and am challenged by him to walk with humility and boldness.

Lastly, would you pray for me? Would you pray that I walk with humility and complete dependence on Jesus? I’ve noticed how easy it is to start my daily routine without asking the Holy Spirit to lead me each day. Would you pray for the remaining 5ish weeks I have here in Haiti, and that I would preach the Gospel with boldness?

“He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

4 thoughts on “Haiti: “zanmi mwen!” – (my friend!)

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