Home from Haiti

Today I am home from Haiti. Like most anything, there were moments when I felt things were moving forward and moments when I felt things were moving as slow as a sloth.

People are beginning to re-piece their lives even though materials are scarce and money is hard to come by. Aid is slow to get to Deyemone, and it is a constant push from us to let sources know where we are and how much the people in the community need support.

Even now, in all that must be done to restore and rebuild the lives of the people in our congregation in Haiti, I see God’s Hand. I was walking down the road which leads to our Campus. Two boys around the age of 10 were kicking an aluminum can back and forth. They were singing but I was unaware of the song until a familiar chorus floated through the air in front of me. It was “Good, good Father.”

I smiled to myself. Although the words were in Creole, it still resonated in my soul. He is a good Father to me, to you, and to two little boys kicking a can on a dirt road.

A Chance to Change the World

We want to invite you to share our video of Hope in Haiti. Even now, there is a team in Deyemone helping to start the rebuilding process and the restoration of lives. Join us in our Haiti Relief Efforts.  By sharing our video, you are giving those who want to change the world the chance to do so. It starts simply by improving the life of one.  www.thetorchhaiti.com or www.thetorch.net/Haiti

Chainsaws are a Blessing

A Word From Pastor Mike Thomas in Deyemone…

We left Friday to return to Haiti. This time, I carried a chainsaw donated to help us rebuild the Campus and community. 95% of all homes are gone.

I’ve drawn quite a crowd with the chainsaw, cutting up fallen trees and removing debris. I don’t know if its the noise or the ability to cut through so quickly, but everyone wants to watch me use it.

In all the clearing and removing, nothing hit me like the sight of Pastor Onell’s home. I’m not sure how that happens, but emotion can come at the most unexpected times.

Pastor Onell is one of our ministers here in Haiti. I’ve watched him proudly building his home in Deyemone using the salary money he receives as one of our pastors and also the offerings of materials we give him. Each trip I’ve made back to Haiti, Pastor Onell has proudly shown me the progress on his house. His family consists of his wife and children and people in need. The numbers continue to grow – a homeless young teenaged mom with children – an elderly lady. His love of people is tremendous.

Several months ago, he took me to see his house and as he walked around the cement blocks, he explained each area. He stopped suddenly in a square of space and smiled up at me, “This, Pastor Mike is your room…”

Today, his home is no more. Taken by the roaring winds of Hurricane Matthew, all that was is gone. His possessions, his dreams, everything but his life and family.

Restoration in the community of Deyemone will be tough; and yet, there are faces of hope. As I stood with Pastor Onell and looked at what once was, he put his hand on my shoulder. “We will build again, Pastor Mike, with God’s help. You will see.”

“We will build again…” 

If you are interested in contributing to the Haiti Relief Efforts from Hurricane Matthew, please visit http://www.thetorch.net/Haiti or http://www.thetorchhaiti.com.

Word from Haiti

We spoke with Pastor Mike Franklin and Pastor Mike Thomas earlier this evening. They have been working to accomplish many things despite the impending storm. Pastor Mike Franklin has been training the pastors currently on staff for the 5 Torch churches, offering encouragement and helping in leadership foundations. Pastor Mike Thomas and Charles Parker have been focused on the water filtration system as well as purchasing welding equipment and the building of our new orphanage. Daniel Usher, our media specialist, has been taking pictures and video of the experiences of the team. All four members of the team are seasoned travelers.

The government closed schools Monday and Tuesday because of Hurricane Matthew. While the storm looms, our team has stayed focused on the reason they are there — to serve. Pastor Mike Thomas assured us the team is safe and in good spirits. He wanted us to know, our prayers have been felt as they prepare for Hurricane Matthew.

We will keep you updated on the storm and its impact on our congregation in Haiti. Please continue to pray for protection, provision, and favor.

Our Team

Our Team arrived safely  Friday, Sept. 30th in Port au Prince, Haiti,  and left for Deyemone early Saturday morning. Despite the potential threats of Hurricane Matthew to the area, they are accomplishing much of what they intended to do. As many of you are aware, the potential path of Hurricane Matthew is threatening to Jamaica, Haiti, and Cuba and possibly the United States unless it makes a turn or diminishes.

Tonight at The Torch we are holding a prayer vigil for all of those who will be impacted by Hurricane Matthew and ask that you join us. It will be held from 6:00pm to 7:00pm in the Main Sanctuary.

Our team consists of Pastor Mike Franklin, Pastor Mike Thomas, Daniel Usher, and Charles Parker. We learned today that Cliff Brown, also from Habersham County, is in Haiti with a ministry called Touch of Light building an orphanage as well in a region about two hours from our mission team. Please be in prayer for him as well and the mission team of which he is a part.

I am reminded of the story in Matthew 8:23-27,

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Even the winds and the waves obey Him. 

We pour out our praise to the One Who calms the storms of our lives. Join us tonight to pray for all who will be affected by this storm.