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.

 

An Unexpected Thank You

I wanted to share this video with you. It was done on a cell phone by a young Haitian man I met in Haiti several months ago. On our most recent trip, I hired him to be one of our translators. Because it was a medical missions trip, we needed more translators than usual.

His name is John 8. I’d love to tell you he received his name because of the Bible; however, that would be far from the truth. In actuality, he is the 8th child born to parents who struggled to live. He has spent most of his life homeless. Despite the adversities in his life, John 8 taught himself English. He reads anything he can get his hands on about the world. The words you see in the video are his words – incredibly, self-educated person. I laugh because he knows more about the election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton than I do.

In his entire life, he had never left Port au Prince. You can only imagine what it was like for him to travel to Deyemone, Haiti with us – some 8 hours away – where The Torch Compound is. While in Deyemone, his eyes were opened to the severe needs of the people of Haiti. In comparison to Port au Prince, he was overwhelmed by the poverty and struggles. This coming from someone who has spent most of his life homeless, says it all.

John 8 loves the Lord – like deep, sold-out, committed, loyal – loves the Lord. I received this video when I returned home from Haiti in my email. You can imagine how much it touched my heart. And, I wanted to share it with you. Because in reality, it is to all of you for all that you do for the people of Haiti.

Thank you!

News from Haiti

Our Medical Mission Team arrived safely in Port au Prince and traveled to Deyemone. The two main objectives for the team are to work in the medical clinic seeing patients daily and help facilitate the starting of the school year. At the compound in Haiti, there is always a great deal of work that needs to be done.

Pastor Mike met with parents of the students as well as the teachers. We are excited about this new year for The Torch Christian Academy in Haiti. Not one of the 500+ students attending the school pay tuition. In Haiti, children must pay for an education – and parents are still overwhelmed with the blessing of free education.

Because of the faithful donations and sponsorships, children are able to receive school supplies, a free education, one meal per day, medical care, and water.

The clinic has been full daily with people needing medical assistance. With the help of our full-time nurse and on-call physician, our team has been able to assist many people with health issues, to educate them for a more pro-active healthy life style, and to provide necessary medicines to each patient as needed.

It all comes with a cost, and we need your help. Currently, only 1/3 of our students are sponsored. Please help us to carry the burden by telling others of the opportunity to help someone in Haiti. You can visit our website http://www.thetorch.net/Haiti. It is easy to choose a child to sponsor either with $30 a month/$60 a month/or $90 a month. Change begins by a simple act of commitment to bless another. Be the change in someone’s life.

And They’re Off!

Please be in prayer for our Medical Mission Team leaving today for Haiti. There is much to be done and we are believing God’s Hand upon them as they administer to the community of Deyemone. We are asking God for healing; for guidance; for Divine Intervention; and a renewal of hope for the people.

This week, I will update you as often as I hear from this great team of Disciples for Christ. How awesome is our God to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things on His behalf.

Also, prayer for their families who will be living life here while they are living life there. It is a sacrifice for both.

Remember – There is Power in the Name of Jesus Christ. Speak His Name over this Team and their families.

A New Building

Just in time for school to start, our Kindergarten Building is finished and we couldn’t be more pleased. We cannot wait for it to be filled with children eager to learn. September 5th will be the first day of school for The Torch Christian Academy in Haiti (TCAH). We anticipate over 500 students, all tuition free, receiving one meal a day, medical care, books, uniforms, and school supplies. We have come a long way since January when we first purchased the Compound in Haiti.

Friday, September 2nd, our medical team will be leaving to minister to the medical needs of the community of Deyemone. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We never take for granted the safe, loving hand of God over our team, and we certainly feel His presence with us every step of the way.

Consider sponsoring one of the students at TCAH or a financial contribution. We also ask for your continued prayers for our pastors in Haiti, our staff at the Compound, and for the development of sustainability for the people in Deyemone.

Plans are underway to build a new orphanage on the property. Currently, the children live off the property. The Lord has graciously provided the funds necessary to bring our children to the compound. We hope to break ground next month.

Our team will update as much as possible while we are in Haiti so that you can experience with us the journey. Thank you again for all the love and support in our partnership to improve lives and change hearts for the glory of God.

Old Kindergarten building
What was…
painted Kindergarten building
What is now…Praise God! 

 

 

Back to School

Pencils are sharpened. Books have arrived. Teachers are ready. It is Back to School in Haiti!

The excitement is contagious because in Deyemone, Haiti, at The Torch Christian Academy, children will receive an education free of charge. This is not the normal custom in this country, and many parents struggle daily to provide an education for their children. A large majority of the families cannot educate their children.

September 5th marks our first day of school at T.C.A. Haiti. Our kindergartners will be in a new building, freshly painted, with desks, chalkboard, and learning resources.

We are committed to providing the best education and starting the process of ending once and for all the cycle of poverty. It does not come without a price.

Sponsorship increases daily. Our goal is to educate these children in the languages of French and English as well as science, math, art, and most importantly – Biblical truth.

Also under construction is our Guard Tower. The foundation is in place, and we look to have that completed within the next few weeks. This ensures the safety of our children, medical clinic, church, and radio tower.

Guard tower

As we move forward in Haiti, we are trusting the Hand of God, believing in His provision, and moving by His direction.

Please begin prayers for our Medical Mission Group leaving September 2nd. There is much to accomplish, but we know His promises are real and true.

 

Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

Why Haiti?

This is my favorite picture. Why? Because it sums up what it means to a child to be sponsored in Haiti.

Someone asked me recently, “Why Haiti?”

I’d love to be able to tell you all the reasons I believe The Torch is in Haiti – but like anything, it really doesn’t matter what I think. God has placed The Torch in Haiti for a specific reason and for a specific period of time – neither of which we are privy to the answer.

But to the 500 plus children who now receive an education free of cost; to their families who no longer have to worry over where they will find the money to send their children to school; to the souls who have been saved; to the many tummies that have been fed; to the medical needs met – the answer is simple – Jesus Christ.

John 21:17 tells the story of a conversation between Jesus and Peter. It is actually a conversation between you and me and Jesus. He asks us, “Do you love me?”

“Mike Thomas, do you love me?”

“The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.'”

WHY HAITI?

Because we have sheep to feed. Would you consider being a sponsor to one of our children? Or could you help us with your prayers? Could you donate your time or resources to benefit the lives of the Haitian people?

If you are willing, please call me at The Torch 706-778-4063 to discuss opportunities to help or visit our website http://www.thetorch.net

 

 

 

A simple thing…

I love this picture. In fact, if I had to sum up the emotional trip this month to Haiti, it would be in this very picture.

Ted Ansley was a great man in our church. When he passed away several months ago, he asked his family to tell people in lieu of flowers send donations to help the children of Haiti. It was his heart – always helping people.

The Torch Haiti orphanage needed beds. Some of the children there had never had a bed and others – well, it was not a bed any of us would ever consider to be a bed. Because of Ted’s love for others, our orphanage now has beds for these beautiful children, with mattresses and pillows and brightly colored linens, which our children’s department provided.

A bed – it seems like a simple thing really. I personally have never been without a bed. I’ve chosen to sleep on the floor at spend the night parties as a boy or camp in a tent. And admittedly, I’ve probably fallen asleep a few times watching a Disney princes movie on the floor with my daughters. Our reality and theirs is so entirely different.

The excitement as we lined the beds up on the orphanage wall was like Christmas morning at my house. I watched as their small hands ran over the comfortable mattress and outlined the wooden frames. It is a simple thing really – until you don’t have one.

Our eyes are looking up to a God Who loves these little ones; knows their future; and looks to us to help them. Thank you for being our partner in Haiti. We continue to ask for sponsorship. There are many children who have received the wonderful gift of sponsorships; but, many who have not.

Spread the word. It is a simple thing really – but means everything to a child in need.

Gifts from the heart

The Crusade in Haiti began Sunday night and already many people have dedicated their lives to Christ. The rains were a welcomed surprise Monday night, and the congregation was not deterred but rejoiced in this gift from God. People came wet to hear God’s Word. Pastor Gaeten emailed us encouraged by the excitement for God and talked of his eagerness for us to be a part of the celebration.

Our team travels today to Port au Prince and then tomorrow to join the Crusade in Deyemon at The Torch Haiti Compound. Please be in prayer for safe travels and an awesome move of God.

Packed securely in the luggage is a plague with a picture. I wrapped it personally so that no harm would come to it. It is a picture of a man who is no longer with us but is still helping the children of Haiti. Pastor Ted Ansley asked that in lieu of flowers at his funeral, donations would be made to this mission. Ted loved serving people. His heart was for others. Because of the generous gifts in his memory, the children in our orphanage will receive beds. Some of these children have never had a bed – at least not to call his or her own. A piece of Ted’s heart will be with us always, and the children will know of his deep love for them.

1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”