As a student I learned to remember the date of the discovery of America by reciting a short phrase, “1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” The same phrase can also be used to recall the history of Haiti since it is one of the Caribbean islands that Columbus had actually stumbled upon though he believed he was elsewhere. After 300 years of colonial rule the nation of Haiti was declared an independent republic in 1804. The height of their struggle occurred during the years of intensified political strife that began during the War of Independence (1791-1804). Writers of Haiti’s history will point out that in spite of Haiti’s people having raised the only successful slave revolt in the history of the world and historically is the second nation in the Americas to gain independence and the first to be governed by people of African descent, it’s political instability and innumerable difficulties are inextricably rooted in its founding revolution.
Today, still wallowing in convalescence, the country is overwhelmed with reports of political cruelty and unrest while its citizens endure appalling destitution. The inhabitants of this tiny island are still struggling to recuperate from the devastation caused by a massive earthquake in 2010 which literally shook the country into a humanitarian crisis and opened the floodgates for even more abuse by government officials. In the wake of these conditions, Haiti overflows with orphaned children and desperate parents who do not have access to the most basic of necessities like clean water, food, and shelter. Save the protection of our Lord, our Haitian brothers and sisters are left without reprieve. They desperately seek hope and deliverance from the impoverished conditions plaguing the country. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix on the horizon for the people of Haiti; but there is hope.
Missionaries like Pastor Lenny and Sister Marjorie have dedicated their lives to the efforts of bringing Christ into the lives of the Haitian people. Our very own Pastor Staples has witnessed the sacrifices of the missionaries, and gives report of their tireless service and unyielding preaching of God’s Kingdom. Many of them have dedicated their whole lives to the spiritual and moral emancipation of the Haitian people.
My recent visit to Haiti was for the purpose of teaching the bible book of Revelation to a large class of pastors. Instead, the trip turned out to be a confirming revelation for me. I was greatly impressed by their determination and genuine thirst for the knowledge of God. Given only a few basic supplies, they humbly relegated themselves into the role of students. Each day they sat eagerly from morning till dusk in anticipation of new Bible truths. Their sincere desire to learn challenged my love for teaching as I sometimes grew weary from the rigor of standing before them for such long segments of time.
When instruction was completed, I was taken to several nearby churches, schools and homes so that I could get a personal look at the conditions. Words cannot explain the feelings I experienced as we traveled to various locations. Many of the meeting places were only frames of buildings with dirt floors and no roof. There were as many as 5 different middle and elementary level classes running simultaneously within one small room. One class was obliged to have only one book that they shared without reservation. The faces of the children beamed with joy as they observed us looking over their classes. We visited a very small annex where a lady prepared lunch for the children. The conditions were so vile that the average American would likely decline an offer to dine with them in spite of the food’s inviting aroma.
After seeing firsthand, their critical need for support and assistance, it became apparent that we (Julington) could play a vital role in the mission of delivering aid, education, and the message of salvation to many of our impoverished brothers and sisters in Haiti.
I have since appealed to the staff of Julington to voluntarily join me in dedicating one month’s wages to the initiative that is titled “Julington International Ministries (JIM)”. I am happy to report that 100% have agreed and committed. With these contributions we will fund and initiate our partnership with the Caribbean Mission Ministries headed by Pastor Lenny and his family. I am excited to report that we are in the process of planning the purchase of the site and the building of a school where the kids unselfishly learned from only one book. We have already begun sending financial support to Pastor Lenny. As for the books, I am again happy to report that the ordering of books is already in progress.
Our “JIM” staff is currently being organized under Pastor Staples and shall initially include departments varying from Church planting and building, College Tuitions, Orphanage Management, Books and Supplies, to Missionary personal support. I am eternally thankful for the spirit of Julington as well as for the ability to carry out these endeavors. Every one of us may help in his or her own special way. If praying is what you do, then we elicit your prayers. Together we will do everything within our God-given power to make the lives of many, who might otherwise not know the blessings of deliverance, to shout with joys of thanksgiving to our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ.
Thank you for your support and prayers and we welcome all who would like to have a designated role in this initiative. Let us here from you as we organize our resources to ensure that a life otherwise forsaken may know the blessings of giving.