Saturday, April 14, 2012

Update from Long Branch Baptist Church

(Reflections from Pastor Wayne Watson from Long Branch Baptist Church, Anderson, SC who recently returned from Haiti)

Our trip to Alex's House and Haiti was so wonderful, more than I could have imagined. The children at Alex's house were sooooooo precious and loving. The day at the beach and the play time at the oasis where we were staying prior to the beach with the children was great. The work at the construction site was so encouraging when you realized the vision of those houses soon being completed and filled with the laughter of children in a safe and loving environment. Although the work was hard, it was so rewarding. Then to cap it off, God showed up too!

At the church that we attended on Sunday, we began a Vacation Bible School of sorts Monday-Wednesday. The children were out of school for Easter/Spring Break. Our two groups Ingleside and Long Branch Churches working and ministering together as one mission team for the week, planned in advance for these afternoons with activities for the children, including craft and play time and a Bible Story for each day.

The Bible Story carried the theme of "Holy Week" in which we included a drama scene appropriate for the week, including script. On Monday was The Lord's Supper Scene and the betrayal by Judas. On Tuesday was the Crucifixion scene played out before the children and those in attendance. On Wednesday was the Resurrection. We included the children as well in the dramas. I was there on Tuesday and part of the drama team. The children helped us tell the story with hand drawn pictures and objects used in the crucifixion. Then the drama scene took place with the Mission Team carrying out in costume.

The scene of Jesus going to Calvary with the crowd crying out crucify Him, including Simon of Cyrene (we used a Haitian Young Man) being commanded to carry His cross when He no longer could carry it. The children were captivated, I found out later adults in the church were too. The Mission Team followed that scene with one of our members sharing a testimony of his own conversion, telling them that was why Jesus died, and they too could trust Him and believe by inviting Him into their hearts and be saved from their sins too. The plan of salvation was presented with interpreter, and the invitation for them to pray "the sinners prayer" was extended if they had never prayed it before. Through the interpreter they were asked who had prayed the prayer, to raise their hands, a number of them did.

Afterwards, I met with those who raised their hands and came forward, along with an interpreter (Jimmy from Alex's House), to talk with them in more detail, sharing with them additional scriptures affirming to them what they had done and what their next step should be~ to speak with the pastor and follow in believers baptism, and live to please the Lord. I also shared with them how important that decision of trusting Christ was for them and what that meant. I was amazed in the group of five who responded that day, again, our main focus was to minister to the children, but a 70 year old man named Mitchell was seated there among the converts. He told us he had prayed the sinners prayer asking Jesus to come into his life. Tears were in his eyes as he told us. Some family members I assume thought he didn't understand what was going on and was in the wrong place as we began to meet, but he assured them he was in the right place.

Also included in the group professing Christ for the first time was a 33 year old man and a 24 year old woman, along with two children who also prayed. It was such a thrill to see all of those who came to Christ that day, especially for me to see this 70 year old man. We were told that the life expectancy is only 55/56 years of age. Here he was 70 years of age. Somehow he had slipped through the cracks, so we thought. God was long suffering with him and had kept him alive for such a time as this.

On Wednesday afternoon at the construction site as we were finishing up for the day, I was surprised when one of the Haitian men who had been working with us came through the gate and motioned for me to come to the gate. He pointed to a young woman who was outside the gate, across the road requesting to talk with a pastor who spoke English. I went over to speak with her, not sure what I could do, but asking her if she needed food or money for something. She quickly told me no, speaking pretty good English. She began weeping and telling me she needed a pastor to pray for her. She began telling me about her life which was a mess. She apologized for taking me away from "the work". I assured her "this" was more important. I asked her if she had a personal relationship with Christ; if she had ever asked Christ to come into her life and forgive her of her sins and to save her. She said she had not. I began sharing scripture with her about God's plan for her salvation and came to the place of asking her would she like to pray to receive Christ. She said she would and right there on the street, she bowed her head and asked Jesus to come into her life, forgiving her of her sins. I affirmed her in what she did afterwards, along with praying for her about her other concerns she had raised that were so heavy upon her heart. I then followed it up by bringing her inside the gate and introducing her to Bill Howard, sharing with Bill what her concerns were as well as her salvation. She was dressed well but was bare footed. Bill offered to go and get her some shoes for which she accepted. I assured her of my continued prayer support although I would be leaving and returning to the U.S. Isn't it amazing, this woman did not speak Creole, the language of the Haitians. She told me she was from Dominica and her main language was Spanish, but she was living with an American in Haiti, which was the depth of her problems. She had learned enough English from him to speak with me and understand me. I find it remarkable that God knew what this woman's needs were and planned our trip for our paths to cross, for her to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and prayerfully received some other words of counsel that will encourage her to make wiser decisions about her present and her future.

Those are just six persons that I know of personally, whose names are now written in the Lamb's Book of Life and on their way to heaven and I pray hopefully will life a better life in the meantime as they await His coming. I am so thankful for the trip.


Pastor Wayne Watson
Long Branch Baptist Church, Anderson, S.C.

No comments:

Post a Comment