THOMAS' TRAVELS - JANUARY 2011
Thanks to some Christian brothers in the Bronx, I was able to spend eight days in Port-au-Prince (November 22-29). This was my second visit to Haiti. I had been there for a week in 1973. Much of the devastation caused by the earthquake of January 12, 2010 will remain visible for a long time. I was invited by the Mission Première Eglise de Jésus Christ. The three-storey building had totally collapsed, causing thirty people to be caught under the rubble, and six of them died.
In October, the church launched a period of fifty days of revival meetings. I was invited to share in them for a week. Each night except Saturday, between four hundred and five hundred people attended the three-hour services. On Saturday afternoon the pastor held classes for new believers and preparation for baptism. Most of those who came to the evening meetings were believers, but there were always some people who came forward for salvation. However, when we invited those who were sick and afflicted to come forward, between twenty and thirty people responded each night. Many gave testimony of having been healed of stomach ailments, headaches, neck and back pain, and other physical problems, but for me the biggest miracle was their tenacious hope and faith in the midst of so much political instability, tragedy and death, including the present outbreak of cholera.
Besides the obvious need for physical and material help, there is an urgent need for Bibles. For not only is voodoo widespread, but false and unenlightened sects (Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Adventists) are also making inroads. What a mission field!
The Lord extended his hand of mercy to me on this trip. Flying from Nashville to Chicago, I asked a flight attendant for a glass of apple juice with ice. In the bottom of the glass, mixed with the ice, was a small metal clamp which I saw just in time!
Let us continue to uphold each other in prayer for all of us who serve the Lord, and that includes all of you who are my prayer partners, are on Satan's hit list. But we are also on God's protection list. And the safest place to be is in the center of God's will.
On December 28, I fly to the Democratic Republic of Congo for the big rally that is to be held on the 31st. I'm counting on your prayers of intercession, for we must not take anything for granted. Pray for: traveling mercies, health and strength, good weather, a good audience (fifty thousand people are expected), thousands to respond to the message, hundreds to be healed and delivered, and a great revival in the churches. We trust there will be rejoicing with "shouts of victory in the camp".
My journey is to continue from Congo to Tanzania and I will be meeting with several church bishops in Mbeya, January 9 to 15. Among other things we will be talking about strategies for helping to evangelize the country.
Thank you for caring and sharing in this ministry.
A UNICEF camp
Devastation from the earthquake
My host, Pastor Pierre Gérard Bérard
Bill and the pastor visiting
the UNICEF camp for school children