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Encouragers

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Our team arrived safely in Haiti yesterday morning. We were able to take a neighborhood walk with some of the local young men and get the lay of the land. Then we had a real treat since we were able to go to a local cafe to view the Vikings playoff game. The ministry that runs the cafe is called Respire and they work with vulnerable kids in the community and have an amazing school and other programs. Read the inspiring book by the founder called Miracle on Voodoo Mountain to learn more or look on their website: www. respirehaiti.org Today the menfolk (Pastor Jim and Jeff Douglas) spoke with Pastor Tingue and he shared his vision for his community. Three years ago at this time was when the first group from Constance came to work on the kickoff of a sewing project. A year later, we entered a formal partnership with Tingue. He shared the next steps of his vision to ministry to young men in the community and start a vocational agricultural program for them. Jim and Jeff enjoyed a lunch of goat meat with him at a local restaurant. They spent the afternoon with Dave Matthis, one of the ReachGlobal missionaries here. They surveyed a community garden project that he is leading. The ladies on the team spent the day at the school starting a new sewing project. We had our usual "soft start"with a few glitches including missing pieces from the sewing machines. There were 7 students total in the sewing group including many new faces. We played some games and did a devotional based on Colossians 3:12 which is about clothing ourselves in the character of Christ. We were encouraged at the improvement in the sewing skills of these ladies and their diligence in keeping to the project. Many of the crochet students came to drop off completed work and it was great to re-connect with these familiar faces. Claudianna, one of the students, expressed in English how grateful she was for the " öpportunity to participate in this program". She went on to say how they didn't have much money to repay us for the work we've done but that she knows God will bless us greatly. I assured her that we are, in turn, so blessed to be working with all of them! Devotions this evening were centered around 2 biblical characters, Mark and Barnabus. Mark was initially a "failed missionary"who was more or less banned by Paul from participating in another missionary journey. But Barnabus, his cousin, agreed to take him on a different journey despite Paul's assurance and the bible says they had a "sharp disagreement"about it.(Acts 15:37-39). But Mark later became a great missionary himself and was esteemed by Paul ((2 Tim 4:11). But if not for the encourgement from Barnabus, who must have seen potential in him, this never would have occured. This is such an encouragement to us as believers! We don't always get it right but can still be used by God and accomplish His purposes. And there are not many "Pauls"in this world but we sure need a lot of Barnabuses (Barnabi?). Many people may never go to a faraway place on a mission trip. But they may be mighty prayer warriors or provide financial support to others to serve. We can all be a Barnabus in our own way. I believe God used Claudianna to do that for me today.

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