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The blog on this page contains messages from Sam.  Check back often to get the latest on his ministry in Haiti.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

His mercies ever endureth...
Yes, Praise God for His many mercies, especially the traveling kind as I've been on the road and just got back to Pittsburgh yesterday.  The Normans were kind to take me from Heltonville, Indiana, where I had spoke in their church (Fairview Community) to the home of Bruce and Mary Wharrum of Sylvania, Ohio.

While enjoying the hospitality of the Wharrums I was treated to a corn roast on Saturday, and on Sunday afternoon attended the annual church Fall getogether/bonfire at Howard and Karen Wharrum's home just across the border in Michigan.  There were many good things to eat and a musical group to entertain everyone.

It was at their Church, Christ Presbyterian,  that I was allowed to give a short mission update at the 8:30 and 11 AM services.  In between these services was a Sunday school class and there I was allowed to share for about an hour. It was a blessing to meet up with many old friends and make some new ones.

Many thanks to all the wonderful Christian brothers and sisters that made my visits so special. 
1:22 pm edt 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Passing and receiving..... 1 Corinthians 15:3
This last weekend I was blessed by visiting Lanes Mills United Methodist Church.  It was great to see Pastor Clair Lundberg and my many brothers and sisters who pray for and support Gospel Growers ministries.  Many thanks to Mary Lundberg, the Neigers, and Pastor and Mrs. Lundberg who were very hospitable to me during my brief stay.

It was my privilege to give a message on Sunday morning stressing the priority that Jesus gave to missions and evangelism.  The GREAT COMMISSION (Matt. 28:18-19) which he gave to all his followers is a command to make the whole world aware that there is pardon from sin and reconcilation with God through his blood and his resurrection.  Are we getting that good news out to the masses?

Paul following his Savior's lead, exhorted the Corinthian church to hold on to what they had received from him, namely their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and giver of salvation.  Are you holding on?  These times in which we are living are a time of testing of ones faith and belief.  If you have received the good news about Jesus you should pass it on.

This coming weekend I will be in Indiana at the home of Larry and Phyliss Norman .  Sunday morning will find me sharing God's Word at their church. Then the next weekend its on to Sylvania, Ohio where I will be visiting Christ Presbyterian Church.

I feel in my heart that Jesus is coming to call us away very soon.  That makes it even more urgent to get the message out that JESUS SAVES and that all who come to him will not be turned away. 
12:02 pm edt 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A time of suspense....
Yes, this is the time of year that we are wondering if the sponsors of school kids will renew their support in this new school year.  We won't know if they have decided to continue to support their child until the first check arrives, hence the suspense.  As we all know the economy is weak and there may be some sponsors who decide that they cannot pay the  $20/ month that goes to educate these kids which are very needy and anxious to continue to learn.

Another point of suspense for me is that I never know which kids will be sponsored until the schools submit to me the names of those children who have left the program and the names of those who have replaced them.  Some sponsors are upset to hear that their child has been replaced as they have developed an attachment for their child.  Unfortunately kids get replaced either because they have left their elementary school for a higher class, or their parents have moved, or some relatives in Port-au-Prince have taken them in.  Sometimes kids are dropped from the program as they refuse to adhere to the requirement to keep grades up or to attend church on Sunday.

IF YOU SEE THAT THE NAME OF THE CHILD ASSIGNED TO YOU HAS CHANGED,  please do not be upset with us but receive the new child with the same love that you had for the previous one as he/she is just as needy as the other one.   Continue to pray for the first child as you do your new one.  All of them need to know Jesus.

If you are unable to continue support please send an email to me personally with the name of that child so that I can undertake to try to find another faith parent for them.  BUT above all, continue to pray for them and us that we can continue to offer help to these kids.     samrice@gospelgrowers.org

What is our philosophy determining why we do what we do? 

Our main goal that we are striving for is to support an evangelical presence in a community that will serve as a base to get God's WORD out and to disciple children so that there will be an eventual demographic change in Haiti from an unbelieving nation to a Christian one.  This strategy is achievable and is actually working.  When I first went to Haiti there where only about 18% of the people were Christian, but now its about half!  Wht? Its because there are more private Christian schools in Haiti than government supported ones.  Each year more and more children are coming to hear about and know about JESUS CHRIST.

Our idea is not necessarily to focus on providing everything for individual students but to provide funds to their schools to enable them to continue to function, thereby performing the necessary task of educating the kids to be knowledgeable and useful citizens for their country to help it progress from poverty/ignorance to a better future. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, it is to introduce them to Jesus Christ and hopefully assure their salvation.

In most of the schools we help we are able only to help a part of the student body, not all the kids because there are so many schools needing budgetary assistance to continue to exist.  Parents are unable to raise the amount of funds needed to pay the teachers monthly salaries.  We choose to do this to keep as many of these Christian schools open as is possible for us.  In most of the schools we may only support 20-30 students out of a hundred.  The funds from these kids is a minimum needed to keep their school open so that all one hundred benefit and not only the 20-30 sponsored.

These funds are usually enough to only keep the schools viable and operating.  The parents are expected to provide whatever else the child needs.  This was found to be necessary way of doing things because the parents together couldn't arrive at the needed sum to pay the salaries of the teachers.  Believe me, these hardworking teachers desrve more than they get.  If there were no budgetary assistance to these schools so that they could pay their employees then the school would be obliged to close and then none of the kids would be educated.  The government doesn't have sufficient resources to support enough schools for the country, so this provides Christians the opportunity to step into the gap and do it.

We'd like to provide other things as well, but as we see it, keeping the school open is the most important goal.  Economic troubles here in the states makes it difficult to ask sponsors to give more.  In fact, some have already said financial constaints make it an impossibility to continue their support.  WE count on your prayers that funds will continue to be found to maintain these schools thereby keeping their Christian presence in their communities.  Evangelizing the children of Haiti is and will ultimately succeed in bringing Haiti into GOD's camp.

We don't like the kids to make demands on their sponsors as they are already providing a way for the children to have a functioning school for which the kids pay no tuition to attend.  It is not our desire to create a welfare state and train the kids to expect foreigners to do everything for them.  We'd like to allow the children to develop self respect and learn to be thankful firstly to God, and then to others who have have been kind enough to remember them.  It was also found that when the parents didn't participate in providing for the child, the child didn't respect them.

Instead of asking people to sponsor schools, we assign each sponsor a child which gives them the opportunity of forming a prayer relationship with that child and presents them with an adopted faith child.  The child and his family benefits from this prayer relationship with their sponsor and the means to be educated is provided. 

We thank all sponsors for their help in the past.  If you chose to continue, many thanks.  We pray that our God and Lord will bless you for what you have given these children, and that he will provide a way for you to continue to assist them if you desire to do so.
10:09 am edt 

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