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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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Monday, March 29, 2010

Busy Week...
What with last week's funeral and upcoming Resurrection Day Events its kind of hectic here.  Both Dariol and Dubois are having week long special nightly services in honor of our Lord's death and resurrection.  I play a minor role in both so I've been trying to prepare sermons.  Its a special time here in Haiti and in some respects is seen more important than Christmas.

Holy Friday will have a baptism service of both Dariol and Dubois candidates.  Then a service with communion will be held.  Believe me here "Easter" is a big event. 

Saturday last there was also a wedding held at Dariol church.  The groom was about 23 and the bride 18.  It was a victory of sorts as they had been living together after she had gotten pregnant over a year ago.  They have since accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour so they were encouraged to get their relationship right before the Lord.  I got a ring and also helped them get the necessary paper work done.  My truck was also used to transport the couple to and from the church.  What a blessing and witness to the community!

Most Christians here feel that Christ is soon to make an appearance hence the great push to evangelize and get their lives in order before the Lord's coming.  The different events taking place in the world right now have also convinced  us that we are seeing prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes.

Most Christians in developed counties have seemed to have lost that fervent hope and expectation of Jesus' return.  Could it be that they are too comfortable and satisfied with things as they are to think of leaving this world behind?  In light of the terrible ecological, sociological, economic and political events happening that satisfaction may soon be changing... 
10:23 am edt 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Papa Zee passes on...
We won't be having the prayer service normally scheduled each Tuesday morning.  The reason is a very close neighbor to the church, actually right behind it, passed away during the very early hours this morning.

His name was Exilus (Eg-zee-lees) Exavier.  That's why everone called him "Papa Zee".  He was an older man who had fathered 10 children during his lifetime.  Only one had gone before him in death.  He leaves behind his wife of many years and 9 children, and a number pf grandkids.  Papa Zee was a deacon in the church he attended and his son-in-law is the lay pastor.

I can see their house from my perch on the mountain.  I had noticed alot of activity there since early so I suspected something had happened.  I got the news shortly after.  Apparently he had been in Port au Prince being treated for some kind of growth in his upper abdomen, most likely cancer.  As a matter of fact he just came back home last week,  Just in time it seems.  By doing so he saved his family a great expense.  Had he died in PAP the cost of transporting a cadaver would have been costly indeed.  God is merciful!  He was able to be with his family before he went.

As I mentioned in a previous entry, when a death occurs in the countryside events go very quickly.  There are no morgues or funeral homes so the body must be taken care of by the family and friends.  24 hrs. is the most allowed before a body is interred.  One of his sons just visited asking for the loan of my truck to go and pick up a coffin.  I was happy to oblige.

I have a truck that is truly multi-purpose.  It runs sick people and women who are having trouble giving birth to the hospital. It carries couples to the church to be married and home again for the reception.  It also serves as a hearse when needed.  Oh yes, sometimes I even get to use it!  Having a vehicle is a headache due to the maintenance costs.  The roads are awful and do much to cause breakdowns, and tires need to be changed frequently.  But it also offers a great opportunity for ministry--using it to help others.  I can always use donations for vehicle maintenance as you can see.

I suppose Papa Zee's funeral will be this afternoon.  There will be alot of weeping and wailing as Haitians are very emotional and wisely get their grief out of their systems.  It also shows that the departed was respected and loved.  Haitians wouldn't understand our "quiet and dignified" funerals.  They get it all out.  Especially at non-Christian funerals as there is always alcohol available.

As we had a good rain last week the corn is coming up and brown is turning green.  Reminds me of Jesus statement "I am the Ressurection and the Life, no one who believes in me will perish, on the contrary he has eternal life."  I have every reason to hope that I shall see Papa Zee again one day... Perhaps soon...    
9:45 am edt 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sam's Garden and the Area Around His Home in Dariol
The picture below shows the garden outside of Sam's home.  Click on the photo to see a web album with 9 more pictures of Sam's garden and scenes of the Dariol area.

2010 Sam Rice Home
4:24 pm edt 

Photos of the Dariol Area
Below is a photo of the ocean near Dariol.  Click on the photo to see a web album with 4 more photos.
2010 Dariol Area
4:18 pm edt 

Five Houses in Various States of Completion
Five Houses in various states of completion are being done as a sort of Habitat type program to build houses for church workers unable to do so themselves.

The photo below shows one of the houses.  Click on the photo to see an album with photos of 4 more houses.

2010 Houses Under Construction
4:14 pm edt 

Bible/Evangelism Conference in Metayer

In his blog entries on 2/18 and 2/19 Sam mentioned the Bible/Evangelism Conference in Metayer.  Since then around 40 people have come forward to express a desire to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Click on the photo below to view a web album containing 7 more pictures from the conference.

2010 Conference in Metayer
2:03 pm edt 

Monday, March 15, 2010

GOD is a promise Keeper!
Yesterday, Sunday, I made a return visit to the new church at Metayer.  Its a really different kind of congregation.  It consists mainly of children and young mothers, almost all of which had a baby or small child on their laps.  Where are the men?  There was an very old man and perhaps 3 other younger men.  In total 55 people.

This particular community has a male population that has either gone to PAP or the Dom. Republic in search of work, or they are involved in activities that discourage them coming to Christ. Quite alot of Haitian men participate in gambling, cock fighting, have other wives, ect. and these activities keep them in Satan's hands for the present.  We must make repeated visits to the homes and pray that the Holy Spirit will convict their hearts of their need of. a Saviour. 

The fact that the young women are coming is a good sign and there is hope that through their witness and encouragement their men will perhaps eventually be won over to Christ. 

I preached from Psalm 89 which repeatedly maintains that God keeps his promises which are imbedded in His Word.  These people need to hear the Word so that they can start claiming God's promises.  I hope to purchase a number of Bibles soon to distribute to these spiritually starved people.  They need to know what to base the claims/prayers on.

The service started at 7am and ended at 9:30am.  The children were attentive and behaved themselves.  They are the foundation for this new church and will grow up hopefully hearing and being formed by God's Word.  A kids group is formed for working closer with them to teach them songs and verses. Eventually the community will be won over to Jesus.

Please pray for us as we reach out to this community.  My regret is for American kids who perhaps have no one who takes an interest in their spirituel lives.  Reach out to those kids that GOD brings across your path.  Tell them about JESUS!
7:24 am edt 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A night visiter...

A few enties earlier I had mentioned my dislike of things that crawl on me.  Call it a phobia if you will.  I just don't like them!

Last night I was sitting peacefully listening to my radio by the light of my kerosene lamp.  I don't know what caused me to glance to the left, perhaps it was the fact that there were 2 beady eyes staring at me. and one does seem to sense when one is being stared at.

Down there on the floor was a large tarantula.  Now if there is anything I dislike worse than cockroaches its spiders--especially LARGE ones! We stared at each other for a few moments.

I was remembering that part in a James Bond film where Bond is in bed and a tarantula that an enemy has put in his bedroom starts to crawl up his arm to his face. Beads of perspiration started to form on my brow.  My reaction time is a lot slower than James Bond's so I figure I had better take out Mr. T before he finds me in bed asleep.  Its him or me!

I managed to circle around him and grab my trusty can of bug spray.  I got a few shots in but he made a quick dash for a small room where I have a lot of boxes stored.  I figured the spray would soon take effect so I returned to my chair and continued to listen to my radio.

When the time arrived to retire I rose, grabbed the lamp and started for bed.  Suddenly I stopped.  There creeping out of the room was Mr. T.  Oh no, I would have to meet up with the tarantula "Terminator".  As visions of that Bond movie came to mind again I decided to take action.  He seemed groggy but that could be a clever ruse to calm my fears, and then when my back was turned he'd pounce on me!  I just couldn't take that chance.

I reached over and pushed open a nearby door leading to the porch and gave him a good swipe out the door.  He'd either recover and go away or croak.  But then maybe he was a spider who held grudges.  He might have thoughts of revenge.  Taking no chances I put a towel under the door to keep him out for sure.

As I was in bed my last thoughts before I fell asleep were "its a good thing I'm in Haiti and not in the USA.  I'd probably be prosecuted for taratula abuse.

6:18 am est 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On the road again...
Lately I've been visiting our newly planted churches on weekends so I'm beginning to feel like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.  As we start the trek upward I feel like singing 'Climb Every Mountain...!' Its very tiring, but I'm always glad I went as the people really make me thankful that we started the church.  What a blessing they are!

Today I was at Frederik, a large area in the mountains which had no churches until we got there.  There are already 15 candidates for baptism.  As in the case of most churches in the countryside there are more females than males.  I preached on Psalm 16.

The service started at 6am and we finished about 9:15 am.  The people were very hospitable and had prepared some food for us-  rice and beans, fried plantain and juice.  It was very good!  after this meal there was a meeting with the church committee and that finished about 11:30am.  I got home about 12:30pm.

As usual too, my body is stiff and I'm glad to rest for awhile.  Its been very windy and sunny.  Where are my pray-ers.  Start asking for us to get some rain please, only not so much at one time.  The last time it shorted my Internet satellite.  Please GOD... send just enough! 
1:59 pm est 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Last night...
It was a very breezy night, and clouds moved quickly across the face of the moon as a cold front drifted in.  As the light in the east started to appear heralding  the beginning of a new day,  the news was already circulating.  Nothing to set the tongues in the market place wagging but it was of interest to some.  Brother Delius has died...he has gone to be with the Lord.

He was an older man, probably in his late sixties, early seventies, even he wasn't sure of that.  There had been a woman in his life at one point as he was said to have a daughter who rarely visited as she lived at some distance.  There is an younger brother who lives down the hill from me, but they weren't all that close.  Delius' closest "relatives' were fellow members of the church he attended.

Delius was a merry soul who enjoyed telling a story or trading jokes with the young men in the community.  He was getting on in years and his health was a frequent source of troubles, but he persevered day by day. He leaves behind some land, a hut and a horse which he used to get around with as walking was getting harder.

Wouldn't you know the Pastor went to Cayes yesterday afternoon so it will have to be a deacon who performs the service this morning.  Haitians in the countryside don't let much time go by before they bury their dead as there are no mortuaries or morgues nearby.  24 hours is the most that is allowed before the person is laid to rest.

The Dariol church will help out with a coffin and find a place to bury him.  After all he was a fellow believer, and a brother of the Faith. Funerals are also great moments to evangelize as people from the community will be in attendance.  Death is always a time of thinking about mortality and of what follows.

As I said it not much to set the tongues in the market place wagging, but it means something to us... 
8:45 am est 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Green is out, think brown!
All those nice patches of green that appeared after the rain are fast disappearing as groups of men tear into the soil to turn it and prepare for spring planting.  It resembles a scene from long past as men with picks and hoes and other manual tools engage in a ritual now considered "antique " by farmers in ore advanced countries.

There is always hope when you are a farmer, hope that this time all your hard work and back breaking labor will yield a crop that will permit you and your family will be able to subsist a little longer.

That hope was not realised last planting as the rain gave out before the plants were ready to give.
Even so they must labor on as empty stomachs growl and weakness grows--but what can they do.  They must continue to hope.

I was able to distribute $5000 in funds to help in January, and I'm hoping funds will be made available so that I will to give help again.  Something must be done to help tide them over until the next crop comes in.  There is food in the market place as there are areas that are irrigated so that they are not dependent on rain alone.

If you can help me to relieve some of the hunger please contact 
Gospel Growers
Box 968
Smithville, Tx  78957  
2:41 pm est 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Powerful Prayers!
In my previous entry I had requested prayers for rain... you guys prayed so hard that we had a huge tropical storm on Saturday with wind that was so powerful it shorted out my satellite dish and left me without Internet for 3 days.  I only got reconnected this morning after a hefty charge from a technician who came by motorcycle all the way from Cayes.  But its worth it as I couldn't communicate without it.

Please continue to pray for rain but turn down the volume a bit...!

Evangelism is HOT right now with young people converting everywhere--its GREAT!

The Radio Station needs some financial assistance to buy fuel as the peoples incomes have all but disappeared due to the earthquake.  But they were doing so well and still continue to make a great effort as they love the station.

The clinic is seeing an increase in patients due to the influx of people from the capital.

The schools are starting up again and the government wants classes taught outside under tarps!  They are afraid to put the kids in buildings.

I'm in my cement roof house and sleeping well.  Every once in awhile your can feel trembling.  Exciting, huh...?
12:05 pm est 

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