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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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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another lap made...
Well, that time has arrived again... another birthday.  Tomorrow I will have made it to my 57th year by GOD's grace.  Already I have been receiving good wishes and various gifts such as bananas, hen's eggs, a rooster, a potato bread, and the gifts keep coming.  How kind of these poor people to remember and make these efforts.  Especially since rarely are individual birthdays even noted.  Not much in the way of extra money to celebrate for one thing.

I suppose its the fault of our Christian Radio Station which has been announcing this "event" for the last month.  How enmbarassing!  But how kind also!

We had a beautiful prayer service yesterday morning.  One of the ladies announced that her doctor told her that after looking at various test results that she has inoperable uterine cancer.  He said there was nothing that he could do for her.  Praise God! someone said,  now you can stop relying on those fallible human doctors and go directly to the LORD!  His record of healing results are a lot better than theirs!

We paused to remember the story of the woman who had been hemmorhaging for 18 years and that she had used up all her money on doctors.  Then she touched Jesus...there was an instant change.  We sought out the Lord in prayer and we "touched his robe" .  We frequently call on the Lord after we come to the end of our "rope".  If only we would seek him out FIRST!

There are two such women that we would like you to lift up before the Lord, both are resigned to His will.  The Apostle Paul said "death is a gain for me...".   Their names are Madame Lebert, and Timafie (Tee-mah-fee).

Thank you for all you prayers and support, may GOD bless you all!
1:44 pm edt 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What a friend we have in Jesus...!

Its been very "moist" here as rain has continued to fall.  The fields are beautifully green as the corn grows and hope grows also that in 2 months there could be food available.  Please pray with us that this crop will provide a bountiful harvest for these people who are suffering under the high costs of food here.

Last Sunday I visited the church at Bodary where I was asked to give the message.  I continued on the reasons why Jesus' death was necessary and the impact it has had and will continue to have for mankind.  After the message we held the Lord's Supper.  It was a wonderful time of worship together.

Next month I will be receiving visitors here in Dariol.  Larry and Phyllis Norman, and 2 of their daughters will be here for a week to see first hand what things are like on the mission field.  The Normans and one of their daughters hale from Indiana, while their other daughter resides in North Dakota.  It will be a reunion of sorts as the Normans were missionaries themselves here in Haiti with me several years ago.  

Anyone wishing to ask questions or make comments regarding the work here can do so through my email address   samrice@gospelgrowers.org   I'd appreciate hearing from you!  

8:24 am edt 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

3 months after...
Well , we are still in need of prayer.  The latest problem to hit us is a lack of gasoline in the country.  Can you imagine trying to function with no gas to run transport and generators?  Somewhere there has been a breakdown in gas delivery.

Those who have some secreted away are now selling it for as much as $10 US a gallon!  How is this country ever going to recover with the lack of organization and efficiency which has plagued it even before the earthquake?  Only God knows!!!

The cloudy days are also contributing to the power failure as solar panels are of little help without the sun.  All I can say is that for anyone to make a longterm commitment to live and work in this country you had better have a lot of faith, patience and gumption or you'll soon give way to discouragement and hopelessness.

BUT...we serve a God who is Jehovah Jireh...the God who can break down obstacles, break chains of anything holding us back from accomplishing His work.  He can use any seemingly bad situation and make it turn out for our advantage.  This is what keeps us keeping on!
8:16 am edt 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pass the Tylenol...
Haiti is the perfect destination for chiropractors looking for new sites to locate.  The amount of spines and backs needing realigned would keep them busy for quite sometime!

As you know most women carry heavy buckets of water and other objects on their heads. This gives them a beautiful straight posture but imagine the compressed neck vertebrae! 

The men are constantly bent over when working in their gardens leading to the development of strong back muscles but lots of backaches also.  Lower back pain is one of the principal sites of body pain down here.

The reason I bring the subject of chiropractory up is that due to all the rain we are now experiencing  the men are having to spend alot more time in the fields.  Yes, its great that the rain is causing the corn to grow rapidly...but also the weeds!  Haitian farmers in Dariol and elsewhere in Haiti, most probably, have no access to weed and pest killers.  Or chemical fertilizer for that matter--too expensive!  So that means they have to spend a lot of time carefully weeding their fields so the corn can reach its full potential.  It reminds me of the parable Christ taught of seed cast in land and that was strangled by weeds making it unproductive.

The best way and fastest is to collect friends to help and this makes the work go faster and also saves your lower back somewhat.  Those who can't afford to give these helpers food and alcohol have to struggle on their own.

This brings us to another problem faced by Haitian farmers-- Alcoholism.  It is unheard of to have any kind of work squad assist you here unless you offer alcohol.  Only Christians are willing to help without the use of alcohol as it isn't considered appropriate for Christians to take alcohol.  Over the many generations alcoholism has been practiced by the men as part of their farming ritual.  Even many women who help in the fields are afflicted with this problem.  You can tell someone has really had a spiritual conversion experience if he is able to give up alcohol.  God gives the strength to break this addiction.

The alcohol or tafia which Haitians call it is very potent and it could probably double as rocket fuel!  Its effect on the body is unhealthy,  It can damage internal organs due to its strength and render those who use it more prone to sickness.  It also takes away appetite decreasing nutritional health of the user.

What a difference it makes here when a man accepts Christ and then gives up alcohol and also tobacco, another Christian taboo.  Their health improves rapidly after giving up these addictions.  Christianity is good for your health!!!!      
2:24 pm edt 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Many Thanks!

There is a good group of prayer warriors out there that have been helping us by praying for rain,  Praise God rain has fallen and the corn is growing--there is hope of having food 2 months from now, God willing.  Right now things are difficult as food costs have risen much since the earthquake.  I had made some requests for temporary food assistance to help tide them over until the crop was harvested, but all aid has gone to Port au Prince.

THere has also been a drop in donations to Gospel Growers as the big humanitarian aid agencies have cornered the market on contributions and we little missionary organizations are feeling the lack of resources.  I do not have funds to spare for television and radio advertisements.  I have no access to movie stars and music celebrities to get my message out.  We need help!

At the beginning of the year I wrote an overview of the work that Gospel Growers is doing.  For a small Christian organization with limited resources we are doing a lot!  It is a "loaves and fishes" ministry where great spiritual dividends are being made from small material investment. This area of Haiti is experiencing revival due to the many things we have going on through Gospel Growers programs.

Children and youth are being evangelized and taught in our student sponsorship program.  The population of a large area of Haiti are hearing the Gospel by means of our Radio Station.  The sick are being treated and witnessed to in the clinic at Dariol and 4 churches have been planted.  Frankly I beleive that Gospel Growers has made a huge impact on the lives of the Haitians in our area and beyond.

Please consider continuing  to help us to be a means of bringing the light of Jesus Christ to the people of Haiti.  They have suffered so much in the past.  They deserve a brighter future.  Please Help!

To all the individuals and Churches who Have been helping us with your generous donations we thank you in Jesus' name.  We are simple servants of GOD who have been sent to Haiti to help the Haitian people. It is you who have made and continue to make this possible through your generosity. Please keep us in your prayers and when possible continue to support this ministry. We appreciate having you as partners in this missionary endeavor. 

10:19 am edt 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A visit with Madam Lebert...
All of us are still in the recovery mode from all the Easter activities of last week.  It seems that one of our church members hasn't been able to attend church meetings lately due to illness. It was disclosed that Madam Lebert has been diagnosed with uterine cancer that is inoperable.  She is getting weaker and awaiting the Lord's call.

We decided to hold our usual Tuesday morning prayer/fast meeting at Madam Lebert's house to encourage and support her.  There were about 6 of us.  There was a time of singing, readings from the Bible and prayer from  the heart as we lifted our sister up before the throne of God's grace.  Both Madam Lebert and her husband are accepting God's will in this matter and were happy for the visit and prayer support.

On our way home we stopped at a few other homes for prayer--some were church members and some weren't.  I wonder what would happen in the states if you simply dropped in on people to pray for them?  In any case, we were always welcomed by whoever we found at home.  There was one home where the sick person wasn't there as they had taken her to Port au Prince.  We prayed anyway as our God isn't limited by distance.
I got back home about noon so it was a morning full of prayer and praise.  Well spent I think...
9:28 am edt 

Monday, April 5, 2010

God IS Good!
Well, Resurrection Sunday or "Fat Sunday" as Haitians call it was everything it promised to be!  The churches were filled with new converts and the newly baptised. 

I summoned enough strength (Thank you Lord!) to climb Dubois mountain yesterday and still had enough wind to preach.  I reviewed the reason Jesus had to die and be resurrected.  After that we had communion.  There was a miscount on preparing enough small cups with wine so some had to wait for the cups to be washed and filled again before all the supplicants could be served. But it was still a beautiful moment.  The church is growing fast.

Boy, was my body stiff after that long trek!  After a good night's rest I feel "normal" again as I do this entry.  I hope and pray that you all who are reading this had a wonderful Easter Sunday also!  May you find the spiritual strength and zeal to share your faith with others around you as time is running out.  The Lord approaches ever nearer with each passing hour and day. We must tell the GOOD NEWS--  JESUS IS RISEN!!! 
6:36 am edt 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Praise the Lord!
There have been a week of special nightly services in most Haitian churches and Dariol is no exception.  I was the speaker on Thursday nite as Pastor Philaine had developed a nasty cold and I was a stand in.  I had to speak on "I thirst..."  one of the seven last sayings of Christ from the cross.

I approached it from 2 aspects--physical and spiritual.  As a nurse I was able to share about the effects of dehydration and how its effects on the human body can be severe.  Jesus had lost an incredible amount of fluid through sweating and blood loss.  His many wounds were the primary cause of his rapid decline and great thirst.

Jesus was also suffering from a break in his contact with the Father due to his becoming the bearer of our sins.  The loss of this intimate contact left him "thirsting" for God's presence as we see in David's Psalm 63:1, and 42:1.  Both kinds of thirst were excruciating!

Then, yesterday we had a combined baptism of candidates from 3 local churches--Dariol, Dubois and Bodary.  There were over thirty young and older people who were baptised in the ocean not far from my house at noon.  At 2 pm there was a communion service and those baptised were installed as members of their respective churches.  It was awesome!  There was hymn singing on the beach as the people went in and came out of the water.  It was a beautiful day as well.

At the service following the baptism I again gave the message encouraging the new members to remain faithful to their commitment to the Lord and by all means to be faithful in maintaining their fellowship at church as it would be a major help to them in their Christian walk. 

It was a joyful time and the victory over Satan was sweet!  There was NO ra-ra(voodoo)  parade this year so that made a big difference in the sense of spiritual advancement.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is going forward here at a steady pace.  Hope this can be said in your area...   
12:07 pm edt 

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