Students meet physical and spiritual needs in a struggling country.
by Nadele Bertus
Haiti made me see God’s mercy in a whole new way,” says Miguel, a pastoral evangelism student and cospeaker in an evangelistic series in Haiti this past summer. “About 90 percent of the population are unemployed, and some don't know when their next meal will be; yet they carry smiles on their faces.”
In 2010, an earthquake wiped out a third of Haiti’s population. Five years later the effects are still felt, and there is a great need both physically and spiritually. More people are searching for God than ever before.
Our team—Helping Hands for Haiti—consisted of seven Hartland students, Pastor Robert Banks and his daughter, and Dr. Annex, a Wildwood alumnus. We were invited to assist for the last two weeks of Ramah Mission School in northern Cap Haitian.
By God’s grace, in two weeks we conducted an evangelistic series at two churches, taught medical missionary and mental health classes, and gave free medical consultations. The results: 21 made decisions for baptism; around 600 were seen for consultation and natural treatments; 38 students completed ten weeks of classes and graduated from Ramah Mission School with tools to better themselves and to alleviate the spiritual and physical suffering around them.
“There are many around me who suffer from depression,” shared a Ramah student who formerly studied psychology. “I wish to implant the principles I’ve learned from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy in my life and the lives of others around me.”
In many ways when we sought to be a blessing we were in turn blessed. “I was inspired, and my own beliefs were reinforced as I saw how the Holy Spirit worked upon the people and how they embraced truth,” Christian noted.
Victoria even discovered a hidden talent: “I realized that I love teaching! It’s a part of me—when I understand something fully I want to explain it to someone else.”
The pastor of the church was very grateful for our coming. “We have never seen such simple missionaries. Even though we could not communicate, the love of Jesus shone through you all. The kids and even the adults were telling me that they wanted to be like you. You have inspired us to be more active in our work for the Lord. We pray that you will come again and visit us.” This confirmed that our ultimate goal was reached: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32