She looked at me briefly then diverted her gaze. “I’m afraid if I allow myself to start crying, I won’t ever stop.”
Dear Haiti MINTS Team:
Greetings to you in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, King of the Nations! I pray this prayer letter finds you well at the beginning of summer 2016!
I am gearing up to return to Haiti during the second half of July. I will be teaching an Introduction to the New Testament course following up on the Old Testament Intro in April. I trust we will have the 25+ students back and others as well. We had much positive feedback from the students after our first formal course.
I wanted to highlight one of the key leaders in our new MINTS Study Center – “El-Elyon Seminary” – in the town of Bohoc in north-central Haiti. His name is Alexandre, and he serves as the president of the seminary. He is a godly and mature pastor who has labored for several years in the rural village of Lomenis, about a half hour via motorcycle from Bohoc. He is pictured above with his precious children, secondly standing in front of his church/school building – the green board is full of school information, and thirdly in front of his house. The other two men in that picture are Pastors Fred and Georges.
Alexandre has brought excellent leadership skills to the seminary committee, and he is wholeheartedly devoted to the church leaders and courses we’re engaged with. He has, in fact, brought key leaders from his own congregation to our classes. What a privilege it is to work with such a fine man of God! He has very little materially speaking but is faithfully proclaiming the riches of Christ Jesus as he ministers the Gospel in word and deed in his village. I look forward to the day when he is writing his own courses and teaching in El-Elyon Seminary!
By God’s grace, MINTS is bringing affordable and accessible theological education to Pastor Alexandre and men like him. The fellowship being enjoyed in the work of the committee and courses is a great encouragement to this pastor who faces unbelievable hardships battling the poverty and spiritual darkness of his country. We are called to share one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Please pray for this devoted ambassador of Christ! He is growing in his understanding of the word of God and fulfilling the 2 Timothy 2:2 design of multiplying church leaders!
I covet your prayers for my course preparation, travel, teaching, counseling, and administration involved with my upcoming July trip. If it were only for Pastor Alexandre it would all be worth it, but he represents a host of native pastors that will bring spiritual reformation to the church in Haiti! All for Jesus, Alan
Blessings to you in Christ Jesus, the King and Head of the Church! I pray this letter finds you well and enjoying the advent of spring. I am grateful to the Lord for all of you who remembered me and my family this month. My dear mother passed away four weeks ago today, and I am so thankful that I was able to be with her at the end of her earthly life. We held her funeral on the 21st. It was God’s leading to postpone my March 2-8 trip to Haiti so I could go to Indiana. He gave me strength to speak about the testimony of her Christian faith and life. The impact of them on my life and ministry has been huge. Abraham Lincoln once said that “No man is poor who has had a godly mother.” My siblings and I have been very rich indeed.
I attended the annual MINTS board meeting March 9-11 in Miami. It was a wonderful time listening to and sharing about the growth and deepening of works around the world. Just a sampling of them includes: 31 groups in 27 cities in Venezuela, and 15 center in Mexico – the country director emphasized the best way to start a church-planting movement is to begin with theological education. The goal of the founding international dean of MINTS is to have national coordinators in every country. There are 160 students in South Africa, and 220 in Brazil – the national coordinator said that 70% of the pastors there have no training. 8 groups are meeting in the Dominican Republic In Santo Domingo and Santiago, with other cities being targeted. We praised the Lord for what He is doing through MINTS in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the U.S. A.! I stayed with a family in Miami whose father directs a MINTS study center in his church!
Please pray earnestly for my upcoming April 18-25 trip to Bohoc, Haiti:
- purchasing French and Creole Bibles and supplies in Port au Prince
- teaching our first course: Introduction to the Scriptures April 21-23 (15 class hours)
- meeting with the Haitian pastors who have organized El-Elyon Seminary
- setting up a new laptop and tablet to be used by the seminary committee
In addition, upon my return to Florida, a dear Puerto Rican pastor friend and I are starting a new MINTS study center in Spring Hill (Hernando County) for Hispanic pastors and church leaders. It is amazing how God brought us together at our apartment complex! We hope to have a dozen or more students begin classes in September.
The first part of my Doctor of Ministry program with MINTS is writing a commentary on the book of Titus. I shared the glorious passage in chapter 2:11-14 at my mother’s funeral, and I am dedicating the commentary to her. Please pray that I will have this completed by the end of May.
May the Lord bless you for your participation in this Gospel ministry! All for Jesus, Alan
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and again the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
Equipping Ourselves with the Armor of God, by Michelle Moore
In her book, Michelle takes you through Ephesians 6 on an exploration of the armor of God. She includes personal stories and Scripture as she looks at each piece of protection the Lord has given to His children.
I appreciated her sharing the wise advice from her grandmother on exploring our hearts and situation when undergoing spiritual warfare. She used the acronym H.A.L.T. When feeling attacked, ask yourself if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. As she explains, these are all key moments of weakness for all of us.
I likewise appreciated her adding the “Robe of Love” to our arsenal. She uses Colossians 3:14 “…And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” She explains that if you look at pictures of Roman soldiers, you will also see a robe underneath the pieces of their armor. She wisely declares that like our witness, our armor is useless without love.
She uses 1 Corinthians 13 from “The Message” to illustrate this point.
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t have love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up…Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompleteness will be canceled…But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”
Arm Yourself is available now from WestBow Press http://www.westbowpress.com
“But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”
The oppression has been thick and heavy, making it hard to breathe. This journey of “walking by faith and not by sight” has been harder than I ever imagined. I have walked alongside and prayed for others as the darkness seemed to close in around them, but somehow depression has never been my thing. One of my spiritual gifts is faith, so this “losing hope” is new territory. I’ve had to ask others to pray for me when I couldn’t seem to pray for myself. I’ve had to ask others to believe for me when my belief seemed elusive. I’ve had to practice what I preach and fall on my face in prayer. I’ve had to stay in the Word when I just plain don’t feel like it. I’ve had to let the tears flow, and know He is “catching them in His bottle.” When the enemy’s lies have continually assaulted my mind, I’ve turned on worship music to drown him out. Sometimes my heart cries have been simple but profound, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The beautiful thing is that Jesus’ mercy does rain down. He shows me His glory, and He lifts my head.
How about you? What do you do when depression strikes, or when the enemy of our soul attacks?
The old hymn writer William Cooper sure seemed to get it!
“Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing in His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.”
Dear One, read Psalm 3. Know that the Lord is your shield and glory. He WILL lift your head!