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"DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND OF POWER" 1 Cor. 2:4-5
By Pastor Bob Maki: When FM pastors, John Ruotsala and Bob Maki were led to go to Haiti on an exploratory trip, we were filled with much apprehension, but went with faith not knowing
what awaited us. Most everything we had heard about Haiti had been negative. Haiti being very poor, dirty, barren, violent, much lawlessness, thriving voodooism, and the country had been devastated by an earth quake. Why would we go there and expose ourselves to all those dangers? For several years the FM has been communicating with and sending spiritual material to a Lutheran Pastor,named Julian from central Haiti. Over the years his plea has been "please come to Haiti and teach us".
We arrived Thurs. pm 9/10 in Port au Prince and stayed over night. The next morning Pastor Julian met us with our rental car and we drove the 3+ hours to central Haiti where about 25 pastors and church leaders were waiting. It was at a village church they referred to as country side because of the lush green vegetation and the closeness of the mountain range and the mountain fed river running by. BEAUTIFUL! For most of the way the roads were new because of the UN and USA efforts to rebuild Haiti after the earth quake and only the last few miles the road was rough to the village. The people are primarily farmers growing all their produce and raising their own animals for meat. The reception we received by the people was over whelming. There were big smiles on faces and welcomes voiced in French or Creole languages. We began Friday aft. with a service. At the services there were a little over 100 people ,equal number of men and women, and for the seminars there were 25 to 30. Everything spoken was translated and you could see the hearers paid close attention. After every session, Pastor Julian would come to us with many questions and wanted that we would "please teach him" he wants to learn. The seminar teachings were on the basic doctrines of Christ.
The Spirit moved mightily among us near the end of the Sunday afternoon session. The teaching had been on the works of the Holy Spirit and was spoken of when Jesus appeared before his deciples on that 1st Easter night, and said"Peace be onto you. As my Father has sent me so send I you. Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Those whose sins ye remit, they are remitted. Those whose sins ye retain , they are retained." Jo:20 You could feel the Spirit moving in hearts. Many stood up and began to ask, "How can our sins be removed from us? How do we confess our sins?" Confession is not taught in an exacting manner. We were led to say, "if you have sin which you know and trouble you, freely come forward and unburden your heart to Pastor Julian, Pastor John and I will then lay our hands upon you and assure you in the Name and Blood of Jesus to believe all your sins forgiven." One women stood up and said, "this is a hard thing to do", and sat down .Over 20 seeking souls came forward, including the women who questioned and sat down, and unburdened their hearts We as the Ambassadors of Christ were able to bless them with the forgiveness of their sins. There was much joy and lives were transformed. After the session, Pastor Julian rushed to tell us that many confessed sins that were never mentioned or preached about. How can that be? .....continued next column
Reports of the Field:
Pastor Dennis Hilman and his wife Marilyn were in Guatemala for much of the month of August. There they served in all three of the ALC churches as well as assisted Pastor Giovanni with other ministry obligations. The timing of this trip was especially good as full time missionary Ryan Ruotsala was called to serve in the USA during this same period of time. We are thankful for this missionary couple and all that serve in the Lord’s Vineyard worldwide.
A Note from Pastor Emmanuel Julian (Haiti) Reverend Ruotsala Greeting to you in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ,The Supreme Chief of the church ! We haven't word to express our gratitude of thanks to you and Reverend Maki,please receive our lovely thanks that is from deep in our heart.your teaching touches their heart,those who lived in concubinage have repented and we will have wedding so soon in November. May God bless you and Reverend Maki. Please come so soon,we are so thirsty of your teaching.
Respectfully in Jesus Christ
Continued from previous column...
We preach Jesus Christ and His righteousness. The Holy Spirit is the one who searched the hearts of the hearers and and allowed that light of Jesus to shine with in that heart. The spirit is the one to reveal the sin.
After the evening service, Pastor Julian was delayed in coming to us. A little later, he excitedly approached us saying that 4 of the women who had repented that afternoon, asked him to please marry them this month. By God's strength, they would not have intimate relations with the man they are living with,but not married to, until after they are married. We clearly saw the fruits of repentance and witnessed the fruits of the Spirit. John and I rejoiced in the Power of the Spirit. Something neither one one of us have seen in that number for well over 40 years in the USA. How we pray that God would allow these latter day rains to fall on every one of us. When we were leaving, every one was pleading, "please continue coming to teach us God's word. We left for home on 9/15.
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Only funded with earmarked funds
Bible Funds and Sunday School book funds are always needed!
Emergency Medical Fund: - This fund is very low on funds. Please note that fund operates solely on special donations. It is such a blessing to have a few dollars to use in those specific situations that God shows us that we must help out with.
Other items that are in need of special funding: Sound System in Kenya: $950, . Finishing a church roof in Kenya $180. Toilet in Kenya $450 Church buildings in Liberia and elsewhere.
Top five list: Please be aware that the FM administrator keeps a list of the most needed humanitarian projects around the world where the FM works! These are not funded by general FM funds. You can receive this list by email for you or your group to check over and decide what you would like to work toward funding! Click here to email!
Pastor Nicholas (above on the left) has been receiving the Christian Monthly in Haiti for the past 20+ years. We were thankful to meet him while in Haiti. Lord willing we hope to have services at his church in the future.
> It is time to sign up for a future FM trip! You are welcome! Click here > A Team leaves for South Africa in early October and Kenya in late October please keep them in your prayers.
> The Foreign Mission annual meeting will be held September 25-27 in the Plymouth, MH ALC. Please pray for this meeting and the decisions made. If you are in the area we invite you to join us for Services Friday Eve, Saturday Eve and Sunday Morning with a FM presentation Sunday afternoon.