Sunday, January 27, 2008


So last night I flew in from Fort Lauderdale, in an airplane filled with irate cruise-goers who seemed to hail mostly from New York and New Jersey. The source of their disenchantment was the lateness of our departure and arrival, and I admit some irritation about this as well. But my journey had been very different and I was not going to let it ruin my day.

I spent January 18-26 in Cap Haitien, as I do most years, with our church's mission there. Providence founded a medical clinic some twenty-seven years ago, and it now flourishes thanks to the gifts of medical and non-medical personnel, who seem to come primarily from three places: Charlotte, NC; Charlottesville, VA; and St. Louis, MO.

We saw during the week, approximately 1200 Haitians. Our team of approximately 30 persons included 15 Haitians (mostly interpreters) and 15 from the states, and about eight of those were physicians. As usual, I did vital signs: blood pressure, pulse, temperature, weight. I met some very sick men and women, including several with HIV, and others with Malaria. The clinic is amazing, and the Haitians are treated with great dignity. It is, I am convinced, the healing ministry of Jesus.

I also spoke to the Cap Haitien Church, enjoying their worship service (which was two hours long); had dinner one evening with Jacques Lamour's parents, and had dinner another evening with the new superintendent minister of the Cap Haitien Circuit, Rev. Crisnell (who seems wonderful). I led in a closing communion service for our team at the Tovar Church, and scheduled the morning prayers for our team as well. The work was exhausting but rewarding, and I was honored to be there.

This morning at Providence was a full one: I gave a "state of the church" talk to the Methodist Men; taught the Sermon on the Mount during Sunday School; and preached at 11. We welcomed new members at both services, including a young couple by profession of faith and baptism at one service and a trained Stephen Ministry leader from another state at the later service, and we also commissioned our church council for the coming year.

The pastoral life is rich and full. And although at the moment I am very tired, I am also very blessed.


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