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Have you ever expected things to go a certain way and they didn’t?

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Have you ever prayed and seen God provide, but it wasn’t the way you had expected?

Our dear friend Natilia who was a widow passed away three weeks ago.  It was no surprise to us, as members of our team have been taking her to the hospital every week for the past two years to get treatment.  The doctor’s said it was amazing that she is still alive.  We’ve been praying for an answer on what to do with her 3 young boys if she were to pass. They have become like family to us and we weren’t going to throw them in an orphanage and we couldn’t commit to raising them as our own for the next 10 years.  

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Natilia’s boys Claudel, Carlos, and Ismith

After Natilia passed away, a series of events occurred that answered our prayers and changed my life forever.  

As we helped the family plan the funeral with the limited funds we had, we contacted the mayor to see if he could help.  He said he would be able to provide a coffin for cheap, a truck to transport her to the cemetery, and a lot for her to rest in.  We also presented the situation to our students and one of them was the director at a church/school and said we could use his church to hold the services since we were expecting at least 100 people.  He also said the boys could go to school for free their for the rest of their lives.  As prayers were being answered, I quickly realized that my perspective was a little different than God’s.

When the truck arrived to pick up the coffin, it was a dump truck that carries trash.  Not what I expected. A trash truck God? Really? When we went to lift the coffin into the truck, the handles broke off and the bottom was breaking.  Are you serious God?  This coffin is falling apart? When we got to the church there was not the 100 people we were expecting but about 40 of us, her family and mostly people from the school.  God where are all the people?  Electricity in the church was going in and out the whole time and was such a distraction as lights and fans went on and off as the microphone went in and out throughout the service.  Seriously God, this is just getting ridiculous! After struggling to carry her up the hill to the lot to be burried, we all got their and the hole for the coffin was way too small.  Really?  I thought this couldn’t get any worse God. So they spent the next hour digging while we sang and continued the service.  So much prayer was answered that day but not the way I had expected.  It was God’s way. Oh, and by the way, the father of the boys arrived from Port Au Prince and we led him to the Lord.  Apparently Natilia was not a widow and we thought that he had passed away.  Good thing that he was still alive so that he could receive salvation this day. 

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Baptizing Natilia on her 40th birthday two weeks before she went to be with the Lord. She was so happy for this day.

 

ImageDancing with Gary after her baptism.  Now she is dancing with Jesus face to face.  Incredible!!

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Natilia was an amazing woman of God who loved the Lord and brought hope and joy everywhere she went including every week to the hospital when she got treatment.

She is what our discipleship school represents which is why she was one of our students.  Everyone loved her and I miss her deeply.

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 The boys are currently living with their 21 year old sister Mary Claude who has two infant boys of her own.

As I prepare to head back to the states for a few weeks, I look back at all that God has done and am in awe.  The school is 6 weeks in and we haven’t planted one church yet.  Am I discouraged? No not at all.  We have had so many interruptions and I believe the Adversary is trying to stop this movement.  Here’s why.

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With Natilia passing away we stopped teaching and ministered to our students.  

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The next week Hurricane Sandy kept us in doors again.

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We had Thanksgiving where we paused as a school to give thanks.

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Here is the aftermath of the riots that caused us to cancel class again.

ImageThis last week we were excited to finally continue as a school on church planting.  And just as we were preparing to send out all 30 of our students it started pouring rain.  So we prayed throughout the class time which was so fruitful.  

With all the interruptions over the past month we recognized that we needed to pray and pray and pray and trust God with His timing.

Just as things didn’t go as expected with Natilia’s funeral with the truck, the coffin, the electricity, the plot of land, and the boys having a father, either has the church planting movement.  The timing and circumstance has been out of our control and it hasn’t gone as we’ve expected, but we know God is working and we are in a spiritual battle.  

Please continue to pray for our team, that they will stay steadfast knowing their labor is not in vain.  Haiti will be reached and churches will get started but it may not happen when or how we are expecting, but God will be faithful to answer our prayers.

 

April 2011

Ismith (left) and Carlos (right)

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First Week Of School

I Will Make You Fishers of Men

We arrived to the town of Jeremie one month ago with the plan and purpose to start a six month discipleship school.  Our purpose? To train local Haitians on how to equip other people how to teach and live out the Gospel.   Over the last 2 years I have been a part of the teams that came to build relationships with the local people and have helped lay the ground work for this great undertaking. We were expecting to have a school of 10-15 faithful men and women who would participate in this work.  After much prayer and consideration on what the criteria would be for the students we would choose, God brought to light Jesus’ example. Jesus selected people He was going to pour His life into.  So I challenged our team to pick specific people they wanted to pour their life into over the next six months and commit to making them fishers of men.  We would be accountable for their growth since we were the ones selecting the specific individuals.  So what started as a group of 10-15 potential students turned into a group of 46 potential students. After the seven of us personally invited each one of them to the school and seeing how their schedules worked out, we had 36 people who enrolled in this intense discipleship school.

 

Jesus Is Our Curriculum

We have an afternoon program with 20 students from 2-5pm, as well as an evening program with 16 students, from 5-8pm to accommodate those who go to another school or who work during the day.  The students are committed to attending for three hours a day, three times a week.  Two of the days are in the classroom and the third day is in the community practically applying what they are learning. They learn through biblical teaching, (1John, Ephesians, Acts, Spiritual Disciplines, etc), through memorizing God’s word (memorize one verse a week and all the books of the bible), through out of the box experiences (weekly teaching through interactive activities), and into the world practices (weekly outreaches in the community so they can put into practice what they’re learning.)  Jesus was constantly giving His disciples practical ways to grow.  He let them serve.  He let them lead. And He even let them fail.  He encouraged them, challenged them, and corrected them during His three years with them.

 

Who Is Called?

Just as Jesus called tax collectors, fishermen, and other people who had careers, we too have people who are in the midst of careers.  Jesus chose people who knew how to work hard and He chose people who knew how to work smart.  Fishermen work extremely hard, laboring day in and day out, casting their nets and pulling them back in.  He also chose tax collectors who knew how to hustle and maximize time and get the most out of people and circumstances.  When we were putting our roster together it was interesting to see the wide variety of people participating in the school.  We have a police officer, police chaplain, school director, teachers, law students, college students, high school students, a blind girl, a widow, a dance instructor, and even 2 American missionaries.  It is quite a dynamic group.  All of them are excited and focused on engaging God in a new and intimate way.   They also are excited to be used by God to IMPACT His kingdom for eternity.  I heard a quote once that read, “If you want something done, find a busy person to do it.”  God isn’t looking for lazy people. He wants diligent workers to send into the field.  And I believe God has hand selected these people and brought them together because they are laborers.

 

“For a long time now, I have always felt that I had the knowledge and a solid relationship with God.  The thing I that I have missed the most and has caused me to struggle is the lack of support and accountability.  I am always giving and never being filled up.  I am excited to see what God is going to do in my life during this season.”

-Travis Impact Haiti student-

 

God’s Faithfulness

This first week of class was filled with much anticipation and excitement.  After years of praying for this school, I found myself asking, “Would God be faithful or would this be a disaster?” We had a day of orientation and introductions.  The students loved the activities and they learned each other’s name, which was just the beginning of teaching them how to love in simple practical ways.  We assigned memory verses and I took them through the books of the bible, IN CREOLE.  It was just as much a learning experience in Creole for me, as it was for them learning how to find the book of Oze (Hosea).  Overall it was an exciting week for them to learn what the school would be about, as well as for us, learning how to run a discipleship school in Creole and in a foreign country.

The final highlight of the first week came on the Friday outreach in the community.  The outreach team broke them into groups and sent them out on a scavenger hunt.  I was especially excited because it was something that I came up with at Impact 195 when I was on the outreach team two years ago, and now our outreach team was duplicating it in Haiti.  They sent them out to pray for taxi drivers, they bought beans, rice, and spaghetti for a needy family, served other’s by carrying people’s wheel barrows, shared God’s love with a child and an elderly person, and asked people the question, “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?”  It was such a blessing when my group bought the bag of groceries and soon after, encountered a frail man walking through the streets half clothed and asked him that question.  His response was, “Can I eat something today?”  We all were amazed and said that the Lord had sent us to him to bring him this bag of food so he could eat.  Our students asked if they could lay hands on him and pray for him and he said, “You could put your hands wherever you want. “  This man looked as if he hadn’t had much interaction with anyone in awhile and he was ecstatic that people took the time to acknowledge him and love him.  He asked where we gathered to worship God and he later came to our worship night later that evening.

 

God’s Perfect Timing to Bring Hope, Peace, & Love

Taxi drivers saw their fellow taxi drivers getting prayed for and came over and asked if they could be prayed for too.  They wanted blessings of HOPE. One group took turns carrying a woman’s wheel borrow through the busy streets for over a mile.  One group was reading one of the scavenger hunt “To Do” items listed and it said to find an elderly person to pray for.  As they were reading it an elderly couple was walking by.  They didn’t desire to be prayed for in the middle of the busy street so they invited all 11 of them back to their house.  The couple wanted PEACE and satisfaction. At their house they prayed for them and met 10-12 other people in their neighborhood that they got to pray for too.  The students were amazed at God’s perfect timing and how receptive people were to being prayed for and it increased their faith to share about God more often with the people around them.

Nobody was encouraged though as much as our friend Tony.  He is an older man who works as a police officer in the prison.  His demeanor is intimidating but he is a gentle giant.  He has such a calm shepherding spirit.  Tony walks with a limp and everyone in the community has a high respect for him. Before we even left the school property, Tony encountered a taxi driver to pray for.  As Tony discussed Jesus with the man, he recognized that the taxi driver hadn’t received Jesus into his life.  So right there, before we even left the gate to begin the outreach, Tony led the man to salvation and into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  And that’s what it’s all about.  This man wanted the truth and wanted LOVE and acceptance. This school is about encouraging the people of Haiti to join God in His work.  God wants people to reconcile their lives back to Him.  He wants to be their HOPE.  He wants to be their PEACE. And He wants to be their source of LOVE. And He wants to use us.

 

Partnership

I would like to thank you for your partnership for the furtherance of the Gospel.  One soul was saved and dozens more were touched in just this first week.  Please continue to partner by praying for the students daily.  Our goal is that by next week we will have started house churches that they will be leading.  Please also pray about partnering financially to help with the costs of the school.  Students paid tuition of $75 Haitian dollars which is $9 American.  The cost of the school however is $250 American dollars per student and many wouldn’t have been able to afford to come.

Since we were expecting only 10-15 people to participate in the school we are underfunded.  It is actually a praise report that 36 people are coming to be discipled, but we still need to raise an additional $4000 to pay for supplies for each student.  Some expenses include bibles, notebooks, supplies for service projects, renting the classroom, etc.  Please be praying for God to provide the means or pray to see if the Lord would want you to participate in partnering financially.  Thank you again for all your love and prayers and I hope that you will continue to join me in this incredible journey.

The Weight of a Nation

What is weighing on your shoulders and occupying your mind?

Work? Finances? School? Tuition? Stocks? Marital problems?

 What is it? Seriously.

What is it that is pushing you?  Or is it something you are carrying that motivates you and drives you?  Or is it actually weighing you down?

Is it figuring out what to do with your life? Achieving your goals? Meeting quotas? Having enough money to put gas in your car? Deciding which girl to date or which college to go to?

Is it worth it?  Is the time you spend thinking about those things really worth it to you?

A few days ago I was praying with a friend and she stopped in the middle of her prayer as if she was interrupted. I opened my eyes and looked around and could see she was trying to figure out what to say.  It looked like she was listening to somebody tell her something. Finally she said, “I don’t know how to say this but I see a rod in the middle of your back.  It’s helping you stand tall and stand firm to carry the weight.”  The WEIGHT!!!! That’s it!!! WoW.  Just a few days prior to that I was praying and realizing that we were going back to Haiti in a week with a big task and it was heavy.

Exactly 11 months ago I was walking through the streets of a small town in Haiti with my friend Melissa.  We were talking about her previous living experience in Haiti  and all the great people she met and she even gave me tips on how to structure my day so I could be as productive as possible throughout my time there.  But one thing stood out more than anything. One thing that I will never forget. She said, ” I really believe God wants to use the nation of Haiti to reach the world.  Just as God has chosen the people of Israel, I believe God wants to use this little tiny island to impact the whole world.”

Of course, at the time, I thought she was crazy.  But after spending the next 5 months there, I have come to the same conclusion.  God is doing something special in Haiti.  After 200 years of voodoo and evil, this country is turning back to God.  They are looking for answers.  They don’t want to be deceived anymore and they want the real truth.  They don’t want to live in fear anymore and they are tired of hiding.  Haiti is a nation full of proud individuals who want to do something greater than their ancestors.  They are becoming more educated, taking more initiative, and helping one another.

These people want our help and more importantly they want God’s help.  Our goal is to reach the unreached people of Haiti with the Gospel.  Not just in our town but all over Haiti. Every countryside, every town, every street, every person.  The plan is to launch a church planting movement with 10-15 of our Haitian friends. Something that can be passed along orally, even to the most uneducated person.  So every Haitian can impact the nation.

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It is a God sized task and being the leader of our team, I am feeling the weight.  The weight of a nation, the burden of a nation, where souls are going to hell daily.  Souls, SOULS!! It’s about souls.  That should be our burden.  That should be the weight that we carry.  Not all these other miscelleneous things that consume our concern, SOULS!!!!  We know the truth and we need to care enough to share it.  We need to shake the gates of hell!!!  I am so excited to go back to continue this adventure and am glad to have God to keep me upright as we carry the weight of a nation upon our shoulders. This nation awaits…..Image

Give Hope to Haiti

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On Monday September 24, 2012, I will be traveling back to Haiti with six teammates to continue the work that the Lord has begun in the town of Jeremie.  About one year ago, 12 of us went with the purpose of bringing hope and healing to a hurting nation that was devastated by an earthquake two and a half years ago.  Many don’t realize that 20 times as many people died in the earthquake than in the 9/11 attacks. 

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But the earthquake didn’t just create devastation, it highlighted the devastation that was already there for hundreds of years.  Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and is only a 90 minute flight from Miami. There is so much that can be done to help this impoverished nation that is so close.  So over the past six months we went and…..

Built Water Wells

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Built Numerous Houses

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Taught at Orphanages and English Classes to Locals

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Visited the Sick in the Hospital

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Taught Bible Studies 

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And essentially we accomplished our goal.  But our mission is far from complete.  Our God is a gracious God who blesses abundantly and wants to lavish His love upon  His people.  So we are heading back with an even greater goal.  Not only do we want to bring hope and healing to the town of Jeremie, but we want to bring a love and hope to the whole nation.

 So this October we plan to launch IMPACT HAITI!

The purpose?

To impact the nation of Haiti by sharing an unconditional love, teaching them about an irrevocable hope, and have them experience a peace that surpasses all human understanding. Often times people want to help others but don’t know how. We bring shoes, clothes, food, and backpacks. We build houses, provide clean water wells, and educate them in the English language. We do all these things and they recieve it all with excitement and gladness. But after a little while, things break or get stolen or sold and they end up in the same disappointed state that they started in. And then what? Is it really that these THINGS quenched their hopelessness? I believe that a lack of love and hope is a greater poverty than food or clothes. They don’t need our things, they need us! They need someone to show them how to love, how to give of themselves. The greatest gift is not someone who gives what material things they have. The greatest gift is someone giving someone their time, their affection, THEMSELVES. 

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 So Impact Haiti’s plan is to do just that.  It is a six month discipleship school that will equip people to not only walk in God’s ways but it will teach them how to equip others to walk in God’s ways.  They will learn how to love others first, how to have an attitude of gratitude, how to serve others, how to build community, how to have Christ-like character, and how to have a missional mindset.  It is not for them to learn and keep to themselves.  It is a school that teaches them how to give of themselves.  As they learn to give of themselves, they will teach others how to give of themselves.  If we all have a burden that is greater than ourselves then we can impact a nation and change our world because we are not just living for ourselves, but for each other.

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I pray that you will join me in giving of yourself.  Whatever that may look like.  For me, it is physically going to Haiti to empower others so that they can empower others.  Haiti will be impacted and I want to invite you to be apart of it.  Whether its coming down for a visit or praying earnestly for what is going on down there.  Or maybe it is joining my financial support team.  I currently need to raise $2,600 before we leave next Monday as well as raise $550 of support monthly.  I understand not everyone can physically go, but you can partner with me financally and/or in prayer and go with me. Thank you in advance for your partnership in changing the nation of Haiti. To partner financially you can click on the link below.

https://www.mogiv.com/rockmissions/nickyates/

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Please join me in celebrating how the

town of Jeremie has been transformed

into a symbol of love and hope

for the future of Haiti. 

HOPE FOR HAITI CELEBRATION

I invite you to come

participate and see how the

people of Jeremie are going to IMPACT

the future of Haiti for generations to come.

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Who: YOU and any guests you’d like to bring to say goodbye to Nick before he peace’s out Sept. 24th

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 What: Celebrating and hearing how you can

participate in the transformation of Haiti 

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When: Saturday 6pm-9pm September 1, 2012

Where: 11359 Travis Place, San Diego, CA 92126

**RSVP by Wednesday August 29 for BBQ purposes

via email: (Click ->) nickjy8s@gmail.com or call or text 619-206-5825
 

(Presentation will begin at 7:30pm. Displays will be available throughout

the night of how we are impacting children, orphanages, hospitals,

 disabled, how we are creating local businesses, teaching English,

as well as church planting and starting a discipleship school.  DON’T MISS IT!!)

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Nick Yates

Haiti Ambassador

 nickjy8s@gmail.com

https://isaiah61haiti.wordpress.com/

https://www.mogiv.com/rockmissions/nickyates/

 

My Buddy Cubby

October 21, 2011

Many people at Impact 195 know Evens as Cubby.  Our first trip out here in June ’10 we met a little boy wearing a Cub Scout vest and he got dubbed the name Cubby.  He was a little rebellious boy who would start fights and run away from home.  When we returned for these six months, we found out that he was still not going to school and was living as a street kid.  A woman had taken him and a few other street kids into her restaurant to sleep at night.

A picture of Cubby from our first trip in June '10. His name is Evens

Evens has two faces. This is the first.

And this is the second. This is Frankie and I with him back in September '10

During one rainy day here in October, Dez and I went to the market to get food to cook for the group.  Here in Haiti, people don’t go outside when it rains.  But Dez and I put on our jackets and our ponchos over our jackets and decided to be brave and head out into the storm.  We laughed as we headed down to the market because it looked like a ghost town, and anyone we did see looked at us like we were crazy.  For us it was just another adventure.

After we exited the market we stopped by to visit a lady who sells stuff on the street.  We pass her often and we usually stop to visit and talk with her or pray for her.  As we were talking to her and a few others in the rain, Evens walked up.  He was shivering and only wearing a pair of ripped pants with no shirt.  After asking him where his clothes were, I took off my poncho and gave him my jacket and told him to give it back to me when I saw him again.  He got a huge smile and said, “Mesi,” which means thank you in Creole.  Honestly I didn’t know if I would ever see that jacket again.

A we were walking away, Dez said, “Did you here what the lady said in Creole?”  I said, “No, what?’ He went on to explain that she said, “Look at this white man giving his jacket to the boy, you would never see a Haitian do that.”  It broke my heart that she said that to the people who were standing around watching, but it made me realize that even through these simple acts of kindness people are experiencing God’s love.

At the time, I wondered if you would ever see a Haitian do something like that.  When I got home, I thought about the guys I had just begun discipling and realized, of course. Of course Haitians would do something like that.  I have seen these guys give away their last bit of food to a starving street kid.  I had seen them share a little pouch of water with a stranger who was thirsty even though I knew they were just sweating their butts off walking with us through the streets for a few hours.  They get it.  But some still don’t, but hopefully through us being an example, they will begin to.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:37-38,40

There are so many opportunities to have Matthew 25:40 experiences out here and this is just one of the many.

Evens at The Point with the children's ministry learning about Jesus.

Blog Worthy

One of the biggest challenges for me as a missionary has been blogging.  When I first arrived, I was excited to document all my experiences every week and share them with everyone back home.  But shortly after arriving in Haiti, I recognized a lot of needs and began ministering to the people.  I expected to blog every week about all the exciting things God would be doing.  But God has been doing amazing things here everyday.  Many of the things I would have expected to blog about have become routine.  It has become a part of life out here.  Imagine doing ministry in the states and having to blog about it every week.  Its the same thing.  Being a missionary is not this glorified thing.  It is simply just ministering to people in another country.  Being in their culture, learning their language, teaching them about God, spending time with them, living life with them, and genuinely loving them.  It’s what Jesus did.

 

 

Dez and I spent three days living with our friends in the countryside.  We played games, worked, and ate a lot.  This is a picture of me taking a break from working on one of the houses and hanging out with the kids.

Dez and I spent three days living with our friends in the countryside. We played games, worked, and ate a lot. This is a picture of me taking a break from working on one of the houses and hanging out with the kids.

 

I do recognize the power of our testimony and plan to write blogs to catch you up on all that God has been doing over the past 4 1/2 months.  I also encourage you to check out the other blogs listed in the right hand column.

Here is one from Melissa that best summarizes how I feel about blogging.  It is perfectly put.

http://hugsinhaiti.blogspot.com/2012/01/becoming-normal.html?spref=fb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings from Haiti!

I first just want to thank you all for your love and support.  It truly does mean a lot that you think about us here and the prayers are definitely being felt. I don’t have a laptop out here and so communication is sometimes challenging.  We do ministry during the day and usually most people are using their laptops when we get home, so it’s tough to borrow theirs because they have their own business to take care of and there are multiple people who do not have a computer to use, so we are all borrowing from one another.

I was hoping to send a recap this weekend of what has transpired over our first three weeks here, but yesterday I came down with the flu and am feeling miserable, so I probably won’t be doing that until I get better.  Please pray for healing for Amanda who threw out her back and has been in bed for the past two days. Please pray we both recover by Monday so we can be out and about.

The first two weeks here we spent time getting acclimated to the culture, learning the language, observing the people and their behavior, exploring the town, and adjusting to living with 10 other people.  It was quite an adventure.  We shopped, purchased miscellaneous items we needed (getting a bed made).

We also reunited with our friends here who we met during the three previous trips. Jacob and I have met a few times and are growing closer.  The Lord wants to do something special through him.  I feel like I have so many stories to share and I am already so far behind in blogging, but I will capture these stories because it overwhelms my heart just to think of what God has already done, and I know it will bless you.  I am not feeling the best at all so let me give you a brief update on where I am at.

We spent the first two weeks getting acclimated, visiting the beach orphanage, visiting the hospital, going to the countryside where Jacob grew up, playing futbol, and trying to find out when the guys are playing basketball because many in the town said that they stopped playing for a few weeks.

Just recently we found out that they play form 6-8AM on Sat. Yes AM, before it gets too hot.  We met a guy named Jack and a brother named Zo.  Zo pretty much runs the court and he has his say, as we found out when he showed up a few days ago, when guys were playing futbol on the basketball court, and he kicked them off.  Come to find out he is saved and being discipled by a missionary from Indiana.  Zo is a nice guy and the guys we’ve met through him Billy, Pierre, Jermaine, and a few names I cant pronounce, are all legit guys who we’ve been getting to know.  We play futebol two or three times a week with the kids in the square and it has been a blast to see these kids receive us.

The children’s ministry is planning on coming alongside us to share bible stories afterwards.  The 4 times we’ve been down there, the Lord has brought 20-30 kids from all over and by the time Dez and I are done playing we are exhausted, and they just sit and hang out, until we pray and leave.  So we suggested that since the kids want to keep playing or at least hang out, that this would be the perfect time for them to come share felt board stories about Jesus.  Soccer and basketball ministries are doing exactly what we were hoping, in gathering people that would never step foot inside of a church.

On Monday I start a bible study with our Haitian friends who are involved in ministry. It is 2 days a week and our goal, to teach them how to make disciples.  Not sure who will all be there, but I know a few guys who are chomping at the bit and are excited to get started.  We plan to do a mini 12:2 trip (for those of you who are unfamiliar with Impact 195, a 12:2 trip is based off of Romans 12:2 about not being conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind). Basically it is getting a group of people out of their comfort zone (location) and building biblical community, and immersing yourself in God’s word ie a specific book in the Bible).

We have already started looking into prices for the boat to go to Port-Au-Prince and stay at the Matthew 25 House for this retreat.  It will be about $200 per person, so please be in prayer about possibly supporting one of these guys financially.  God has put this strongly on my heart and I think it would be life transformational, as some of these guys have never been there or even left this small town of Jeremie.  Jacob also has expressed interest in going to a place 4-6 hours away and staying for a few days to preach the gospel.  So we are looking into scouting trip to go check out the location.  Lots of things are happening and lots of things need to happen for all this to come to fruition so please be praying with us as things develop.

This week has been incredible.  We went to the countryside to deliver some cement for the house projects we are looking into starting, and God rerouted our plans.  Upon arriving up the treacherous mountain (it took us an hour to get there) we came across a girl who was being carried out of the house on a stretcher.  We instantly stopped, threw out the bags of cement, threw her in the back of the pickup truck and raced down the mountain.  This 19 year old girl, Myniz, mother of two, had deep yellow eyes (almost green) and was deathly sick.  As we prayed over and over and sang a few songs over her and anointed her head with oil, she still seemed not to be doing better.  She was barley keeping her eyes open and Darah kept her attentive and awake as Dez patted her down with a wet clothe, and I shaded her.  I had never felt a human being whose body was this hot. Dan Hartman (add
ambulance driver to his resume) got us down in about 20-25 minutes to the hospital.

There are many stories to share about what else transpired (will do so in my blog down the road) but it was amazing how God’s timing worked in all of this, (Jacob getting a flat tire on the way up, and us making other stops and I cant imagine those guys walking her lifeless body down this mountain to the hospital.  If we had come any earlier we would have missed them bringing her out of the house and just continued on our way. It would have taken at least 3-4 hours for them to walk.  We visited her yesterday and she was more responsive and the greenish color was out of her eyes and they were a deep yellow.  She hadn’t spoken in two days and yesterday she was making sounds.  So she seems to be doing better.  God definitely has been showing me how precious life is here and how undervalued it is by the people. Call it the culture or whatever, but the Lord has been touching my heart by using the sick in the hospital.

The other day I went to the hospital and had a terrible experience.  The two babies I was around started balling when I approached because they probably saw this red headed white monster trying to hold them.  hahaha.  They probably have never even seen a white person in their short life.  Another girl Matta, who was about 10-12 and lives in the hospital, came over with a comb and kept asking me to comb her hair.  It was nice but it was uncomfortable and dirty.  So i combed her hair for 30 min and got her giggling which could be heard across the ward.  She has the biggest belly laugh EVER. Think Sarah Beth and Scott Wessell.  hahaha.  The next day when some people said they were going to the hospital I was like NO WAY!!  But I really felt moved and thought I’d go for a little bit.

Upon entering, a boy Jafa from the street practically knocked me over as he ran and tackled me.  He was there for his 1-2 year old sister.  Next to his sister’s crib was a boy named Antwan who is on Dan and Christine Hartman’s prayer card.  As I picked up Jafa, Antwan got super jealous, so I put down Jafa and picked up Antwan and then after holding him awhile, while my other hand was playing with Jafa’s sister, I finally sat down next to her crib.

Then the cutest thing happened.  Antwan crawled over into Jafa’s sisters crib so he could touch me. So as I had one hand playing with the two of them, and the other with Jafa, Matta came and leaned against me and nestled her head into my chest. These four kids I was playing with were making me feel so loved and, then a lady approached. She said through a translator “Are these your kids?” I laughed and said “of course.”  But then the translator looked confused and said, ‘No, she said that you treat these kids as if they are your own.”  Shocked, I said, wow thanks Lord. She went on to say that she has no kids there but that she comes every so often to help feed the kids, she was touched that I was there. My heart was soooo touched and even as I write this I am overwhelmed thinking of how all of us here are being touched by the people in the hospital. God is doing something special there. Jesus said in Matthew 25:36 , That when I was sick, you visited ME. All we are doing is visiting and God is doing a work in it all.

I pray you lend your ear to the Lord and hear who He created you to be, what He wants you to do, and where He wants you to go!! I pray you encounter God through these experiences just as much as I do.  I was going to wait to provide more details about each one of these stories, but I couldn’t hold them in anymore. May God bless you today and remind you that He has a plan and a purpose for you today.  Trust Him and seek Him out.

Prayer requests:
Myniz- girl who almost died in the hospital
Amanda’s back
Healing from being sick
Schedules working out with the guys we are going to do bible study with
Relationships grow
Learning the language

Much love to you all

Nick Yates