From April 19 to April 30, 2012, the West Fresno Ministerial Alliance (WFMA) sponsored a 5 member ministry team as they traveled to Haiti. The team members were: Pastor Edward B. Lee, Pastor of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church and member of the WFMA; Pastor Jonathan Villalobos, Pastor of the Bethany Inner City Baptist Church and member of the WFMA; Dr. Nzash Lumeya, member of the Mount Olive Missionary Church and Director of the Fresno School of Missions and member of the WFMA; Sister Velma Stephens, member of the Saints Rest Community Baptist Church; and Sister Gwen Burks, member of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.
The group traveled to Haiti to work with Pastor’s Jonathan and Alexandra Joseph of the Haitian Baptist Connection (HBC). Over the course of 10 days, the 5 member team traveled all over the Haitian island teaching the children at various Christian Church elementary schools, orphanages, and the 3 pastors taught at the Seminary with the HBC. Two of the pastors, Pastor Jonathan Villalobos and Dr. Nzash Lumeya traveled by airplane to the North East Plateau of Haiti to teach and preach at the seminary there.
At the Haitian Baptist Connection (HBC) seminary about 45 Haitian pastors, deacon’s and wives came to learn about Angelology and Leadership from Pastor Villalobos, Missionology from Dr. Nzash, and Deacon’s and their role in the church from Pastor Ed Lee. The students were encouraged and educated about what the Christian church should look like and how it should be ran from a Biblical viewpoint.
The team experienced God in such profound ways – from the children at the orphanage asking why are we there, to a church dedication where a year earlier it was nothing but rocks, dirt, and a dream to a building of an ever growing membership. We were able to experience walking from the tent that housed the original church to the building that was almost complete. We found out that the church needed chairs, benches, seating for the congregants. Through the financial support of the WFMA, the team was able to leave a donation to help with that simple request.
God was present on every hand. We saw God use music to bring parents to give their lives to Christ, to Sister Velma leading our “tap tap” (taxi) driver to giving his life to the Lord. Through Sister Velma and Sister Gwen teaching a new song – “This little light of mine” that encouraged the children and the teachers. We can still hear the children and parents singing this song and the pure joy of peace and understanding of what it means to let your light shine “everywhere you go.”
To God be the glory!
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