We reported previously the baptism of 10 brothers on this island, and the formation of an ecclesia meeting at the home of brother Esmath. He has a disused car port in his home, where we gathered together after the baptisms:

Esmath has reported how word has spread throughout Port-au-Prince that now there's a non-trinitarian group who aren't Mormons and aren't JWs... and that people have been flocking. That disused carport has been crammed with as many chairs as he can find, twice / week, for Bible studies. And many have to stand. Here are some pictures of the same small space where we met after the initial baptisms. It's an amazing 'before and after' sequence:

Esmath and his wife are expecting a baby any time now and are moving out of that place. We'd really like to assist them in renting a meeting place for this dynamic new group. Seeing Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries, the locals cannot contribute very much. We'd like to lease a place for a year, which would need around 2000 - 3000 US$ for a year, depending upon the extent of local weekly contributions. Of course, this isn't an absolute necessity, but it certainly will enable the Lord's work to go yet more powerfully forward.

Funds were raised and sent to Br Esmath. However he received the very day before the huge earthquake that destroyed Port au Prince, where the group are; leaving 200,000 dead and 1.5 million people living on the street; one of the greatest disasters of recent times.

Here are the first emails we received from Esmath:

“I  simply come here to let you know that We are all alive by the mighty name of  God . we are all staying and sleeping in the street  because all the houses are destroyed with everything. I have been wearing one cloth  for 3 days but I am alive. my testimony is wonderful because when the earthquake occurred , I was on a motorcycle coming back from work, the motorcyclist died immediately and I am alive. all the people from the ecclesia are alive, but facing very difficult situation. Brothers , do not stop praying for us.[later]Brother, you we form a family right now. I have nothing to hide to you , seriously the need is enormous, I do not know if I have to start from the head or from the toes. even the government is powerless from that situation. I have already contacted all the members of the ecclesia , they lost everything but they are alive. Brother, you can do what is necessary”.
More funds were sent by Western Union, and Brother Nick from the UK managed to get to Haiti via the Dominican Republic and identify needs and express on behalf of us all our love and support. The journey was very difficult as there were no civilian flights allowed into Haiti at the time. Brother Esmath’s cousin has a field and some buildings where the ecclesia and their families are now living and meeting, and we’ve done what we can to send assistance for this. Brother Esmath emailed during Nick's visit:

"Hello Brothers,
Thanks to Our God we are swimming in his grace inspite of what happened . I was with Brother Nick last night... We have already bought a generator for 600$ US and Paid yesterday to provide light in the ecclesia because there no electricity. I bought food and water for them and I am going to buy some others things to cover the locale because it begins to be too small for my people. I am persuaded that Brother Nick will be at the ecclesia Sunday and he will report to you what he sees. Thanks for having us in your mind, May God bless you!...  I took some other pictures last Saturday while providing food to the needy orphan children. I have taken some pictures together with Brother Nick who came from England to visit and work with us... Thanks to God this week was an exceptional week under the power of God. We thank God for sending our tireless Brother Nick who decided to come to Haiti in such difficult situation, it is only the Love of God which could do so. Mosquitoes persecuted him a lot but he accepted to stay with us in the yard. Regarding yesterday morning, the service was nice and Brother Willière led the service and Bother Nick delivered a very spiritual message while I translated. The place was packed and the place is already too small . There were 118 people attended the service!. Please keep on praying, so that  the real Gospel of Jesus Christ will be spreading in Haiti. May God bless you all so much !"

Photo: Visitors and brethren at the ecclesial gatherings which are attracting so many people- 118, when they were only 10 a mere 2 months ago! Note how they are meeting under sheets, which won't be any good in the forthcoming rainy season. Hopefully the heavy duty canvass we're sending over will be better.

Photo: Orphan children cared for by Brother Esmath with food provided for them on a makeshift table; the generator purchased to provide electricity

One very urgent identified need is for tents. We have purchased some smaller tents and sleeping bags, and at the time of writing have just obtained a small ex-army canvass marquee [large tent]. These have been couriered over.

Here's a report from brother Nick Cox about his recent visit. We are deeply grateful to our brother for making such an extraordinary trip and showing at first hand the grace of true fellowship to our brethren in Haiti.

"It was two weeks since the earthquake (‘the event’ as Bro Esmath and Absolu referred to it), but as I set off I still didn’t know exactly what the purpose of my trip to Haiti was. I wanted to provide spiritual support to the brothers there and I hoped to show by my visit that the worldwide Christadelphian community loved them and cared for them. It was still unclear whether money transfers to Haiti were working yet so my visit would provide an opportunity to pass on some of the donated funds to be used by the brothers to help in their difficult situation. But despite all this what practical help was I going to be? Well, it was in God’s hands and thankfully my wife Rachel not only supported me but also reminded me how Abraham had had to rely on faith when God told him to up sticks and go into the unknown.

There were no commercial flights to Haiti so my plan was to fly to the Dominican Republic which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. I would then hire a car, pick up funds via a money transfer and then drive to the border crossing at Jimani where Bro Esmath would be waiting.

Twenty four hours later and the plan had worked. God must have been helping because it was a ten hour drive on the worst roads and dirt tracks I’ve driven on. With few or none existent road signs I quite literally had to drive by faith. I arrived safely at the border, parked the car, walked through the gates, past the armed guards and just there on the other side was Bro Esmath and Nixon (who is due to be baptised but due to ‘the event’ it’s been put on hold). After hugging and greetings I asked what the plan was now. Esmath had it all planned, as far as he was concerned the purpose of my visit was to show to the brethren and the many visitors to their church just how much our community cares and the best way for them to see this would be by my presence at Night Prayers which they hold every Wednesday (it just happened to be Wednesday) and also to be there at the service on Sunday morning which would give me a chance to meet some of the brothers who had left the Port Au Prince after the earthquake.

My worries about leaving the hire car behind soon vanished as our first taxi was riding pillion on motorcycles (no helmets and the driving was extreme on roads that were worse than in Dominican Republic). I had thought that maybe I’d be able use the hire car to ferry much needed provisions from Dominican Republic to Haiti but as we approached the capital it became clear from the street markets and shops that food and drink was available (there’s a stream of refuse running through this market). Even where we were heading to in the Carrefour district, which was quite badly affected by the quake, the markets were open and busy, but even so there was no clean water and no electricity so Esmath had used some of the money that had been sent to purchase a generator which came in very useful at night prayers and the evening bible classes that the church hold.

What became very apparent as we drove through Port Au Prince to the Carrefour district was that one of the main issues facing thousands (including our brethren) is the need for somewhere to live and sleep. Many houses that weren’t destroyed by ‘the event’ are not safe to live in, so people are living and sleeping outside under makeshift tents in the road or wherever they can find a space. The sheer number of tents I saw made me think of what the Exodus would have looked like. Esmath is one of the more fortunate ones in that he’s living and sleeping in his cousins yard. The same yard where the church services are held is now doubling as an open air home.

There’s a kitchen area,

a sleeping area,

and a shower area (bucket of water for washing), a hole has been dug for a toilet.

Despite these circumstances a hearty meal was awaiting when I arrived. Night prayers began at 9pm, it would have been sooner but the generator was too noisy so it was used to charge up some batteries and then these were used to provide quiet electricity for the lighting. The brothers and visitors and a few children carried on in prayer, worship, exhortation and preaching until after 1am and then found whatever they could to sleep on (doors, board or chairs). I hope the person whose bed it was that I slept on didn’t mind too much.

The following day I let brother Charlie Klennert know that tents would be a useful aid in the short term and that a proper toilet in the yard is probably essential as I fear disease could become a major issue. Because of the conditions in the yard Esmath didn’t want me staying there and to be honest with 30 mosquito bites swelling up I was relieved when the 3rd hotel we went to was open and had vacancies, although maybe God was trying to tell me something when I got food poisoning after my first and only meal there.

Saturday morning was children’s time at the church, some of whom are orphaned. They enjoyed games, singing, quizzes and rice and peas (with a bit of goat thrown in). It’s hard to know what lies ahead for these children (it would have been hard enough for them before ‘the event’) but at least they are getting a little earthly and spiritual food thanks to the brothers.

Sunday morning was the church service and the spiritual choir of young men and women (including Bro Williere) sang beautifully and movingly, even though I couldn’t understand French Absolu told me the gist of what they were singing.

Esmath had asked me to give a talk as it would mean so much to them and I just hope that it did help in some small way the 50 plus people that were there. It feels like I ended up doing so little to help and that I have been the one that has received so much by this visit rather than me being the one doing the giving. Absolu, Esmath and Nixon dropped me back at the border in Esmath’s cousins car and we said our good byes.

I’d like to thank God and Jesus who has preserved our brothers lives and blessed me with the chance to witness their strength in faith and their zeal and love for the one God of the Bible. I’d also like to thank the brothers in Haiti for making my stay so memorable.
May we all as one body share their pain but as members in Christ let us find a means of sharing in their joy and helping them to rebuild until Christ comes.

Bro Nick

Photos: Clothing package sent from Br Marcus being distributed at the Sunday meeting

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