Harvest Sunday Ushers in New Day in Haiti
'Matthews' Bring Envelopes of My Hope Decisions to Church
July 24, 2011 - After three nights of My Hope broadcasts in Haiti, Harvest Sunday brought out many new faces to the nearly 5,300 involved churches, and the host "Matthews" turned in thousands of envelopes with the names of those making decisions for Christ.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope.
— 2 Thes. 2:16
By Trevor Freeze
Sunday, all across Haiti, thousands of "Matthews" — people who have been reaching out to friends, family and neighbors with the Gospel of Christ — turned in their church envelopes.
Written on the envelopes are the names of people who have made decisions for Christ in the past three nights after watching culturally sensitive TV programs featuring messages by Billy Graham or Franklin Graham.
Called My Hope Haiti, this project involved nearly 5,300 churches across the country.
The "Matthew" aspect of My Hope is the use of friendship and relationship evangelism to bring one's family members, friends and neighbors to Christ — just as the Apostle Matthew did when Jesus called him.
Five Decisons in Pastor Bilda's Home
Pastor Robert Jean Bilda, national coordinator for My Hope Haiti, hosted 12 people in his home on Saturday night. Five made decisions (three accepting Christ for the first time and two for reconciliation).
Neighbor, 7 Others Make Decisions
Eddie Blaise has been praying for his neighbor, Decembre, 20, to come to Christ. Recently, he started to reach out, inviting Decembre to Thursday's Billy Graham My Hope broadcast.
Over 30 people filled Blaise's home for Thursday's broadcast, the first of three nights. One of those was Decembre.
After a 30-minute program featuring Haitian music performances, testimonies and a message from Billy Graham, Blaise gave his testimony and invited those in attendance to pray to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Eight people surrendered their lives to Christ, including Decembre. "For many years, my parents wanted me to become a Christian," he said. "Tonight I am now a follower of Christ."
Decembre's conversion was just one of the stories flowing from Haiti as My Hope began its nationwide evangelistic campaign, working in its 54th country since 2002. Click here to read another.
The My Hope programs were broadcast on seven television stations, 20 radio stations and dozens of projectors around the Caribbean Island.
Other news and notes from My Hope Haiti:
Reports from the field were that both TV and radio transmissions were good for opening night, with few reports of Matthew hosts disappointed because they couldn't receive a program signal.
As a backup, DVDs were distributed to Matthew hosts across the country, in case the TV or radio fails.
There was, however, at least one report of a failed generator at a home prepared for 40 guests, just before the program started. Several of those guests shuffled off to a nearby house to watch the program.
Weathering the Storm
Heavy clouds developed in the late afternoon on Thursday, above the Titanyen-Calicot area in western Haiti, but the rain held off until about an hour after the program ended.
Reports from the first My Hope broadcast were that people responded well to testimonies from Pastor Vladimir and an international soccer star. Billy Graham's message reportedly enthused and ignited guests in the Matthew homes.
Praying Against Voodoo
Haitians are surrounded by voodoo, so please continue to pray for a mighty outreach on Friday and Saturday nights. Pray for the Lord to reveal His saving power in ways they can feel.
Pastor Edner Louis from Cabaret, a small town near the western coast of Haiti, hosted 12 Matthews and their friends at his church and saw five decisions made for Christ.
Praying Around the Globe
Other 2011 My Hope countries are praying for the Haiti project as well. Reports from Zambia, Portugal and Spain have contingents covering Haiti in prayer this weekend.
A Strong Testimony
After the My Hope broadcast ended, a brother gave a clear testimony to 15 people of how God has changed his life. This particular showing was in the home of one of the employees of the Council of Evangelical Churches of Haiti. Two responded, praying to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, with a third rededicating her life to Christ.
Prayer to Stand Strong
In a town near one of the Samaritan's Purse compounds, eight voodoo priests have come to Christ in the past few months. On Friday, one of those priests will give his testimony after the My Hope program, so pray against spiritual attacks. For other specific prayer requests, click here.