Today’s Throwback Thursday reaches all the way back to April 2014. And it comes with an invitation to join me on a trip in April 2015.
Backstory of this picture
The gentleman in this photo is the pastor of the church located in the mountains above the city of Jacmel in southern Haiti.
He and his family live in a small house about 20 yards to the left of this photo.
Here’s what isn’t in the photo…
Earlier in the morning we took this picture we drove up to a school about two miles up the steep mountain road above this church. There we met with the head teacher of the local school, a young man in his mid-20s, who despite not getting a salary has dedicated his life to investing in the education of the communities children. When we arrived, it was a school holiday, so no one was there. But within 15 minutes dozens and dozens of kids came from all over the mountain to see us. This is one of those rural communities that doesn’t get a lot of Haitian visitors, much less Americans. We played games and blew bubbles with them for about an hour. Then we gathered together, sang some songs, and told a Bible story.
We left but the kids didn’t leave us. They followed… chased… us down the hill to the church. What a scene!
So what isn’t in the picture is the kids– probably 20 of them– hiding behind the door and window in the picture. If you look closely you can see a few of them peaking. See them?
Also not in the picture is this pastor’s vision for his church. Sure, people in his community have spiritual needs. But this area has physical needs that he is intent on helping end the devastating effects of the cycle of poverty, being Good News in the Neighborhood for him means developing a way for local farmers to bring their product to market. See, people have the ability and skills to grow more than their family needs. But getting their product to market has some barriers… physical ones but also practical ones. One vision this pastor has is to provide a low-cost mill for local farmers to prepare their product for market because the one that’s available to them in town is so expensive that it eats up all of their profits.
Lastly, what isn’t in this picture is the generosity of this pastor. See, in the rush to get this photo, I forgot my camera bag in the church with all the kids. I took this photo, shook his hand, and then jumped into the truck to drive off to our next stop. In doing so I left a bag with about $6000 in lenses and gear sitting on a pew. When I realized this a couple hours later we were able to call him, he found the bag, and he generously brought my bag to town… about 45 minutes on the back of a motorbike each way.
I’m headed back to Haiti in April. And, if you’re a church leader willing to explore a partnership with a church like the one in this picture, I’d like for you to join me for a few days together. You can learn more here.
And if you’d like to chat about the trip, fill out the form below.