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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Faith, churches continue to sprout in Haiticomment (0)

April 15, 2010


While traveling to a crusade in Bouce Carre, Haiti, the vehicle carrying Craig Culbreth broke down in a remote area.

Peering under the hood at a busted radiator hose, Culbreth and his traveling companions, De Louis Labranche and Michele Elius, who serve with the Confraternite Missionaire Baptiste d’Haiti convention (CMBH), were soon surrounded by 14 Haitians who appeared seemingly from nowhere to offer assistance.

As Culbreth, Florida Baptists’ partnership missions director who was scheduled to preach during the crusade, prepared for the hour walk to Bouce Carre, one of the locals reached into the engine and pulled out a brand-new rubber hose from the bottom of the motor — the exact size needed to repair the radiator.

With the car fixed, Culbreth and his fellow travelers arrived at the crusade within 30 minutes — just as he was scheduled to begin speaking. At the conclusion, 143 people made professions of faith.

“I’d love to be able to explain what happened with the car,” Culbreth said. “But I know if we had purchased the new hose, we would have stored it inside the car. Nor can I explain why it was the exact size we needed.”

He does believe, however, that the incident is just one of many ways “God has proved how much He cares about the work being done in Haiti” through Southern Baptists and the CMBH churches.

Ten weeks after the Jan. 12 earthquake hit Haiti, Baptist leaders in the hurting nation see an openness to the gospel unseen before, spawning a renewed urgency to their task.

In the days after the quake, Haitian pastors reported 40,127 professions of faith among their churches as Haitians sought hope amid the rubble. This fresh spiritual renewal compelled the pastors, with funding from the Florida Baptist Convention, to conduct a series of crusades across the nation.

During the first wave of these crusades — four large associationwide events and 51 smaller local meetings — the Baptist pastors in Haiti have reported another 18,038 conversions, totaling 58,167 new Christian believers in their earthquake-scarred land.

In the crusades he attended, Culbreth noted the Haitian pastors met with the new believers for as long as three hours, explaining their newfound faith. Among those attending the crusades were two voodoo priests who came to know Christ before the earthquake. Their transformation led to the conversion of many other voodoo priests, Culbreth said. A second wave of crusades began March 22. (BP)

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