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Alabama Baptists ‘get on board with what God is doing’ in Haiticomment (0)

April 7, 2011

By Gary Hardin

God is doing a miracle work in Haiti,” said Larry Murphy, a member of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Enterprise. “We just need to get on board with what God is doing.”

He would know. For two weeks in early March, Murphy, a disaster relief construction coordinator in Haiti, directed the work of two missions teams: one from Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery, and another from Hopewell Baptist Church, Andalusia.

“The first week, the Eastmont team constructed a security wall around an orphanage in Jacmel. Thieves had been taking clothes and toys from the orphanage,” he explained. “The second week, the Hopewell team put up a church building for the Evangelical Baptist Church in Jacmel.”

Murphy saw God do a powerful work at this newly constructed church.

“We completed the church on a Thursday afternoon,” he said. “The church’s pastor announced he would conduct a service early that evening. You would think with only a few hours notice, hardly anyone would attend, but more than 100 persons came for worship. It was amazing. Only God could do that.”

The church is one of many planted as a result of Alabama Baptists’ partnership with the city of Jacmel and surrounding villages following a devastating earthquake in January 2010.

B.R. Johnson has been to the country three times. On his most recent trip in February, he served as a chaplain with a medical team in the Jacmel area.

“We ministered to more than 1,000 persons in four days,” said Johnson, senior pastor of The Lighthouse Community Church, Harpersville. “I ministered to members of the medical team through prayer and devotions. I also assisted with on-site organization and shared the gospel with Haitian people who came for medical services.

“Knowing you represented Jesus to thousands of hurting people is an amazing feeling,” he said. “After my trips to Haiti, I no longer take for granted the Lord’s blessings each day.”

Those hurting people’s receptiveness to the gospel is what impressed Don Reece most when he led an evangelism team from First Baptist Church, Springville, to the country in February.

“We divided our team into groups and went door to door in the town of Jacmel,” explained Reece, a retired Southern Baptist representative to Nigeria. “Two Haitian Christians visited with each team.”

But the person or people on the other side of those doors weren’t the only ones hearing their good news.

“Passers-by would stop and listen to the words of our witness. At one stop, a young Haitian woman who had been listening said she wanted to receive Jesus as her Savior. It was amazing,” Reece said.

There is a special need for evangelism teams to mentor the church plants, said Mel Johnson, disaster relief strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

“The Confederated Missionary Baptists of Haiti provide pastors for these congregations, but the pastors face an overwhelming task in discipling these young believers. Evangelism teams can assist with these discipleship opportunities,” he said.

Medical and construction teams are needed, too, as the partnership runs through 2012.

“We have lots of open dates for disaster relief volunteers for Haiti,” Mel Johnson said.

For more information, visit www.alsbom.org/Haiti or contact Mel Johnson at 1-800-264-1225.

To view a video related to this article, visit the video library.

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