The start of something new

2017 is going to be a great year.

A full year of overseas missions: I’ve been serving in Haiti now for almost 8 months and although it has been exhausting, frustrating and challenging at times, there have also been many laughs, great times of growth and stretching, new friends made and people served. The good far outweighs the bad. I am blessed. I am content with what is before me. I know I am being used for God’s glory and in that I have peace no matter how hard it gets. I am looking forward to what God does in and through my life in 2017 as I continue to serve the people of Haiti and ultimately the King of kings. Many of you have been instrumental in this whole thing as you have been faithfully supporting me both monetarily and in prayer. I cannot thank you enough.

A year of growth: Just the other night, Pastor and I were talking about the high school team from Ewing that came from Monday-Friday and he thanked me for my leadership and noted that I am becoming a great team leader! This was great to hear as that IS my primary role here in FFP Haiti 🙂 It was also humbling as I explained to him how I would not even be in Haiti right now if it had not been for the mentoring of Bobby Tunstall, our late youth pastor. (I will add that story at the end of this section). I realize that I am nothing without Christ. I am a terrible sinner who needs constant forgiveness and mercy. The leader I am today and the leader I will be tomorrow is a product of grace in my life. I know this year God will continue to stretch and mold me after his own heart. I am expecting it and I need it if I wish to continue serving here. It’s not just a physical need that requires attention, but a spiritual one as well. Among other things, I hope to grow stronger in saying no to temptation and more fervent in prayer. These are two things that I am weak in, and I am reminded of it almost daily.

I want to take a few words to express my gratitude to Bobby T., and explain how I would not be in Haiti if it weren’t for his persistent mentoring of me even when I did not want it. I did not realize this fact actually until two nights ago when I told pastor. It had never crossed my mind until then. Bobby came to me back in 2014 asking if I would be an official youth leader. At that time I was nowhere near ready to become one, but he urged me to come alongside him and assured me that he would mentor me. I reluctantly said yes and thus began the journey of me being a youth leader. As I reflect back on those three years, I can see that they were paramount in the solidifying of my faith and the growth of my leadership. Bobby was always there to answer my questions and provide wisdom to anything and everything I put before him. He even pushed me to teach a couple lessons in youth group which was a scary but amazing experience. I am a better man because of him and his faithful pursuit of me. I will be forever grateful for the man he spurred me to become, the man I am now. If I didn’t have the experience of those years under his wing and learning how to be a leader in youth group, I know that I would not be here serving in this capacity in Haiti.

A year of business: This is exciting. I have come alongside two brothers named Mackesnel and Walmy Ulysse (two of the Haitian FFP staff) in efforts to create a motorcycle parts business in their home town of Gwo Cheval which is up on top of a mountain. I had the pleasure of visiting only once and that was way back in 2012. These guys have already done so much to change the areas of Ganthier and their home town Gwo Cheval. They are businessmen and teachers and leaders wherever they go. They have been fruitful in starting businesses before alongside a growing school in Ganthier named La Reference. I have no doubts as to their capacity to succeed and this is why I have chosen to enter into business with them. We will hopefully start this month as they have already prepared a shop up on the mountain and have been granted a loan from a bank in Ganthier (which, I might add, is not common especially for the size of the loan.) God has blessed them in their efforts so far and I am confident that He will continue to bless us as we set up our business. The name of the business is to be called “Kat Fre” or “Four Brothers” in English. It was Walmy’s idea as he said it will be a testament to the goodness of God as four brothers from two different countries come together in harmony and create a business. The fourth brother is actually my bro Adam, who was recently added. More updates to come!

So besides all that, we just had a group of high schoolers this past week. It was an interesting experience to say the least but it takes all types of groups to keep FFP going! I am grateful that God carried our staff through and everything went smoothly. We do not have another group until June 11th which is Emory University and they will be staying for 11 days! We are going to do so many clinics. And then after that, I’m coming home! Can’t wait!! Ken and Wendy will be coming for a few days on the 22nd of this month and so that should be a good time of staff training and future planning.

That’t all for now folks, thanks for tuning in and reading my blog! And as always, if you feel lead to help my ministry here in Haiti, please go to http://www.foundationforpeace.org and click the “donate” tab and you will find my name as one of the options where to donate. I am still fundraising as I have not yet reached my goal for my two years here.

OH a quick update on my insurance. I in fact did start IMGlobal this month on the first. I have a one year contract with them that can be renewable. God has blessed me with a much lower monthly fee than what I originally was going to have. It is only $86 a month! The previous quote for a different type of insurance within the same agency was over $180, so thank God for that!

Until next time peeps,

Ben

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