It was January of 1996 – the first time Sheryl and I and our 2 daughters, traveled the long road, along with Pastor Diogene, to Tricotte. I had been to Haiti 4 or 5 times before but never got beyond the village of Pont Sonde, where Childcare International’s orphanage was located. Pastor Diogene had told me about his home village of Tricotte and he was looking forward to sharing it with us. But on that hot January day, traveling on some of the worst roads in the world, crawling along at 10 – 15 miles per hour, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go there at all. Realizing with each mile and hour we traveled, we’d have to retrace our steps again in a couple days. I was ready to turn around and retreat so the return trip wouldn’t be so long. After about 5 long hours, we arrived in Tricotte and experienced for the first time the love and hospitality of these godly, Christian brothers and sisters. Yes, it would be preferable not to have to travel that awful road, but on each of the 18 trips since then, the road does not seem as bad even though the potholes get worse every trip. I always know at the end of the road comes spending time with Tricotte friends, both in the orphanage and in the village.
Acts 11:23 says, “Then when he (Barnabas) had come (to Antioch) and witnessed the grace(favor) of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with a resolute heart to remain true to the Lord.” This passage reminds me of the village of Tricotte. We have witnessed the grace of God at work in that village. It has caused us to rejoice with them, and as they encourage us, we also can be an encouragement to the Christians there. God has done wonderful things through the people of Tricotte, as they have responded to His invitation and obeyed Him.
The people of Tricotte are now reaching out to the neighboring villages. Villages like Nan-Paul. Nan-Paul is only about 3 miles from Tricotte – just across the river and upstream 200 yards. But in this village there are only 2 Christian families out of about 1000 residents. There is no church and no school, and probably about 300 children with no education. An evangelistic crusade is planned for this summer and from that could be the beginning of a church in Nan Paul and perhaps a school as well.
We see God doing wonderful things in Haiti and it fills us with an indescribable excitement and joy. What a privilege to be a small part of spreading the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, just as Barnabas and the other apostles did in the New Testament times. It was never our intent or our plan to work with orphans or with educating children in the remote villages of Haiti. How humbling to have God invite us to share in this work in Haiti. Thank you, each one of you, who shares in this ministry. It is a continuous challenge to each one of us, that wherever the Lord has placed us and asked us to be a witness for Him, that we will remain faithful and devoted to Him.
Serving our Lord together,
Bernie and Sheryl