It was so good to hear Pastor Diogene’s voice – we were able to talk for about 20 minutes at 10:00 AM January 16, 2010.
Pastor Diogene, Lionette and 40 members of his evangelistic crusade ministry team were meeting at the church in Port-au-Price and planning their next crusade when the earthquake hit. They immediately began to pray, and with the building coming down around them God kept them safe! When the earth quit shaking they went outside and on the street began singing and worshipping. As many people from the nearby area came around, Diogene began to share. 16 people responded to the gospel invitation and the team continued to praise God! Diogene told me, “If only one is eternally saved, it is worth everything.” He added, “God saved our lives because He desires for us to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to the desperate people in Port-au-Prince.”
Diogene visited Bethel on Thursday. Bethel is outside of the area hit hardest by the earthquake, but close enough to have felt the shaking. Praise the Lord, there not much damage. He talked to two witchdoctors in the village. Both said they would be coming to church! “We need to become Christians,” they told Diogene. They are seeing that their voodoo is powerless to save them. “Haiti is ripe for harvest today,” Diogene says. “We will not let this opportunity pass. We will share the love of Jesus with everyone.”
Tomorrow morning the Port-au-Prince church will have their worship service on the street in front of the leveled church building. Many unsaved people will be there, will hear the gospel tomorrow. We need to pray that the Spirit of God will move in their midst, that He will draw many to Himself.
Three believers from the Port-au-Prince Church are either confirmed dead or unaccounted for. This includes Daniel Thalisimo’s fiance.
Miraculously, our older orphans are all accounted for and okay. Diogene said, “Our kids have been protected by God.” All doing well including Daniel Fontil who had some minor injuries. Housing is going to be an issue. Diogene is sending some of them back to Tricotte to the orphanage. Others are at Mephibosheth for now. We are looking into other options to get them out of a very unhealthy, unsafe Port-au-Prince environment. They have already seen and experienced more than anyone should ever have to.
Port-au-Prince is in ruins. Streets blocked everywhere and most places can’t be reached by car. There are still many bodies, and the smell of death is terrible and getting worse. “There are no words to explain what we see,” Diogene said.
STEP Seminary in Port-au-Prince is part of Diogene’s responsibility in his role with the Union of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Haiti (UEBC). Buildings collapsed on their campus killing two students. Diogene has not had direct contact with any of the UEBC pastors, but he has not heard of any deaths. Most of their churches, however, are completely destroyed.
Food and water is the major concern right now. Diogene has begun using the food that arrived by container a week ago. In the area that they live, Mephibosheth, there are more that 2000 people camping in the streets or in any open spot. These people are homeless and have nothing. The situation is throughout Port-au-Prince. There is also no gasoline, and of course there is no electricity.
Many of Diogene’s church members have lost their homes. Helping them will be priority of our ministry – to reach out with support to start rebuilding the homes of our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Diogene is confident that building materials will be available – but the price will likely be high.
Diogene said that by Monday some banks in outlying areas will be opening up and he will be able to withdraw funds. So I have transferred some money to him for quick access.
Diogene sends his greeting to all of his friends – thank you so much for your prayers and support!