NBCA - Men on Missions - 8 - 15 November 2014
A team of men from the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc (NBCA) completed a short-term mission assignment from November 8 - 15, 2015. Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert, President and pastor Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church lead the team Bro Earl A. Carpenter, Sr., deacon of Trinidad Baptist Church assisted him in leading the team. Also participating on the team is Dr. John Rhodes, pastor Trinidad Baptist Church and a member of the Lott Carey Board of Directors.
On Sunday, fourteen of the team visited the historical First Baptist Church of Port-au-Prince, where Rev. Josue Mathieu is pastor. The church was celebrating 'Prayer Day for Baptist Women'; where the women led the entire worship service. Although the sevice was in French, the team felt at home when familiar spirituals were sung: "Great is Thou faithfulness", "What a friend we have in Jesus", "Shall we gather at the river", and "Jesus you said".
The other 6 team members visited St. Paul A.M.E. Church of Port-au-Prince, Rev. Francois-Albert Murat is the pastor. The entire team eventually meet at the church to begin a brief tour of downtown Port-au-Prince, a visit to the supermarket and lunch at Epidor Fast Foods.
Early Monday morning the team departed from the Inspiration Guest House to travel to Lambi Village where they were met by cheers. After a prayer walk the work began. When you walk the village you see the NBCA Men on Missions everywhere. You will find them making rebar for the security wall being built, fixing the sliding board on the new playground, working on a security wall on the northwest side of the village, working deep in dirt to clear the drainage, planting trees to create a tree frence on the front of the village and beautifying the village with trees and plants throughout. That's not all, there's also a group of men touching up the paint on houses, completing roofing work on several of the new duplexes and working on the trim of the same home. Needless to say, these men were everywhere. This played out all week, 20 men on mission serving alongside families in Lambi Village helping them little-by-little to rise again!
At about 2 p.m. everyday, three of the pastors: Rev. Tolbert, Dr. Rhodes and Rev. Cornelius Tilton, pastor Irish Channel Christian Fellowship. The pastors are teaching villagers basic discipleship: How to read and study God's Word? How to Pray?
Please enjoy the following statements from some of the Men on Missions:
"The resilience of the people; they all seem to be actively involved in some type of entreprenuerial work. They are up early and are trying to survive. You notice the recovery in Lambi Village and beyond - its all over. On my last visit, the people were still in a state of shock. My first impression of Lambi Village is the sense of community. The people are not just waiting for us, they are actually doing. They are working alongside us, participating in the building of their community. There is also a sense of order and pride for their village. The question now is how can we partner with them to make the village more sustainable. After being on the AABMC Presidents Team in 2010, following the aftermath of the earthquake, and what we said we would do, I can really see the fruit of our labor. My biggest concern today is how do we continue the AABMC collaboration. Because we knew it would be a long-term endeavor, I now see that it will take even longer than 5 years. There will need to be villages 2 - 3 - 4 and etc. I see a need for us to continue our work. After we finish raising funds for Ebola, I would like to speak with Dr. Moss, President Lott Carey Foreign Mission, about continuance of all 5 conventions in the Collaboration. Or to form a new collaboration with NBCA and any of the other conventions that are interested in continuing. My recommendation would be for the Collaboration to make a visit to Haiti to see for themselves the needs." Submitted by Rev. Samuel Tolbert, Jr., President, National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. (NBCA) and Pastor, Greater St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
"Haiti was for me a very moving experience. From the moment of arriving at Lambi Village to our last day visiting the school campus, the boys, the girls and the widows’ homes I was stirred by the determination of my Haitian brothers and sisters to emerge from the devastation and losses faced since the earthquake of 2010. As our team worked alongside residents of the village we witnessed their commitment to building better lives for themselves and their families as they vigorously performed whatever tasks their hands found to do. The work was hard, the conditions were challenging but the reward was worth it all. Seeing people who had survived after losing so much, now growing hopeful and cooperating for the greater good of the community makes me know that our labor has not been in vain." Dr. John T. Rhodes, Pastor, Trinidad Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
"In the village this week, I have been on rebar team and pouring cement every year; and continued this work this year. This is my third year at Lambi Village. The thing that impresses me the most is the willingness of black missionaries is not only to give but to also support the people of the village in whatever way is needed. The reason why I am saying this is because one of the villagers had this observation. I explained to this villiager that God has been so good to us that we feel compelled to give back. Each of us has our own testimony and because of the abundance of what God has done for me, I owe it all to Him. Being here on mission is repaying a debt I owe and I will do the best I can!" Submitted by Vernice Green, Jr., Greater St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Samuel Tolbert, Jr., Pastor.
"This week was nice. God was really in the making. He knew what he was doing, when he was doing it and it was a blessing to know that he was doing what he was doing when he was doing. We did not put ourselves where we are today – nobody but God and I thank him for doing what he has done and continues to do. I hope and pray that more will be able to come next year and experience the same thing we experienced. And when God puts something together is it well put together and we have no need to worry." Submitted by Rev. John Kirklin, Associate Preacher, Truevine Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Solomon Shorter, Sr., Pastor.
"I was so touched by the children when I realized they do not have so much. We have so much in the U.S. that we take for granted how much God has blessed us. I have a work shed which is 20 by 24 with all my tools in it, yet the people live in homes about the same size. By God’s grace, I plan to return next year and do even more. I sponsored one child and hopefully I will be able to do more next year. Also, I have a construction company and the ways they do things are different and can be more effective. When I do come back I will try to help. For instance, they have too many materials in some places and not enough in others and too few tools." Submitted by Bro. James Lewis, Bibleway MBC, Rev. Frank A. Davis, III, Pastor.
"I thank God for his opportunity. Lambi is a year-a-around work in progress. One thing I noticed about Haitians people is that they are very resourceful, they waste nothing. We come to be a blessing to those that are less fortunate. But, God has blessed us in America with so much and yet we take it for grant. The fellowship has been great with the brothers in the house. Foreign missions will be a way of life for me from now on. Once a person experiences the foreign side of missions they will never be the same. I thank God that the week has been safe and productive." Submitted by Aaron Parker, Little Bethel Baptist Church, Rev. Frank A. Davis III, Pastor.
"I was most impressed by the progress that has been made since my first visit. I never thought it would be going at this rate and I was excited to see the progress and I thank God that he allowed me the opportunity to come back and see the fruits of our labor. God has truly been a part of this operation and I continually pray for this village and pray God’s speed that he continues to have reign over the project. The thing that really impressed me was to see the comradery amongst the guys and a new group of men that came this year. It seemed that they were with us in prior years. It was awesome to see how we jelled together after meeting for the first time. As long as God blesses me, I will make myself available l to be a blessing to the people of Haiti." Submitted by Donald Evans, Greater Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. S. C. Dixon, Pastor.
"I want to thank the AABMC for having the foresight to come together so that projects of this nature are able to be done. I want to thank all of those who contributed financially and those who are praying for our endeavors. I want to thank Sis. Kathi for her invaluable help because without her help I may not have been able to get to make the trip. I would like to also thank Sis. Barbara Wright, Senior Women’s Ministry of NBCA, for sponsoring me and President Tolbert for having the mindset to lead by example and having a heart for evangelism and outreach. I pray for the people of Haiti, I pray for their situation, spiritual growth, mental and physical stability. I look forward to being a part of future missions. May God bless and keep you all." Submitted Bernard Davis, Union Hill MBC, Rev. Eric Griffin, Pastor. Florida.
"This short-term mission has been both exhilarating and energizing to me spiritually and refocused me on the task. My fellowship with the men was truly a blessing with me, because it teaches me. I was mentored by the preachers, pastors, ministers and deacons. I want to emulate what they were doing and take it back to my home church. The villagers taught me to be humble. It is the realization that the Lord is truly working in Haiti. It was a blessing to serve." Gary Spann, New Bethel MBC, Rev. Keyon Payton, Pastor, Pontiac, Michigan.
"I was disheartened when my mission trip to Liberia and Ghana was canceled, in August, due to Ebola. I am grateful to the NBCA Women in Action for permitting me to be a representative on this wonderful men’s team. I met some great men of God, preachers and laymen who demonstrate the grace of God in their lives. The residences of Lambi Village reminded me that Jesus calls us to serve and not be served. May God be praised!" Submitted Rev. Cornelius Tilton, Pastor of Irish Channel Christian Fellowship. Louisiana.
"This week to me… I thought I was coming on a trip. It taught me about brotherhood and being closer to knowing people I never met or seen. We all lived as one and came together to do what the Lord wanted us to do. The village was an eye opener to me, I have heard about these things but never saw them with my own eyes. When asked to go and I immediately said yes but did not know what to expect. To see what was going on really broke my heart to see how my people were living. I love people and kids and if I had the resources to do more and come I would and do all that I can. The kids were amazing and you cannot do nothing but love them. I am glad I had this chance to serve the way that God allowed me to serve." Preston Williams, First Providence MBC, Rev. Darryl Jones, Pastor.
"Brothers and sisters! I want to first give thanks to God our father for allowing me an opportunity to be used in servicing the people of Haiti! This experience has been one of insurmountable proportion! I will never be the same! The relationships, the comradery, the love that was displayed this week is more than can be put into words. I could go on and on til the break of dawn sharing stories about all that I saw with my 2 eyes, held with my 2 hands, and felt in my heart this past week; but out of respect and obedience to our great President Samuel C. Tolbert Jr. who made the trip us, I'm going to give the elevator version. Lol...This mission trip far exceeded my expectations! To be honest I really didn't know what to expect. I really didn't know what I was going to do. All I knew is that God had put it in my heart to be there. And I am so glad He made it possible for me to go! To see people survive in such adverse circumstances, blew me away. My intentions were to go and show love in whatever way I could, seeking nothing in return. But Love is a funny thing...The more you give, the more it's multiplied back to you! The beautiful people of Haiti desperately need our help in so many way. But the one thing I assure you is that there's definitely an abundance of love, faith, and reverence for God there. I have never been anywhere and seen as many black people in one place. That was astounding! I'm going to close with this:.. stop making excuses about doing foreign mission like I did for a long time! Fear will only hinder you from being blessed. You have now until next year to plan to join us!..looking forward to seeing you next year! :) Graciously Serving our Savior!" Jeff "Paco" Pollard, Greater St. Mary's MBC, Rev. Samuel Tolbert, Jr., Pastor.
NBCA MEN ON MISSION PARTICIPANTS:
Rev. Samuel Tolbert, Jr. pastor; Jeffrey Poullard, Vernice Green, Jr. - Greater St. Mary's Missionary Baptist Church (MBC)
Rev. John Kirklin - True Vine MBC
Rev. Cornelius Tilton - Irish Channel Christian Fellowship
Rev. Alvin Noel, pastor - True Light MBC
Aaron Parker, Humphrey Richard - Little Bethel MBC Amite, Humphrey Richard, Jr.
James Lewis, Robert Merrett, and William Jones V - Bibleway MBC
Kenneth Reeves, Sr. - Greater Starlight MBC
Donald Evans, Great Mt. Olive MBC
Min. Bernard Brewer - Pilgrim Rest MBC
Jon Batiste - Mt. Zion BC
Dr. John T. Rhodes, Pastor and Earl Carpenter