Singing & Building in Haiti!
The CWO church in Ouanaminthe, Haiti grew from a gathering of about 25 people in 2011 to more than 250 regular church members today! The church continues to work to raise funds to complete their church building. Late last year the church singing groups held a concert where they collected some 9,500 Haitian gourdes ($150 US) which they submitted to the church as a contribution towards the church building fund. As a result, they were able to complete the concrete floor. Many teams from the US have also come to work alongside the church and share Jesus together. God is at work in this growing church and in Haiti!
A Better Life for Pauline
At a very young age Pauline was forced to live with a man from her village. While living in her village of Bankin she learned that she could get help from Christians. Pastor Michel’s name kept coming up. Pastor Michele runs a school near CWO in Burkina Faso. When there was obviously no one in her village able to help her, Pauline left for Ouagadougou, the capitol city of Burkina Faso, in search of Pastor Michel. She ran to his house and has lived with him and his family for almost 10 years. Pauline began following Jesus, got married three years ago and has been working as a cook at the Village of Opportunity (VOO) since last year. Everyone at the VOO loves Pauline. Here she is with her sweet daughter, Leslie. We are so thankful that God brought Pauline to us and that she has a better life!
The First Graduate in His Village!
James has been part of the CWO OK Kids program in Zimbabwe since elementary school, then high school and then college. He is now a college graduate! According to James, being able to graduate from college is truly a miracle as he is the first boy to graduate from college in his village of Chishuma. “Although I am excited that I have finally graduated from college, I still feel like I am celebrating someone else’s graduation. Looking back on my life, I still cannot believe I am the one who has graduated from college. This is truly a dream come true for me”. CWO connects these children with extended family in their communities, teaches them to care for themselves as adults and shares the Good News of eternal hope found only in Jesus Christ.
Proclaiming God's Word in Zambia
Timothy is on staff with CWO in Zambia. The team noticed that he was not seeing when items were handed to him. The team was able to locate a wonderful doctor and low-sight clinic so Timothy could receive an eye exam. He was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic condition that cannot be stopped. He currently has extreme tunnel vision and will eventually be blind. CWO reassured him that the work would be adapted to his abilities and that his job is not in jeopardy. A donor purchased a Proclaimer that was then given to Timothy. The Proclaimer is a solar and re-chargeable battery powered audio Bible, and Timothy’s Proclaimer is even in the local language, iciBemba. God brought all the pieces together to help Timothy and bless him, his family, and his fellow church mates!
"I just can't imagine ..."
James was on the brink of dropping out of school and trying to get a job as a herd boy so that he could take care of his mother when CWO enrolled him in the “Our Kids” program in Zimbabwe. Now he is in his last semester of college, studying culture and media to the ministry. He stayed with Onias’ family for a month over his break in December and was a great help. One night James shared, “I just can’t imagine where I would have been if CWO did not help me. I will forever be grateful. Most of my friends dropped out of school and married when they were too young. Some of them have already died. When I complete my education and I get a job I want to help other children in my village.” James now wants to be a pastor and teach and care for children. James is a testimony to how God is making a difference in the lives of children and helping to make their dreams come true!
He thanks God for his healing!
God answers prayer! Benoit was a school teacher and father of five living in Burkina Faso. About three years ago he felt ill while riding his bicycle. After originally thinking Benoit had malaria, doctors were finally able to diagnose that he suffered a stroke. He was unable to move much of the right side of his body. The day he was admitted to the hospital Benoit’s father died suddenly. While a CWO team was working in Burkina Faso in January, Benoit was brought to the Mobile Clinic. He had lost his speech and was unable to eat or drink because he could not swallow. Medications were not immediately available, so while someone went into the city to purchase the medication, the team and other volunteers prayed over Benoit. Just recently we received word that Benoit can now speak, eat and drink. Thanks be to God! He thanked God for bringing healing through prayer and the Mobile Clinic.
"I regularly pray God will continue to help women in Haiti!"
“I am Nelchoix Nerlande, a former student at the FTC (Feminine Training Center). I was deeply impressed by what my aunt and my cousin were doing after they graduated from the Center in the areas of cooking and baking and perfected sewing and decorating. I saw what both my aunt and my cousin were doing with the skills they had learned at the Center. It gave me determination to attend the FTC. After my graduation, I was admitted to a restaurant in Petionville, and after 15 days I received a call from the manager inviting me to become a regular employee. I have been an employee for the past 2 years and my life has completely changed thanks to the skills I have learned at the Center. Apart from my employment, I use my spare time at home to make items such as cookies and small cakes to be sold on the marketplace and supermarkets. As an orphan, my life would be awfully miserable without the skills I learned at the FTC. I regularly pray asking the Lord to help the Center to continue helping the Haitian women.”
"You have given me a treasure!"
CWO Zimbabwe National Director Onias Tapera drives across the border to Mozambique to fill up the ministry vehicle. About 15 miles away in Mozambique, the price of gasoline is almost 48% cheaper than in Zimbabwe where the cost is about $5.32 per gallon. It can be challenging to cross the border and go through the immigration process each time, but Onias has built a rapport with the immigration officials. They know him as “the pastor” and when he can, he stops to share Christ with them. One day two female security officials asked how they could get Bibles so Onias promised to try to get a couple of Bibles for them. A few weeks later, Onias gave them two ESV Bibles. The officials could not hide their excitement, showing their Bibles to their co-workers. One of them waved her Bible and smiled saying, “What else do I need. I have been wanting to own a Bible for many years, but I could not afford one. I do not need anything else. You have given me a treasure. Thank you so much, pastor.” The excitement attracted other officials who have also requested Bibles. Pictures are prohibited at the border post. Now Onias enjoys the privilege of not having his vehicle searched at the border post. Please pray that these two women read the Bibles and meet with the author of Book!
Don't Stop Us Now!
The team that went to work in Ouanaminthe, Haiti in October quickly found out how Satan can throw up road blocks any time. Armed on the first day with work gloves, chisels and hammers and determination, the team quickly went to work chipping away at concrete to prepare to pour the balcony floor on the second floor of the church. That day the mayor of Ouanaminthe stopped by demanding that the work stop because the front wall was built too close to the road. He even spray painted “Kanpe” (stop in Creole) on the outside church wall. After more than six years of construction, the wall had never been an issue. The team quickly gathered to pray and even contacted friends and family at home to pray too that the project could continue. The next day the pastor and project engineer met with the mayor and temporarily resolved the issue so work could continue. Praise God! Satan often strikes when God’s presence is the strongest. But that didn’t stop the team or the church members from passionately working to complete the project. The balcony floor was finished by this determined, prayerful team of Haitians and Americans!
Answered Prayers after 10 Years
Two local Haiti pastors prayed for Justin Toussaint for the last 10 years. Justin lives in Vallieres, Haiti and is an excellent guitar player. He was invited to the Great Discovery in Ouanaminthe in August by Pastor Octa who is Pastor Icher’s father. Pastor Icher is the pastor of the CWO church in Ouanaminthe. God answered their prayers when Justin accepted the Lord during the Great Discovery. Thanks be to God! Justin had been living with his cousin in Vallieres. When Justin returned home his cousin asked him to leave. Please pray for Justin as he finds a place to live and looks to Christ as he faces difficulties in his new life as a Christian.
God's Word is More Valuable Than a Meal
Typically CWO Leadership Development trainings in Zimbabwe are limited to 50 individuals to keep within our budget and to allow for discussion time within the group. At a recent training, 67 pastors registered to attend the seminar and by the end of the first day there were 70. CWO informed the group that we could not accept any other attendees. The following day four more pastors showed up. We finally had to inform the group that we could not support 74 people. One pastor stood up and said, “Yes we understand that you have a limited budget. We want the training, we do not want your food. Please let us stay for the training and do not give us your food.” Each pastor then agreed to contribute $2 towards the seminar. Truly, God’s word is more valuable than food!