During a visit to Deep Water, our missionary partners in Haiti, Carl and Maya Gilles, were very interested to hear about the Celebrate Recovery (CR) program and how it was being implemented here at Deep Water. Discussions began on how they might introduce Celebrate Recovery to the church they are working with, and how Deep Water could provide support.
A few months later, we kicked off our LuvHaiti Christmas campaign with the focus of raising funds to help Maya and Carl to launch CR in churches in Port au Prince, Haiti. Our congregation responded empathically and our campaign was an incredible success. Some of the funds were used to send an initial shipment of CR materials, which Carl and Maya used to bring CR to two local churches.
The excerpt below is from Carl and Maya’s 2017 Annual Report, detailing this process:
With the help of Deep Water church, we’ve introduced CR to two churches in Port au Prince this past year (Carrefour-Feuilles and Cité Soleil). “Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. It is a safe place to find community and freedom from the issues that are controlling our life”. We look forward to introducing this amazing, God’ sent resource to more churches this year, starting with the churches that have international partnerships.
One Friday in March, a participant in a CR introduction meeting asked the question: “how can I be vulnerable and genuine, freely sharing struggles in those meetings without being afraid that the leader would put me on church discipline afterward?” This question points-out a very sad reality in the Haitian church where leaders often respond to vulnerability with judgment and punishment. Grace, love, and acceptance are not natural responses. Surprisingly, one of the pastors responded to the participant saying: “You are right! A few weeks ago, a member of our church shared his secret with me. Before I attended the CR training the first thing I would do is to tell the board and arrange to put that person on church discipline. But through the CR training I learned that we all have struggles, in need of support. I therefore decided to help him with his struggles and today he has overcome it and is still a very active member in our church.” This was a powerful testimony. Little by little, people are being transformed.
(To read Carl & Maya’s full annual report, visit https://www.globalpartnersonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LH2017-AnnReport-3.pdf)
Earlier this year, our focus turned to investigating whether Petionville Wesleyan, our partner church, would be interested in receiving support to adopt CR in it’s own community. Through emails and Zoom meetings, Pastor Jeannot had a chance to ask questions of our own CR team, and to discuss how the program could help members of his own community to find healing and freedom.
Presently, Pastor Jeannot is reviewing introductory materials, and is also beginning to identify key individuals within his congregation to champion Celebrate Recovery in Petionville Wesleyan. LuvHaiti is excited by the deepening of our partnership and how we will be able to work together to further the Kingdom. Let’s continue to pray for Petionville Wesleyan, and the leaders that God will raise up and use through Celebrate Recovery.