Dr. J. L. Williams was an evangelist and teacher who traveled around the world in apostolic ministry as God led and enabled him. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, he mentored key partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures. He was relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships. J. L. went home to be with the Lord on December 28, 2016.
A few days ago Patt and I were in Haiti for another event at the “Haiti White House,” or National Palace. It was my third time to participate in these historic Christian gatherings in partnership with our long time friend, Pastor Chavannes Jeunes, and his lovely wife, Marie Lucie. God sovereignly networked us together over 25 years ago—and we have enjoyed wonderful friendship and partnership since then. Chavannes has now emerged as perhaps the single most well known and influential Christian leader in Haiti. He is also the most widely known Haitian among the Diaspora in America, Canada, France and the Caribbean. His Christian political party made many advances in the last elections on the local and national level. And he came in number 3 in the Presidential elections, losing to incumbent Rene Preval. It is my prayer and hope that he will be elected next time as the first evangelical Christian President in Haitian history!
Even though Chavannes did not win the Presidential elections, God has given him great favor with President Preval, Prime Minister Alexis and the other members of their Cabinet. Also with the top military and police leaders of Haiti. He meets weekly for prayer and Bible Study with various top political people in the various levels of government. In addition, he is heading up a movement to put a French or Creole Bible in the hands of every elected official in Haiti—which is over 100,000 people (he has already distributed 10,000). And once a month he holds these Christian events in the National Palace—a first in Haitian history. This is especially significant since for some 200 years voodoo has had great influence there! So these monthly Christian worship services are historic and unprecedented in Haitian history!
This time I was privileged to invite some of the VanWingerden Family, friends and business associates from America and Holland to the National Palace. This great family has served in Haiti for over 3 decades as agricultural entrepreneurs under the banner of “Double Harvest,” founded by their father and patriarch, Aart VanWingerden. I first met Aart and his wife, Cora, in Haiti over 30 years ago—and NDI has been in partnership with them ever since. We have also extended that agricultural partnership in other countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
I was also pleased to be able to take Bishop Trevor Manhanga from Zimbabwe with me to Haiti. It was his first trip there. We have been close friends and partners since his Bible School days in Harare in the early 1980’s. He founded one of the great churches of Zimbabwe, Victory Tabernacle, that we partner with. And in the last few years God has also exalted him to a position of political influence in Zimbabwe. As a result, he meets regularly with President Robert Mugabe, Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai, as well as with the American and British Ambassadors—all for the purposes of helping find a peaceful path out of the current political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe. So it was exciting to see Bishop Trevor and Pastor Chavannes preach together at the Haiti White House! They are two strategic leaders who are impacting their entire nations spiritually and politically. You can click on Bishop Trevor’s sermon at the end of this report.
Finally, I had hoped to have our good friend and partner, Congressman Robin Hayes, with us in Haiti to speak. But since Congress was in session at that time, he could not attend. However, he graciously recorded a timely video greeting to the group, along with Congressman Forbes. You can also click on that brief greeting at the end of this report. I think you will be blessed and encouraged by the depth of their Christian commitment and witness in the American political sphere.
Thanks for supporting us through your prayers and financial gifts to help make ministries like this possible. Whether reaching out to the “down and outers” or “up and outers,” we have but one message: “Jesus Christ is the only source for personal peace, political stability, racial equality, social harmony or economic prosperity—whether in America, Haiti, Zimbabwe or any other part of the world!”
For His Kingdom & Glory,
Greetings from inside the Haiti White House, the focal point of spiritual and political power in Haiti.
Some of our delegation enjoying the singing and worship
It is always a joy to preach or teach alongside Dr. Chavannes Jeune
It was a joy to introduce Len, the oldest of the 16 VanWingerden children.
Len shares with the audience about the 3 decades of Double Harvest agricultural work in Haiti.
Bishop Trevor Manhanga preaching and interpreted by Pastor Chavannes
Bishop Trevor and Pastor Chavannes after speaking in front of the National Seal of Haiti
Our delegation in front of the National Seal of Haiti after the service
Patt and me at the close of the service. Thanks for partnering with us in this historic outreach