Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Training Leaders in the Bahamas ~ September 2016

Truth Connect was in Nassau, Bahamas to train church leaders in September, 2016.   Dr. Cherelus Exante and the New Haitian Mission Baptist Church hosted the 4 day Leadership Training Conference (LTC).  I had the privilege to teach local pastors, seminarians, and church leaders who were enthusiastic students.  The LTC curriculum focus was Leadership Principles of Israel's Shepherd - Kings.  One key idea that captured the hearts of the participants was, "You do what you do because you think what you think.  To do better you must think better."  It is a simple but powerful truth.  Truth Connect's training helps leaders to think better so they can lead better.

I have worked in the Bahamas since 1993 and therefore have plenty of friends and associates I visit when I can.  Tim & Felicia Ryan are missionaries from Wisconsin.  They serve at All Saints Camp, a care facility for residents experiencing difficult life circumstances or terminal illnesses. They are God's special caretakers.  The Bazile Family oversee a Haitian church in Nassau and direct a church and school in Cap Haitien, Haiti.  Alley and Keshner have birthdays a month apart and we celebrated at McDonalds with happy meals and ice-cream.

Dr. Exante and Mrs. Anne Cherelus were the hosts for the LTC.

Local church leaders and seminary students participate in LTC.

Pastor Exante and Sister Moises helped interpret for the LTC.

Award certificates were given to LTC participants.

The Ryan Family ~ missionaries in the Bahamas.

The Bazile Family.  

Here I am with Alley (left) and Keshner celebrating their birthdays. Over the years they have become like grandsons to me ~ they are special boys.  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Cap Haitien, Haiti Leadership Training Conference, August 2016

Truth Connect was in Cap Haitien, Haiti  August 13-18, 2016 to encourage and equip Christian leaders to ignite godly transformation in their communities.  The ministry team of six included Dr. David Pitkins, Scott & Kim Smith, Isaac & Ilayda Jean, and me.  Pastor Aleonce Bazile and the Alliance Church of Limonade was our host.  Three events happened each day: Dr. Pitkins and I taught a Leadership Training Conference (LTC) to approximately 50 persons on the first level of the Alliance Church.  The Smiths and Jeans led a Teachers' Training Conference for approximately 35 elementary school teachers on the upper level of the church.  The training was well received and appreciated.  Each evening in Limonade, approximately 1,000 people came out for an evangelistic outreach.  The gathering was held in a local goat pasture. A stage was built in the center of the field with large speakers stacked high on the platform and portable gas generators provided the electric.  Each evening a band played praise and worship music for a few hours and then the preacher presented the gospel of Jesus Christ followed by an opportunity to repent of sins,  receive His forgiveness and confess Jesus as Savior.  By the end of the 8 day crusade, Pastor Bazile reported there were 56 first time conversions to Jesus Christ ~ two of them were voodoo witch doctors; a testimony to the power  of the Lord Jesus Christ's to change lives.

Pastor Aleonce Bazile and Dr. David Pitkins at the Limonade Alliance Church & School.

Don, Scott & Kim, Dave, Isaac & Illayda in Cap Haitien.

Dr. Dave teaching on "dry wells" and the need for Living Water.

Haitien leaders listening and learning.

Dr. Don teaching leadership principles with Pastor Bazile interpreting.

Truth Connect donors help to provide lunches at the LTC ~ Thank you TC supporters!

Mr. Fresnel and Mr. Joseph traveled from a different region of Haiti to be part of the LTC.

Pastor Willy and I have been friends for  years. He is a special man of God.

Certificates of completion are awarded to all who attend the LTC.

Limonade community evangelistic outreach.

Stage in goat pasture where Pastor Bazile interpreted for Dr. Pitkins and me.

Approximately a thousand people gathered each evening at the evangelistic outreach.

A trip to Haiti would not be complete without a break-down or two or three during the week. Scott assists Dave as he fills the overheated radiator with water on our way to the LTC.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Port de Paix, Haiti ~ Leadership Training Conference April 2016

The city of Port de Paix is located on the north central coast of Haiti.  It was the site of a Truth Connect Leadership Training Conference (LTC) and outdoor community evangelistic outreach the week of April 4 - 9, 2016.  Pastor Exante Cherelus, founder and president of New Haitian Mission Baptist Association, organized and hosted the LTC.  Approximately 50 church leaders attended the three day event.  Pastor Terry Beatty taught on the Lord's Prayer.  Mr. Joe Barnouski taught on spiritual gifts and the importance of each individual to the church.  I taught on the qualifications of a church leader.

Each evening an outdoor community evangelistic outreach was conducted at a local school's amphitheater.  A crowd of approximately 800 gathered to hear various local church choirs and musicians as well as the Mission Discovery mission team choir.  The theme for the outreach was "God Hears Your Cry" ~ Exodus 3:7-8.  Pastors Terry Beatty and Ray LaBatte preached Sunday through Wednesday evenings.  I preached Thursday and Friday evening.  After each message a crowd would come to the altar for salvation, prayers of healing and help.  God always blesses His word. "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

Haitian church leaders answer a question at the LTC.

Ladies enjoying the teaching.

Pastor Terry Beatty teaching and Pastor Anthony translating.

Joe Barnouski teaching the value of each person in the church.

Joe used Jenga blocks to teach the importance of each person.

Pulling out the block with one's name on it could cause the whole to fall ~ great teaching tool!

Don teaching and Anthony translating.

Conference attendees proudly display their Certificates of Achievement.

Thank you Truth Connect supporters who helped provide meals for LTC participants. 

Mission Discovery choir sings at Port de Paix community outreach.

Don preaching and Anthony translating at evangelistic outreach.

Pastor Exante and I pray over those who came at the altar call.

Pastor Exante prays over those who came to the altar to place their trust in Jesus Christ for salvation and for God's healing and help.

Leadership Training in the Bahamas ~ March 2016

Truth Connect conducted a Leadership Training Conference (LTC) in Nassau, Bahamas March 7-9, 2016.  Pastor Aleonce Bazile and the United Alliance Church hosted the LTC for Haitian church leaders.  There are over 30,000 Haitian refugees in the Bahamas and numerous Haitian churches.  Pastor Bazile ministers to both refugees and the pastors that serve them. I have been partnering with Pastor Bazile for nearly 20 years.  We have worked together in the Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Africa.  Pastor Bazile is married to a very talented and godly woman, Yanick.  Together they have two very special and energetic boys, Alley and Keshner.

Pastor Aleonce and Yanick, Alley (left) and Keshner

Pastor Bazile addressing the audience before the LTC session.

Yanick displays her LTC Certificate of Achievement.

Bahamas 2016 spring LTC group photo.

The group gave me a gift ~ a portrait penciled by this young and talented artist.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ganges River ~ millions visit the waters for cleansing. February 2016

Truth Connect was in India to train leaders for three weeks in January and February, 2016.  The trip began in the southern city of Hyderabad where 2 conferences were conducted.  Pastor Kirk Rowland, from Emmanuel Baptist Church, Johnstown PA, USA joined me to encourage and equip Christian leaders on how to lead positive, godly transformation in their churches and communities.  We then traveled far north to the city of Dehra Dun, located at the foothills of Himalayan mountains to visit my friend Dr. George Chavanikamannil, founder of New Theological College and Good News for India (please see previous posts).

Our journey with Dr. George took us to the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand and the Ganges river. There is a sacred spot along the river where millions come to dip in the Ganges on special holy days for spiritual cleansing.  We visited one of these sacred places just a few days before a holiday of celebration and security was tight as they prepared for millions of visitors.

Hinduism is polytheistic ~ millions of gods are worshiped.  Shiva, one of the main gods in Hinduism, is on the left facing away. The powerful Ganges flow all around the idols.

I'm standing with Dr. George and Pastor Kirk along the Ganges where many will come to dip in the waters.  Take note of the tall, orange tower behind and the left, it'll serve as a reference point in the last picture below. 

There was plenty of security in preparation for the soon coming millions of visitors.

Not many were dipping in the Ganges the day we visited.
Hinduism used the Swatika symbol long before the German Nazis.

Pastor Kirk had to touch the Ganges.  Note the chain to his right front.
The water can flow high and strong;  worshipers hold the chain for safety.

Hindus dip in the Ganges for spiritual cleansing.  Jesus Christ said that unless one is cleansed from their sins by faith in His shed blood on Calvary ~ there can be no forgiveness of sins.

This is the place we visited. Millions of visitors crowd the banks of the river on a holy day of celebration.  Note the top, middle right tower - just above the orange bridge - that is the tower behind Dr. George, Pastor Kirk and me in the previous picture above.  

Good News for India and New Theological College, Dehra Dun, India. February 2016

Truth Connect was in India for three weeks to minister and serve the Church of Jesus Christ.  After conducting a Spiritual Life Conference and Leadership Training Conference in southern Indai (see previous posts), Truth Connect traveled north to Dehra Dun, a city at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.

Dr. George and Pastor Kirk stand at the entrance to the college.
Dr. George Chavanikamannil is the founder of Good News for India (GNI) and New Theological College (NTC).  George and I were doctoral classmates at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  He invited Pastor Kirk and me to visit the school and see how the Lord is working through GNI and NTC.  It was truly amazing to see God's work in this area of northern India where there is a high number of unreached people groups ~ those yet to hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why Dr. George strategically located GNI in this place. Please visit GNI's web page ( to learn more about its excellent work.

Dr. George and I on the campus of NTC with the Himalaya Mountains behind us.

Pastor Kirk and I were able to visit New Theological College and talk with its faculty and students.  Uncle George asked both Kirk and me to speak to the student body during chapel services.  It was our privilege and joy to address and encourage the student body and staff.

The NTC student body at chapel service.

Pastor Kirk addressing the NTC student body through his Hindi translator.

We then took a day trip to visit former students of NTC who are now ministering as missionaries in a primarily Hindu and secondarily Muslim area.  Khrist Jyoti Academy offers an excellent education to the students who attends the school.  The children are loved and taught to grow in wisdom, knowledge and strength. They are also taught the gospel Jesus Christ and it is having a powerful impact.  Wherever the Word of God goes there is Life!

School Principal Santhosh, his wife Linu who also teaches, and their precious daughter.

I'm standing on the 2nd level of the school with some of the boys during a break in classes. 

There is no better example of  New Life because of the Word of the LORD then in the "snake charmers" village we visited.  Three years ago I visited this village with Santhosh and Uncle George.  Santhosh and his team were befriending the people in this village of "out casts" or Dalits in hope of planting a church.  Two weeks ago when we returned and walked through the community, we were greeted by people saying, "Jai Massi Ki" or "Christ is the Victor!" In the center of the community the foundation was laid for the new worship center.  A church had been planted and Hope has come to a community where there was no hope!  Praise the Lord!!  What a beautiful story and testimony to the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Entering the Dalit or "untouchables" village.

In the caste system, these children are considered "untouchable" or "out caste."
Jesus welcomes these little ones into His kingdom by faith.

Pastor Kirk stands at the edge of the new worship center.  A man in the community donated this parcel of land so the village could have a church.  Jai Massi Ki!

I love children.  My own grandchildren live thousands of miles away in Korea.  Therefore, God has given me "grandchildren" all over the world ~ these "untouchable" children are precious to the Lord Jesus and to me.  I welcome and embrace them with the love Jesus.