Back to School

While the rain had put a damper on some of our activities, it has also opened up some opportunities that we have not had in the past.

Monday we started out visiting Dexia school. When we have visited in the past, there were five small classrooms with 20 to 40 students per room, and we got to spend about 5 to 10 minutes in each. Today, because of the rain, there were only about 25 students total, all in one classroom. We got to spend quite a bit of time with them, and got to give them a lot more individual attention. In the photo above, the children were singing Happy Birthday Josie, who celebrated her 16th birthday today.

After Dexia, we headed to Bambou. When we got there the school was closed. Instead of being disappointed, we toured the school, and probably got a better opportunity to get a feel for the size and lighting issues that they deal with.

And as if they had not impressed me enough, we went out back to find the students who have come on the trip with us praying over the school. Can’t wait to see the impact these young people are going to have on their own schools when they get home and share their experiences.

Since we usually attract attention everywhere we go, many local Haitians came to see what we were doing, and we ended up gathering all together and praying for the school together.

Then Tonja and I got to spend a few minutes talking to Charles, the Haitian child that we sponsor through 410 Bridge. He has grown so much since we first met him. If you are looking for a way you can make a big impact, child sponsorship not only changes that child’s life, but has a ripple effect through all the people that child will some day impact. In addition, when a school gets enough children sponsored, then there is also a benefit to the rest of the school as programs will be implemented for all the classrooms.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I stopped counting at around 160 kids when we visited Reno in the afternoon. And once again, the team impressed me with their willingness to jump into the chaos. If you look closely, you will find them scattered throughout all of the children.

At the end of the day, we got one more chance to celebrate Josie.

– Dave Breaux, Haiti Mission Trip Leader

Paske nou pa konnen ki jou Mèt nou va vini

Tonja and I have been coming to Haiti for a while now, so much so that it almost feels like a second home when we are here. But that means that it also feels normal to us, and we sometimes miss the feeling of those first experiences. It is amazing to see the wonder in the eyes of new members who find their expectations did not even come close to the actual experience. But on Sunday, Tonja and I got to experience a first for us, we got to take communion with Pastor Marcèl’s church. That is something that is probably going to stay with us for a while.

Unfortunately, the rain cut church short. In Haiti, most people travel a good distance to get to church, and most do it on foot. Rain or shine. We are once again reminded of how often our church attendance back home goes down when the weather is bad, and we all have cars. You wonder when it was that people lost that passion that made them want to come to church like that, no matter what. In America, church is just another event to some, but in Haiti, it is so much more than that.

After church we went back to the hotel to wait for the rain to stop.

Once the rain had stopped, we got to head to Gelèe Beach.
It didn’t take the boys long to find some kids to play football with. Kids in Haiti are more likely to play soccer, but throwing a ball back and forth is universal.

Of course, there is the beach tradition of drinking coconut water. It is, apparently, an acquired taste. This being Scott’s second trip, he had definitely acquired it.

Another testament to the ingenuity of Haitians. While litter and pollution is unfortunately a big problem in Haiti, some choose to look at it in a completely different way. The ability to make do with whatever they have is one of the things I love most about Haitians. Some would see litter, this person chose to see an opportunity.

After the beach, we went back to the church to meet with the youth (young adults). We were not aware that they had planned a little competition, and we were definitely not prepared. But after they had performed a couple of songs, Bailey, Maddie, and MacKenzie stepped up and got the team started. After that, it was just singing and laughter. Word of advise, don’t ever try to take Hunter in musical chairs, he is a beast.

Toward the end, the Haitian youth performed a song in Kreyol that we recognized, and many of us were singing along in English. They asked us to sing the English version, and afterward, we all decided to sing them both together. It was a great moment, and the entire activity just reminded us that we are different, but in so many ways we are the same. One of our translators often uses the phrase “Praises go up, blessings come down”. That is definitely what was happening here today.

I have been so impressed with this team so far. In Haiti, time is considered an unlimited resource. They don’t think they can waste it, there is always more. Things seem to move at a different pace. But even for them, there are some things that are a high priority, and that is what the Pastor preached on today from Matthew 24:42-43. Paske nou pa konnen ki jou Mèt nou va vini. Because you don’t know which day your Lord is coming. Keep praying that we continue to build relationships and show God’s love as our time here grows shorter.

– Dave Breaux, Haiti Mission Trip Leader

Rainy Days – Haiti Day 1

Our trip to La Croix was mostly uneventful. Starting out in the capital city, we saw crowds of people, the mayhem of the market, the houses right on top of each other, but minimal traffic.

Slowly the throngs of people give way to the slower life of rural Haiti as we continue to head West. Less people in the street, much smaller markets, more space between homes. The team’s first look at life outside of Port-au-Prince, and the difference is hard to put into words.

For the Haitians, it is that difference that keeps so many of them in the big city. Access to markets, public transportation, etc. We start to get the picture of how convenient our own lives are. Personal vehicles, stores around every corner. Life is very different here.

 

The last couple of hours of the trip, we drove in a rain storm. And the differences are highlighted even more. Riding in the back of a pickup truck is the most popular form of public transportation, and we saw more people than we could count on the back of those “tap-taps”, covering up with anything they could. The streets that were once full of people and small roadside shops are now flooded, with little drainage available.

Another team was heading to Morency today, and our Haitian trip leader said he was not sure if they would be able to get up that road at all today. Six months ago we were not able to complete some of our projects due to lack of rain, and now too much rain is threatening to stop more of our plans.

 

We made it safely to our hotel, and were finally able to meet with the leadership council, although not all were able to make it due to the rain. They apologized that we would not be able to get out and tour the village, but the amount of rain was making the roads hard to travel on. Instead, we just sat with them and talked, asked questions, and laughed. A lot.

In so many ways we saw our differences: transportation, housing, availability of resources. But then, in just a few minutes of fellowship, we were laughing and sharing stories, and reminded once again just how alike we are as well.

– Dave Breaux, Haiti Mission Trip Leader

Revival Week 3 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea:
God revives the humble in heart, so those who seek revival must seek to humble themselves to God.

Discussion Starter:
What has God taught you this week during your Bible reading and prayer time?

Introduction:
This week, Pastor Micah reminded us that pride and humility are polar opposites. They can’t exist in the same place, ever. He demonstrated that when we have pride enough to hold on to our burdens (especially the burden of sin), it will weary us.  And when we have the humility to admit our weakness and need, God will give us rest.

Watch this brief intro together with your group (click picture below):


Encounter God

Primary Scriptures: 1 Peter 5:5-7, Proverbs 3:34, Psalm 55:22, Isaiah 57:15, Matthew 11:28-30, Ephesians 2:8-9

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why would God dislike pride at all?
  2. In several of the passages, God talks about giving things to people (as opposed to them earning or deserving something).  How could pride (or humility) affect someone’s ability to receive a gift?
  3. How is it that the most loving thing that God can do to a proud person is… resist them?  
  4. Re-read Isaiah 57:15.  What does revival have to do with someone’s grief over their own sin (that is, “contrition”)?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 1 Peter 5:1-7 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

Getting to know you:  Can you think of a time that God gave you grace? Can you think of a time that God resisted you? Additionally, who is into being both raw and real tonight? (Seriously. This is hard to share, but…remember that bit in 1 Peter 5:5? This is part of being clothed with humility.)

Getting to know them:  Humility has a lot to do with approachability. What’s something you could say to your mini-group that would make you more approachable?

Getting to know Him:  In Isaiah, God says that He doesn’t just inhabit eternity, but that He hangs out with those who are “contrite”, i.e., appropriately grieved by their sin.  Every time you pray this week, just make a mental note about how you feel about your sin and how revived you feel. See if you can spot a relationship.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise:  Submit yourself to fellow Christ-trusters. That is, take care of each other, and be gentle about it.

Engaging in Community:  Be approachable by being humble. That’s going to matter during the Halloween season.  However you celebrate (or don’t), the most important thing for your neighborhood is that they know you care about everyone’s well-being.

Engaging the World:  Pray for Christ’s missionaries to not be discouraged. Scripture is clear that our prayers matter for those in dangerous places.  


Expand God’s Kingdom

Can you think of anyone who might need to hear that God is clear about His stance on pride and humility?  Or might want to talk about it?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

Revival Week 2 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: Putting revival and eternity back in the forefront of our hearts and minds

Discussion Starter: Have you or anyone you know ever gone to a white tent revival?  What do you think of when someone starts speaking about revival?

Introduction: This Sunday Pastor Chris discusses attitudes or mindsets that the church needs to embody in order to set us up for revival. With the directive of not grieving the Holy Spirit and carrying out the 3 “attitudes of revival,” comes a significant adjustment to some if not all our lives.

Watch this brief intro together with your group (click picture below):


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: Ephesians 4:30-32, Matthew 6:14-15, Hebrews 12:15, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19, 2 Corinthians 9:6-13, 1 john 1:9, Matthew 7:8-11

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the three attitudes of revival that can be found in these scriptures? Even if you have not seen this weekend’s sermon, what common themes should we be implementing in our lives from these verses?

2. What happens to us when we are not practicing these attitudes?

3. What does it mean to grieve the Holy Spirit?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Ephesians 4:32 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

1. Getting to know you- Reflect back on the 3 “attitudes of revival.” You can discuss with your group or just think to yourselves, which of these is your strongest? Which of these attitudes should you work on this week?

2. Getting to know them- This week keep a gratitude list where you write at least 3 things you are grateful for every morning and bring it to our next week’s small group to share some of the gratitude’s and how the practice of focusing on them every morning helped to shape your week and your mindset.

3. Getting to know God- What are some accountability actions you and your small group can do this week to help each other remember to keep revival and eternity in the forefront of your mind?


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pray for revival within your  group.

Engaging in Community: Pray for revival in your community. Remember that these were promises that God gave to His people, so in order to have revival we must share God’s real love and people must turn to Him.

Engaging the World: Pray that Faith Promise missionaries around the world would experience revival in their communities.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Who can you share this message with this week?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.

Revival Week 1 – Discussion Guide

Getting Started

Main Idea: We will seek Revival at Faith Promise by following God’s instructions to King Solomon: We will humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways.

Discussion Starter:
Have you ever seen something dead take on new life? Perhaps you had a plant that was almost dead, but fertilizer brought it back to life. Maybe you had a project at work that seemed doomed to fail, but one fresh idea gave it hope. Share about a similar transformation you have experienced.

Introduction:

Watch this brief intro together with your group (click picture below):


Encounter God

Primary Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:11-16

Discussion Questions:
1. Read 2 Chronicles 7:11-16 paying close attention to verse 14. Pastor Chris shared a quote that pride is “an unhealthy saturation with self.” What are some ways we can humble ourselves this week?

2. The next action in verse 14 is “pray.” What circumstances have caused you to pray passionately? It is natural to cry out to God when we are in desperate need. How do we keep the passion in our prayers and maintain intimacy with God when life is going well?

3. Why do we most often seek God’s hand of provision instead of God’s face through fellowship and intimacy in prayer?

4. The final action God requires of His people in verse 14 is to “turn from their wicked ways.” We will discuss this during our Embrace time in our dyads and triads.

5. Which of the four actions in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is the hardest for you to respond to? Why?

Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.


Embrace Others

Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into dyads or triads for this section.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says God’s people are to “turn from their wicked ways.” Spend a minute considering if there is any sin in your life that has become comfortable. If you feel comfortable, confess this sin to your dyad or triad and ask for accountability in turning from this sin. Whether you confess to one another or not, spend some time fervently praying that we would all be open to the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin in our lives.


Engage the World Around Us

Engaging at Faith Promise: Pray for revival within your  group.

Engaging in Community: Pray for revival in your community. Remember that these were promises that God gave to His people, so in order to have revival we must share God’s real love and people must turn to Him.

Engaging the World: Pray that Faith Promise missionaries around the world would experience revival in their communities.


Expand God’s Kingdom

Who can you share this message with this week?


Leader’s Notes

ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.

– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.

– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.

– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.

– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.