Missions Spotlight

“...All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..."
Matthew 28:18-19a

May 2024 Entry


Over thirty years ago, several Asbury members began volunteering at the Building Together Ministries thrift store in downtown Raleigh. It's been said that faithful volunteers from Asbury helped start and kept the store running. A year earlier, I had moved to the U.S. after working in Haiti as a missionary for five years.  I came on staff at Building Together Ministries as the bookkeeper and began various youth programs, including the establishment of the thrift store and served there for 16 years. These Asbury volunteers were my first introduction to Asbury Church - a connection that has been a real inspiration and blessing over many years. 

While in Haiti, I worked with and befriended a Haitian missionary named Jean Pere Nadieul. Pere had received a calling from God to assist destitute children who were living on the streets.  He was a skilled concrete mason but had no idea how to raise funds to assist these youth.  He prayed fervently for this ministry, eventually coming to Raleigh and sharing of this calling among his friends.  Through their connection, the children’s home was founded in 1997.  Building Together’s founders, Freddy & Helen Johnson had also served in Haiti with me and had a strong passion for Haitian ministry.  After leading various diverse groups to Haiti, the board of Building Together decided to financially support by pledging 10% of the thrift store's revenue.  From these early beginnings, we began partnering with various Haitian led ministries in Haiti that grew into more remarkable efforts than we could dream.  I  passionately began seeking other supporters and prayer partners for this fledgling ministry. In January 2006, the growing Haiti Outreach program spun off and became its own entity known as Hearts and Hands for Haiti.  Shortly after that, Asbury Church adopted me as a financially supported missionary, with a generous monthly contribution for my financial support.

Fast forward to 2010. A devastating earthquake hits Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Asbury responds by purchasing and packaging 141,000 Rise Against Hunger meals to send to Haiti (an entire food container). Asbury Church raised $35,000 in two short weeks, which was the cost of a container at that time. To understand the devastation of Haiti firsthand, Asbury Church invited me to speak to the congregation during this two-week fundraiser. I was on the ground in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake hit. I shared about my experience during worship, and Asbury met their goal. 141,000 meals were packaged and shipped to Haiti, where food was in short supply.

In early 2012, Pastor Terry invited me to his office to discuss an idea he was considering. A few days later, we met in his office, and I excitedly listened as he shared with me about an upcoming campaign that Asbury was about to embark on titled "Christmas Is Not Your Birthday." He asked if HHH had any new initiatives that might be assisted with funds from this unique birthday gift to Jesus. HHH was in the process of partnering with a new school in the remote area of Sous Raille, Haiti. I explained to Pastor Terry that the school needed a sponsor to fund books, supplies, uniforms, shoes, teachers, and food for 100+ students in the village. This small village had been devastated by two hurricanes within four years and was forgotten except for HHH. It was a village where children did not have access to education. As I described the village in Sous Raille, we both felt it was a perfect fit.

Asbury has faithfully supported the school and church in Sous Raille since 2013. Each year, I've watched Asbury Church generously provide this special gift to honor Jesus on His birthday. Most years, the Asbury family raises funds over the goal, which has provided opportunities for Asbury to fund the construction of additional classrooms, purchase nearby land for expansion, contribute to local food purchases that were distributed to members in the community through the church in Sous Raille, purchase medical supplies and most recently build a wall around their property.

Asbury Church's witness and faithfulness are celebrated in Haiti. I've enjoyed watching the church in Sous Raille and Asbury connect deeper through this ongoing commitment. Several Asbury pastors and staff have spoken at the church in Sous Raille, and many teams, both adult and youth, have worshiped with their sister church in Sous Raille. Pastor Olius of Sous Raille traveled to Raleigh four years ago and was invited to speak at the church in Raleigh. The two churches have connected in ways that are only possible when the Holy Spirit is leading.

As I look back over the past 40 years and begin to connect the dots, I realize and celebrate how God has been diligently working in the hearts of these two places – two different communities in two different countries connected in ways that both grow and prosper while bringing honor and glory to God.

Thank you, Asbury Church, for your faithful support and encouragement over the years.
Your gifts have been received with deep gratitude.