Haitian Disciple Pleas for His Homeland

The following letter, recently published on DisciplesToday.org, was written by our brother Robert Junior Rene from St. Vincent.

Dear brothers and sisters around the world,

My name is Robert, and I am a Haitian disciple now living in St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the eastern Caribbean. I left my homeland in February 2007, as I worked for a large construction company that sent me to St. Vincent to complete a contract, and expected to return to Haiti after a few months. But God had other plans for my life.

Robert  Delana Rene

In 2008 I was met by a disciple and invited out to church. Although it took me about a year, I studied the Bible and was baptized in St. Vincent in February 2009, which was one of the best decisions of my life. Each year, I would spend my annual vacation in Haiti, so after becoming a disciple, I was so excited to visit the churches in Haiti. Each trip back home was a joy, spending time with my family, and connecting with the Haitian disciples.

It was a special treat to witness the church being planted in my neighborhood in La Plaine, Port au Prince, and to hear Wilner Cornely preach. I started inviting my family to church, and even my father started studying the Bible. Soon, my youngest sister, Larah Emmanuella Rene become a disciple of Jesus, to God be the glory!

In December 2009, my annual trip to Haiti was postponed for a few weeks due to work obligations. Not long after, on January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake hit my homeland, cancelling my trip that year. It hurt my heart so much to not be there with my family and the Haitian disciples. My family’s house was not destroyed but it was affected, and I lost my oldest brother who died in the underground parking lot of a university. However, I have been able to visit numerous times after the earthquake to assist my family, friends and the church. It was so great to join the HOPE worldwide chapter there during the aftermath of the earthquake. I was so encouraged by the hearts and faith of the disciples, as many of them lost family members, friends and their possessions, but were still happily praising God and committed to the fellowship.

In September 2011, I married the love of my life, Delana, a sister from Trinidad and Tobago. We now have two wonderful kids, and have continued to live in St Vincent & the Grenadines, worshipping and serving with the church here for the past five years. I am grateful for how God has blessed my life, even though I have been living away from my beloved Haiti. But my heart bleeds for Haiti's many troubles, and yearns for the salvation of my own people.

A few weeks ago, when we were alerted of a storm heading our way, we went into preparation mode here in St. Vincent. Thank God we braved the storm unharmed but little did I know that it was heading for my beloved country. Like everyone else, I was glued to my television and computer awaiting updates of Hurricane Matthew and its predicted path, and joined with my local church family in prayers for Haiti and the other islands that could have been affected by this hurricane.

Now in the aftermath of the hurricane, my heart aches for the many persons displaced, for those affected and mourning the loss of loved ones. One of my own cousins from the village of Jeremie is still unaccounted for, and we fear the worst that she may have died, having been swept away by the flooding. I also have aunts and cousins who have lost everything.

The churches in Haiti hold a very special place in my heart and also the other Haitian disciples all over the world.  I join them in asking for your prayers for our people. We also collectively beg for your kind support in light of this tragedy. HOPE worldwide is on the ground in Haiti, and continues their amazing work in serving those who are affected, both inside and outside of the church. As I personally have family members who are disciples and those who are not, I praise God for every disciple who is now in Haiti with the HOPE team.

Please continue to give, to support the work being done in Haiti for the Hurricane Matthew victims. Every dollar counts, and your giving allows us to show the world the love of Jesus Christ in action. And so I thank you - on behalf of every soul in Haiti.

Your Haitian brother in Christ,

Robert Junior Rene