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It was one of those trips you don’t soon forget. At the end of an eventful visit in Haiti, Director Steve Elsey, Mark Surbrook (American Director for Haiti Missions), and Rod Davis (Board member) set out to travel to the Platanal church. Two days before, fellow traveler Mike Pollard had been forced to return home due to illness, so he missed out on the adventure.
Pastor Samson and the visitors rode in the Montero as far as they could, then set off on foot up to the church. The road was steep with many loose rocks. During their grueling, 90-minute trek, the only modes of transportation they saw along the way were the four-legged kind.
At last they reached the church in time for a break before the service began. The building was made of slat boards painted a cheery blue with rusted tin on the roof. It began to rain, and during the service Steve Elsey preached, and Mark Surbrook translated, standing side by side at the front; they had to keep switching places to avoid the rain dripping through holes in the roof.
But the holes in the roof or the gaps in the siding do not define the church; in fact, the church as revealed in the New Testament is not a building at all. The believers in Jesus are the Body of Christ, the Church. And in Platanal, the Church is growing and reaching out. Led by Pastor Marcelus Chavre and his wife, Odette Anger, this remote congregation of some 225 souls has established four additional preaching points with another 225 in attendance. God is blessing, and souls are being saved!
The return trip was even more difficult than the climb up. The travelers had to avoid sliding down the rock-strewn path in the pouring rain. But they carried with them the faces of Pastor and Mrs. Chavre and the knowledge that God is moving among their brothers and sisters at Platanal.