Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meet Pastor Elino

In these posts I want to do a good job presenting real stories about real people in Haiti and their struggles and victories. I feel like one of the reasons we are coming here is to communicate these stories in a way that will help us remember them so we can pray well for them and be supportive of them. I don't want to live my life as if they don't exist. Today I will write about Pastor Jean-Baptiste Elino. Pretty cool name isn't it. That's another thing I like about Haiti. They are not afraid to name their kids long Bible names, even calling them John the Baptist.

Pastor Elino is the Lead Pastor for the CWO church in La Victoire. He's a relatively younger man and seems to have a sharp mind. He speaks very well and there is a sense of authority when he talks. He knows just a little English so most of my information about him comes through my trusty translator, Lafleur. The congregation consists of 290 Christ-followers. He recently had one of his members die from Cholera. They have 6 children's Sunday school classes every Sunday and 2 teachers per class. He has 2 Elders besides himself, and the church has teams of people that are coming together every day to pray. Haitians love to pray. They pray for a long time and it's always a robust prayer. For Christmas Eve they held an all-day prayer meeting at their church building. He spoke about how they met by candle lamps for some time before they were able to pay to get electricity hooked into their building. He also shared their need for a sound system, mixer and speakers as they currently have none.

Through their church they have a primary school that currently has 176 students enrolled in it. They have a continuing struggle to pay their teachers adequately. They currently pay them the equivalent of 25 US Dollars per month and they are struggling to keep up that pace. Although they are trying very hard to have a school that runs well and does a good job educating the students the pastor has chosen not to send his own children there because it is lacking in these areas.

He has three prayer requests:

1. His church needs to be reconstructed. It is in disrepair now and needs to be leveled and rebuilt.
2. He wants the ability to pay his teachers a better salary.
3. A sound system for their sanctuary.

Please remember to pray for Pastor Elino and his flock.

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