Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 3 of Giving: Bicycles for Laypreachers

By Ericlee Gilmore

Thanks for joining us for our "12 Days of Giving" feature. This summer I had the chance to travel the northern mountains of Haiti and visit 11 of 30 outstations that are part of Christian Friendship Ministries. The "outstations" are made up of a small group of believers who meet weekly across the countryside for encouragement, prayer and learning scripture. In the U.S., we might call this a “life group” or “small group” but sometimes as many as 60 people gather. Some meet in a building. Others meet out in a field or in the yard of a family.

One to three "laypreachers" from the main churches are assigned to go meet at these outstations and lead the people in the area. I had the privilege of spending some quality time with many of these men. My intention was to encourage them but really they encouraged and inspired me with their faith and perseverance. They truly have a desire to serve their people.

 One laypreacher I met was Paul. He had such a memorable smile and upbeat personality. He loves this opportunity to encourage other Christians and evangelize to the people of St. Raphael, Haiti. I discovered he has to travel about 5 miles to get from his house to the outstation where he shares. A large part of his journey is uphill into the mountains.  He humbly asked me for a bicycle.  If he had a bike he could cut down his walking time of over 2 hours, by more than half.  Bicycles in Haiti range in price from $40-80.

*You can join us and contribute for a bicycle for a laypreacher by giving at the web site of Christian Friendship Ministries under the Donate tab or by sending a check to P.O. Box 27584 Fresno, CA 93729. Please indicate that you would like to give toward a "Bicycle for a Laypreacher."

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