The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Haiti recently welcomed more than 1,600 new members into the church at the close of two weeks of online evangelistic meetings held in Pétion-Ville.
The series, held April 3-16, 2022, was the first of territory-wide efforts to be held in the French-speaking regions of the Inter-American Division, including Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana.
The church in Haiti has baptized more than 8,000 people due to evangelism efforts since January.
The evening series, coined as “Amen, Come Lord Jesus,” was presented by Vanel Louissant, evangelist and personal ministries director for the church in central Haiti. Louissant challenged hundreds of attendees at the Béthanie Adventist church and thousands of online viewers to cling to the hope of salvation in Jesus.
“You must get serious and prepare for Jesus Christ’s soon return in this world of despair and tribulation,” Louissant said. “Jesus can save your family and restore to man what was lost in Eden. We will see Jesus as He is and live with Him eternally.”
Margarite,* who was among 1,690 baptized across Haiti on April 16, said she felt unspeakable joy once she emerged from the water in Pétion-Ville. “I feel so liberated now. I used to belong to another church,” Margarite said as she shared that she had been persecuted by many members of her family. “One tried to kill one of my boys, but now that I am in Jesus, I am no longer afraid of threats. I will keep the Sabbath until Jesus returns.”
Beatriz* also embraced the Adventist faith with great joy in Pétion-Ville. “My daughter and my mother, who were [of another faith] like me, also accepted Jesus even though I never forced them to follow me,” Beatriz said. “Jesus lives in my heart, and I pray my brother can also accept Jesus too.”
Committed to Evangelistic Efforts
“Praise God for the success of this joint campaign with the first international campaign together with the French Antilles Guiana Union,” Haiti Union Conference president Pierre Caporal said. “We have seen a new zeal and commitment from our leaders and members in in the task of sharing the gospel leading up to this campaign.”
The series was the climax of comprehensive teamwork among the more than 200 district pastors and hundreds of laypeople who endeavored to spread the message of hope and salvation through small group Bible studies and community impact activities, during a year when the Inter-American Division is celebrating its centennial anniversary, Caporal said.
The more than 8,000 newly baptized members represents a significant change since the pandemic hit and safety challenges hindered the work of sharing the gospel in cities and communities, Caporal said. The year jumpstarted with double blessings from God with a new enthusiasm of spreading the message of hope through television, radio, and the internet, he added.
Every Theology Student Involved
At Haitian Adventist University in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, professors and theology students teamed up to reach several neighboring communities with evangelistic outreach ahead of the online series. Students would load up in trucks and, armed with the Bible and dedication to the gospel, connect with dozens of non-believers, faculty shared.
One of the churches that hosted a team of students as part of the evangelistic movement across Haiti was the Galaad Adventist church. “We are so grateful they came because there is an urgency to preach the Word of God today,” Jacklyn Georges, personal ministries director at the church, said.
Every theology student took part in at least one evangelistic campaign, Edgard Etienne, dean of theology at the school, said. “We moved in extremely difficult context, and despite all the difficulties on the road and the situation in the country, we returned safely to keep praising the Lord.”
Several of the student missionaries have been in hard-to-reach areas where even cell phone signals do not reach but were happy with the experience. Third-year student Duclona Wilbens said there were so many countless challenging experiences. “We are all convinced that God was with us each day,” she said.
A Message of Salvation
A goal of reaching at least 100 baptisms during the professor/student evangelistic efforts turned into 500 new converts, Etienne reported. The important step for member retention to be effective is now for the new members to share the gospel and make other disciples, he added.
“We want the message of Jesus’ soon coming to resonate even beyond these evangelistic series,” Caporal said. “Our church understands that preaching the Word of God is its chief purpose, and these united efforts were a new opportunity for leaders and members to unite their strength to invite people to salvation.”
* Not her real name.