Dear Friends and Family
Our ministry seems to always be moving in high gear and for quite awhile we have been in overdrive, and what a ride it has been! Praise God! We are preparing to leave tomorrow for our ninth trip (tenth week) into Haiti. It doesn't seem like that many trips but time flies when there is so much to do. This week we are inviting all the people from our church in Tamboril ; Mission in Don Pedro who have been working on relief projects in the D.R. to join our family in Haiti for the first time for "Relief Retreat 2010". We have food distributions, shelter projects and "Quantum Base 300" improvements planned for this trip. We finished relocating the First Baptist Church of the Truth in Croix des Bouquets to an adjacent property and built a temporary tarp shelter for church services last week. We now must move on to demolition and site clearing which is going to take a few months.
Regina and I are excited as God works through us in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic. We’ve settled into a routine, have good contacts, finished with our first church group from Ohio and have seen God bless what we are doing in ways we did not know were possible. The Haitians have responded incredibly; some have even bonded with us and us with them. We have made vital contacts with different government and non-government agencies. God is good!!
Just to bring you up to date, last month, the application I made with the World Food Program came through and they gave us a little over $100,000 of food. (Great Contact! - SMILE) This is by far, the largest donation of food to independent Baptist churches we have seen so far. Again, God is good and He receives the honor and the glory for the victory. James Collins who we hooked up with through Missionary Flights International as moved and taken over warehouse distribution for Operation Blessing and loads us up every week with food and supplies. Jean Dial (one of our Haitian men in training from the D.R.) and I continue to preach in many different churches and every time he or I have preached, many people have been saved and only God knows how many encouraged. God is blessing and it is so thrilling to know He is using us. Again, we give him all the honor and the glory for the multiple victories we have seen in Haiti. However, in all this triumph and joy and without "grand standing" let me say that we are dealing with death and devastation on such a scale, which very well may become the largest natural disaster in our hemisphere. With over 230,000 dead we are still coming to grips with the significance of this and know, deep down, that it will take many years for the churches and pastors to recover and or the Haitian economy to stabilize to some resemblance of what it was before the earthquake.
Last week, another group with the Baptist Bible Fellowship came in to assess the situation on the ground and meet with us. The group consisted of Pastor Housley (Dominican Field Rep), Pastor Bales (Haiti Field Rep) and our Mission Director Jon Konnerup. Pastor Housley preached Wednesday evening to a packed and overflowing church and afterwards we had the opportunity to show our guests the projects God has laid on our hearts as well as Quantum Base 300 before eating Regina's special spaghetti. (MMmmmmm - Most definitely the best meal I've had in awhile) The meeting was very profitable and everyone left encouraged and excited about our plans in Haiti to "Build Back Better".
Amazingly, God has moved us into the middle of the disaster and he has moved in us and all around us while in Haiti and He continues to do so in very special ways. At this time and for the near future we are convinced that we need to continue to respond to His will and having done all, as the word says, STAND, Stand firm for God, the assisting of the Haitians God has connected us to, others that he will lead us to, as well as serve those churches that support us as independent Baptist Missionaries, and of course as representatives of the fellowship and their long time mission effort on the island. We have a good team in place, both here in the D.R. and in Haiti, and with all of our state side pastors and Churches, it is working very well.
Please allow me to state clearly, we have no plans on backing off from our one Church and single mission in the D.R., it is just that we can’t back away from either the D.R. OR HAITI, God is not leading in that direction. Perhaps ours is the advantage due to our experience in Cuba (church planting, Feeding Centers, Santeria, weird governments ect.) the number of our works we have in the D.R. and don't count out the Haitian leadership we were actively training when all this happened. So for now, and in the near future, we are sure that God would have us to enlarge our tent stakes to the southwest for a time such as this and with our churches, our team from the D.R. the Haitians God has given us in Haiti, the Missions Office and above all else the wisdom, strength, and leadership of our great God, we plan to carry on as we have these past weeks and begin shifting from relief operations to reconstruction projects. Obviously there is a great need for new churches as well. Believe me there is more than enough room and very hard work for several good Baptist church planters to work in Haiti as long as they are called by God, backed by God and prayerfully supported by their churches. It is the way we have always worked as a Fellowship and I believe we can do it again in Haiti. Maybe this will be the defining hour for our movement on the Island. We need to challenge others to come to Haiti. We need to pray God gives them a burden, wisdom from on high, the contacts and the financial backing needed so they can turn this nation from Voodoo to God. I see it has a strong possibility - what an opportunity for the Caribbean which has been dominated way to long by African syncretistic religions since the 1500's. May God help us all to reclaim the old and new territory for His name. CONCERNING FINANCES: Bro. Hylton in the Missions Office gave us permission to pay an accounting firm here in the Dominican so that our Association could keep record of the expenditures. Last month our association in the Dominican hired a great firm to set this up and is keeping track of everything. CONCERNING OUR PLANS: God has laid on our teams hearts the rebuilding of two specific churches, along with two pastors homes. Unfortunately, this is only a small portion of the 16 works our team and I have visited. With us moving into the reconstruction phase we most definitely need more help. When groups and money begins to dissipate we will have to close the base and return to the D.R. unless God opens another door. CONCERNING OPPORTUNITIES: Not only is rebuilding needed, but because of the relocating of thousands of refugees (400,000 alone, just in the area where Quantum Base 300 is located), the need for new Churches is great! Even if we double the size of the building that existed here now we would still need many more churches in the area for the amount of people headed our way and - soon. CONCERNING NEEDS: A. We need the involvement of quality reconstruction teams from churches. We have already had several teams come and they have been a tremendous blessing. Even if construction work is not your cup of tea pray about being apart of our campaign to "Build Back Better" by giving towards a specific project that God lays on your heart or even coming to Haiti on a construction or evangelistic mission trip. It may just change your life. B. Regina and I need to increase our monthly support. New monthly expenses in relation to travel and base operations have been taken on. All we can ask is that you make this a matter of prayer and let the Lord lead.
Thank you for your backing in this endeavor, thank you for everything you have already done and are still doing for missions. I will stay in contact; you will be informed of every move. Thank you again and God bless. Because of Christ, Tom and Regina Franklin