While the Souls Winning Ministries mother church, the Presbyterian Church of Marin, Haiti, was celebrating Reformation Sunday and the 10th anniversary of the rebuilding after the devastating 2010 earthquake, the daughter church in Jacmel also celebrated Reformation Sunday and their eighth anniversary as a Presbyterian congregation in this once-vibrant tourist destination. Rev. Jean Paul worked to plant a church in Jacmel, Haiti in 2012 as the direct result of a series of nighttime evangelistic tent meetings in that area. Progress was made for some time, with the congregation reaching 150 members. Funds were raised to purchase the land needed for a future building to house the congregation about three years ago. During the same timeframe, Pastor Paul installed Rev. Maxito Raphael as the lead pastor for this growing congregation, serving this strategic southern coastal city in Haiti. Pastor Maxito was born and raised in the area and still has family living nearby the church’s future meeting place. Rev. Maxito is a gifted preacher and devoted to transforming Haiti with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is an update sent to Reformation Hope by Maxito concerning the ongoing work in Jacmel.
My Family Situation:
I am married and my wife’s name is Medjine Raphaël. I was married on my birthday on January 26, 2013. So we have been married for 7 1/2 years. We have one young son whose name is Isaac Raphaël. We have also lost two children, both while they were quite small.
My Background, Faith, and Theological Education:
Although I was born and raised in Jacmel, I did not grow up in a Christian family. Yet the eyes of Christ were on me without my knowing it. After completing my classical studies, I worked for 10 years in a radio station as the presenter of a cultural program. Following the earthquake and aftershocks of January 12, 2010, I received Christ as my Savior through the preaching of a brother. And at the end of February of the same year, I received the water of baptism. Since then I have been in Christ, because of God’s effective call to me. On June 16, 2014, I entered the Theological Academy of the Reformation (the Bible college in Marin with Reformation Hope and Souls Winning Ministries) to be equipped for the work to which God called me. On July 20, 2014, I had my first child named Barnabas who was going to die on August 12 of the same year. And on October 29, 2017, I graduated from the Theological Academy of the Reform. Since the death of our first boy, God gave us Isaac in November 2018. After Isaac, God gave us another boy on August 21, 2019 and took him away early on the 27 of the same month, because of a severe respiratory distress. Despite everything, God has never left us without consolations.
The Work in Jacmel:
Alongside my responsibilities in the Church, and in the Jacmelian community, God has made me a great weekly program presenter in one of the big Radio Stations in the South East. This program, “the Word” is evangelical, Bible studies, analyzes, and debates, while spreading the message of Protestant Reform.
Pastor Paul and I decided to work in Jacmel in order to win Jacmel for Christ, to the extent of grace that God has given us:
a. evangelize the community of Jacmel
b. preach and teach biblical truth in order to show people that they are saved by the grace of God alone and by faith in Christ alone.
c. in a larger vision, we have decided that the Presbyterian Church will gather in several places in Jacmel so that people know better our Lord Jesus and to approach God through Him to be blessed.
In the church that I serve in Jacmel, there are currently 150 brothers and sisters. The schedule of our services each week includes:
Sunday School: 8:00 am–9:00 am
Worship Service: 9:00 am–10:30 am
Evening Praise Service: 6:00 pm–8:00 pm
Prayer Service: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Prayer Service: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Bible Study: 5:00 – 7:00 pm
I wanted to also add that the building of the sanctuary and school on the church’s land in Jacmel is important for us, because:
1. We serve and preach an Almighty Sovereign God, Who deserves to be worshiped in a beautiful place.
2. To encourage members of the Church who pray and who hope to meet God in a beautiful place, which the recent death of Pastor Paul made them doubt their hope.
3. To relocate the congregation from the fraternal house which it has occupied (borrowed/rented) for 8 years.
Again, please accept my sincere gratitude and the many thanks and praises of our congregation for your partnership, prayers, and support. Our help is in the name of God, who made the heavens and the earth! Amen!
In Christ Jesus,
Pastor Maxito Raphaël
Serving in Jacmel, Haiti