December 2018 Newsletter

December 2018

Dear Friends of Celebrate Jesus of Haiti,

It is the season to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is also the season in our lives when we share the marvelous news that we are gifting the ministry of Celebrate Jesus of Haiti to a couple who love the Lord and love the work He is doing on LaGonave Island. The Word of God says that we move from glory to glory. We feel in our hearts that we have walked out the glory He assigned to us and now it is time for us to pass the mantle of CJofH to the ones He chose to carry it to the next level of glory for His sake.

We served alongside Dr. Paz for six years before Sonja felt the call of God to teach the Gospel message of hope to the people on LaGonave who were so hopeless. Seven to ten day mission trips were not going to be enough to change the spiritual condition of the people there. We closed up our home and moved to Anse A Galet for an intended stay of one year. Jerry followed Sonja out of love for her and a desire to support her. By the third day, she knew that God had prepared her for this her entire life. After a short time living there God stirred Jerry’s heart and he also fell in the love with the people of Haiti. He brought his skill set of leadership, architecture, construction, and financial management.

Starving children were placed in our arms as we walked the streets. We made a fire in the center of town to make Ramen noodles. While the water boiled Sonja preached the Good News of Jesus to all who would listen. Every child ate. When we had drained our personal resources, Faith Christian Family Church began to send us an offering each month and the Feeding Program of Celebrate Jesus was birthed. Now, 900 children in Anse A Galet and the surrounding area are fed a nutritious meal daily. Malnutrition and starvation have been virtually eliminated. Baby Jesus grew up and fed people in the Galilee. He said we would do even greater works. Through believers around the world like you, He is still feeding the children. Each of us is a vessel used by Him to show the love of God.

He gave us the wisdom to begin each ministry program, and to appoint a Haitian leader over each area. Their first assignment was to identify and begin training a successor to assure continuity in the church, the school, the clinic, and the feeding program. Wisdom is knowing when to start and when to stop. We have been praying for several years, asking God to show us who would succeed us in this work. In 2018, he presented Pastors Jim and Theresa Zilinski of Nashville, Tennessee. They are filled with the Holy Spirit, and we believe they will be a great blessing to Pastor Joaquim and all the people inside of Celebrate Jesus and on the whole island of LaGonave. Their new Board of Directors will assume responsibility for the ministry effective January 1, 2019. The 501c3 non-profit status will continue unchanged as Celebrate Jesus of Haiti. Operationally the ministry will continue as it is. The daily ministry will be lead by Pastor Joaquim and each Haitian leader will continue to carry out their excellent work in leading the church, the school, the clinic, and the feeding program. We are blessed to pass on a full church with a children’s program, a fully accredited and highly valued free school grades 1-13, a free children’s clinic where children birth through 12 can receive treatment for illness and accidents, and the feeding program with 8 locations in the poorest areas. Life-changing safe housing is provided to many families in The Dwelling Place. Church families can have a garden to help feed their families in The Promised Land. Our assignment there is complete and now the Lord will do even greater works.

A corporate donor is supporting the work of Jim and Theresa, and this means that every donation received by Celebrate Jesus of Haiti goes directly to Haiti to do this work and to fulfill the Great Commission of teaching the saving message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The new address for your donations is Celebrate Jesus of Haiti, P.O.Box 157, Wentzville, MO 63385.

We will provide Jim and Theresa with your contact information and they will contact you by email very soon with their personal contact information. I have faith in God and trust in you that your hearts for the people of Haiti remain unchanged by our passing of the mantle of leadership for God’s work there. The goal of the ministry remains unchanged: preach the Gospel so that more and more people hear and believe.

Serving God with the gifts and talents He gave us has given us the most rewarding life imaginable. That is the blessing we wish for you. Don’t wait to act until you think you’ve identified every gift and talent and perfected them. Our achievement-oriented selves has this process backward. Step out in obedience. Do the last thing you heard Him say in your heart. Then he will show you what you have been uniquely equipped to do. Until Jesus served He couldn’t finish the sacrifice He had come to make. He showed his disciples how to love God and others. You are spiritually secure, but to keep your soul healthy you must serve.

As we reflect on the impact of the ministry to the Haitians, those of you who were able to make the trip to LaGonave came back different than you left. You allowed yourselves to be emptied of the things you had once thought important so that God could rearrange your priorities for the rest of your lives.

As we come to the time to celebrate the first coming of the Lord Jesus, we look forward to the New Year and meeting the next person we will lead into the Kingdom of God. Each New Year brings hope. Our hope is that your thoughts and prayers for us will result in your continued support of this precious work in LaGonave, Haiti.

As we close our last Celebrate Jesus of Haiti letter to you, the words to this familiar version of this hymn were ringing in our hearts.

To God Be the Glory

How can I say thanks

For the things You have done for me?

Things so undeserved

Yet You gave to prove Your love for me;

The voices of a million angels

Could not express my gratitude

All that I am and ever hope to be

I owe it all to Thee

[Chorus 1:]

To God be the glory

To God be the glory

To God be the glory

For the things He has done

[Chorus 2:]

With His blood He has saved me

With His power He has raised me;

To God be the glory

For the things He has done

[Bridge:]

Just let me live my life

Let it be pleasing, Lord to Thee

And if I gain any praise

Let it go to Calvary

We give God all the glory for this past twenty years and what He did there. We add to that our thanksgiving for and to you. Without your your heart of sharing and serving none of it would have been fulfilled. You worked hard alongside us. Many of you put your hands and feet alongside ours in Haiti. All of you prayed, gave, loved us and people you had never met. When Jesus comes again you will embrace them and celebrate the Kingdom life in which your paths crossed. The Bible says to give honor to those to whom honor is due. We honor you and your hearts of love.

In His love and service,

Jerry and Sonja Dickherber

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