Gilbert with schoolchildren in Gentilhomme in 2017.
I Can Only Imagine
Imagine being a 14-year-old Haitian boy living in a mountain village with no electricity or running water. A place where a school has just been opened through the work of Climbing For Christ. And you’ve been left for dead after breaking your leg.
Gilbert Lindor doesn’t have to imagine. He was that boy.
What he could not have imagined 10½ year ago was going to college, which – on Jan. 22 – he began in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“After a series of sacrifices (and) unexpected expenses, for the mercy of God I am registered in the university,” Gilbert reported on Jan. 18. “We thank God for all and I thank you, (and those) that made this first step possible. We hope that He will continue blessing us to be able to last these six years, which He called the beginning of a new stage of my life.”
Gilbert is studying medicine.
“I really cannot explain how much I am grateful to God for this step I have taken,” he said. “God has shown me that (He is) working for me, despite the persecutions, and I know that with God we can because He has control of all and dominates above all.”
“The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” – Psalm 46:11 (NLT)
“I can tell you that I was more than happy and grateful to God,” Gilbert said after his first day of college classes, “because when I see myself sitting among 44 students, I really start thinking about my past, what He is doing with me now, what He will continue to do with me. Today I was able to breathe new air with new hope. I just want God to always be with me because without Him there’s nothing I can do.”
“God lifts the poor and needy from dust and ashes, and he lets them take part in ruling his people.” – Psalm 113:7-8 (CEV)
The road to Gentilhomme
Before going to college, Gilbert returned to his home village. Much to his surprise, a “road” had been built since he last visited.
Gilbert rode by motorbike part of the way to Gentilhomme.
Gilbert on the back of a motorbike on the new “road” to Gentilhomme.
“This (road) work has allowed an engine to reach the church of Gentilhomme,” he said on Jan. 20. “For the people of Gentilhomme that is a miracle and brings a new hope.
“It brings hope because for them it was impossible to get an engine in their communities,” Gilbert explained. “It is important because if the transport gets there it makes it easier for them to transport their products and participate in their government in order to make them more progress. Despite the low economy of this town, many of them would like to buy a vehicle; sometimes they have the possibility, but for lack of roads they cannot.”
Team members trekking to Gentilhomme.
Gilbert’s Haitian ministry team visited the Climbing For Christ-supported schools in Gentilhomme and Malasi in his absence and conducted a training workshop for the parents of schoolchildren. The theme of the training was the “Importance of family in education and school.”
“For them there was only school education,” Gilbert said. “They did not know the family (and the school) walk together.”
In the past, students would learn Bible lessons at school and hear something different at home, where voodoo often is practiced.
“When the trainers explained this, they saw the difference,” Gilbert said. “They saw the workshop was necessary. The ministry brothers told me that the parents were very (sensitive), and some felt that it is a necessity to send their children to school.”
Schoolchildren playing in Malasi.
Gilbert’s team – consisting of Scotte Joliqueur, Iveline Pierre, Murleune Senatus, Gaston Louis Jean and Flerty Senelouis – visited the two schools Jan. 24-26 to “try to raise awareness among the population about the importance of education.” Gilbert said these visits all give them an opportunity “to take advantage and call people who still do not have Christ as their Savior.” This witnessing will continue and Gilbert’s team is planning to expand evangelism with “four great mission trips” in 2018, including visits to hospitals and prisons. The first of the four missions is being planned for March.