Life and death in Mare Pitre
By Gary Fallesen
Climbing For Christ
A week before CHRISTmas last year, Miguel Rubén Guante bought a pair of sandals for an old woman in Mare Pitre, Haiti. She was in need.
Only a few months earlier, Miguel had visited Mare Pitre for the first time to evangelize the area. The woman who would receive the sandals – named Solina – was part of the first group of people there to receive Jesus.
Jesus told us whatever we do or don’t do for a child, an old woman, or any of our fellow man who is hungry, thirsty or naked, we do or don’t do for Him (see Matthew 25). Jesus was pretty straight forward about that, and about the repercussions if we didn’t heed his directions.
Solina, outside her home in Mare Pitre. (Photo by Miguel Rubén Guante)
Miguel, Climbing For Christ’s missionary to Haiti since God sent us there in 2005, has been helping the least of these in Mare Pitre for the past year. Spiritual coordinator Jordan Rowley and I visited Mare Pitre (and all of the other villages where C4C is working) during a fact-finding mission in November 2013. We saw the new structure God used us to build to house the church, and we worshiped one evening with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Where the church at Mare Pitre is housed. (Photo by Gary Fallesen)
The Mare Pitre church is centrally located between four villages, all of which are pitifully poor in what is a desperately impoverished nation. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and one of the 10 or 15 poorest in the world. There is only one growing season in the deep southeast of Haiti, where Mare Pitre is located, and the dry season (January-August) lends itself to much hunger and suffering. Life in Haiti is never easy, but apart from Christ it is even more difficult.
Solina experienced much hardship over the years.
On Monday, Nov. 25, Miguel washed an ailing Solina and cleaned her clothing. He felt as if he was washing the feet of Jesus, and he knew he was preparing his sister for her passing from this life to the next.
Solina had some sort of cardiovascular event the previous week. Miguel took her to a hospital in the Dominican border town of Pedernales, but little could be done for her there and she had no family willing or able to help. So Miguel cared for Solina as best as he could with some assistance from other members of the young church at Mare Pitre.
Sister Solina died Friday afternoon, Nov. 29. She left the pain and suffering of this world, especially in a place as dire as Haiti, and fell into the loving embrace of her Savior. Praise the Lord!
On Sunday, Dec. 1, Miguel preached at Mare Pitre. About 35 people worshiped. Miguel’s message was “based on the love of Jesus and how we should always be ready to leave this world.” He also delivered a message from Climbing For Christ: that we are praying for them, saddened by the pain and loss that is experienced there, but rejoice in the ultimate healing that God performs when He calls us home.
Give to those who hurt
There is a saying, “Give until it hurts.” But we prefer to encourage those who have been blessed with much to give to those who are hurting. As you prayerfully consider your year-end giving, we’d ask that you keep in mind Climbing For Christ and the least of these whom we serve in places where others cannot or will not go. The mountains of Haiti are one such place where we seek to do for Him. Send your gift to Climbing For Christ, P.O. Box 16290, Rochester, NY 14616-0290 USA or CLICK HERE and contribute online via PayPal.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” – Matthew 25:40 (ESV)