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May 2006

Haiti Convention

I was privileged this month to share in a convention in Haiti that has been held for over 50 years. It was at a church in the mountains near the Dominican Republic that was started by Bishop Jeune's father in 1954. The 80 mile trip from Carrefour outside Port-au-Prince to the village of Tiotte where the church was took 6 hours over rough, rocky, hard, bouncy, treacherous roads. But oh, what a beautiful countryside at the end of the journey. There were over 1200 people in attendance from 15 churches in the area. Many had walked 2-4 hours over the same roads that we had driven to attend. Services lasted 5-6 hours and they sat attentively on straight back wooden benches from the first Praise the Lord until the last Amen. In addition to the 1200 in attendance I was able to speak specifically into the lives of the 15 pastors and their deacons and elders during an afternoon workshop. This kind of ministry is always so humbling and gratifying to me to have such an honor. I pray the Lord will allow us to return to this area of need and difficulty to minister again and again.


Nigeria Reports

By Kristen Koontz

This year it was kind of boring because we did not get to go to Maiduguri because of the killings and stuff. We did not really put together another bush ministry until the middle of the second week. We went to the bush called Miango. I helped pass out candy and I helped my dad with the medicine. The conference went really well. Lauren and I met a girl Jemima. It is weird, she was born in Nigeria but she only speaks English. I had a really great time.

By Lauren Koontz

On the trip to Nigeria, we got to stay in Amsterdam because our flight was canceled. We got to stay at a 5 Star Hotel that served us all 3 meals and the best part is the airline paid for everything. Then my dad surprised us and took us on a canal boat tour so we got to see many beautiful landmarks.

When we got to Nigeria, we did not get to go to the village were we normally go. Instead, we went to a village just outside of Jos. We saw over 600 people and turned down about 300 more because we ran out of medicine. The conference went really well, too and we even met a new friend, Jemima.

By Robert Koontz

When we got to Amsterdam from Georgia, we found out that our flight to Nigeria had been canceled. So we had to spend the night in Amsterdam. When we arrived in Nigeria, we found out that we could got the clinic that we work in because of the trouble there. So we decided to go to one of the villages in Jos named Miango. We all helped pass out candy and give medicine. We worked there for three days and when it was over we were all tired. But, we did not have much time to rest because we had to go to a conference in Jos. There were a lot of guest speakers there and I learned about humility, leadership, anointing and a lot more. Once the conference was over, we had a long trip back home but when we arrived and I thought about everything that had happened, I could not wait to go back.

By Sarah Koontz

This is the third trip to Nigeria for the kids and I. Every time we go we are blessed more than we are a blessing. Even though the team treated some 600 patients and were able to pray for each and everyone of them, I feel so small and insignificant in the scope of things. Through giving we were able to fill their empty medicine closet and then we emptied it in the course of the clinic. The people are so appreciative. When they are sick they have to depend on their own devises for help - home remedies, etc.. If they get an infection, either their bodies immune system destroys it or they die, it's that simple. We are so blessed to be able to get what we need when we need it. Their smiles break through the language barriers. They raise their hand with the medicine in it and smile. This is their way of saying thank you for caring.

The last week at the Pastors and Ministers Conference was great as usual. The preaching was the meat of the Word of God. Truly we were blessed. During this 3rd week, Lauren started complaining of her feet swelling. The weather was not hot and sweltering so we did not think that it was due to normal swelling. Lauren has been on heart medicine now for over a year, I took her pulse and it was very slow and she was crying because her feet hurt during a service. I took her out to the office and Sister Mary Ann Cassidy and Br. David Smoot followed us and prayed for her. Larry and I decided to take her off the medicine because it slows your heart rate and hers was too slow already. She got better as time went by. One night during a powerful altar service the Lord spoke to me and said, "I have healed Lauren." I have to confess my mind at the moment was not on her when I heard the Lord. I thanked Him but at the same time wondered if it was just me. I told Larry when we got back to the house that night and told Lauren the next day. We have taken her back to the cardiologist since our return and the report is great, she does not need heart medicine anymore! The doctor wrote on her paper, ‘Normal Heart'! To God be the glory.

If it were not for you, those of you who continue to pray and give so we can go, these things would not happen. We are just the vessels God uses but you are the means by which it happens. From your prayers and financial giving to providing transportation to and from the airport or meals and groceries upon our return, thank you for all you do! We pray that God richly blesses each and everyone of you because you are part of this ministry. Those who stay home are to receive the same reward as those who go. 1 Sam 30: 21-25 "...but as his part is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff: they shall part alike."

        Your Servants in Christ,

                        Larry - Sarah