Posted by: calloftheandes | May 4, 2010

HCJB Global Pastor Preaches a Series of Messages in Haiti at Easter

“The people here are beyond sweet,” said HCJB Global’s Len Kinzel of his recent visit to Cap Haitien, Haiti, during the Easter season. “But beyond anything I ever would have imagined as ‘poor.’

According to the CIA World Factbook, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80 percent of the population living below the poverty line and 54 percent in “abject poverty.”

“For decades I’d heard stories about the situation in Haiti,” he continued. “But [visiting the region] jolted me about their reality and about how little the Western world really knows about it.”

“I honestly see why so many [Haitians] go to great lengths to get to Quito—and why they find it ‘luxurious’ in so many ways,” said Kinzel, who has pastored an international English-speaking congregation in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, since 2000. Ecuadorian authorities estimate that 500 to 800 Haitians live Quito.

One of those Haitians is Kinzel’s friend, Adam Rodevert, who has pastored a church for Haitian refugees in Quito for nearly a year. At Rodevert’s invitation, Kinzel agreed to travel to Haiti, March 28-April 6, to take part in a week-long evangelical campaign, preaching a series of messages based on Zechariah 1:3.

“Pastor Adam says things are much worse than when he left,” Kinzel related. “Port-au-Prince was the only tiny glimmer of industry and/or employment and with [the city still recovering from the disaster], the whole country is reeling.”

“Even before the earthquake, that friendship began to make me care more about Haiti than I ever would have dreamed,” Kinzel added. “Seeing, reading and hearing about the earthquake stirred me in a way nothing ever has … and learning just a little about the history hit my mind and heart very hard.”

Haiti’s Christians were particularly encouraging to Kinzel, as people “so full of life and faith” attended the church services evening after evening.

“I wish you could have seen the translator last night. He does so much more than just translate the words. He ‘amplifies’ the emotion and excitement to an acceptable ‘Caribbean level,’” Kinzel said. “Every once in a while he pauses to whisper in my ear in broken English, ‘Ohhhhhh, dis is a gooooood message!’”

Kinzel has pastored English Fellowship Church in Quito since 2000. Invited to conduct pastoral training, the HCJB Global missionary feels he learned as much from the pastors as he offered to them. “They warmed up quickly and fully, the translator was fabulous, and the truth flowed freely back and forth between us.”

“I found myself learning and caring about them with an intensity that still leaves me shaking my head,” Kinzel said.

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