Haiti's First Lady Sophia Martelly called a couple weeks ago to invite Yvonne and I to a private meeting at the National Palace. The next day we purchased a French bible as a gift and presented ourselves at the Palace. We were immediately ushered into a conference room and served coffee; before we finished, we were told Madame Martelly was ready for us.As we entered the First Lady's office she greeted us with a big smile and said, "I've got to hug you guys; I love you so much!" We spent hours chatting; she asked me, "How did you come to Haiti? Why did you start producing La Bonne Nouvelle?" She said that she has been watching the show for years and loves the format of visiting different villages and featuring the beauty of Haiti.
She also confided that when she called, she did not think I believed it was her; I confessed, "When you said 'This is the First Lady of the Republic'. I thought, 'Yeah, and I'm the Pope!'" We all laughed heartily and I asked Yvonne to share the word God had given her concerning the relentless opposition to Haiti's beloved President.
Chosen by God
Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker. 2SA3:1
Madame Martelly read the text in her new bible, Yvonne explained the animosity between Saul and David; but that God ordained David and he won in the end. The First Lady's eyes welled; she rubbed goose bumps on her arm and said, "Wow! Wow!" I said, "We do not want to take up all your time." She said, "Oh no, I cleared my entire schedule for this. I hope you don't mind if we get some pictures."The presidential photographer was summoned; then she walked us out and said, "I want you to meet the President. I showed him La Bonne Nouvelle and he said, 'Where did this white guy come from?'" Learn More...
Fan & Friend
She led us to another building where the President had just met with a Taiwanese delegation, and was now doing a photo op with a Haitian soccer team. As we entered the room, photographers, security guards and soccer players called out, "Frere Joel! Pasteur!" The President walked over, threw his arms around me and said, "La Bonne Nouvelle!" Cameras clicked, laughter filled the room as President Martelly quoted lines from our show he watched the day before! The Premiere Dame then accompanied us to the parking lot and said that she wanted to use La Bonne Nouvelle in 140 remote villages! She gave me her card and said, "Call me anytime". La Bonne Nouvelle...
You can help
Every Creole Christian show we produce costs us about $3000.00; Yvonne directs, films and hosts! I produce, film, host, drive and edit! Though our work is tightly budgeted,we are reaching millions of Haitians. Now even more will hear as the First Lady airs our shows in villages without electricity or TV! We have no sponsors, no big donors, no advertising; but we are reaching into homes and hearts that will never grace the doorway of a church. Please pray and ask God what He would have you to give to help us reach Haiti for Christ. Please use this secure donation button and write to us today. The rewards are eternal! Soul winners...
On Dec. 10, I drove down to the North Miami Beach Library to attend the Haitian Diaspora Integration Forum where President Michel Martelly was in attendance. The day was full of great information on the progress of Haiti since the earthquake including construction, education, tourism and more.
"We think it's very important to change the image," said President Martelly. A great reminder of why my hard work is important and I will continue this as long as it's possible!
The best part...I introduced myself to the first lady and before I finished, she said..."I know who you are!"
In the evening, Martelly delivered his State of the Country address where he covered a lot of the same information, but excited the crowd with his personality, humor and down-to-earth presence.
I could go on and on, but the administration did such a great job of documenting the information that I have included the links below. Enjoy!
Pictures from the forum: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.460624613973482.100640.153371961365417&Pictures from the State of the Country Address: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.461395330563077.100749.153371961365417&type=1 News coverage on speech: http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21009287645415/president-of-haiti-speaks-in-south-florida/