Just five weeks ago, on February 23rd, our dear friend Pastor Emmanuel Laguerre was called Home by God. Since that time, I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about Pastor Manno, the Laguerre family and Haitian Christian Ministries. My friend, Dick Ulmer from the Sun Valley Community Church in Arizona, did a masterful job of putting together a tribute video that was shared at Manno’s service in Florida on March 7th. He asked me for some photos that could be included in that history lesson. That task allowed me to pour over a lot of memories of times spent serving God through Haitian Christian Ministries.
I went through the hundreds and hundreds of pictures that my wife Susie and I have taken over the years since our first trip to Pillatre in November, 1988. What a walk down memory lane for us. Have you done some of the same since you heard about the loss of our dear brother? Of course you have and how it gladdens our hearts to have had the opportunity to have our world rocked by such a relationship with God through Pastor Manno. “You don’t choose Haiti, Haiti chooses you,” Manno often told us.
Part of the process of dealing with the loss of Pastor Manno is to look backwards and think about the many ways our lives have been impacted by Haitian Christian Ministries, Pillatre Christian Church and the entire Laguerre family. However, Manno would want you to also look forward, toward a bright future as HCM continues to strive to Bring Light To Northern Haiti By Changing Lives, One At A Time!
On Sunday, March 22, 2015, the first Medical Mission team to work at Pillatre since Pastor Manno’s Celebration of Life Service that was held March 15th, returned to Arizona. The trip’s leader, Vicky Steele had a team of eleven, and not only did they see more than 350 patients, she also reported that the Ministry is moving forward and God is alive and well in Haiti. The team arrived on March 14th and attended the Celebration Service on the 15th.
“The service was a wonderful tribute to an amazing man. Prisca among others spoke to the congregation. Her words were powerful; even though she spoke in Creole with no interpretation, every one of us had tears in our eyes seeing the response of the people,” shared Vicky.
“Our team of 11 saw 352 patients last week, a smaller number than usual, but overall the patients we did see were much sicker than normal. Most every patient we saw, needed to be seen.” “Everywhere we went, God paved the way; this was by far the smoothest a trip has ever gone (after more than 15 trips under Vicky’s Leadership).”
“The week we thought was going to be difficult due to grief turned out to be an amazing week. Yes, there were tears, but the joy of carrying on Pastor Manno’s dream 'that the Ministry carry on after he is gone,' far surpassed the grief. Your life has not been wasted my friend,“ Vicky said.
Memorial contributions continue to come in to the Ministry. There is still time for you to pray about ways you, your church and your family can help remember the life and legacy of Pastor Manno. Perhaps your desire is to help with the medical expenses that were incurred, or help with the expenses of Manno’s Funeral Services.
Maybe, some funds to help care for Pastor Manno’s family as they continue to serve in the ministry. The third way would be to make an investment along with many others by contributing to the Scholarship Fund that will be set up to help future HCM Preachers to attend Seminary in Haiti as our Great God continues to bless the work of Haitian Christian Ministries.
The future is BRIGHT! because Manno worked very hard to insure the ministry and work at Pillatre, Lory and all future church and school campuses would continue to move forward in his absence. God’s calling on his life has been evident in the past 30+ years. We are seeing the legacy continued as we support Prisca, the Laguerre family and the church families at Pillatre and Lory.
Thanks for remembering and reminiscing along with the rest of us. Thanks for praying and partnering with HCM and the work in Northern Haiti. You are a blessing to us. The future IS bright!
Rick White, Haitian Christian Ministries, Director of Development, firstname.lastname@example.org