Monday, August 19, 2013

Hope Spotlight: Pastor Jacques Francois, Haiti

Haut Savanette, Haiti — In 2011, Pastor Jacques Francois took over as the leader of the Haut Savanette church-school in rural Haiti.

Raised all his life in Haut Savanette, Pastor Francois' life was surrounded by idol worshiping and witchcraft. He became steadily unhappy and desperately lonely living this way. He began to frequent the "discos" (strip clubs) in a nearby city to fulfill his loneliness.

One night in 2000, Pastor Francois was on his way home and heard a voice preaching from a small church. It was the church in Haut Savanette. He slipped into the church and listened as the pastor spoke passionately of Christ's love. That night, Pastor Francois gave his heart and life to Christ and promised to do anything God called him to do. He immediately stopped going to the disco and began to see his life change for the better.

Pastor Francois' favorite Bible verse is Psalm 91: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide by the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'" He knows that God has called him to specifically lead, guide, and impact Haut Savanette. Several times a week, he walks 2.5 hours to Pignon where he is trained in Bible Study through the ministry of Bright Hope's Partner Developer in Haiti, Pastor Jephthe Lucien. He desires to one day complete his education, as he stopped in 7th grade.

The congregation has grown significantly since his leadership. He recently hired an activities director whose goal is to provide new programs to attract and retain the youth in the church. The initiative has been successful thus far, and Pastor Francois is looking for continued growth in this program to benefit his church. He has also planted another church down the road from Haut Savanette.

Haut Savanette's church board member Benisoit Seraphine firmly believes that the growth and success of the church is due to Pastor Francois' incredible leadership. He believes that church attendance has increased due to Pastor Francois' caring and nurturing nature.

Pastor Francois’ main outreach is going out to the locals in the community and love them. He is continually going to people when they are in trouble, sick or struggling, and prays over them and provides encouragement. These are the acts of love and inclusiveness that pull people to the church - and a great reason why he is this month's Hope Spotlight.

Learn more about Bright Hope's schools in Haiti.