Young Joel preaching in open air crusade circa 1978.

With six-year-old Sarah and nine-month old Little Joel, we returned to Haiti. Jeff promised to give back the Fontamara home, as soon as he found one in Petionville. While Jeff searched for a house, we stayed at Andy’s, his parents were out of the country.  There we met Open Bible Standard, Mission Director, Paul Canfield.

Paul counseled us at Helen’s kitchen table. “You need to pray and ask God what He would have you to do here. Either do social missions or evangelistic missions but do not mix them or neither will be effective. We had a clinic in Libya for twenty years and we saw two thousand patients a week, but no one was saved.”

After three years in New York State Social Services, witnessing firsthand the effects of handouts, I knew social aid was an unsustainable, temporary fix though initially appealing to giver and recipient. I did not want to put a band-aid on a cancer like welfare did; I wanted to affect eternities.

With my bible in my lap, I prayed for direction as instructed; then my reading, Acts 6:4 shouted and whispered at once:

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word.

That was it, God’s direction! I showed Joel and we agreed. “No social missions.” He restarted the crusade team with Jeff and Andy, went back on the voodoo station and we moved into the Fontamara house while Jeff moved to Petionville.