By BRAD KEITH
(February 16, 2015) — For the last three years, Dublin native John Barnes, 39, and his family – wife Christi, 34, and daughters Terah, 13, Jordan 7, and Ava, 7, have lived in Port De Paix, Haiti, where life, clearly, is much different, than in America.
John, Christi and the family are on a mission to share love and healing, and also to share the Bible and its Gospels with the Hatian people, and plan to remain in Haiti at least another 3-1/2 years.
There is a blog about their experiences at Haiti’s House of Moses here: https://houseofmoseshaiti.wordpress.com. Port De Paix, Haiti is located here:
The Flash Today caught up with John Barnes by Facebook and Gmail and thought we would share what we learned about their experiences through the following Q&A:
1) When did you feel called to the mission field and what led to going to Haiti?
John – I really did not feel a call to the mission field so much as I felt a deep love for the Hatian people. This, in turn, led our family to move to Haiti.
2) Who is your sponsoring church (churches), and how long have you been in Haiti?
John – There are so many churches, businesses and individuals sponsoring our journey in Haiti. There is a Hatian proverb that speaks so much truth to our journey: “Men anvil, chat pa lou,” literally means, “Many hands make the load lighter.” This is so true to the many that walk beside us through prayer and financial support as we have been in Haiti the last three years.
3) Life clearly is different there than growing up in America. What is atypical day like for yourselves and the Haitian people around you?
John – Since we live in a house with 20 others, our house is more of its own little village. Devotions begin at 5:30 a.m., followed by breakfast. Most students are out the door by 7:15 a.m. for their 5-10 minute walk to school. Each week these students take a load of 13 subjects, so much of their time is spent studying. Everyone usually returns home between 3 and 5 p.m. At this time, chafes are to be done, then students work in study groups. We usually have a light evening meal around 7 p.m., followed by devotions. At 10 p.m. lights are out.
4) How has your ministerial progress been in Haiti? What are you most proud of so far, and what do you feel you ministry needs most?
John – At the House of Moses, we work with students that have aged out of orphanages. At 18, students who live in orphanages must be relocated to another environment, with most ending up on the streets where 70 percent of girls end up in prostitution and 65 percent of boys end up in prison. So it goes without saying, these students have been physically, emotionally and sexually abused. So when they first enter the House of Moses, they are reluctant to believe that we love them and are here for them.
Our greatest victory is when we see healing in their lives and they are able to receive our love and return it to those around them. Two students who have graduated from the House of Moses are Vanah Paul, who is pursuing a degree in aviation mechanics at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, and Noplhky Augustin, who is pursuing a medical doctorate from a medical school in The Dominican Republic. Their stories are available on the House of Moses Blog.
Our greatest needs are always prayer and financial support.
5) How long do you plan on staying in Haiti?
John – Until we are released to go to another place. We know at least 3-1/2 more years for sure.
6) What do you look forward to most when you visit “home?”
John – Truly we see Haiti as our home. But when we visit America we all look forward to different things. Here’s a breakdown:
Christi, my wife – the wonder fool foods like hamburgers, Chicken Express, etc…
Terah – friends and TV
Jordan and Ava – swimming and eating at McDonald’s