New Life on the Mountaintops

Benjamin Demblowski

God’s work in Haiti’s remote villages is spreading through local teams and people’s invested interest in new life in Christ.

The Haitian mountainside had to be around 115 degrees when you factor in the heat index. My shirt looked like I had just walked through a thunderstorm downpour, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

As I walked up a little mountainside foot-path that was hewn straight out of the earth from the continued pounding of the local village traffic, a thought occurred to me: This was a really, really—I mean really—hard village to get to!

Alive and Vibrant in Hiding

Earlier that morning, I’d jumped into a SUV with our Haiti team, anticipating an adventure since we were scheduled to visit three different villages. Little did I know that I wasn’t over-exaggerating when I thought “adventure.”

After two-hour ride down dilapidated forest roads and then rocky terrain that didn’t even qualify as a “road,” the SUV stopped, and we unloaded. This wasn’t our stop, though. The path ahead was simply too rough for a normal vehicle. We jumped onto motorcycles and rode for another hour before being forced to stop again by the thick undergrowth.

Then began a two and half mile hike through dense jungle forest and up the mountainside.

We finally arrived, sweat soaked and tired. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I saw a few curious kids run up to greet us. When we got to the village center there was a group of about 45 smiling children and 20 adults waiting to welcome us.

People began sharing personal stories of how our Haitian team had helped the village with everything from finding better gardening techniques to overcoming a cholera outbreak. The children had after-school programs; mothers were being educated about how to care for their babies, and the elderly were involved in a locally taught literacy course.

This hidden village was alive and vibrant, much more so than I had expected.

A Simple Message of Redemption

As we left, I mulled over what a deep impact the ministry was having in this almost inaccessible village.

A typical missionary would probably only have the ability to visit a village this remote a few times a month; yet here, in the middle of Kanko, the villagers were learning and teaching each other on a daily basis. The people I had met were happy, healthy, full of life, and they’d wanted to express their gratitude for the time and resources that we had invested in them.

Development has taken hold in a Kanko village, and the benefits of people learning how to use their God-given talents and resources have transformed a whole community.

World Challenge is involved in many other communities just like this all around the world. We are empowering, equipping and encouraging local leaders to unlock the potential God has given them and their neighbors because we believe the lies of poverty can be overcome with a simple and practical gospel message