Congratulations to the YWAM Haiti Team, nominated by Hank Babin of Houma, the LifeSongs grand prize winner of the UNITED Mobile Worship Studio, including an iPad Mini, a Fender Concert Acoustic Guitar, software, and accessories!
Here is Hank’s story:
My name is Hank Babin and I am a Deacon at Mulberry Baptist Church in Houma. I listen to Lifesongs in the way to work and heard your contest for the mobile worship studio. I had planned to nominate a gifted young man that we met in Haiti, but as I typed the email, I realized it probably wasn’t fair to single him out in a group of gifted young people doing God’s work in some of the toughest conditions one could face.
Our church has been blessed to have been to Haiti on 4 occasions since the 2010 earthquake. God led us to Youth with a Mission (YWAM) Haiti and we have had the privilege to serve with them as they do God’s work in many difficult mission fields. One of the many wonderful things about our experiences there is the opportunity to meet with young people in YWAM’s Discipleship Training program.
To give you a glimpse of what God is doing in the lives of this entire group, I will tell you the story of Dieunack Jean Francois. Dieunack is a gifted young man who is using his God given talent as a musician to inspire and lead in Haiti. His path was not always with God as he spent time during his formative years worshipping voodoo. But his mother, who is Christian, helped him see the error of his ways and YWAM was the perfect place to show him God’s love and grace and give him the opportunity to use his musical talent to spread the word with others.
He is part of the YWAM prison ministry team that goes to a prison in Saint Marc every Sunday morning with their music equipment and plays Christian music and prays with the prisoners. And despite the horrible conditions inside the prison, God’s word is finding a home within the hearts of many of the prisoners because of the work of the prison ministry.
The team also works very closely with the children in Haiti. Dieunack and the others are looked at as inspirational role models to children born into some of the toughest circumstances on this planet. They encourage the kids to go to school, go to church, and accept Jesus as their savior.
I know there are many, many deserving musicians out there doing great work in God’s name. But I would be hard pressed to think of any group that would benefit more from the gift of a new guitar and a chance to bring their music in a more mobile way to people in Haiti. The children in the remote villages flock around you when you pull out a “smart phone” and are fascinated to see pictures of themselves or hear that it plays music. The iPad Mini would make it much, much easier for this group to bring God’s voice to them. One of the pictures I have included is one of my favorites when I was playing Christian music to children on my phone. You can see the amazement and wonder in their faces.
I think of the YWAM team packing the back of a small truck each Sunday and hauling a massive amount of equipment and a generator to the prison. They would certainly find this gift a blessing and I hope it would strengthen their faith that God provides for them as well.
I wish I had better photos to attach to do justice to the work they do there and to show you how much they would appreciate any equipment that would help them. But I have attached 3. One is of Dieunack, one is inside the prison, and one is of the kids hearing music on an iPhone. And I’m not sure if you can see this video from a friend on Facebook, but this is Dieunack playing with our music minister one night in Haiti. He only started playing guitar last year and is self taught:
I think I heard that you were announcing the winner this Friday. I find that amazing because we are having our “Haiti Service” at Mulberry Baptist this Sunday morning where our latest mission team members will share their testimonials with the church about the trip. But Terry Snow, YWAM Haiti’s director for the past 22 years, will also be coming from Haiti and joining us as a guest. If Dieunack and the YWAM team are selected as the winner, I can’t think of better way to inform them than this Sunday at church.
They are really doing amazing work in Haiti. YWAM just finished a week long crusade at their base and the video of God working in that country is awe inspiring. It is up on the front of their webpage at: http://www.ywamhaiti.org/
Thank you and God Bless!
Acts 4:20 – For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Thank you to everyone who nominated someone for this contest. We are so encouraged to know how many talented people there are, using those talents to worship our Creator.