1 God + 2 Churches + 3 Years = A Clinic

Relevant magazine recently featured one of our church-to-church partnerships: Pastor Edouard Clerhomme of the Church of God Mission by Faith church (Carrefour, Haiti) and Pastor Ed Noble of the Journey Community Church (La Mesa, CA, USA):

Since this [initial] meeting [in May], Journey and Mission by Faith have formalized their new partnership. Journey sent a five-person team to visit in early July to continue assessing needs and ways they can support Mission by Faith church and to continue deepening relationships between the new partner churches. As Journey covers their activities in prayer while providing small business loans to church members and [stocking] the medical clinic… in [the] community…

The clinic was a promise that took years to fulfill.

One day, four years ago, Pastor Edouard was walking through a neighborhood in Carrefour.  He passed a storefront that had been the sole clinic in the town of 20,000; it had shut down in 2002.  As he walked, God told him to reopen the clinic. 
So Pastor Edouard set off to open the clinic.  He asked members of the church who owned the property then contacted the landlord.  Pastor Edouard learned that rent would cost $1300 (US) a year.  He went before the congregation and made the need known.  The church responded and they raised a year’s rent for the clinic.

But the clinic wasn’t opened.

They had raised just enough funds to rent the space for a year but not enough to outfit it; the space went unoccupied between July 2007 through July 2008.  Rent was due so the church raised enough for rent yet again, but still not enough to stock or staff the clinic.  Another year went by and the clinic remained inactive.

Once more the rent was due, and Pastor Clerhomme presented the need before the congregation.  This time, though, they were only able to raise $1000.  Pastor Clerhomme asked the landlord for an extension to pay the remaining $300.  The landlord told the pastor he felt badly for collecting rent for a space that had gone unoccupied for two years.  He doubted this year would be any different but he agreed and gave Pastor Edouard two more months to pay the rest.
They paid the balance of the rent of a space that still was vacant.  Then the earthquake struck in January 2010.  Lives were both spared and lost.  Homes, schools, businesses – destroyed. If there was ever a time for a clinic, this was it but it was, like the last two years, not in operation.

The church asked Pastor Edouard to have the landlord refund the rent.  We need to buy food, the members told the pastor, but he was undeterred.  He had heard God’s instructions to build a clinic and through those two – going on three – years, he held steadfast to His words.

In May 2010, the Journey church joined the church-to-church program.  Pastor Ed and Pastor Edouard met.  As these two churches discussed how to partner with one another, for Pastor Edouard, the clinic was the primary need.

It’s July 2010 and rent is due again.  Thanks to the partnership between the two churches, not only is the year’s rent paid, but the clinic is staffed and almost fully stocked with medical supplies and medicine.  

The clinic will open in December, with a grand opening in January 2011 when both churches will celebrate this miracle of faith.