Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
- Ephesians 3:20
From Steve Leach
At the beginning of 2016, Faith and I came to the difficult decision that our time in Haiti was coming to an end, and as the year progressed, plans developed for us to move back to the US by the end of 2017. That plan progressed with much uncertainty until December 2016 when God brought us into contact with the family that will be our replacements. Everyone at IMF is pleased to introduce you to Matt & Sarah Rideout and their three children, Willow (5), Olive (3) and Birch (11 months). They have been in Haiti for 5 years and have learned Creole and much about Haitian culture, and worked in the missionary community at a location about 1½ hours out of Port au Prince. They came to visit Bombardopolis in December and will be moving in February 2017.
Since 2013 Matt and Sarah have been working as full time, in-country directors of a ministry in Haiti, which provides a beachfront retreat center for orphans. They have shown cultural sensitivity in realizing that the majority of professed conversions in Haiti come about because the converts believe they will receive something materialistic in exchange for their profession of faith. The Rideouts made it a policy not to preach the gospel UNTIL the children coming to the center had established an assurance of being welcome regardless of their decision to convert to Christianity. This policy has helped to ensure the authenticity of professed conversions. Because Matt and Sarah recognize that we are to make disciples not merely converts, they build relationships.
Matt has a background in business management, maintenance, construction and vehicle repair. Sarah is an RN and has administration and supervising skills.
From Curt Meadows, IMF Board President
As Steve mentioned above, last year the decision was made that 2017 would be their last year in Bombard. This was not an easy choice for them to make, but one that the board of directors completely supports. Of course with this decision came the question of what would happen to IMF and the work that is being done in Bombardopolis. There were several options as far as we could see, the most desirable being that some family (or families) would come alongside the Leaches and learn the ropes before they leave. Well it wasn't seeming that this was the path that God had in mind so preparations were begun to execute one of the less desirable options. Steve has always been adamant that the only people that would be able to "replace" them, were people that had had a special burden placed on their hearts by God. I will leave it to the Leaches and Rideouts to share (in the next newsletter, I hope) how God made all of this come together. It is a pretty awesome story, one which has God's fingerprints all over it.
So, on behalf of the board of directors, I'd like to welcome Matt, Sarah, Willow, Olive, and Birch to the IMF family. We are excited to see how God will use them, and all of us, during this transition and the continuation of the work in Bombard.
Steve and Faith had a great visit to the States and were able to spend time with their children and their families - never enough time, could you ever get enough time with family?
Betsy enjoyed her time with family and friends as well. Especially being able to cuddle her 10-month-old niece. It was a nice, refreshing break but it went by too fast.
This year will be a big time of transition and we request your prayers as we all work together to continue God's leading here in Bombardopolis.
Yours in Christ's service,
Steve, Faith & Betsy
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