God’s call on the lives of pastors in Haiti is unique to each one, and drawing on that direction from God gives them encouragement even when difficulties are presented. For Pastor Mongerard, it was God’s call to go back Cayes while he was studying to be a car mechanic in Port-au-Prince that led him to a community in need.
“I was looking for a place that didn’t have anyone to help them. I found Darivager that had no one helping. I felt God needed me there, because of the bad situation of the community. But the community didn’t feel that I could really make changes and they made fun of me. I would ask pastors to come preach, and when they saw the muddy road, they would turn around and not come preach,” Pastor shared.
God continually assured Pastor that he was supposed to be in Darivager to help the community. His commitment to his calling led him to work on making a road passable to the village, a well for clean water and provided many conversations with the community members.
“I started the church in Darivager in March of 2001. It was very difficult to get there because the road was muddy and the place was not good. We used to have to walk the road to come here. Before the church existed, there was no car that could get there because the roads were so bad. Then I started an organization to talk to the population to ask what the community needs and what they hope exists in the community. I asked people in the community what the biggest problem in the community was and they said they didn’t have a school in the community. They didn’t have water or a church, and most of the community was practicing voodoo and there were a lot of voodoo priests,” Pastor said.
As Pastor talks about the kids in his care, there is an unconditional love and inclusiveness to his words. The kids in his care are his family, yet he still takes every opportunity to reunite the kids with their parents. He shares the story of one young girl’s dad he had heard where he was, so he took her to him. Unfortunately, the story does not end in reunification. Instead the dad refused to acknowledge her as his daughter, even though the young girl knew it was her dad. Hard situations within the orphan window are prevalent with pastors and their local churches, and for this young girl, Pastor made it very clear that she did have a place to belong and that there was a family for her within their community.
Digging deep into God’s word defines Pastor Mongerard’s unique leadership of his congregational and kids within his care.
“It is written in the Bible to support the orphans. Everyone who is following God, pastors and leaders, they are supposed to help kids, but not only kids, but whoever doesn’t have the possibility to support themselves. The Bible talks about supporting orphans, widows and strangers. In my ministry, I am thinking about having a place to help the widows, because helping the kids is good, but having a possibility to help the widows would be good as well. And I would like to have a place where I can keep strangers, if someone gets lost or doesn’t have a place to stay, I could welcome them to a guest house,” Pastor said of his vision for future ministry.
As Pastor’s twin five year old sons run in after their school day was over, one of the boys beckoned him to bring his ear closer. Pastor leaned over, listened with his hand resting lightly on his shoulder and chuckled at whatever was whispered into his ear. Kissing him on the head, and sending him on his way, Pastor continues,”Sometimes I feel like I need to give up and feel discouraged, but when I go to the Bible it tells me that I should never give up and continue doing what I am doing. Only God can put on people’s heart to help other nations. I know that there should be some difficult times, but the promise of God is not for the difficult time. It is not for the desert, the promise of God is for Canaan. Sometimes I make some promise to the kids and they don’t believe me because they don’t see how it will happen, but when they see it happen, they know God is with us.”
The Lord has led GO Project to support the leadership of Pastor Mongerard as he cares for economic and social orphans at his village in Darivager outside the city of Cayes. At GO Project, individuals or communities can contribute to life care and education costs of the orphans on a monthly basis or through long-term support of the pastors.