Interview with Pastor Benjamin

If you received our quarterly newsletter, you’ve likely seen the video of Pastor Benjamin and the welding generator that has significantly impacted his life.  As can be expected, much of the interview had to be edited out in order to fit into the short segment within the video.  We thought it worthwhile to post the full text of the interview here so that you can get more acquainted with him, learn a bit about his church, and start to see his character. We’re glad to have Pastor Benjamin as an Espwa partner!

Tell us your name and where you serve as pastor.

I’m Benjamin Fleurant. I work at the Baptist Church Army of Christ (EBAC) of Morne Rouge.

Tell us about some of the financial difficulties you face as a church and as a pastor.

There are obviously material difficulties that we face.  But I think the root of the problem comes from not modeling the type of Christ-like living as found in the Bible.  It is difficult to find this type of Christian.

How has the welding generator been able to make a difference in your life?

We want to thank God first, and then the Espwa Foundation, who thought of supporting us in this way. The welding generator sure makes a difference.  Even though I don’t use it myself or rent it every day, at least I have the hope of renting it to find support for my family.

Tell us about the ministry with the Peace & Joy families.

Normally, in my ministry with the Peace & Joy children, I go there and teach them songs, verses, and do Bible stories. Sometimes we also talk with their parents to keep them growing and to bring them spiritual hope.

It’s a pleasure for me to work with those kids. First of all, there is a great need for the ministry, because in the area where they live, it is outside the city and there are not a lot of Christians/believers.  The work we’re doing is progressing, even though on a spiritual level, I wouldn’t say we’ve achieved the progress I was expecting.  I had been ministering once a month, but I found that time interval was too long.  Now, I have decided to go once a week.  We’re also dividing the children into different age groups (5 to 11, and 12 and older).  Another thing we hope might overcome this distance between us is to provide opportunities for the children to come to EBAC Church once a month. The objective is to bring hope to the children’s lives and for their growth.  And that’s where we are right now. I am hoping God will give us the strength we need to keep growing the ministry in Jesus’ name.

What are you passionate about?

My passion is to evangelize and teach people how to understand God better, which is based on Hosea 4:6, which says, “My people are perishing because of lack of understanding of the words of God.”

How can we pray for you, for the Peace & Joy families, and Cap Haitien?

My personal request is that God would give me strength, zealousness, and more faith to continue day by day to do His work.  For the children, my prayer request is that they would have a discerning mind so they can understand the words of God, and for them to be obedient to what the Bible asks.  And my vision for Cap Haitien is for a city-wide evangelization – for the areas where people don’t hear about the gospel – and that I can help people better understand the God’s word.

What does hope mean to you?

For me, hope is one of the greatest words.  If people are living without hope, then it’s like this person doesn’t exist. Because wherever there is hope, there is life. The best hope is Jesus. When a Christian goes somewhere, he should bring hope.  That’s why, to me, hope is life.

What do you want to say to anyone who supported you with the generator?

First, I want to thank God. Thank you to everyone who heard about this opportunity and participated to support me.  I don’t have the words to express my gratitude, but God knows my heart. I pray that God helps you spiritually and materially, so that you can continue to grow in faith and support more people to do the work of God.


Check out the video recap below if you haven’t yet seen it:

Poverty, Inc. Follow-Up

Thanks to everyone who came out to support last weekend’s Poverty, Inc. event in Pittsburgh, PA, and special thanks to Northgate Church for hosting.  We were honored to have more than 115 attendees.

The night started with a quick introduction by Espwa VP, Chris Pfeiffer, and then got right into the movie.  What a life-changing perspective it offers!  Poverty, Inc. really illuminates some of the reasons why Espwa operates how it does.  Namely, that those in poverty are capable, worthy individuals who want to work and provide for their families, just like all of us.  They want to raise their families to be the best they can be and face struggles with faith along the way, just like all of us.  Many times, the “poverty” industry has intervened in ways that have ignored these facts and caused detriment to those it was trying to help.

At Espwa, we’ve tried to embrace a better approach, helping our Haitian friends realize their potential, empowering them to impact others.  We’ve always wanted to be a “hand up,” not a “handout.”  This documentary should cause each and every one of us to pause and consider how we think about the materially poor.

Following the movie, Mark Weber, one of the film’s co-producers, offered a lengthy Q&A session that drove home the movie’s content.  While still a young man, Mark has been to many places and seen what works and doesn’t work when it comes to poverty alleviation.  His added perspective was great to hear.  To hear more from Mark, check out a video of him speaking at this year’s Jubilee conference:

The evening ended with a sneak preview of the next phase of Espwa’s project, the Agrolide Farming Expansion.  We continue to support Jovenel in his vision of expanding to a new, 25 acre farm that will impact the surrounding community.  Look forward to the official release of the new video soon!

Thanks again to all who were involved in making this event happen.