God’s steadfast love endures forever!
Stone Hill Church is committed to sharing the compassion of Jesus locally and globally. That is the main reason why one of our honored guests at today’s Dedication Service is Pastor Kelly Joseph. He has traveled here from Haiti, where he pastors the Evangelical Baptist Church in Arcahaie. As a result of the earthquake in 2010, his church building and its school were destroyed. Over the past three years, in parallel with building our new facility here on Bunn Drive, we have partnered with his church to help rebuild both the church sanctuary and school. Such global partnerships are a privilege and joy.
We have also partnered with another group of Christians in a very different country—a country where freedom of religion is effectively non-existent. Here is a report on that project from its leaders:
We have completed the project to purchase and renovate a building in our city. It serves as the central ministry center for our team, as well as housing several refugee churches and the ministries of partner organizations. It has become the largest Protestant ministry center in our region.
While Christian ministry is formally legal in our country, it is practically difficult and meets with great opposition. By purchasing an entire building, we remove in-building neighbors, who are often the source of conflict. A Christian activity is less objectionable when it takes place across the street instead of down the hall. Further, by owning a building we remove the ability of neighbors to apply social pressure on the landlord. Together, this enables a much larger degree of ministry freedom and stability.
The issue of physical space is often the most challenging aspect of doing ministry here. With the recent opening of the building, we were able to launch a teahouse ministry, ESL classes, and language programs. The new building provides ample space for these ministries. Its two largest floors are capable of holding a meeting of 200 people each, something previously only possible in one church in the city. All told this is an enormous step forward for the entire Christian community here.
Thank you for your part in global involvements like these. They—and you—are a big part of what makes Stone Hill Church the special place it is.