By Kelly Maurice
Première Église Évangélique d’Expression Française de Calgary has been ministering to the Haitian community of Calgary for several years. Although we would consider ourselves a healthy, growing church, since 2009 there have been two church splits, each time with a group leaving PEEEFC to form a new congregation. Those who remain at PEEFC have been holding on to that hurt and choosing to not connect at all with these other churches.
However, in 2014 everything changed. Each year for our church anniversary, we invite a guest speaker (usually from out-of-town) and a guest performer preceded by local artists from different ethnic communities. This year, we invited a popular Haitian artist called Ti-Bob de Nazareth. His manager accepted under one condition: that we would invite all members of the Haitian community.
For obvious reasons, that was a hard one.
In the past, PEEEFC never invited the other churches to its events. But God had started to work in our hearts, especially in Dorcasse, Pastor Roger’s wife who was still grieving the splits. We wrote letters of invitations and were about to send them to the other churches when Dorcasse proposed to go herself with two of PEEFC’s board members to visit those two churches during their service.
The members of those churches were really moved. On the day of the concert with Ti-Bob, the room was packed with members of the Haitian community that were pleased with Dorcasse visiting them. There was deliverance for Dorcasse from that day on: she was delivered from the bitterness in her heart.
After being reprimanded by God for his bitterness and lack of forgiveness toward the other churches, at the end of 2014, Pastor Roger invited the pastors of those two churches to join him in a common service on Sunday January 4, 2015 for all three churches. The event was a success. And at the end of January, we joined together for a 3-day revival conference with a guest speaker and artist.
Though the churches may or may not ever come together, the blessing was the reconciliation which seems to heal individuals on both sides. But also, it is the power of God to do great things through PEEEFC despite the fact that we are small.
Please pray with us that we remain humble and follow God as we learn how to collaborate with these other groups.
Pastor Roger Maurice leads Première Église Évangélique d’Expression Française de Calgary (PEEEFC) a French-speaking, mainly Haitian congregation in Calgary. PEEEFC operated as a CBWC Church Plant for a few years before becoming an affiliate church with the denomination in spring of 2013.