GALLATIN – Wisny Exima says “thank you” in a most meaningful way. The gospel preacher from Haiti led the morning worship service at First Baptist Church, here, March 30, by giving thanks for a most precious commodity: water.
In his mountainside community of Ma Rouge, there has been no rainfall since October. Yet during this five-month period, the Haitian people there have had water to meet their needs due to a gift from First Baptist Gallatin. Originally, a $10,000 donation was sent to the impoverished country to construct a water well to serve an entire community. When no underground water source could be found, the money was instead used to build a large concrete water cistern.
Exima, pastor of the church there, read Matt. 25: 31-46. He then said First Baptist Gallatin has provided a living example and important witness of God’s love. He praised God for including all people in His plans, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, educated or ignorant, black or white.
He described the memory of a woman he knew at the cistern. She was holding a baby as she took some water. He then paused, saying that he knew the woman would not be alive today and the baby would not have been born without the water accumulated for use from the cistern.
“I want to thank you, and to offer you encouragement to keep on doing what you’re doing for the Lord,” he said.
Exima was introduced by Shelly Sims, a retired local health care worker, who has made many mission trips to Haiti. Last year she carried the money for the water cistern as a missionary representative of First Gallatin. She also carried medical supplies. Sims plans to return again to Haiti in mid-June. She described a circumstance where a member of the missionary team was approached by a small boy who bluntly asked for someone to finance his education. A fellow Christian responded, and the life of that young boy was forever changed. The boy was Wisny Exima. The personal testimony he shares, however, focuses on a spiritual change and a personal relationship with Christ, a Christian lifestyle he now preaches.
“Sometimes,” Exima says, “you’ve simply got to get out of your comfort zone and sacrifice in order to please Him.”
As a young person, Wisny understood and responded to God’s offer of salvation. But it took years for him to understand what plans God had for his life. His commitment to Christ became a question as he contemplated career choices as he finished what we consider to be high school.
“Serving the Lord was actually my third choice,” Exima recalled. “I first thought to become a doctor. It promises good money and a good life, and you do help people.
“When that didn’t work out I thought about engineering school. I am the firstborn in my family, and it’s always best to have two or three career paths in mind. But Haiti is a hard country. I dropped out of school in 2000-01.”
Exima mentioned how a fasting service and prayer refocused his priorities. He spoke about the power of the Holy Spirit and shared how God changed his direction. He points to Matt. 6:24 and says he simply stopped seeking money and instead sought God. This led him to enroll in a Bible college. He no longer cared if his work meant he would have patches on his pants.
“God uses me in Haiti and I’m thankful for that,” he said. “But I view my time before serving Him as wasted time. I should have responded to Christ earlier.”
Since organizing a church plant with 43 persons attending the first service, the Haitian church shepherded by Exima has grown to more than 200 attending services on a regular basis. This is, in fact, larger than the typical attendance here in Gallatin. We have a passion for Christ and we know that He does not want anyone to perish.
“First Baptist Gallatin supports us in this. I am here to encourage you – to challenge you – to keep doing what you are doing,” Exima said. (Reprinted with permission from the Gallatin North Missourian. ν)