As a result of a friend’s advice my wife and I decided to apply for Canadian immigration. We were working in Haiti; my wife in a hotel and I was a philosophy teacher. Our two boys were at school. We were trying hard to builld our lives and raise our children, which is not easy in my home country. Our friend in Canada tried to convince us that Canada is a good country to raise children and start out. Even though I was skeptical about his optimism, I was hoping that he was somehow right.
When in 2010 the earthquake struck Haiti and caused more than 250.000 deaths, we realized just how unsafe the situation had become. In addition to the disaster, the process to move to Canada was going slow, mostly because of the devastation throughout Haiti. In that very same year, we had a couple of rendezvous at the embassy where we submitted personal papers and completed forms.
I can still remember our first appointment to have our certificate of qualification. Three months prior to that meeting, I had started one of my biggest experiences with God. In secret I had prayed to God, “if it’s your Will for us to go to Canada, may the authorities give us this qualifying certificate right away; if it’s not may they not give it.” That very day, after a couple of questions in French and English, producing our diploma and along with making a couple of jokes, the government representative told us that he was going to print out the certificate. Right after that I explained to my wife my earlier request to God. She was very surprised. We had trusted God. We had all the money that the process required such as fees for our folder, medical fees, installation fees, tickets and money to provide for our needs for the first three months in Canada. God provided all this money for us.
When we left our country, I made another prayer to my God. I told him that I’m convinced that it was His plan for us to come to Canada. We has not cheated or lied in order to be granted the right of passage to come here. Some people, even “believers” had cheated when they sought to apply in order to come to Canada. Everything was neat and clear. “God you know me, you see my age, I’m not 20 years old anymore; I’m here because you have a bigger plan than what I can think and imagined. You have brought us here, I don’t want to complain for anything. I’m your child, I’m in your hand and you will take care of me”. To move to another country when you are 39 years old is really challenging. Nevertheless, when you have God for your Lord and your support you are confident.
Our first year in Canada was spent in Montreal. I prayed that God would lead us to a church where Jesus Christ our Saviour is the center. We went to three churches and we didn’t feel comfortable.
In December of 2012, we went to Ottawa and visited some friends. While there, one of them told me to move to Ottawa. My wife and I had our jobs in Montreal and our children were at school. Despite the winter season, we could see in Ottawa a community that was totally different from Montreal, more quiet, and friendly. We decided to move here on June 2013.
When we arrived to Ottawa, praise the Lord, my wife felt led to call Pastor Georges who later came and pick us up every Sunday for church. It was such a blessing. He didn’t bring us to a Haitian church, but a Canadian church. I didn’t know why, but he was right. Even though our English was limited, God was helping us to understand the gospel. Every Sunday at Emmanuel Baptist church, it was such a blessing for my soul.
Another blessed experience was finding a job. I applied to work at Target and didn’t know a lot of English. When they called me for an interview, I didn’t know what to say. I said to God, I’m like Moses. I don’t know what to say. You’ll talk for me. Trust me, He did. I was hired. Step by step, I learned the basics of English at Target.
God shows me that He’s with me, and He will never abandon me. One of the biggest blessings was when the college (CEGEP) at St. Hyacinthe in Quebec called me to replace a teacher who was sick. I applied in 2012 to teach there. I had an interview as well. They told me that everything was good, but they would give the course to a more experienced and mature teacher. In fact, my application would be available for two years. In less than two years, they called me to be a substitute teacher. When people said it’s kind of complicated to teach in Canada, God says nothing is impossible.
God is so good to me. Even though I’m not in my home country, I feel like I’m home, because of this church that God led me to, I feel like Emmanuel Baptist Church is my real family. In fact, it is my real family, God’s family. It is in this place that God continues to work in me.
I never expected to sing. I used to play guitar in church, played in a gospel band with artists, but singing wasn’t my field. At Emmanuel Baptist Church things were different for me. One Sunday, Pastor Bob asked me to prepare a song to sing. I was astonished and scared too. I prayed and got prepared to sing. God was helping me a lot. I’m pretty sure, because since my first time I sang to now, I probably sing once a month on average. As I said I am not an accomplished singer, but I’m convinced that God is using me to work for Him. I’m so delighted to be able to do something for my mighty God. I don’t deserve that, because I’m a sinner. By grace, Jesus redeemed me by his sacrifice on the cruel cross to save me. I can’t pay Him back for His sacrifice, but one thing I can do is to praise Him every day, every moment of my life. It’s my great joy because my God uses me to sing. It is like Moses. He couldn’t talk, he didn’t know what to say. God told him, “Go I’ll talk for you”. I feel like God said to me, “Go I’ll show you how to sing for my glory and for my people’s edification”.
In conclusion, I realize that God is so faithful and He’s with me step by step. Discouragement and persecution come many times. I pray to God and seek His advice. The Word of God also helped me to get through difficutl times. By the grace of God I stand steady.
My father was a pastor and so I know that to faithfully serve God isn’t easy. I know that because I saw how hard it was for my father to run several churches and deal with his ministry. I am only now beginning to understand what it means to serve God. Praise the Lord He is with me, and He teaches me by his Word and His Holly Spirit leads into a Christlikeness.
This is my desire to become like you, O Lord.