Years before Jopnel was old enough to even be thinking about seminary, God had already brought him to Saccanville, the small mud-hut village Emmaus calls home.
He recalls his first trip while explaining the most dangerous evangelism experience he’s ever had. His youth group was spending the summer sharing the Gospel in villages stretching from Cap-Haitian to Limbe. As Jopnel unpacked God’s plan of salvation in a small Saccanville yard, a man lunged at him with a machete, holding the chiseled blade to Jopnel’s neck for several minutes before plunging it into the ground by his feet.
As Jopnel unpacked God’s plan of salvation in a small Saccanville yard, a man lunged at him with a machete, holding the chiseled blade to Jopnel’s neck for several minutes before plunging it into the ground by his feet.
Despite this experience, and others like it, Jopnel beams as he calls evangelism his great God-given passion. “Since I was about 12, I knew I wanted to follow the Lord always, and when I was 14 I was baptized in the same church where I still serve today. I have always loved sharing the Gospel story with others, and I realized long ago that if I didn’t take the Word out from the church, there would be many, many people who would never hear it.“
“I got into the practice of sharing the Good News in tap-taps (small public transportation trucks) years ago. When I climb in, I immediately start asking about where everyone’s been, where they are going, how they are doing, and looking for a path. I pray God will show me a way in, and when He does, I take that road, using one of those conversations to lead into a simple Gospel message. I talk about how we all come up short, about God’s great love for us and desire to be in relationship with us, and about how that motivated Him to send His Son for the gap that our sin leaves. Every day I share the Gospel like that, in every tap-tap I’m in. It’s a great place to do it because I have a captive audience!”
After continually noticing the way another young man in his prayer group “just stood out as a man of character I wanted to be like in my walk with Jesus,” Jopnel learned that [staff member] Rujerry (’18) was a student at Emmaus Biblical Seminary. “Both he and the associate pastor at my church encouraged me to study at Emmaus after high school, and I’m now at the beginning of my final year!”
“I give glory to God because He’s truly shown Himself to me through so many people at Emmaus.” Jopnel says. “I’ve been thoroughly trained–spiritually and academically–and whatever continued ministry I end up in after graduation, it will be with my whole heart and with the relationships and tools I need to do it well, for His glory!”
To help student-ministers and evangelists like Jopnel continue to be equipped through EBS Haiti, please give online here now or send checks payable to Emmaus Biblical Seminary (memo line: Student Scholarships) to 1022 Main Street, Sabetha, KS 66534.
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