Teen Challenge of Texas Men’s Director in San Antonio, Floyd Miles III and intern, Zach Cazalas, were recently invited to come and minister at the Teen Challenge campus in Haiti in February 2013. This incredible, life-changing opportunity allowed these two men from Texas a chance to see and experience ministry from a different culture.
“Just being asked to go to Haiti was such an honor and privilege,” said Director Floyd Miles. “Some of the highlights of the trip were simply talking to the people, getting to know them, listening to their story, and ministering with them one on one.”
Miles had opportunities to preach, teach, and offer hope to the men of the Haiti Teen Challenge. Miles and Cazalas also visited and ministered at a local school, boot camp, orphanage, and church.
Cazalas was equally moved by his experience in Haiti. “I was very impacted during the Wednesday night chapel service. Hundreds of Haitian people came to an outdoor church. Every single person had their Bible in hand and eager to sing loud and bold praises to the Lord. The positive attitudes and joyful generosity made me feel very welcome,” Cazalas said. “Even though I could not speak their language, I could feel their love, which are more than a hundred words could say. The Spirit of God was common between all of us and made us brothers and sisters in Christ, despite our many vast cultural differences.”
The history of Teen Challenge of Haiti began in 2008 when a team from the Minnesota Teen Challenge traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and were spiritually moved by the tremendous poverty and daily struggles experienced by the people of that country. More specifically, they observed the “fatherlessness” and lack of positive role models for the young Haitian men who have little hope for their future.
In 2010 the Haiti Teen Challenge (HTC) was officially established as a non-profit, religious organization, and tax-exempt 501 (c)3. HTC campus officially opened in February 2011 with 23 young men currently residing at the center located in Port-au-Prince. The mornings are reserved for devotions, Bible study, and counseling. The afternoons are spent in vocational training.
HTC’s approach is based on the Global Teen Challenge model that has been successful in hundreds of countries worldwide. It focuses on breaking the strongholds in one’s life, such as drug and alcohol addictions, poverty, and bondage of dependency. Building upon a Christian foundation of discipleship, HTC teaches life skills through vocational education and leadership training.
God is no respecter of persons. He truly loves the children of this world. The Holy Spirit is moving around the globe, and it was evident to Miles and Cazalas on their trip to Haiti. “I realized God is moving by His Spirit all over the world,” said Miles. “We have brothers and sisters in every nation. We were created to share and demonstrate God’s love wherever we go.”
The men at HTC and the people of Haiti have left a permanent mark in the hearts of Miles and Cazalas. “They are some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life,” Cazalas said. “I was honored to serve God among them.”
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