When we met Remy, we had just started our program in Haiti, to help churches after the earthquake that took place on Jan/12/2010. This young man, who had lost family members on the disaster and only could afford himself three meals a week, used to go to one of the churches our team served at that time. Our director became friends with him, and they started to meet regularly for discipleship. As a musician, even though he had so little, he figured that he could bring some joy to the displaced kids in the Haitian post-disaster camps, so he started some music classes. He had no instruments.
Not too long after that, churches from Brazil and different countries started to sponsor his music project. That is how REMIX came about – this music school that has formed more than 150 hundred musicians in Haiti until this moment.
In 2015, when Remy was already a staff member of MORE Haiti, he was invited to go to Brazil for a 3-month training program. As he was there, he saw all the preparation of the organization towards starting a program to help the suffering church in Nepal, after the earthquake that devastated that country in April of that year. As I was getting ready to travel to Nepal and do what we call a diagnosis, prior to sending a long-term team to the country – in fact, I took the first commercial flight available, only 6 days after the earthquake – Remy approached me at the Brazilian airport. I will never forget his words: “Sir, MORE has been a blessing to the suffering Christians of my country. You were a blessing to my country. And I know you will be a blessing to Nepal. But I know earthquakes better. I know what it means to lose your family. I can love those people in a different way. Please, pray and consider sending me to Nepal after you.”
J. Remy JANVIER was the first Haitian missionary that I ever heard of, to serve in Nepal or anywhere in Asia. I can be wrong; I just do not know of any other case. And, indeed, he was a blessing to that country. He went against all odds, proving that faith and purpose can turn a mission field – Haiti – into a missionary sending nation. Now, back in Haiti, Remy is one of our directors and continues to be a blessing to the suffering church, teaching music, community development and being an important voice against slavery and for the dignity of the church in his country.
It is such an honor to see the suffering church serving the suffering church. Please, share this story.