Following the Lord in Faithfulness
Andrew Mezilus, Missionary to America Haiti
Andrew Mezilus gave up a lot. As a child growing up in Haiti he trained to be a tailor and a missionary. He became a deacon in his church and went four years to Bible School. His goal was to begin a new church. In 1987 he rode his bicycle to a small city eighteen miles away called Balaban. There he stood in the street and preached to anyone passing by how God loved the world and sent His only child to die in our place. One woman responded. However, that first conversion turned into fifty.
Leaving Haiti Behind
As the church grew, it became apparent that income from his vocation as a tailor and donations from the church members would not be enough to fund the mission and support his family. In 1988 he handed the church leadership over to an elder and, even though he had no legal status, Andrew made his way to the United States to work.
For six years he was separated from his wife and children, doing what he had to do to work to support them and the mission he had begun in Haiti. Living frugally, he missed his wife and children terribly. In this new land, living in fear he would be deported, he sought ways to gain legal status. In the meantime, he trained as a hospital worker, drove a taxi, did tailoring – whatever would give him the funds needed to send back to Haiti, to the mission and his family. He missed years of his wife’s and his children’s lives to give them a better life. He sacrificed so that the mission he had begun would have the money it needed to grow and expand to other areas.
Following the Lord in Faithfulness
That’s what missionaries do. They leave behind the things most dear to them, to follow their Lord. That is how the Apostles responded when they heard the Lord’s call – James and John leave their home and business immediately; Paul has to be pried away from his mission to put Christians in prison, and leaves his privileged position to be hated by friends and colleagues. For years Paul ministered on the edges of the church because many believed he was a fraud, a spy.
In 1994 Pr. Mezilus, with help from the Missionary Alliance Church and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, was given legal status. By then, the one church in Balaban, with the financial and spiritual support of Andrew Mezilus, had grown into five churches. But that was not all.
Working with the group Amigos en Cristo in Immokalee, Florida. He went back to school through the Lutheran Church’s “Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology,” and was ordained in the LCMS. Working with Amigos, Pr. Mezilus began a church in Immokalee.
He and his family live in SW Florida today, but their hearts and their financial support remain with the five Haitian churches. Pr. Mezilus leads regular trips for American church leaders to Cape Haitian and Balaban, to gain broader support for brothers and sisters in Christ who have significantly less than they do. As a result, the churches have been blessed with spiritual and financial growth. All this because one man was not afraid to lose his life to be faithful to the Lord’s call.
What do you have to lose to remain faithful?
As Jesus prophesied, “Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who lose their life in this world will keep it for eternity.” Gospel of John, chapter 12: verse 25.
Could you survive 6 years without seeing your family? Listen to Andres's testimony
Hear Pastor Andrew Mezilus entire amazing testimony!