Pictured: Nick & Kirsten Herkert with their sponsored student
Nick & Kirsten Herkert are a wonderful young couple with a heart for Haiti and a heart for the Lord. It’s been amazing to watch their transformation over the last year and a half since their first trip to Haiti. Sometimes God’s mission in Haiti is to reach the lost who are coming to serve, but walk away being served.
“Growing up I was torn between a Catholic lifestyle and a more scientific lifestyle. I was baptized in the Catholic Church and went through to my first communion, but somewhere along the line I walked away. Science made more sense to me. I was the type of kid (and adult) that liked to take things apart to see how they work and then put them back together.
In the fall of 2016, I decided to go with my (then) future wife to Haiti to support her. Realizing I had to prepare for something I knew nothing about I started reading the Gospel of John, Mere Christianity and the Problems of Pain by C.S. Lewis. These readings blew me away and showed me a thoughtful, systematic, way of approaching God that was way different from my incorrect preconceived notions.
Pictured: Church in Haiti
On the first day of the trip to Haiti in the fall of 2016 we went to a Haitian Church. It was during this service that I began to pray to the lord, confess my sins, ask for forgiveness, and ask him to enter my heart. Over the next couple days, I got to hear stories about Christ working in people’s lives. I realized that I had never had a great struggle where Christ’s presence in my life became clear, but He had been working in my life and blessing me for a very long time.
I saw that God positioned me around a group of people that He wanted me around and He has been slowly building this community for a long time. I saw that He gave me clarity in my understanding of Him as I put in the work to prepare my first Haiti trip.
At this point I was open to accept Christ but hadn’t quite completed this step. Then on Wednesday of the Haiti trip, God walked a man named Denny into our clinic. Denny was at a point in his life where it was time and he was ready to accept Christ but he just hadn’t done it yet. With the help of Pastor Ray, we walked this man through this step and helped him accept Christ. I quickly realized what God was trying to show me and I realized that I had heard and seen everything I needed to hear and see to believe, so I bowed my head and finished the four day prayer I started on Sunday at church, and became a Christian.
Pictured: Pastor Chrisner, Pastor Ray, Denny, Nick and Ahmad (WWV translator)
I know I will struggle with reconciling my faith with my scientific mind the rest of my life. I will have to constantly be working oin my relationship with Jesus so I don’t lose my way. I will have to fight through a river of skeptical thoughts pouring from my mind. I will have to find the courage to love God in a culture that doesn’t always agree. But I know that believing in the Lord our God is worth it. My first trip to Haiti completely changed my life and beliefs. I now see that God loves us so much, that He gave his only Son for our salvation.”
Pictured: Nick’s baptism at Wahoo Bay in Haiti
“My walk with God has been long and complicated, and although I always believed He was real, the decision to surrender my life to Him did not come until much later on. I grew up with a Christian education and was baptized as a baby, but did not truly make the decision to follow Christ until college. Even then, I found myself struggling and continuing to put the world’s expectations over what God wanted for me. Anxiety over pleasing the world instead of pleasing Christ won many battles in my life. I took His forgiveness for granted, and I am forever grateful that he still loves me. The final part of me surrendering to Jesus was last year in Haiti when Nick made the decision to follow Christ. Seeing God work through him was the last push I needed to set aside my premeditations and to simply trust in God. I wanted to be baptized as an adult to express how deeply I love Jesus and that I am ready to sacrifice my ideals and the worlds ideals for His ideals.”
Pictured: Kirsten’s baptism in Haiti