On November 20, 2018, Missionary Flights International (MFI) received a report that Pastor Joseph Saintil went home to be with the Lord while he was praying on his rooftop in Haiti the night prior. Please be in prayer for his wife, Yanique, family, and church family. While there is a great confidence and joy to know that he went from his knees in prayer to standing in the Lord’s presence; the absence of Pastor Saintil is a deep loss.
Pastor Saintil was a faithful shepherd of New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. New Jerusalem began in 1983 with seven people, and now has over 2,000 members. Around 6 years ago, he took 6-7 people from that church to plant another church southwest of town. Today that church has roughly 400+ people in attendance.
In August of 1995, Pastor Saintil began working with Missionary Flights at the Cap-Haitien airport. He acted as a liaison between MFI and airport officials. Pastor Saintil also interacted with MFI passengers helping to ensure their safe and comfortable passage through the Cap-Haitien airport.
When in the United States, he would stay with one of our MFI families. They observed Pastor Saintil would retreat to his room each evening where he could be heard singing hymns and praying to the Lord, many times, until midnight. It is no surprise to us that this is the same way in which he went home to the Lord.
With such a large congregation, MFI Pilot Brent Killian asked him, “Pastor Saintil, why do you take time out of your day to serve with Missionary Flights?” His response is a great reminder of the MFI mission, “I don’t know of another organization impacting as many people in Haiti as Missionary Flights. I want to be a part of it.”
“He understood servanthood,” remarked one volunteer. “How often do you hear of a pastor with such a large congregation taking the time to get their hands dirty? He did not stay in a study behind a desk, he was out with the people and assisting the organizations that served the people of his country.”
Pastor Saintil truly loved Haiti. He wanted to be with people in all walks of life. His desire was to lead as many as possible into a loving relationship with the Lord. His prayers were fervent toward the salvation of those in his beloved nation.
Karen & Don Davis, missionaries in Haiti, shared, “Each year Pastor Saintil had revivals twice a year and many were drawn into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through him. He also assisted another ministry that hosted pastors conferences, which helped to increase the knowledge of the Bible to those who led churches in other areas. Those were very successful conferences.”
Another example of this love was in the way that he traveled. He did not own a vehicle, but would elect to take a tap-tap (a crowded Haitian taxi). Those who are familiar with Haiti transportation know that, on a tap-tap, there are plenty of opportunities to meet and talk to multiple people. Pastor Saintil would take a tap-tap after preaching at one church at 9:00 a.m. to his next church on Sunday mornings.
A funeral is planned for Pastor Saintil on Saturday, December 1, 2018, in Haiti. To best honor his memory, we ask that you take a moment during the day to lift up Yanique Saintil, the extended family, New Jerusalem Baptist Church, and Haiti in prayer.
President Joe Karabensh will be speaking briefly at the funeral at the request of Pastor Saintil’s brothers to represent Missionary Flights. “The office was in shock at the news of Pastor Saintil’s passing,” remarked Karabensh, “We are thankful for the decades that Joseph Saintil gave standing in the gap for missionaries. We know that he has made a deep impact across the country of Haiti. He will be missed by his MFI family. It is our prayer that his life will be memorialized through a strengthening of our Christian brothers and sisters in Haiti, and those who knew him in the United States.”
If you would like to send condolences to his wife, Yanique, please address them to:
3170 Airmans Dr. #1052-NJBC
Fort Pierce, FL 34946