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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 15: Earthquake on the Mission Field

Week 15: Earthquake on the Mission Field

Lloyd FrazierEverybody knows that Haiti recently was devastated by an earthquake. However, for the most part, they weren’t there when it struck. The man I met with today, Lloyd Frazier, was. This is the story of what happened; but first, let me give you some background. Mr. Frazier was born in 1935, as the fourth child of twelve. He was extremely shy as a child, so shy that he failed English as a freshman in high school because he was too shy to read his reports. However, a teacher pulled a few strings the next year so he could merely relate the report one-on-one to the teacher (which made him feel at ease), and Lloyd graduated from high school in 1953.

A few months after graduating, Mr. Frazier became saved, and two years after that, he was married. Even though Lloyd was still very shy, he was asked to become a youth pastor. His wife needed a job as well,¬† and she was invited to teach the 9-10 year-olds. How did this come about? The kids gave the regular teacher such a hard time that she finally asked them who they wanted; they requested Lloyd’s wife.

While still a youth pastor, he felt like God was asking him to attend college at Lee College, but he kept pushing the feeling away. It would come a couple of months later, and he would push it away again. He fasted and prayed about it, and then finally enrolled at the College at age 28. When he had completed his college education, Lloyd decided to travel to Guatemala. When he asked the Missions Board whether or not they were in need of people to teach in Bible schools, the first man he talked to said, “No, we don’t need people like that.” But instead of throwing in the towel, Lloyd asked another person the same question. The man replied, “We are sorely in need of that kind of person.” Moral of story: never give up.

It was arranged for him to visit Guatemala for a year as a test to make sure of Lloyd’s calling. If after that period he still felt like God wanted him to become a missionary, they would send him to a place for a longer period of time. By the time the year was up, there was no doubt that Mr. Frazier was truly called. The Board saw this, and sent him to Panama. They were constructing a Bible school in one of the villages, and Lloyd was to pastor the local church there. He did this for four years, and at the end, the Missions Board asked him to take over as the new overseer of Guatemala. Lloyd wasn’t particularly crazy about taking the position, partially because he was still a tad shy, but after praying and fasting about the matter, he accepted the job.

As soon as he started to fill his new role, Lloyd noticed problems. For instance, the entire country of Guatemala was only giving a total tithe of around $150 a year, total. But at the end of eight years (that was how long Mr. Frazier was the overseer), the tithe income jumped by six hundred dollars! When Lloyd resigned, the Board let him take a two-year furlough to attend Seminary. When it was complete, Lloyd had also added to his resume a Master of Divinity degree.

When Mr. Frazier came back to the mission field, he expected to be sent to a Spanish-speaking country. Instead, he was transferred to Haiti. Surprise, surprise. Plus, there were some quirks in the language to work out. For instance, everyone in Haiti speaks Creole, but the higher class thinks that Creole is “degrading”, and they speak French as well. So when Lloyd walked into a pharmacy and started talking English, the woman at the counter took time and got someone who knew English, even though she and Mr. Frazier both knew Creole. Complicated, huh? And that isn’t all. French is a language with a lot of spelling twists, but Haitian Creole is almost exactly spelled like it sounds. So while a town written in French would be Croixdesbouquets (it’s an actual town; the name means cross of flowers), in Creole the same town would be Kwadebuke. Like I said, quirky. But Lloyd for the most part mastered the difficulties, and did missionary work down there for 20 years.

You probably are thinking, “Come on! Get to the part about the earthquake! I thought background was supposed to be short!” It is a bit long, but I might remind you that Brother Frazier is 75, so he has a ton of background. But now about the earthquake. It was February of this year, and Lloyd was visiting Haiti for the first time in a long while. He was riding from the airport at the Capital, along with the national Mr. FrazierChurch of God overseer of Haiti and a Mr. and Mrs. Carey. They were passing by a wall in part of the city, and Brother Carey remembered thinking, “It would be bad if that wall fell on us.” As they were driving past it (you’re probably way ahead of me here), the wall collapsed, with the SUV underneath it. A huge chunk of it fell right onto the passenger’s side, and instantly killed the national overseer. The windshield caved in, and there was rubble and stones all over the floor of the vehicle. Lloyd thought that Mrs. Carey might have actually passed out for a minute, but he wasn’t sure. When the dust had cleared, they signaled to a passerby to try and open the door. It was crumbled and dented, but it was opened, and Mr. Frazier and the Careys were taken to the hospital. There was so much debris on the top of the SUV, its actual¬†wheels were resting on the ground. But through the grace of God, no one besides the overseer was hurt badly.

And that brings me to the end of the story. But through it, I hope you realized that God always has his hand on our paths, guiding the way. And I also hope that you come away from this story knowing that no matter what, God is with you.

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