Growing up in the Taylors Bridge community, one might not think that what they will do in life will impact so many. Being born in a military family stationed in Germany, one might not think that their life’s work would be one of tribulations and miracles. But for Pritchard (Prit), and Dana Adams, their humble beginnings have been anything but small as they have spent most of their lives ministering to the citizens of Haiti.
Little did this couple ever dream of the storms they would face as they served God.
Prit was born in Germany but traveled with his military father and family to many places in the world. He finished high school in Panama before entering the Army for a while then continuing his education at East Carolina University.
Dana Sue Raynor Adams grew up with her brothers and sister in the Taylors Bridge community and graduated from Union High School. Sh,e too, went to ECU to continue her education. Ironically, the couple did not meet at college.; they actually met at church — Rock Church of Tarboro — while they were still students.
It was not until Dana graduated that the two began working together at Rock Christian Academy in Tarboro. It was there that the pair really got to know one another. Dana was working in the elementary grades and Prit at the high school level. After they were married, they continued to work at the academy until the pastor came to them and asked if they would consider going to Haiti to help establish a school there.
“Our pastor had been working with the pastor in Haiti and had been on a couple of trips there, and our pastor shared that the Haitian pastor had requested someone to help him get a school started. He came to us,” expressed Prit. “Before long we were on our way to Haiti to start building a school. That was over 30 years ago,” added the missionary.
The young couple began their ministry in Port-au-Prince and they remained there for five years. During this time, they spent time teaching and establishing the school for the Haitians. Eventually, Dana and Prit moved to Cap-Haitian where they would spend the next 25 years. The Adams were the first directors of Victory Christian Academy in Port-au-Prince, a multinational, English-speaking day school for grade 1-12. The couple also served as teachers with the Pentecostal Holiness Bible School and with a number of independent churches in crusades and seminars. The move to the north of Haiti, Cap-Haitian in 1988, they said, was “a step of faith” so they and the people of Haiti could realize the Lord’s expanding ministry for them.
In 1990, the Adams founded the “Centre de Formation Chretienne,” a dynamic local church proclaiming the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. This work has expanded to include three churches, four schools, a Bible institute and a radio broadcast in Haiti.
“We never thought when we left to go to Haiti we would have been there 30 years. The ministry has grown and continues to grow each year. God has richly blessed us and the ministry, but it has not been an easy trip. We have faced many storms throughout our service to our Lord,” asserted Dana.
The Rock Church of Tarboro supported the Adams when they went to Haiti and now many other churches have joined to expand the ministry.
“It is a constant struggle trying to raise funds to keep the ministry going. There are just so many needs and we often feel we cannot meet them. We have discovered that we can’t, but God can,” remarked Prit.
The Adams have three children, all who were born in Haiti. During her first pregnancy, Dana developed a deadly serious kidney infection and the medical authorities wanted to take the baby and then do an exploratory.
“I prayed, and everyone that knew us prayed, and the Lord healed me immediately. The doctors came to perform the surgery and I told them I was healed; I walked out of the medical clinic completely healed and our son was born healthy,” recalled Dana.
In addition to suffering from many of the diseases that are prevalent in Haiti, such as malaria, and typhoid, Prit and Dana have also been kidnapped.
“It was really a scary situation. We did not know if we would survive that ordeal or not but, again, God brought us through it,” expressed Prit.
The challenges of running the schools and the various ministries is always taxing for the couple. Currently the four schools serve over 1,200 students. As the schools were growing the ministry fed all the children, teachers and staff. But Prit shared that due to continued growth, the school could no longer afford to provide a hot lunch each day for all the students and staff for nine months.
“I told the Haitian principal that we either had to stop providing meals or stop growing. He chose to continue to grow, and grow we did. It was extremely stressful because we could not feed the students, and many of them were so hungry they would faint in class from lack of food. Dana and I decided something needed to be done,” stressed Prit. But they felt, he said, that it was something beyond their means to accomplish.
Yet they planted the seed.
The couple was back in the states and visited a church in Alabama where they shared their ministry experience, including talk of the needs at the school. During the PowerPoint presentation, when the church members saw and heard about the students being so hungry, they reacted.
“They wanted to know how they could help, asking ‘what can we do?’ during the question and answer time. They chose to assist the ministry and they turned us around even after we shared how the task of feeding these children was almost impossible,” explained Dana.
According to Prit, Dana took the ministry on, and last year she raised over $36,000 to fund the feeding program for the students, teachers and staff, enough, he said, to feed them all two days a week for the entire nine-month school year. She is now trying to raise funds to pay for the continued feeding program for this next year.“We have $6,000; we only have $30,000 more to raise,” Dana acknowledged.
While the couple has faced many trials and tribulations, as well as receiving many, many blessings during their ministry, nothing prepared them for the “Mother Storm” that they faced in July 2010.
Dana and Prit were home from Haiti for what was supposed to be a six-week furlough to the states. They were visiting a supporting church in Canada and Prit was supposed to speak at the church in Didsbury, Alberta Canada. It was July 4 and Dana and the pastor of the church had already walked over to the church for services to start and were awaiting Prit’s arrival…but he did not come.
“It was very unlike Prit to be late. He always stressed the importance of being on time and even practiced locking the doors for services when it was time to start to teach people the importance of being on time. But what we were about to face was such a dark storm, it will never leave us,” asserted Dana.
The pastor went to see what was keeping Prit; he found him passed out on the bathroom floor.
“This was the beginning of a 52-day journey for us, one in which I would pray constantly and plead with God to save Prit, bring him back from the brink of death. It was some of the darkest days of my life,” remarked Dana.
Prit had suffered a brain aneurysm. During the 52-day ordeal, he would experience a second brain aneurysm. Dana said when she, the pastor and his wife saw Prit that first day with tubes coming from all parts of his body, things really looked bleak. They prayed, something they would continue without ceasing throughout the entire ordeal.
Prit was transferred by air to Calgary and was in the Intensive Care Unit.
Dana did not know it at the time, but when Prit was falling ill, their church in Haiti had experienced something like a dark cloud filling the worship service and it seemed to take the worshipers’ breath. The members in Haiti knew something terrible was happening and began to pray. “Some of the women even fell to the ground (dirt floors) in their starched Sunday best clothes and prayed. This was something we did not learn until later, that people around the world were praying for us and Prit’s recovery,” stated Dana.
Prit said Dana had to explain what happened during that time in the lives because he has no recollection other than being in what he called a valley.
“I truly believe I was in the valley of death. No one was saying anything, but people were moving about in two directions. The expressions on the faces of the people were so telling. I remember seeing a young man from Haiti that had chosen to go the wrong direction in life. His eyes were something I will never forget. They showed fear. Not the fear about the unknown, but the fear of knowing what he was going to face. It is something that will never leave me,” asserted Prit.
Dana explained that those 52 days were much like a roller coaster ride. “There were days when we were hopeful and days when the doctors and nurses weren’t very encouraging.After Prit experienced his second aneurysm, the doctors informed us that we needed to make some decisions about calling in the family. He was at a level 5 in brain damage and there was no level 6 … we felt as if we were going to be defeated. I went to pray and I went to talk to God and I reminded him of the promises and covenant he had made with his people and that we needed Prit to recover. When everyone else felt the end was near, God responded to my plea and granted my prayer and those of so many around the world to heal Prit. What followed was nothing more than a miracle,” shared Dana.
Slowly Prit began to respond. The medical personnel stressed that he would suffer from severe brain damage, possibly never walking again, and definitely not ever talking again. But Prit continued to improve. Eventually he was moved to a room that overlooked the park and the children’s hospital where Dana had gone to pray and plead with God for his recovery. She shared that it was a sign that he was answering her requests.
On Aug. 25, 2010 Prit was released from hospital, and with continued physical therapy, today he shows no sign of ever suffering the aneurysms.
“I have a testimony to share. We both do,” stressed Prit. “God is not through with me yet. The experience has taught me to let others do what they have been taught to do. It was God’s way of telling me that the teaching and instruction we have shared had prepared those we have trained to do his work. Now we can refocus our ministry to help see that funds are available to continue the many and varied ministries we have established through God in Haiti. That is the direction we are seeking today,” expressed Prit.
The experience led Dana to write a book about her experience entitled “Into the Storm.” The book is an easy read but is one that the reader will have a difficult time putting down.
“The experience we shared in Canada was one of such darkness and struggle, of death and recovery, spiritual combat and the triumph of God through our faith in him as he brought us through the storm. Our lives are forever changed and we are determined to share our message of hope and miracles not only to those in Haiti but throughout the world. God has blessed us and brought us through this storm. He now has new directions and plans for us as we continue to serve him in Haiti and in other places he may lead us. We covet the prayers and any financial support anyone can offer. The need is great and God’s work is never done,” concluded Dana.
Anyone wishing to keep in touch with Prit and Dana and their ministry called Rehoboth Ministries, Inc. may do so by visiting their website: www.rehobothhaiti.com. Contributions can be mailed to Rehoboth Ministries, Inc., 333 Hilliard Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28311. Other correspondence may be sent to: Rehoboth Ministries, Inc., c/o AGAPE FLIGHTS, INC., 100 Airport Avenue, Venice, FL 34285.