I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel…
The Elders just returned from Haiti as we consider a partnership in the gospel. We were blessed with many potential opportunities, but more than that we were able to see the faces of many people that we can serve alongside of in a partnership in the gospel. This partnership would be centered around serving alongside three pastors in Haiti, Pastor John Alex, Pastor St. Cyr, and Pastor Gaétan.
In particular, our partnerships in Haiti will provide an avenue for us to live out the PEACE Plan in a global context (Global PEACE). We desire to see lives changed by the gospel and we hope to do that through our PEACE Plan: Plant Churches, Evangelize the World, Aid the Poor and Sick, Care for the Orphan and the Oppressed, and Equip Leaders. Below I will unpack in the context of our PEACE plan some of the ways we may be involved in Haiti.
Plant Churches – Pastor John Alex, who oversees a network of pastors, is seeking to plant a church in an area of Port-Au-Prince with great need. He has identified this area and will be working to raise up leadership to lead that church. In the future, we may help with a building for them to gather in and possibly providing some financial aid to help establish this church.
Evangelize the World - Our evangelism in Haiti will mainly be done through our partnering pastors as they share the gospel with Haitians in their native tongue. Pastor John Alex remarked, even in the face of great physical need, that the greatest need of Haitians is their hearts to be changed by the gospel. And so as we meet urgent physical needs, these pastors are also very concerned with sharing the life-changing message of the gospel.
Aid the Poor and Sick - Haiti is considered by some the poorest country in the world. We saw one area that is riddled with poverty and sickness called Tent City. This is a former golf course that at one point housed upwards of 60,000 people living with one another side by side in tents. In this living space, sewage runs along on the ground and some will eat only sparingly during the day. Pastor St. Cyr has planted a church among this people that is thriving as he hopes to shepherd this people. The possible partnerships here are a little less clear as Help One Now works out how they will partner with Pastor St. Cyr. In addition, Pastor John Alex is building homes for those who were left homeless after the Earthquake in greater Port-Au-Prince. It is likely we will be able to help in that project as well.
Care for the Orphan and the Oppressed - Pastors Gaétan and John Alex both oversee orphanages. Pastor Gaétan oversees an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince. After the Earthquake, Pastor Gaétan would sleep on the ground with his wife in-between the 32 orphans to protect them. He told us that a good shepherd will lay down his life for his flock and he demonstrated that for his orphans. Some of you have already begun to partner with this orphanage in sponsoring an orphan through Help One Now. We hope more will consider sponsoring children through Help One Now. This ensures that the child eats every day and receives an education so that they will be equipped to one day provide for their family.
Pastor John Alex also oversees an orphanage and planted a church in a village called Ferrier that is north of Port-Au-Prince on the border of the Dominican Republic. It has been learned that Child Trafficking is taking place near this town across the border. Pastor John Alex is working to build a village that will house those who are potential trafficking victims as they seek to prevent this heinous injustice. We will probably have opportunities to partner with this village in building houses to house victims, after care and love, sponsorship, and other opportunities.
Equip Leaders - Finally, we will be able to partner in equipping pastors. We talked in particular with Pastor John Alex with a plan of training pastors and planters in theological disciplines as they seek to plant churches and lead healthy churches all over the country. We are excited about these opportunities as Pastor John Alex seeks theological training for the pastors with whom he networks.
It is our desire to probably take a couple of trips a year to do Peace Global in Haiti. We are considering a July date now.
Please be praying for how you might be involved – possible avenues:
1) Prayer that the Gospel will bear fruit in Haiti
2) Sponsor a child through Help One Now
3) Consider going in the future