I wanted to get this information out to you. It contains both an brief overview of my trip to Haiti and a prayer requests for my upcoming trip to Northern Brazil.
Haiti Trip Review
“I’ve been searching for someplace to learn more of the Word of God, so that I can be a better pastor for my people.” These words were spoken by one of the pastors who attending our training last week in Haiti. I had the privilege of joining Pastor Nick Wilson (from Plainview, Minnesota) and Terry Spenst (from Wichita, Kansas) as we completed the first module of Reaching & Teaching’s nine-module pastoral and leadership training program.
The training was held in Port-au-Prince; however, many of those attending came from the more rural countryside of Haiti. This site came about thanks to Nick Wilson. During each of the past two years, he had traveled Haiti and built relationships with a number of the pastors, especially the pastor who is the key “mover and shaker” of the Ligue (association of churches).
Terry started off the training each morning by covering the spiritual discipline of Bible intake. Terry did a good job of emphasizing the importance of listening to, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on God’s Word. He also led the group in some exercises, giving them opportunities to practice the discipline. I was very encouraged by Terry’s lessons.
Nick and I shared the teaching of Old Testament Survey. Nick is an excellent Bible teacher. I found myself wishing I had audio or video taped his lessons. His emphasis upon the Bible’s being one story, with one subject, carrying one message was crystal clear to the students.
Personally, in some ways, it was my most challenging teaching trip. This was due in part to suffering from some pretty serious dizziness on Monday andTuesday. Each of the two mornings, I was genuinely concerned as to whether I would be physically capable of teaching. However, by God’s grace, both days’ sessions went pretty well. In fact, the entire week of training was extremely well received. This looks like it’s going to be an excellent site, providing training for people who are hungry to be taught.
Haiti was by far the most impoverished country I’ve visited. Unemployment rates are extremely high, and many employed still struggle to earn a livable wage. One of the pastors who traveled a number of hours indicated his monthly income to be about $50. We then found out that he spent $22 in transportation costs to attend the training. His story was similar to a handful of others.
Political instability has compounded the many problems. Violence and protests have been common. On the day we arrived, the president was scheduled to make an announcement as to his future. By God’s grace, he announced he would be stepping down. Had he not, there were expected to be major protests and rioting in the streets. Transportation, especially from the airport to the pastor’s house, would have been extremely dangerous.
All in all, the trip was an absolute success. Please pray for those whom we taught. Many of them were chosen to represent their geographic area in the training. Now, their job is to share what they learned with the other pastors in their area. May God bless them as they do this and as they continue to minister to their congregation. Any hope for Haiti will be found in hearts changed by the Gospel. Let’s pray to that end.