Making Disciples At Home and In Haiti is a great way to step into this Christmas Season. As I left Haiti this last week I went away with a greater concern for the new Christians who make up the Body of Christ there. They are carrying the weight of a heavy spiritual struggle on their shoulders with little understanding as new believers and limited scripture.
Monday morning started with a grueling hour and a half “rock-crawling” drive up the mountain to reach the community of Non Mongot; it felt like a warm and joyful reunion with family when we finally arrived. It was great to greet and hug friends who we got to know and love on our previous visit. Those who arrived from different communities up on the mountain were eager and hungry to learn and grow in their Christian faith and in their leadership capacity as local CHE Committee members.
Our two pastor trainers got to work with the local pastors and we began our CHE Discipleship training. CHE stands for Community Health Evangelism and focuses on biblical, integrated discipleship and development strategies. Many of those gathered were CHE committee members from communities that had already begun to implement CHE or as they translate it in Haitian Kreole: SEK (Sante Evanjelizasyon Komite). Our desire was to help build up their capacity to the next level of oversight for projects they choose to embrace as a community. We worked together through things like Project cycles, how to use tools like a Problem Tree to understand effects and causes of problems as well as asset mapping to recognize and utilize their local assets. Everything is firmly rooted in Scripture and reflects God’s order and the creativity we have because we are made in His image.
Our second goal was to empower these new Christians to allow the transforming work of the Holy Spirit to bring maturity in their relationships. Our discipling studies looked at a Biblical model of marriage and what respect, love, honor and fidelity look like; we also hit very briefly on the subject of abuse and trauma. It broke our hearts to hear their struggles regarding these subjects as within their culture, sex outside marriage is accepted. Abuse of women and children was another challenging discussion as women are not held in high esteem either. They asked us several times if this kind of sin happened in the U.S. We sadly had to say “yes”. Sin and its focus on self-gratification is everywhere and Satan is working hard to pervert and destroy the beautiful picture God gave us of unity in marriage; but our model is in the Bible and that is where we all need to return to understand what God intended.
We ended our time together by having each person write out personal prayer requests and struggles that we could pray for. I was deeply convicted that these are members of the Body of Christ. When they hurt we should all hurt; when they struggle we must intercede on their behalf in prayer; we are all in this sinful world together and must hold each other up as precious in God’s eyes. Please join me in prayer for these fledgling brothers and sisters in Christ. I know, and you know from personal experience, when God is working on our hearts to separate us from sin it can be a difficult and even painful journey. Satan does not release his hold easily.
Thank you all for your prayers for safety and wisdom; God was there on that mountain in Haiti before us and we were privileged to join in the work He was doing there in hearts and communities. Haiti has been beaten down by natural disasters, deadly health epidemics and political corruption. I believe that these nearly 7,000 new Christians on La Gonave Island will be a light to their whole country as they grow in Christ and see transformation take place in hearts and in community development. I can’t wait until we see them again when we can celebrate their hard-earned accomplishments and growth in the Lord.
Discipling is our calling as Christ followers and as you know with Hospitality Table; it is our goal is to reignite every believer’s passion to fulfill this commission starting with our neighbors and anywhere God takes us. This Christmas Season as we celebrate the birth of Christ, please take some time to consider what Christ eventually died for. It wasn’t our comfort or so we could have lots of stuff, or that life would be easy. No, it was so all of humankind could be reconciled back into fellowship with our Creator because “God so loved the world…” Do your neighbors need to hear that message? Are they hurting and in need of your prayer? What could you and your family change starting right now to bring your neighbors to your table where they can experience the gift of God’s love? May the coming year bring you joy and fulfillment like never before as you step out and look like someone who follows Christ.
Please consider supporting The Hospitality Table in our mission both to the U.S. church and wherever there is an opportunity to make disciples. Just use the DONATE button at the top of the page, it is PayPal secure. We are a registered 501(c)3 and appreciate your sharing your heart and resources to advance God's Kingdom. You can also purchase our Singing Rooster coffee from Haiti through our website. Its a great choice for special church events and we offer it in 5lb bulk bags.
Please enjoy the photos as just a glimpse of life on La Gonave Island in Haiti. We were without internet the entire time so could not post updates.