Archives For Haiti

Part 1: Relief and Development
Part 2: Incarnational Mission | Word and Deed | Responsibility and Sovereignty

In this final part of my reflections of integral mission from the life of Jesus, I want to turn once more to Luke 9:1-17 for some further observations related to the church. We see from the feeding of the multitude that Jesus had a plan and a people. He had provision and power to do all that was needed to see that the people were cared for and utterly satisfied.

STRATEGIC & SUPERNATURAL

When Jesus went about feeding the multitude, it is interesting that before He performed the miracle, He instructed His disciples to have the people to sit down in groups of 50. Seems like an unnecessary detail Luke included, no? Well, actually I find it really beneficial for integral mission. Jesus could have feed 20,000 in an unhelpful sea of chaos and confusion, but instead He chose a method that would best serve the people and make the greatest impact. I don’t want to read too much into this observation, but I believe it is accurate to say that this represents a strategic plan. Following this strategy came the supernatural work of God.

There are some who might think that strategic thinking and planning is unspiritual. Some may argue that it leads to pragmatism or doing work without God. While that is possible, simply because it has led some to pragmatism does not necessarily mean that it causes it. In fact, those working in difficult situations must have a strategic plan in place or the work will fall apart on its own. Having said that, we should pray and believe God to do what only He can do. He puts us in desperate situations where, if He does not come through, we are sunk. If you are not in a place where you are desperate and dependent on the sovereign, supernatural work of God, then you are in the wrong place.

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In my first post, I shared how Jesus demonstrated integral mission by balancing and affirming relief and development in His earthly ministry. Drawing from the same text (Luke 9:1-17), I want to continue with more observations for integral mission from the life and ministry of Jesus.

INCARNATIONAL MISSION

God sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. God also sent His Son to dwell among us (John 1:14) so that we could see His glory. In Luke 9, we find Jesus in a desolate place among scores of people with all kinds of needs. While it may be easy to overlook this, let us not play it down. Jesus made Himself accessible to everyone in society, especially those on the margins. He was accessible and approachable, even for those who could not walk (the lame) and those who could not be touched (the lepers). Even those in the grave were not beyond the scope of Jesus’ reach!

Jesus had a plan. It was to pour into His disciples. Yet the multitudes pressed in on Him. What would He do? Would he tell them to get in a line and schedule an appointment with one of His disciples? According to Luke 9:11, Jesus welcomed them. He welcomed them because He was with them. He was with them because He was for them.

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As many of you know, I lead The Haiti Collective, an organization focused on bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poorest country in the Western hemisphere by empowering indigenous churches to make disciples, train leaders, plant churches, and care for orphans in their midst. The needs are massive, even four years after the devastating earthquake. It can be argued (rather easily, I might add) that the needs are even greater now, after attempts of intervention have hurt the economic stability of an already fragile world. Needless to say, careful thinking about unintended consequences when doing relief and development work is critical to any long term success.

I am grateful for books like When Help Hurts and The Poverty of Nations that have come out from a biblical worldview of helping the poor. However, there is still a lot of tension when it comes to relief and development. Those I know who take When Helping Hurts seriously are so concerned about the possibility of hurting that they don’t attempt to help much at all. So the question comes – what hurts the people more? Not doing anything at all in fear of possibly hurting them by what you do, or making substantive, strategic efforts to make a big impact, knowing that you will likely hurt in ways you could not fully prevent?

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THC-Logo_VertThree weeks ago, a team of 16 from The Haiti Collective traveled to Haiti for a week-long mission endeavor. Every year, we host a network-wide Bible conference in a hotel, which brings in 65 pastors, deacons, and orphan school teachers. This year, the focus was on the primacy and sufficiency of Scripture for life and ministry. God put an amazing team together with a team of eight pastors from five different states delivering 12 messages and six panel discussions. We also gave away two books by John Piper in French (The Passion of Jesus Christ and Dangerous Duty of Delight), thanks to another supporting church’s generosity.

In addition to the Bible conference, we did conducted a medical and dental clinic in three of our churches in Haiti (Desarmes, Drouin, and Saint-Marc). Over $$16,000 free dental care was provided alone through the dental team, which included a dentist serving with the navy and hygienist/admin from Grace Baptist Church. For the medical team, we were blessed to have with us on this trip a doctor who is the chief of surgery at Walter Reed Medial Hospital (Bethesda, MD) as well as a former top domestic advisor serving under the Bush administration. Along with the medical and dental care during the week, we also we able to provide deworming medication for all 1,600 orphans in our 13 churches in Haiti. God providentially connected our team to a pharmacist in Canada who donated over $8000 worth of vitamins to supplement the deworming medication so that all of the orphans can have a strong recovery from the cleansing of all worms, whether from their intestines or on their skin.

This particular trip was a big undertaking with many other various initiatives, including enhancing microbusiness, facilitating vision trip for potential church partnerships with Haiti Collective, and consolidating community reform opportunities with education, health care, and family life. I am so grateful for this wonderful team God put together for this trip!

Below is a little video one of our team members made of the trip. We showed this last Sunday night at Grace in our mission report. God is doing great things, more than I could have ever imagined when this all began two years ago. If you would like to know more about The Haiti Collective, be sure to check out our website or follow us on Facebook. If you are a pastor or church leader and would like to discuss the possibility of getting connected with The Haiti Collective in the future, hit me up here or on my contact form.

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One of the great joys I have in leading The Haiti Collective is the opportunity to provide instruction and encouragement to ministry leaders across Haiti through our network of churches. Theological education, pastoral training, and church reformation are massive needs in third-world countries, and Haiti is no exception.

Next month, over 60 pastors, deacons, and orphan school teachers from across our 13 churches in Haiti will come together for our third annual 3-day conference. We are excited to have a team of 10 pastors from five states going down to pour the Word of God into these leaders! The focus this year is on the nature and importance of Scripture for life and ministry. It is our hope and prayer that one of the key distinguishing aspects of our churches and their leadership is a deep love for God’s Word and commitment to preach, teach, and live it out!

This indigenous network of church leaders coming to the conference requires financial support from partners of THC. These men and women have invested their lives in leading local churches, all of which at this point are unable to financially support their leadership teams. Without the generous assistance of others through THC, these leaders simply would not be able to travel across the country and have the opportunity of receiving three days of intensive instruction and encouragement from God’s Word.

This upcoming Haitian Bible Conference will take place January 7-9, 2013, and we ask for your prayers as our team of ten pastors are actively preparing their messages. We also ask that you consider investing in the theological education of these church leaders by giving a year-end financial gift which will help cover the cost of travel and hotel accommodations for men and women hungry to know God’s Word. To do that, we need to raise $8,750 by the end of 2012, and with your help we believe we can reach that goal!

No gift is too great or small. We seriously and sincerely appreciate all the support from you who believe in the work we are doing in Haiti. For there to be long-term reformation and revival in Haiti, it begins with a serious investment of the Word of God into leaders of churches. We long to see that happen, and with these small beginnings, we believe God will use them for His glory.

To give online, simply click on the link below.

If you would like to write a check, you can make it out to “The Haiti Collective” and mail to the following address:

The Haiti Collective
Attn: Bible Conference
P.O. Box 150064
Cape Coral, FL 33915

Thank you for joining us in stewarding this open door God has provided to train church leaders in Haiti!

2012 Bible Conference

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2011 Bible Conference

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