The Lord blessed us with a wonderful week of training for pastors, elders, and evangelical teachers. We were invited about a year ago to conduct a week of Bible study in this area by a brother from Minnesota who had family living in this region. AFH made two investigative trips there last fall and this spring to pray and discern if it was God’s will that we go. Over 200 men showed a strong interest and a place was found to hold the week long Bible Seminar. Because the place was small and primitive, I asked the local leaders to choose only select men from their churches to come and to keep the number to about 75.
We gathered together tents, tarps, rice, beans, plates, cups, kettles, cooks, solar powered PA and projector, emergency medical kits, water filter equipment, and all the other provisions for 8 days in the remote mountain valley. We travelled 4 ½ hours northwest of Gonaives by Land Cruiser on Saturday in torrential rains. Sunday after morning worship and preaching we began with registration and orientation. About 85 men were in attendance each day from 8:00 to 4:30.
Each day we had four 1½ hour long sessions. The first class was on “How to Study the Bible Accurately and Effectively”. The focus was study without any study aids; using only prayer, the help of the Holy Spirit, the Bible, note paper and pen, and an eager mind. We taught them to ask good questions, how to use the immediate and larger context of Scripture in understanding any text and how to find and follow the major themes of the Bible. As we introduced each study method, we would take a passage and learn by doing. God seemed to really bless this class. As the men would come to understand each lesson, they would occasionally erupt with joy and shouting at the discovery they just made. Hopefully they will never forget the treasures that can be uncovered in God’s Word with a clean heart within, the Holy Spirit upon them, the Bible open before them and pen and paper in their hand.
The second class was on “Finding Christ in the Old Testament.” This class focused on the great themes of salvation as introduced through Old Testament types. The men were thrilled to have the Old Testament to come alive. Many Haitian believers are not clear at all on what the Bible teaches concerning salvation by faith in Christ alone.
In the afternoon, we taught on “Particular Needs in the Haitian Church.” We tried to very clearly speak to the men about their life testimony and purity in the church. They have a huge problem of mixing Christianity and voodoo. Many, many times we find this true and yet not a great concern to them. The pastors thought that these teachings were ‘STRONG MEDICINE.’ The final class of the day was the “questions and answers” period followed with small group prayer times. Each evening there were public evangelistic meetings. We had good attendance and attention each evening.
Please continue to pray that God would bless the Word that was preached and that the men would take seriously their responsibility to preach and live the Word before their people. We have another Pastor/Teacher Seminar scheduled for next month for about 90 men in Fond Doux in southern Haiti. We also are planning a Pastor/Teacher Seminar sometime in October or November in Potino. This area is not accessible by truck. We have helped provide medical care in this area for years and are excited about Bible training here as well.