First of all, we want to thank you for your many prayers over the time of the conference. If you had been praying for a time of clear Biblical teaching, attentive & interested men, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, you may praise the Lord with us for answered prayer!
Philip Rudolph and Jim Kelly (elders from our home congregation here in TN) arrived in Port-au-Prince late on Saturday evening, June 18. We spent a very hot night in P-au-P at a guesthouse. The next day when we were ready to leave, we found out that one of our two interpreters had mistaken the dates for the conference and thought they were the following week! But thankfully, though there was some delay in our departure, he was still able to come with us, and we were so thankful for that!
Travel up the rough trail went well, and we arrived safely in Potino on Sunday evening. Michael set up all of his audio and recording equipment Sunday night, and the rest of the set-up was completed Monday morning. Michael was able to get good sound and video recordings of the whole conference. Lord willing, we will be making those available in other areas of Haiti as well.
The first session on Monday morning began strong with hymns, prayer, and anticipation. Then, a time of sound, Biblical teaching, you could just see the men drinking it in. Biblical exposition is not commonly found in Haiti, often personal opinions and traditions obscure what the Scripture really says. They have been taught certain things all of their lives, and everyone else thinks the same way. If you could only see their excitement as their hearts and minds are taught by the Word of God, and they realize new truths. It’s a privilege to be able to sit there and witness the Lord working!
Philip taught on Worship. The concept of “worship” is very misunderstood in Haiti. Many or most think it has to do with singing & getting worked up, dancing, and yelling. Philip was able to show from Scripture what the definition of worship really is. How does GOD want us to worship? What should worship look like in our meetings? How should we prepare to worship? He answered these questions and many more during the sessions throughout the week. Worship is the state of the heart before God and is voiced through the channels of singing, praise, Scripture reading, prayer, preaching of the Word, and is in conformity to His will and command. Worship is words; it is giving back to God the truths He has already given to us.
Jim taught on Systematic Theology. He showed how you can take any verse of scripture or any Biblical truth and divide them into one of seven categories: The study of God, The study of Christ, The study of The Holy Spirit, The study of man and creation, The study of Salvation, The study of the Church, and The study of the things of the last days. He gave an overview of each point using many Scriptures and helped them practice dividing the truths found in any verse into the different categories. He showed them how to organize and understand the way they work together and then how to teach these truths to their home congregations. He used a puzzle to illustrate how all of the doctrines of Scripture fit together perfectly, but, you must have and understand all the pieces in order to get the whole picture. If you only hold to some of the truths of scripture or do not understand some of them and how they work, the puzzle will not fit together and it will be a scrambled mess. He taught them how Systematic Theology helps you piece all the truths of scripture together and keeps you from ignoring any of the doctrines of the Bible.
The last session of the week was going late. The men were asked, do you want to stop now or finish this topic? The vote was unanimous, “keep going”! It didn’t matter that they each had a 1-4 hour walk home in the hot afternoon sun. They had the rare opportunity to be taught and they were loving it. Thank you each again for your prayers and support that make these conferences possible. God is so good!
Here are some pictures from the week: