Before I even began working with e3 Partners, I had friended, on Facebook, the Via family who is laboring towards #NoPlaceLeft in Haiti. Throughout the process of raising my ministry partner support, I would look over their news feed and would see all of the ministry that was taking place through their network. I was encouraged by their humble willingness to share the victories as well as the challenges of getting a church planting movement started and moving in a healthy direction. I learned so much from them even if it was vicariously and from a distance.
One of the things that struck me the most was when they opened up their home to allow 12 of their Haitian Timothies ( those who are being discipled and trained up in the life and practice as a follower of Jesus and in making disciples) to come live and do life with them in their home. Together through that home, they train, study, go out in the harvest, plant churches, help train legacy churches in the area and get to experience life with one another. This reminded me so much of what we see happening with the relationship that Jesus had with His disciples. They ate together. They cried together. They labored together. And I am sure they dealt with conflict and life issues together.
That is what true growth is. It is fostered through adversity and through victories. It is strengthened as tough love is exercised for the sake of the health of the person and the group. It challenges to move beyond what we feel we can obtain through our own power and pushes us into an understanding of our real dependence on God.
I watched over the months as those young men, under the leadership of the Via family, took on ministry tasks and training opportunities that resulted in empowering others to take on that role as Ambassadors of Christ. New churches were started. Legacy churches were trained and began to see amazing generational growth of their own. Disciples were made. Legacy churches began engaging those far from God in their communities and it continues. It was and is a beautiful thing to behold.
So when the opportunity came for me to go and visit the work there, I jumped on it. I was so excited to see the process firsthand. I wanted to be able to see the dynamics which exist in a live in disciple type arrangement. I wanted to see the training rhythm and the abiding time with God rhythm. I wanted to see the excitement in the legacy church leaders as they trained their people in how to make disciples that make disciples and plant churches.
When Steve and I arrived in Haiti, we were greeted by Jacob and a couple of the guys. Then we went on our first adventure….Jacob driving in Port-au-Prince. He was a master at the wheel. Two car lanes held 4 or 5 cars. No kidding. But Jacob stayed as cool as could be. I would have panicked and found myself in the ditch. The most valuable tool on the road….the horn. Without the horn, catastrophe would ensue.
When we arrived at their home, we were greeted by the guys. It was like one huge family. As you walk in, there is a large table sitting before some whiteboards. This I learned is training headquarters. The modules we use in our gospel conversation training (Four Fields) are posted all over the walls of the room. It is obvious that there is a high value placed on preparation and training. We would gather over the next few days in this area for discovery Bible studies and other training. I was able to train on The Heart of the Laborer which we used as an evaluative Bible discovery that speaks to the heart of the one who labors in the harvest. I also had an opportunity to share about the blessings of doing 30 Days in the Harvest and had a Q&A time with the guys. Steve was also able to lead a Discovery Bible Study with a gathering of national leaders out in a village area.
We were able to go out in the harvest with the guys and see them engage those in the streets and park area. I was also able to share the 3 Circles with some that spoke English. These young men have a heart for the ministry. They truly desire to see those far from God come to Him. It was encouraging seeing the guys sitting by themselves during the day journaling about the Scriptures they were reading.
The Via family models extremely well for their Timothies what the life of a follower is to be like. They hold church together and the sounds of Creole worship taking place was beautiful. It is obvious the love they have for one another. Acts 2 church health is apparent with these guys.
Our trip was a short one but was long enough for me to see that the strength of the work going on in Haiti comes from empowering the national leaders to do the work. The Vias work hard in training and equipping. They foster strong relationships with local legacy churches and leadership. They serve with a servant attitude and humbly. They are available to their Timothies and send them out with an understanding that their authority to spread the gospel and plant churches comes from God. Many of the guys stated that they feel God calling them to reach unreached people groups and are making plans to relocate to other countries to serve in that way. Wow!
So my takeaways:
- Train and delegate responsibilities to those you are discipling.
- Help foster a BIG vision for what God can accomplish through obedient followers.
- Work in unity with existing legacy churches and their leaders.
- Help others understand their authority through Jesus to make disciples and plant churches.
- Love one another as the Body of Christ.
I want to thank personally all of my ministry support partners. You make it possible for me to be present and available to engage the local harvest here and to make disciples and train them to do the same. The team that I am forming here where I live is growing and is beginning to train others from their oikos (relational connections) and harvest areas. That is a beautiful site. I am also developing healthy relationships with some local church leaders that are interested in receiving training in gospel conversations at their church. Doors keep opening. Thank you for your continued support of the work!!
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