On our last trip to Haiti we had the pleasure of running into John Gillespie right after he finished teaching pastors and leaders from our sister church, All In One, and other churches in the area. John had brought each student a copy of Wayne Grudem’s book, Systematic Theology, and taught them from it. After we spent a little time with several of the pastors who had been in the seminary classes that week, they departed to return to their own churches.
On Sunday, our team left early in the morning with Pastor Kesnel from All In One to visit Pastor Maxo’s church on the mountain. After a long trip up the mountain, we pulled up to a tiny church building high up in the mountain. The floor was dirt, and the walls were tarps, but inside we could see men and women in suits and dresses and the sweet sound of worship music filled the air!
The service was wonderful, and we were able to follow it quite well thanks to our friend, Pastor Kesnel, who translated for us from Haitian Creole to English. In the middle of the service, Pastor Kesnel and Pastor Maxo introduced us, and Pastor Maxo pulled out his new Systematic Theology book and showed it to the congregation. Though I’ve seen many amazing things on the five trips I’ve taken to Haiti, I must admit that I was a little stunned to see the entire congregation smiling and applauding with excitement when they learned that their pastor had been given such a valuable resource (the book) for his ongoing study on the mountain. Our congregation, Westbrooke Church, raised enough money to buy the books in a single week after the need was announced, but while we could see the value of providing pastors with these sorts of resources, I was amazed to personally see the impact a single book can have on an entire group of believers! In the hands of dedicated pastors these books, costing less than a hundred dollars each, would help to ground many churches in the solid foundation of God’s word!
God is clearly at work in Haiti, and I believe that He is laying the groundwork for an incredible transformation there. As God continues to call men and women to His service in this poor nation, this experience challenged me once again to consider the impact we can have by coming alongside the current and future leaders of Christ’s church in Haiti.