Last week, my daughter, Bella and I returned to Haiti to officially move out of our house in Port Au Prince. As we emptied the house room-by-room, sweet memories flashed through my mind. The most amazing three years of our lives were spent in this home and we are eternally grateful to Jesus for it all. There are lots of emotions as we close that chapter. During this trip, we spent time with our leadership team praying and planning for the future. We are extremely excited to be entering into the next phase in the movement in Haiti – Biblical foundations for new leaders.

If we consider Paul’s first missionary journey to the area of Galatia, we can see three phases that took place. First, we can see that the Spirit of God initiated a movement. The gospel spread rapidly and disciples and churches multiplied in every city (Acts 13:43-44, 13:48-49, 14:1, 14:21). Secondly, in a matter of weeks or months, Paul and Barnabas returned to each place they had been, encouraged the disciples, and appointed elders in each new church (Acts 14:12-23). After which, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch to give report to the church who had sent them and they were commended for the work they had fulfilled. Paul then later writes a letter back to the Galatians (the churches and cities from his first mission) to strengthen them and help them make doctrinal corrections. The three phases of the movement are thus:

  1. Multiplication
  2. Pastoral Development
  3. Doctrinal Development

The Team

The work in Haiti is entering the pastoral development phase. By the grace of God in the last two years, we have seen an incredible multiplication of disciples and churches. More than 4,000 new leaders have been raised up from the harvest. Many of them have been appointed as elders by the churches they’re leading (based on the qualifications they find in 1 Timothy 3). However, with this many new leaders comes the heavy responsibility on our team to see that these leaders are fully equipped to faithfully shepherd the flock and rightly handle the Word of God.

In a movement, pioneer work is like building a road. It’s not perfectly straight and smooth. But it gets you from point A to point B. Then the pastoral/doctrinal development phases comes behind the work to pour the concrete and smooth things out. Both are needed, the former before the latter.

Biblical Foundations is a series of six workshops each building on the last (one 3-day workshop each month). The main goal of the training is to give our new Haitian leaders a full overview of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation and more than 30 practice lessons in inductive Bible study. They will then be expected to go teach it to their churches before the next month’s workshop. By the end of the six months, they will be able to story the entire Bible from memory and be able to interpret, teach, and obey any scripture they read. Our desire is to maintain breadth and depth in the movement. The multiplication must continue in order to reach every corner of the island and begin cascading into more movements in new places. At the same time, God desires His church to be healthy. The goal is healthy reproducing churches for the glory of God. In order to have healthy reproducing churches, we must have healthy reproducing leaders.

Please pray for us. Beginning in May, we will take 40 pastors through this six-month training. Each participant will “graduate” as a trainer and be released to pass on the training to their networks of churches. If you are interested in helping sponsor the Foundations Training, we need an additional $1000 per month through October. We are grateful for your prayers and support.

– Jacob