Training shepherds

OM International | Haiti

The morning after the ship’s official opening ceremony in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the ship’s venue, Hope Theatre, was transformed to accommodate hundreds of church workers on board for a pastors' conference.

The event’s lead speaker, Ken Adam, pastor of Crossroad Church in Georgia, United States, told the Haitians that this is the fourth time he has done training in Haiti and welcomed those in the audience that he had met during previous visits. “Jesus started His Church the way He wanted it two thousand years ago and now He wants it the way He started it, but the Church has lost its way,” said Pastor Ken, introducing the theme for the conference.

The day was divided into hour-long sessions which covered four topics: the target, the strategy, the environment of the church, and concluded with leadership development within the church. Pastor Ken asked the pastors what they would think if they saw him in the dining room with a bib around his neck being spoon-fed by his wife. The Haitians laughed at the visual image. “The problem is that we’ve got people in our churches who come every week and they are getting spoon-fed,” said Pastor Ken. “If our job is to make disciples who look like our master, than our job is to not have a church full of babies, but to have a church full of adults.”

The conference concluded with training on water purification. Contaminated drinking water is a common problem throughout Haiti, due to issues with waste disposal. Following the training, the 332 pastors each received a water filtration system to take back to their communities. One filter, if left running constantly, can produce 600 litres of clean water a day for ten years. With an average person needing around two litres of water a day, each water filter can provide enough water for 300 people.

While most of the pastors relied on a Haitian Creole translator for the main teachings, their lack of English fluency did not diminish their excitement and efforts to connect with crewmembers throughout the day. “I had several pastors come up to me and tell me they were really enjoying Pastor Ken’s messages,” said Dominic Haede (Germany), the event coordinator. “Many of the pastors were so excited about the water purifiers that they wanted to take several home.”

The men and women pastor churches throughout Haiti, so volunteers hope the impact of the conference will continue to spread, to positively affect the entire country.

Published: Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Credit: OM International
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