The Lord continues to open doors for us to train church leaders in Haiti. If I said that in a home group meeting, odds are good that my sweet wife, Rena, would point out that “The Lord opening and closing doors” is close to “Christian-ese” (nonspecific things we Christians say that really don’t mean much). She would ask: What does that really mean? Fair question.
It means that, as we do our best to follow the Lord in keeping with His Word, God leads us specifically through circumstances. He brings opportunities to us (=He opens doors), or He removes opportunities from us (=He closes doors). Figuring out whether God is opening or closing doors in our life begins with doing our best to follow the Lord in keeping with His Word. Step 1 for us is always asking, “What has God said about this in the Bible,” and then finding out through personal study and godly counsel.
We have to be careful not to skip this step. God always guides us through the Scriptures. His Word is His will. In my years as a pastor, I’ve seen too many believers make decisions more in line with the world than God’s Kingdom by making two serious mistakes: 1) They interpret circumstances alone as God’s direction, or 2) they equate their feelings with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Both errors leave out Scripture, and both distract us from seeking first His kingdom and righteousness in making decisions (Matthew 6:33).
But it’s still true that, as we do our best to follow the Lord in keeping with His Word, God can lead us through opening or closing doors of opportunity. The Lord continues to open many doors for Partnership of Pastors in Haiti!
Pastor Brave Laverdure will travel with me to Haiti in February. Brave is a Haitian-American brother, who leads Haitian Alliance Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in Gonaives, taught in Evangelical Bible College in Cap Haitien for a number of years before moving to the United States.
Some 12 years ago, Brave led his church to establish a “daughter church” in Port au Prince. The Lord has given Pastor Brave passion to strengthen and encourage pastors in Haiti through his half-day challenge, Sowing for a Great Awakening (SAGA). In February/March, I and our Haitian team will lead Course 1 of our PPI training and Brave will lead his SAGA challenge. This will provide four days of training and challenge for 220-plus church leaders in both Cap Haitien and Gonaives! Church leaders who complete the three days of PPI training will be awarded a Thompson Bible, Creole Bibles, the book God Pleasing Worship (in Creole) as well as other ministry resources. We’re excited and we’re working hard on preparations.
PLEASE PRAY for these preparations – for the Lord to open doors for us to encourage, train and resource church leaders effectively.
Esau, Jasmin and Michel – our key Haitian partner pastors – travel to Gonaives tomorrow (Friday) to distribute our conference info/registration forms and make final arrangements for our team to come. Pray for their safe travels – they’re literally traveling across the country by taxi – and success in their preparations.
You may remember that we had planned to offer PPI training in Gonaives last February, but had to cancel our trip because of the new CDC international travel restrictions. We promised them that, Lord willing, we would come to Gonaives in 2022 to offer PPI training. Esau told me that pastors there “are making me crazy.” Many have called him to make sure they can register for this conference. They know we limit our training to 110 pastors, and they want to make sure they can secure there place. They will be very happy to see Esau, Jasmin and Michel on Friday!
We will finalize preparations for our Cap Haitien conferences in early January. Please pray for these details as well.
Our new Course 1 workbooks are printed and stored at Missionary Flights International (MFI) ready to be shipped to Haiti in February. We worked through a revision of the Creole translation of this workbook to make it more effective in training pastors. As a result, we set up a Haitian “translation team” to revise the translations of Course 2 and our resource, God-Pleasing Worship. (The team completed these two revisions a couple weeks ago. Now it’s on me to make the revisions to the file and reprint the resources. Pray for me on that!) This team will also work with me on the translation of our next course workbooks and pastors’ resources. I’m so thankful for Esau humbly recognizing his limitations and working with me to put together an excellent Haitian translation team.
I could go on and on. The Lord continues to open doors for us to train church leaders in Haiti!
Isn’t that the lesson of Christmas? The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world – good news that He wants the world to hear and believe. So He sends “a multitude of heavenly hosts” to announce it. He commissions shepherds to share it. He directs wise men to support it. And He sends us to every nation to announce it: “Jesus Christ was born to be the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. He can change your eternity and your life here and now. Repent and believe the good news!” That’s the powerful gospel that will change Haiti and our country, too, and it begins with godly, well trained church leaders. That’s why we do what we do.
Merry Christmas, friends! May you have sweet times with your Savior and your family and friends. Thank you for your part in helping us walk through open doors!