As a result of the RRT chaplain deployment to Haiti in January of this year, opportunities to continue ministry in Haiti are abounding. At the prompting of the Baptist Haiti Mission (BHM), a ministry partner in Haiti, RRT developed and delivered grief ministry training for 80 local churches in May of this year. The training was so successful that members of the Christian Evangelical Association of Haiti invited them back to train Christian leadership.
On August 5 and 6, RRT trainers delivered more training for 45 pastors and church leaders. Those leaders will train others to minister to those in crisis. The planned result is the eventual training of 2,000 Haitian churches.
The goals of the training are to:
- Provide biblical teaching on grief and suffering
- Present a message of God’s hope
- Prepare church leaders to share the Gospel with others in their time of crisis
- Help prevent long-term effects of trauma and loss
Jack Munday, RRT Director, sees the urgency to equip Christian leaders in Haiti. “If they don’t get this kind of training, their personal grief could negatively impact their ministries. We saw examples of this happen in the Gulf after Hurricane Katrina. In the wake of that storm, many of the pastors were no longer with their churches.”
Munday also hopes this training will impact the Haitian church for generations to come. “The investment we’re making now will pay dividends years down the road. One of those dividends is hopefully to keep those pastors in ministry,” he said. “Attrition is natural, but we want to help minimize that. They have lost families and homes and have suffered depression. We want to help them keep a vibrant ministry. Restoring buildings mean nothing if we can’t help rebuild pastors’ lives.”
While many of the Haitian pastors didn’t suffer significant losses, they are still grieving loss from Hurricane Georges in 1998. “The longer the grief goes on, the worse it gets. We recognize that this is not clinical approach, but a biblical one,” said Munday. “God has a healing process. Our job is to help them understand, through Scripture, what that process looks like.”
How to Pray for the Grief Ministry Training in Haiti:
- That the 45 leaders participating in the churches will effectively retain the material and that they will experience healing in grief
- For effectiveness as these same leaders present the material to the churches
- For a spiritual awakening in Haiti
- That Haitian Christians to stand strong against the enemy’s attacks