“[Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
Last year Pastor Warren Hamp taught a class on Teaching the Small Catechism to about 30 lay leaders, many of whom may eventually be fit for ordination to the Pastoral Office. The course was well received and highly successful as students in attendance were eager to deepen their faith in and understanding of Christianity. Due to the generous donation of Creole Small Catechisms from the Lutheran Heritage Foundation (LHF), students were able to better learn how to teach the priceless doctrines of the Lutheran Church to these congregational leaders. LHF has also recently reprinted the popular French children’s devotional, “les Petites Rencontres avec Jésus”, purchased by HLMS for helping teachers in the schools that we support, by encouraging them to teach the Gospel as we express it in the Lutheran Church to children as part of their daily educational curriculum. After all, we can never hear it too often: how God has not abandoned us in spite of how the various kinds of poverty – both physical and spiritual—with which we are surrounded and in which we find ourselves. How precious is the message that Jesus the Christ hung on the cross to forgive all of our sins and demonstrate his deep and loving commitment to abide with us. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news” (Isaiah 52:7). HLMS prays for and helps equip pastors and lay teachers to share the Good News that has changed our lives with those in Haiti.
The cost of doing virtually any mission work or humanitarian aid in Haiti is very high, due to corruption, lack of infrastructure and other factors that lie outside of our control, which is one reason why many churches choose not to do much ministry there anymore. Yet this is all the more reason for HLMS to continue our work in Haiti in feeding both bodies and souls with the bread of the earth and of heaven. Another course was scheduled for this same eager group of students this last Fall on the Augsburg Confession, to be taught by a native of Haiti who is also an LCMS pastor, Rev Blaise Marin. Due to the political strife and safety reason for the students and instructor, the course needed to be cancelled, only to be rescheduled for the new year after the political situation stabilizes by the grace of God. In the meantime, HLMS has spoken with our Synod’s Mission Executive, Rev Mark Smith, about the possibility of incorporating students who are under the spiritual care and supervision of Rev Benoit Revenel. Although HLMS is uncomfortable offering financial support to Rev Revenel directly due to reasons that we cannot cover here in length, but we have discussed in prior newsletters, we do want to help his churches in this area of providing theological training. Also, Rev Smith is currently discussing possibilities of working together with the LCMS in Haiti in training students and ensuring theological courses are offered more frequently. So there are lots of wonderful new endeavours on the horizon, and we hope that you will continue to support us with your prayers and financial gifts. We also are open to new members in governing our society. Recently we have begun linking members from across the country skyping them in through Google Meet, so that they can join us from the convenience of their own homes or work spaces. Perhaps this is a capacity that the Holy Spirit can use you in helping serve Haitians with and through our society.
“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; His love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).
Rev. Dr. Harold Ristau
Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary