The Haiti Lutheran Mission Society, a Listed Service Organization of LCC, has been supporting work among the Lutheran Churches of Haiti for many years.
Much attention has been given to humanitarian aid, chiefly through the sending of shipping containers full of clothing, building supplies, tools, shoes, etc. The odd bulldozer and a lot of sewing machines have been included too. As well, support has been provided for the Lutheran Church of Haiti congregations in the north of that country.
Of late, it has been more difficult to maintain contact with the LCH churches, so endeavours have been directed to the south, where congregations belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti.
The board of the society has also become acutely aware of the need for theological education in Haiti. In response to this need, I had the privilege of being in Port au Prince from October 22nd to 27th of 2018, to teach a foundational class on Luther’s Small Catechism.
The students were primarily lay leaders from congregations across the south of Haiti, with half of the thirty students having made the arduous twelve-hour (old school bus) trip from the city of Jeremie, on the far west tip of the southern peninsula. (The society covered the cost of their travel, as well as the cost of accommodation at a guest house in Port-au-Prince for the week) A few of the students are already ordained pastors in the church, and one Baptist pastor joined the class. The students are poor, and working wherever they can to support their families. Because they were also away from their work for a week, the Society also provided $70 per student to support their families in their absence.
Over four days, with the very able translation work of Rev. Blaise Marin, an LCMS pastor from California who is originally from Haiti (and whose father, a Haitian Lutheran pastor, attended the class), we worked through the six chief parts of the catechism. Even though it was hot under the tin roof, we managed to have some thorough discussions of many issues that arise from the catechism. Beginning and ending the day with wonderful acapella singing was a joy.
Some of the leaders were familiar, at least, with Luther’s catechism and the Biblical teaching therein; for others this was their first introduction to the catechism and its Biblical teaching. Plenty of small debates took place as they struggled to learn the truth of God’s Word, and as some of their preconceived misunderstandings of the Scripture were challenged. The Haitian leaders have a good working knowledge of the Bible, but since they are surrounded by both Roman and Evangelical errors on every side, they are in need of clear Biblical teaching. The Society hopes, with the help of faithful Canadian Lutherans, to be able to provide more teaching in the days ahead.
Please consider supporting the Haiti Lutheran Mission Society in order that the help so much needed may continue to be given to our Haitian sisters and brothers.
In Christ, the Church’s Lord
Pastor Warren Hamp
Faith Lutheran Church, Kitchener, Ontario