In the days to come I hope to update this blog with various aspects of the conference but for now I'll give a quick overview.
Pastor Rigaud and Pastor Joel, along with Pastor Elino and Pastor Ischaar, coordinated, lead, and managed the conference. There is a lot of work and planning that goes into a conference like this and these guys did a great job. It was especially encouraging to see their leadership in focussing the Haitian churches to pull together to meet one another's needs. They emphasized, through their classes, the importance of relationships within the churches and within their respective communities. There is a push, lead by the local leadership, to move away from dependency on foreign help and to rely more on each other and use their local resources to further the kingdom of God in Haiti.
Pastor Harlan Betz from Castle Rock, CO joined CWO this year and he taught the pastors and leaders. It was good for me to spend time with a older man of God who has served faithfully for many years. He has a pastoral heart and is a gifted teacher. He jumped in with both feet and fell in love with the Haitian people this week. I appreciated his leadership and heart for the people.
Megan Isaacson, also from Colorado, joined us in Haiti to teach classes on worship. Megan was an asset to the conference. She was able to use her God-given gifts to bless her class as well as the entire group. It's apparent that she has a heart for Jesus. The Haitians especially enjoyed the songs that she translated into Creole. By the end of the week we could hear them joyfully singing the newly-learned songs!
Greg Yoder, from CWO, taught children's ministry workers this week. I enjoyed getting to know Greg better and we were able to have many good conversations about ministry in Haiti and what CWO is doing in this country. His heart for Haiti, for many years now, is admirable.
I was also able to be a part of this year's conference. I taught on the importance of the gospel influencing our daily lives. The gospel should influence us, not only at the point of conversion, but it should fuel our service and obedience on a daily basis. Obedience to God is a result of love for God. Obedience ought to be an overflow of a heart that loves Jesus. Obedience that does not flow from that source inevitably slips into legalism.
Relationship-building was also a big part of the week for me. As I get to know people in Haiti my love for them and the country grows. More to come soon on that and other topics from the conference...
Here's a few pictures from the week:
|The whole group! These people are the leadership teams at the 8 CWO churches.|
|Local kids playing soccer.|
|Haitians love this game.|
|Greg Yoder, VP of CWO, taking pictures.|
|Object lesson: using the resources available to accomplish goals together.|
|Every event always has kids around.|
|Pastor Betz teaching the leaders and pastors with the translating help of Pastor Joel.|
|Amos and Hebel. The more I get to know these guys the more I like being around them.|
|Transportation home for three of the church groups.|
|They used lots of means of getting themselves home.|
|And they're off!|
|Our protein source for the week.|
|Our sleeping area. Mosquito nets for everyone.|
|MAF flew us there and back. They land on a dirt field.|
|View of the Haitian mountains.|