Reaching the Heart of Haiti

The Reaching the Heart of Haiti Program began in 2009 in partnership between Emmaus Biblical Seminary of Haiti and Growth Ministries. Under the leadership of Dr. Charles Lake, Growth Ministries developed a discipleship program for oral learners for the purpose of providing a means to develop full-blown disciples of Christ for those who could not read the Scriptures or do daily devotions due to the challenge of literacy. In 2011, Dr. Lake launched the program through two pilot groups of pastors in both Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian, Haiti. The Cap-Haitian pilot group was organized by the leadership of Emmaus Biblical Seminary of Haiti (EBS). EBS also provided facilities for the training process for Dr. Lake’s discipleship material. After many months of polishing the program, in real-life discipleship groups, the final version of the program was launched in 2013 and has had tremendous impact since then.

The success of the program paired with the passion of the EBS community for reaching the unchurched of Haiti (EBS Faculty Member Jean Junior Cinéas was the primary individual responsible for cultivating this passion within the EBS community through leading individual church plants and teaching Missiology at EBS) resulted in the EBS Rector’s vision for organizing an official program within the greater EBS ministry that would help facilitate the effectiveness as well as the extended reach of the program. That official program is Reaching the Heart of Haiti.

On September 14, 2015, EBS Rector, Matthew I. Ayars, officially announced the launching of Reaching the Heart of Haiti during a EBS Chapel Service.

The primary goal of the Reaching the Heart of Haiti Program is to evangelize and establish discipleship groups in unreached/unchurched areas of Haiti. This goal fits within the greater framework of the One Mission Society’s goal to provide one opportunity to one billion people in unreached areas to hear and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. A secondary goal of the program is to develop evangelism and leadership skills within the EBS student body in preparation for full-time ministry.

The goal for the 2015–2016 academic year (ending May 2016) is to plant a minimum of 5 discipleship groups comprising 8 members per group in unreached ares of Haiti (probably the north).

Reaching the Heart of Haiti utilizes Growth Ministries’ orality-based discipleship program designed specially for Haitian believers. The Growth Ministries discipleship program is an 18 week discipleship program designed for a discipleship group of 8 members plus one group facilitator (“discipler”). The materials include: (1) a solar powered audio player equipped with the Creole Bible (dramatized reading) and discipleship lessons; (2) a user-friendly discipleship group leader’s guide for facilitating the group (in Creole); (3) a user-friendly discipleship group members manual for literate group members (in Creole).

As detailed in section 3.2 The Content, the opening section of the program (What it Means to be a Christ-Follower) is geared for the evangelization of individual group members. This opening section meets the mandate for the individual to not only hear but also understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. Interwoven within the evangelism piece of that section is the call to discipleship as evangelism and discipleship are inseparable.

Once the firm foundation has been set for individuals to hear and understand the gospel, the program moves the individual forward in understanding the essentials of being a faithful Christ-follower by touching on angelology and demonology, dealing with temptation and sin, God’s design for the family and home, practical ecclesiology, and faithfulness as a believer.

Upon completing the program, once again, each individual will have not only heard and understood the gospel, but also wil have had formation on the essentials of being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

Read about EBS Church Planting here.

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