Nurturing the Local Church
HAFF comes alongside local churches to support pastors and church leaders in their work of making disciples of Christ.
Activities include showing evangelistic films at local churches, providing opportunities for Bible Studies, training pastors and church leaders, and offering Vacation Bible School.
The Evangelistic Film Ministry shows The Jesus Film and contemporary, Christian films produced in Haiti and other countries in local churches. The films are shown Sunday evenings at the invitation of the church leaders who publicize the showing, lead any singing, praying or invitation. Over the course of a year the films are shown in some 25 churches to over 5000 people.
HAFF’s goal for the entire staff, the IPB students, and the members of its community education programs is to help them become disciples who make other disciples. Through individual mentoring and group Bible studies, HAFF seeks to help our staff members be disciples with lives of personal accountability.
From the beginning, HAFF's goal has been to equip local lay pastors and other church leaders to effectively teach and counsel from Scripture. Few pastors in Haiti have formal theological training. Local churches are generally led by individuals who have grown up in the community and naturally take over leadership as previous leaders leave their positions. These lay pastors are self-supporting and often do not have sufficient time or money to gain formal training. Pastor conferences at HAFF have been scheduled when North American pastors are visiting. Plans are being made to offer a program of theological training with certificate achievement, using curriculum provided by Equipping Nationals Worldwide.
Vacation Bible School is periodically offered to children of HAFF staff and other children in the neighborhood surrounding HAFF. Led by members of Short-Term Mission Friendship Teams with translators VBS allows Haitian children to work with craft materials, an activity they rarely get to do in school. Teams bring the craft supplies they will need and can modify VBS curriculum used in their own church. Short Bible skits are particularly effective and greatly enjoyed. Children learn new Christian songs in English and new American group games (like “Duck, Duck, Goose”). Teams learn easy Christian songs in Creole and fun Haitian group games. VBS also allows younger children to actively play soccer, or with other sports equipment, instead of just watching older children.