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Christian growth in Haiti: 30 years for HLMS

September 30, 2013 One Comment
A basic Lutheran church structure in Haiti.

A basic Lutheran church building in Haiti.

HAITI – The Haiti Lutheran Mission Society (HLMS)—a Listed Service Organization of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC)—was founded in 1983 to help fund the pastoral ministry of Rev. Doris-Jean Louis at First Lutheran Church (Pétion-Ville, Haiti) and to assist with humanitarian aid in Haiti. Because Rev. Louis was also supported by a society in the United States, in 1994 HLMS began to support Rev. Revenel Benoît, who had no sponsor, at Faith Lutheran Church in Gonaïves.

Through the grace of God, the mission grew significantly under Rev. Benoît’s leadership to become the Lutheran Church of Haiti (LCH). Job creation initiatives by this church body, especially the operation of a quarry, are bringing them steadily toward self-sufficiency for salaries. The LCH today has close to 50,000 members in 220 mainly rural congregations and 83 parochial schools.

Currently, the congregations of the LCH are served by lay-pastors with only basic theological training. To help rectify this situation, the LCH has approached the HLMS and LCC to request assistance in theological training.

The HLMS receives donations from congregations and individuals all over Canada, providing support to the areas the Haitian church identifies as greatest needs. Spiritual needs are always the priority, but empty stomachs cannot appreciate the Gospel only in Word. As a result, the society also endeavours to fulfill special projects related to material need. To reach out to the poor, humanitarian aid is collected and shipped, with fourteen 40-foot containers have been shipped by the HLMS to Haiti to this date. The HLMS also provides assistance to the LCH for the operation of its television and radio stations, tools which have proven to be effective methods of sharing the Gospel with Haiti’s population, many of whom follow voodoo religions.

Through the work of board members and the donations of committed individuals and groups, the HLMS has helped with many projects in Haiti over the past thirty years. They have shipped quarry equipment and other equipment to help the church generate income for lay pastors and teachers. They have fed malnourished school children, and sent money for aid and cholera serum following the 2010 earthquake. They have distributed donation aid following hurricanes and flooding, and have financed the rebuilding of 45 churches. And they have sent French hymnals and schoolbooks, as well as funded the purchase of French Bibles and Small Catechisms.

To celebrate thirty years of work in Haiti, the HLMS has produced a pamphlet and a DVD. The pamphlet lists many other ways the HLMS has helped the Lutheran Church of Haiti, as well as describing current projects. The DVD describes the work of President Benoît and the LCH. See a trailer for the DVD below.

The HLMS has also announced that President Benoît will be attending the Spring 2014 Haiti Mission Festival.

For more information on the HLMS, and to download the pamphlet and order the DVD, visit their website at www.haitilutheranmissionsociety.ca.

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One Comment »

  • Elaine Murphy said:

    How long is the video?

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