Contact: Jeff Goins, Adventures In Missions
, 800-881-2461, firstname.lastname@example.org
GAINESVILLE, Ga., May 20 /Christian Newswire
/ -- A small team of leading church bloggers and radio voices from America and New Zealand will travel to Haiti May 26-30 to build relationships with Haitian pastors and launch Adventures In Missions' (AIM) Church-to-Church Program.
The program, part of a larger relief effort called the Isaiah 58 Project, focuses on long-term investment in Haiti by facilitating partnerships between churches in developed countries and a network of Haitian churches. Pastors of these churches believe that the January 12 earthquake catalyzed a nationwide spiritual revival in Haiti. According to Adventures In Missions, partnership with local church leadership is a key element in the long-term strategy for rebuilding the country.
AIM has established a base in Port-au-Prince, from which a team of Haitian and American staff and volunteers are serving communities through church partnerships.
"Once we move past the immediate phase of delivering food and water and helping with medical needs, the long and hard work of rebuilding begins. For that, this direct church-to-church approach has so much promise," said speaker, author and consultant Mark Oestreicher. Oestreicher accompanied an AIM-organized team of youth ministry bloggers to Haiti in February 2010 in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and is a key organizer of this new team.
"When we were in Haiti on our first trip, it was clear to us that the only infrastructure in the entire country, other than non-Haitian NGOs and non-Haitian governmental groups, is the Haitian church. In order to be involved in community development and rebuilding that doesn't build dependency and isn't colonial in nature, we're working through the Haitian church to reach and help their communities," Oestreicher said.
Though Haiti has experienced extreme poverty and weathered other natural disasters, the rest of the world has taken little notice until now. "The world thinks it is coming to bless Haiti," said AIM founder and executive director Seth Barnes, who will lead the team traveling to Haiti in May.
"Our staff in Haiti expects to see gifted leaders rise from the church in Haiti. We sense that God is equipping them to model lives abandoned to obedience in the way all Christians are called to live but often struggle to do."
Over 20 U.S. churches have already made plans for partnership with Haitian churches. Initially, AIM is seeking 200 congregations to partner in Haiti. Journey Community Church in La Mesa, Calif., is in progress toward such a partnership. Teaching pastor Ed Noble will travel with the team to Haiti in late May. The team will focus on meeting and listening to Haitian pastors, learning the vision for their communities and considering how partnering churches can support the work they are doing.
"I love meeting other pastors," said Noble. "I've often been humbled by meeting colleagues who sacrifice so much more than I've had to. I also feel like the Haitian pastors have something for me, an experience of God born in suffering that I hope to receive."
Oestreicher noted, "The partnership will be significant for people from both sides: Haitians will receive encouragement, prayer and tangible help, while people from U.S. churches will be challenged in their faith by involvement with wonderfully hope-filled Haitian believers."
AIM has received over $150,000 in donations for Haiti relief and partnership efforts. The May team is seeking to raise an additional $35,000 to fund salaries for the front-line Haitian leaders who are guiding the Church-to-Church Program.
to follow the team's stories from Haiti and adventures.org/churchtochurch
for more on the Church-to-Church Program.About Adventures In Missions
Adventures In Missions (AIM) is an interdenominational missions organization that focuses on discipleship. They emphasize prayer and relationships in their work amongst the poor. Since being established in 1989, AIM has taken over 80,000 people into the mission field. AIM believes that by giving people the opportunity to hold orphans, bring hope to the hopeless, and pray for the sick, lives are transformed. Find out more at http://adventures.org.