March 9 – 19, 2015 the Nehemiah Team had the privilege of participating in three BE III classes in Port au Prince, Pignon, and Cap Haitian, Haiti at the invitation of Pastor Ebed Paul, Country License Partner and the leader of Leve Kanpe Mache. Patrice Tsague and Debra Schlaht were joined by Sustainable Missionaries Nancy Russell, Pastor Tami Firman, and Rod Friesen. Also joining the team was Shawn Justice of Justice Productions. Shawn videotaped local sites and captured BE testimonies of alumni, teachers, and students.
Many of the team stayed in the guest house of Pastor John Louighins, a BE Student and Certified Teacher. We enjoyed the family atmosphere and opportunity to share meals and conversation with students attending the class as well as the Sustainable Missionaries.
BE III: Planning a Kingdom Business is the final course in the first Full Cycle of Biblical Entrepreneurship. The class focuses on building the participants summary business plans for graduation and the local business plan competitions.
Patrice conducted the BE III class in Port au Prince. This was the first time Haitian students and Certified Teachers used the updated BE III curriculum that is designed to provide students with a quick start to their kingdom business plans and begin implementing them much sooner. With 34 students, the team divided into groups as began the business planning process. One representative student from each group then shared their work on the business plan topic with the entire class. This helped students prepare for their 10-minute Business Plan Summary presentation at graduation
On Wednesday afternoon, NPIM hosted a lunch at the Karibe Hotel. Eric Cummings from Serving Our Neighbors, connected the team to local Pastor Rene Joseph. The team was blessed to hear his testimony and look forward to furthering the relationship through BE to his extensive church members.
Shawn Justice and Debra spent Monday and Tuesday capturing the historical sights and interviewing BE students about their experiences. They visited several schools and locations where the results of the earthquake remain visible. The students were happy, glad to receive us and were studying hard. Upon Debra’s return, she noted how she reflected on how the Lord led her to visit numerous schools, orphanages, and church services in each city they visited. She strongly believes God has a plan and His purpose will be revealed for each of the places she visited.
On Thursday, Pastor Tami, Nancy and Debra left Patrice and Rod to finish the class and moved to Pignon. Joining them were four Certified Teachers who helped teach 24 students and mentor their small groups. The Certified Teachers with the support of Pastor Ebed did a tremendous job of teaching this group of entrepreneurs. On the final day, Pastor Ebed met with the group leaders and established a regional team to ensure leadership for the on-going classes. Pastor Ezekias, Marie Chantal Louis, Pastor Ebed, Wins Marcelin, and Ifraus Henock make up this leadership team.
The team had the great honor in attending a river baptism in LaCoste on Saturday evening. Pastor Tami Firman participated in this ceremony baptizing two local youth. The entire community walked from church to the river and back to the church at the conclusion of the service. It was an experience the team will not forget. On the following Sunday morning the team attended church for the harvest festival. The simple church was packed with worshippers. What a blessing to have four choral groups sing praises and then serve a delicious meal. Jesus was with in the house and it was a moving service.
The team’s final week was spent in Cap Haitian. This is a vibrant group of more than 60 students who were intent on seeking the Lord’s guidance on their business plans. Pastors Renaud and Evens hosted the class. The evidence of the BE program is clear. One student approached Debra asking her to contact Patrice. When Debra explained that he was in Cameroon, the student shared how in the last visit Patrice had loaned him $150 for his business with the expectation that the loan be repaid with $25 interest in March. He wanted to know if he paid the interest, would Patrice continue the loan until the July graduation. The couple who co-signed the note with him where right beside him. This is a result of the teachings in Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship BEI. Debra was so impressed that she extended the loan. His business is growing and it will be exciting to hear his full story in July.
Under Pastor Ebed’s leadership,we have seen BE Haiti serve an enormous number of students in the past nine months. He is planning a great event in July to kick off the handoff of BE Haiti to the full leadership of LKM and launch the BE program in a very big way. If you want to be a part of the graduation of the first Haitian BE students, attend business conferences, participate in the Haiti Business Plan Competition and Celebration banquet – then contact Pastor Ebed Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. As Pastor Ebed says “Haiti is open for business!”
This program would not have grown or seen the rate of success without NPIM’s committed team of volunteers. Nancy Russell and Pastor Tami Firman have committed their time, talent and personal treasure these past nine months to teachmore than eight classes in various cities. They helped launch a new city, La Victoire, and are looking to add another BE city, Port au Paix. They tirelessly work for the Lord. It was a privilege to serve with them.
Thanks as well to Jerome Leonard, Scott Landis, and Rod Friesen. Without your love of Haiti and the people, this program would not have realized the success we see so far.
What a great experience. God was so gracious. Debra was quoted saying “I am forever changed. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced, I learned and I returned with enormous hope for the future of Haiti.”
If you would like to participate in upcoming Sustainable Missions Trip; please contact Debra at email@example.com.