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Haiti Jan 2017 A

Croix Du Boquet, Haiti December 31, 2016 - January 7, 2017

TLI has established a partnership with the Institut Biblique de la Croix-des-Bouquets (IBC). The Bible Institute of Croix-des-Bouquets (IBC) admits a new cohort of about 30 students each year for their one year certificate and two year diploma program. TLI’s non-formal curriculum will be adapted for use in strengthening IBC’s staff knowledge and enhancing their diploma program Curriculum to be taught: Hermeneutics and OT Survey

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Field Notes   Haiti Jan 2017 A

Jan  4th,  2017Tap-tap Preaching



Colorful buses and trucks fill the streets of Croix-des-Bouquets, a city northeast of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. These vehicles are called “tap-taps,” and are a form of public transportation with set routes. Their name comes from the method of signaling the driver to stop. One simply “taps” on the vehicle twice and the driver will pull over. These tap-taps are colorfully painted with different characters and scenes; from movie stars and singers to biblical stories. Many tap-taps also have biblical verses or phrases written on them. While at first glance it appears like a strong biblical influence, the reality is far from this. In the same way that voodoo chants and specific colors to please spirits are used, these verses are placed on their vehicles in the hopes and beliefs that the Christian God will bless their business and grant them special favor. Unfortunately, the presence of voodoo in this country has even led the church to syncretism on the one hand and strict legalism on the other extreme. This reality has colored Scripture in different ways that are not truthful to the text or even the overall message of the gospel.

I have looked forward to this week for some time. After living in Haiti for the last three and a half years to help develop pastors and spiritual leaders, I knew the material within the Hermeneutics course would be revolutionary in the realm of biblical interpretation. Preaching the word here is considered to be something fairly easy to do and many jump at the opportunity to get behind the pulpit. However, three days into this course, this attitude was seriously challenged as students realized the heaviness of the task in interpreting Scripture. As we walked through the steps of analyzing passages and looked at several exegetical examples, the questions and comments began to paint a picture of how the course – and ultimate God’s word – was opposing some tradition and culture. Questions that seemed off the wall would be followed by comments such as, “I’ve heard preachers here explain this passage as…” This week, students are genuinely wrestling with traditional explanations of passages that they are now interpreting for themselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As tough as it was to see them struggle with some of these, it was also a joy to see a faithfulness to God’s word win out in every case.

- Gami Ortiz

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Jan  2nd,  2017Preaching from the Old Testament


Today (Monday) we started our teaching.  Andy and Gami (pictured) are team-teaching the diploma level class Hermeneutics. I (Paul) am teaching the post-bachelor class Old Testament Survey.

Today I spent the bulk of the day discussing the necessity of preaching from the Old Testament and how to preach from the Old Testament.  According to Preaching Christ in the Old Testament (pg. 15):


Almost 75% of the Bible is the Old Testament


Fewer than 20% of sermons a Christian will hear will be from the Old Testament (this statistic is in the USA but the students indicated that it is similiar or worse in Haitian churches).


As we looked at examples of sermons from Jesus and the apostles, we asked ourselves, do we preach like Jesus and the apostles (and is that a goal to strive for?)?  If we do want to model ourselves after their preaching, we will have to be like them and saturate ourselves in the Old Testament.



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Jan  1st,  2017Sunday



Sunday, January 1st.


Happy New Year. It’s Haiti’s Independence Day. We arrived in country yesterday, and were picked up by Pastor Gary. He graciously drove us to the hotel that we will be staying at for the next week. Our trip leader, Paul, asked Pastor Gary a number of very helpful questions about the culture of Haiti and last minute details about the students that we will begin teaching tomorrow. Pastor Gary was very informative, kind, and very fluent in English! It was a blessing to meet such a gospel-saturated minister in Haiti!


Today Paul and I went to preach in two different churches. The church that Jenna and I were invited to was pastored by a teacher at the school that we’ll be at for the week, Pastor Prudent. The church, Eglise Evangelique Saintete et Amour, was only a five minute drive from our hotel (Paul’s was much further away), and was a lovely mix of children and adults, joyfully praising the risen Christ and celebrating the New Year by dedicating 2017 to the service of our great God. Isaiah did a great job interpreting my exposition out of Mark 1:40-45 into Creole, and the saints received it well. Jenna (my wife) and I were treated with the finest hospitality by these brothers and sisters in Christ.


The rest of the day will be given to reviewing tomorrow’s lesson plan and praying that the Lord would bless the teaching to equip these national leaders to serve their churches faithfully, for the sake of their joy and the glory of God. To Him alone be the glory!

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