by Kent Annan, DAI Senior Consultant
and Director of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership at the Wheaton College Humanitarian Disaster Institute
We couldn’t be more thrilled about how God led DAI into Haiti. A team that was part of Haiti Partners has now become “DAI-Haiti.” This team has been addressing common obstacles in the Haitian Church for the past 12 years with very encouraging results. And they will continue working with promising young Christian leaders, pastors, seminaries, and churches all over the country to create change.
The Haitian Protestant/Evangelical Church has grown exponentially over the last generation. Yet in the midst of an already politically and economically charged context, the Church faces other major challenges:
Poorly Trained, Authoritarian Leadership: the culturally prevalent models of leadership are authoritarian and controlling, running counter to the biblical model of servant leadership.
Too Narrow Mission of the Church: Despite significant involvement in the community by pastors and leaders, the Church often fails to articulate and live out a robust theology of holistic mission.
Deep Social Injustice Mirrored in the Church: Some 200-300 thousand children are trapped in restavek, a system of child servitude. One in three women experience domestic violence or sexual assault. Against these and other injustices, the Church often fails to speak prophetically and act compassionately.
Christian institutions and leaders can perpetuate these blind spots to successive generations or they can be part of change and awakening. The team in Haiti, led by my colleague Enel Angervil DAI’s Ministry Center Director, have been a part of successful Church and community transformation and will continue to be a part of it through offering some of DAI’s 22 leadership courses in French and Creole.