Gospel Ministry in Haiti
January 05, 2011
Dr. Paul Randolph (MDiv '87, DMin '96), through the organization Churches Helping Churches, will be speaking at a conference in Haiti this coming February. Dr. Randolph is a local pastor and a chaplain in the Huntingdon Valley Fire Company.
Dr. Paul Randolph will be speaking at the conference of the International Critical Stress Foundation (ICISF) in Baltimore this February on “Responding to the Post-Traumatic Stress Needs of Pastors in Haiti.” This presentation is a result of a week-long pastor’s conference he helped to develop at the invitation of Churches Helping Churches and the pastoral staff at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. The conference took place in May at the STEP (Seminaire de Theologie Evangelique de Port-au-Prince) seminary in Port Au Prince and involved over 150 Haitian pastors from throughout the country. The conference itself had four objectives:
- To bring pastors from various Christian churches and denominations, and various locations throughout Haiti to support each other, pray for each other, and network.
- To help these pastors understand what Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) looks like in their own lives and respond to their needs.
- To teach these pastors how to minister to the PTS needs in their own congregations and communities and tent cities where they live.
- Determine what are the practical and spiritual needs of the churches of Haiti that American churches can help to meet.
Pastors are often a key resource in any community, and especially in Haitian culture. For many people following the earthquake, the first person they turned to for help was a local pastor, even if they did not attend that pastor’s church. These pastors are ministering to others even as they have suffered terrible losses themselves, including death and injury of their loved ones, loss and damage to their homes and churches, and the ongoing problems that have crippled Haiti. These men are also demonstrating all of the classic PTS signs and symptoms, and have been struggling to cope with them. This led many of them to reach out to the faculty of the STEP Seminary for help on how to deal with PTS. Three pastors from the ACTS 29 network (Mike Wilkerson and Justin Holcomb of Mars Hill Church, and Robert Cheong of Sojourn Church in Louisville) and Paul Randolph came together to work with Thomas Kim, director of Churches Helping Churches to develop this conference, each man with different areas of experience and all with a heart to help the pastors of Haiti.
Dr. Randolph speaking in Haiti