PAPA’s Ministries, with the help of the Rev. Lamartiniere Lucien and David Draeger, is sponsoring educational seminars in partnership with the Methodist Church of Haiti.
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PAPA’s Ministries (Pastors and Priests Available for Service) is an Advance Special of the General Board of Global Ministries and an EngageMI ministry partner of The Michigan Conference.
PAPA’s has been acquainted with the Rev. Lamartiniere Lucien since 2011 when he was a Haitian student minister at the United Theological College of the West Indies. At that time, the Revs Merlin and Kay Pratt, founders of PAPA’s, were assigned to a four-church circuit in Jamaica.
Since his return to Haiti, Rev. Lucien has served a term as the District Secretary of Youth and Young Adult Ministries of the Petionville Circuit of Methodist Church of Haiti.
In 2017, Rev. Lucien and Rev. Merlin visited his downtown Port-au-Prince Circuit and the 700-member Carrefour and Bainet circuits, which he now serves. “He has a heart for the renewal of the Methodist Church in Haiti and knows that much mistrust has been sown by prior leadership, making it difficult for the American churches to invest in projects,” Merlin explains.
The Pratts add, “Now Rev. Lucien is working with his 11 local preachers to develop ministries that give people hope for change rather than just falling into gang life.” He has worked for nine months, without pay, to develop a community outreach beginning with growing the faith of the disciples on the circuits.
The Pratts note that “Rev. Lucien’s efforts fit with PAPA’s work of ‘Helping the Church BE the Church’ with leadership development and community outreach.” Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Revs Merlin and Kay have not traveled to Haiti.
In their absence, they enlisted the help of a resident of Haiti. David Draeger (former Indiana Conference Haiti Team Leader) recently returned to Haiti, where he will live permanently. Draeger is working with Bishop Jean Lesly Dorcely, serving as Mission Team Coordinator at the Methodist Compound.
Draeger assisted Lucien in developing plans on the ground. They have held their first training retreat on November 3, 2020. More than 250 participants gathered on the Carrefour Circuit for the PAPA’s Ministries sponsored educational seminars. “Little ones to seasoned adults attended that Saturday,” Pratts said. They continued, “We hope this will be a monthly gathering and then move towards weekly sessions with additional training areas and fellowship.”
PAPA’s Ministries summarizes the hopes for this new effort. “The goal of this ministry is to develop fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ in their circuit and the greater community. To do so, they will be providing safe outreach opportunities with ministry through sports, food, fellowship, and health services in an area infested with gang activity and extreme poverty.”
The seminars offered on November 3 included: “Teachings of the Methodists,” “Utilization of Money,” “Youth and Sexuality,” “Introduction to the Book of Revelation,” and “Child Care. The sanctuary was full for the time of worship.
David Draeger’s word from the scene … “The Haitian Methodist Church is alive and well!”