By: Steve Crowder
Our pastor training goal is to equip pastors to be fishers of men for a lifetime. Project Hope’s impact in Haiti and Nicaragua is multiplied when all our ministry efforts are anchored around a community that has a pastor that has been through the Project Hope provided training.
During 2020 and 2021, we were not able to send teams to either Haiti or Nicaragua to train pastors. Our pastor training organizations in both Haiti and Nicaragua stepped up and continued training until we were able to return US teams to both countries. Coming out of a worldwide pandemic, we were uncertain of the challenges international travel and shifting COVID requirements would bring. This past Spring, we held a dinner in Springfield with over 50 trainers who had been to both countries prior to the pandemic. They all were anxious to get back to where we were pre-COVID with our training programs. This overwhelming response gave us the confidence that we could begin staffing teams to return and start up the training programs.
This last year has turned out to be a great year for Pastor Training! We have been able to send training teams to both Haiti and Nicaragua this year. Our US teams teach and facilitate discussions centered on biblical foundational truths such as Salvation, Baptism, the Holy Spirit, and Eternal Security. Our curriculum includes 16 such topics and each team can cover 8 topics during a trip. In Haiti, we trained 29 pastors this year and in Nicaragua our US teams were able to train 76 pastors. Over the years, this discipleship training has reached over 1,000 pastors in Nicaragua and 300 in Haiti. We are extremely grateful to the US teams that traveled amongst changing requirements and restrictions to help with training pastors this year. This training has provided Project Hope a trained local pastor in hundreds of communities, impacting thousands of lives and has facilitated the coordination and work of other Project Hope ministries.
From the pastors who have completed our Discipleship Training, we select pastors who will make the commitment to attend our Leadership Training Institute (LTI), a two-year in-depth training program. These pastors commit to meet monthly as a group for two years. Many of our pastors compare this training to attending seminary. Over the past few years, we have certified 24 in-country pastors to be instructors and they facilitate this program for us. This year we will graduate 50 pastors in Nicaragua and 24 pastors in Haiti. It will bring the total number of pastors who have completed our Leadership Training Institute program to 600. We are grateful for the US, Nicaraguan and Haitian trainers who have made this significant impact for the Kingdom.
During 2023, we will launch the Project Hope Training Institute. Our current program of Discipleship Training and LTI will be expanded to provide ongoing training and support to the over 1,300 pastors we have touched and the future pastors we will engage. Our curriculum will be updated to reflect the combination of these programs and we are excited about what God is going to do through this expanded direction.