Haiti: Helping with the National-First Approach
The headlines seem to change almost daily, don’t they? Watching the news or scrolling through your social media you read it. A coup in Myanmar. Protests and civil unrest in Cuba. A devastating earthquake in Haiti. Some people can go to the hurting and troubled people in these places that are in crisis, provide some kind of help, but most of us can’t. If you are like me, you have often thought, what CAN we do?
The first, and most beneficial, thing we can and should do is PRAY! Pray for those in authority. Pray for the spiritual and physical needs of those affected by severe hardship. Pray for the ones who are sharing the Gospel message of salvation and hope.
Moments before I sat down to begin writing, God graciously allowed a timely conversation to transpire. A young mom and I were chatting as we left the grocery store together. Our conversation turned to the huge needs of so many in our world and how we can help meet them. She said, “It’s hard for people to know who to trust with resources that we want to share. Where do we send our gifts and be confident they will be put to wise use in the places they are needed the most?” That’s a good question and I have a great answer—the National-First Approach.
The National-First Approach
National-First Approach simply means that we support, through our prayers and our gifts, the ones already on the ground where the crisis is. It means teaming up with Live Global National Partners already living and working and serving in their hard-hit communities to meet spiritual and physical needs. These established partners are in position to reach people in the most effective ways and to do it in a timely manner.
One of those partners is Pastor Predestin in Haiti. He provides care for over 200 orphans at My Father’s House, and directs the association of churches in his area. Becky, a Live Global Care Team member who (along with her husband) has partnered with Pastor Predestin for many years, explains why The National-First Approach is so important in light of the current disaster in Haiti.
Because Pastor Predestin lives in Haiti, knows the language, and understands the culture, he has the ability to network within his country beyond what we can imagine. He understands the pitfalls and struggles we as foreigners become entangled in. Pastor Predestin knows who the trustworthy individuals are and has a relationship with them. That makes him a crucial part of our disaster relief response. The situation in Haiti is volatile, and that makes our partner vital as a recipient of resources that allows Live Global to help.
There are dangerous gangs throughout the entire country. Hit-or-miss fuel availability, high prices for basic necessities, and a vacuum of governmental leadership have all exacerbated the problem. Gang members are kidnapping relief workers traveling to Haiti to help. National Partners, on the other hand, are able to carefully and strategically maneuver safely through the streets. Working with Pastor Predestin makes sense to me, on an on-going basis and when disaster strikes.
I also asked Becky to share what she wished we as Americans knew about the wisdom and vital importance of an on-going relationship with a National Partner.
The Vital Importance of Helping This Way
- Live Global is a connecting and networking ministry. We come into a country, find out WHERE God is working, WHO He is working through, and then ask the question—HOW can we help?
- A long-term relationship with a National Partner expands the parameters of ministry to an overwhelming degree. The networking that takes place goes way beyond a missionary’s two hands and feet.
- The relationship is built on mutual trust that has been developed over years of connections and co-ministry opportunities, sometimes to the point that we consider each other to be family.
- A well-equipped National Partner is far more effective over the long haul. The working knowledge of their people, language, and culture adds a huge advantage to their ministry opportunities and longevity. They know what will work in the context in which they live and serve.
- In Haiti, we have seen our own ministry grow exponentially by investing training nationals. As we train pastors and send them out, they train 10 more. Presently, there are hundreds of pastors being trained by national leadership. God is blessing these efforts way beyond what one missionary could do on his own outside of this partnership model.
- While missionaries come and go, National Partners have a long-term vision. This is where they were born, where they live, and where they will die. The ones they faithfully serve are their people. Sometimes the Lord allows us to see the children of our National Partners taking up the banner of their parents’ ministry and making it their own.
Our ability to be hands and feet on the ground where the urgent needs are is limited. But God is not limited in what He can do through the ministry and outreach of a Live Global National Partner like Pastor Predestin. His ministry needs our prayers and our financial gifts. Let’s be generous with both.
- To learn more about Pastor Predestin read HERE.
- To give a gift of any amount to support his work on the ground in Haiti give HERE.
(*This post was written by a donor who participates in giving to support and bless national partners.)