Erwin’s story in the video above inspires us for many reasons. She has transformed into an energetic young leader. An exploited young woman was liberated through her Bible Study on children’s rights. All this illustrates the ways we work to help the Haitian church deepen in faith and engage for justice:
A lack of study resources and the controlling style of many pastors means most Haitians, like the women Erwin met, can’t study the Bible or have their voices heard.
And many Haitian churches fail to address restavek, a system which holds over 200,000 children in servitude. These children from poor families are sent to richer homes on the hope of care and education. But all too often, restaveks are exploited and abused, like the young woman in Erwin’s story.
With nearly 85% of Haitians identifying as Christians, and churches playing important roles in communities across the country, the root problem isn’t a lack of belief or love.
But 500 years of slavery and oppression have given a broken model of leadership to pastors and leaders who don’t receive much training. And all too often, American missionaries have built unhealthy partnerships that only make the problem worse.
Our approach is to work with both institutions and individuals, to help the Haitian Church develop leaders like Erwin who create resources and mobilize churches to deepen faith and engage for justice.
Drawing from Micah 6:8, the Micah Scholars Program is developing a new generation of pastors and leaders who do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. In partnership with 3 Haitian seminaries, we’re providing 39 young leaders with full scholarships to seek a Bachelor’s of Divinity degree. Through monthly workshops, they acquire key leadership skills, and in quarterly retreats with international church leaders, they connect with the global movement of the Church. And like Erwin, they apprentice in two other key aspects of our work:
Each Micah Scholar is in the program for four years. And you or your church can fully support a Micah Scholar for $5,000 a year, which provides:
Erwin says it well: “I hope that in the years ahead I will become a leader who makes a big difference—who loves people, and shares love everywhere I go.” We think Erwin already grown into this kind of leader. And we hope you’ll consider helping students like her through giving toward a scholarship.