“Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciples to teach others as well.” (Greg Ogden, Discipleship Essentials)
The heart of EDTC is discipleship. Why? Because it the foundation upon which the church was laid. Intentional relationship built around the truth of restoration through the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus poured Himself into 12 men, who later turned the world upside down. Paul's entire ministry revolved around discipling people to lead the local church.
Ebenezer contradicts the status quo in modern missions. Instead of foreigners doing the discipling, our discipleship school uses Haitians to teach, lead, and evangelize. This makes the process culturally relevant while avoiding dependency.
This model has proven to be very effective as many have come to Christ through the national missionaries trained in the discipleship school. We are also seeing churches being planted and are in the process of developing new discipleship programs in other areas of the country.
Students are recommended by the pastors from their home churches to attend the 3 month training program. They come from hours away and stay in dorms during the week, returning to their homes on weekends. While in training, all their needs are provided for, including food, lodging, toiletries, and study materials.
While in training, the students arise early to start their days with corporate worship and prayers, personal prayer and meditation, personal study time, and group discussion time. Once a week the students evangelize in the community and neighboring areas. These students are led by a Haitian discipleship trainer and they get a deeper understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
At the completion of their training, there is a ceremony of graduation. The students then return to their churches and communities and replicate the discipleship model by starting small groups or other ministries.
The leadership of the discipleship center saw a need to serve the local children who would wander onto the property. Kid's club is similar to our afterschool programs. The children are provided a safe place to gather to learn about Jesus, play games, and receive a meal. Many children and their families have been transformed by the love and hope for Christ through this ministry.
The primary/elementary school was started when families of the Ebenezer church were forced to send their children to one of two options: public or Catholic school. They desired for their children to learn about God while learning fundamentals of education. Empowered and encouraged by the church, the local parents and church members started Ebenezer Primary school which goes through 8th grade with the long term goal of adding a high school as well. The children are given a thorough Christ centered education and meals. They have been growing ever since in both students and faculty.
The vision for EDTC is to equip the local church to BE the Church through discipleship. Our discipleship class was designed to equip people to boldly share their faith with those they interact with on a daily basis, and walk along side others on their spiritual journey. The discipleship school has had great success with many coming to Christ through our trained missionaries and many churches overflowing. This presented a new need that was brought to us by our Haitian leaders. With so many new believers in Church, the need for trained leaders in the Church was crucial to maintain the growth physically and spiritually.
A leadership class was always in our original vision, but we wanted the Haitian Church leaders to recognize the need so that they had ownership in the program. When the need was brought to us we immediately got to work preparing for the new class. Identified the core curriculum and had it translated. We also started building a new classroom and dorms for the students. The curriculum we use is "Leadership Essentials" by Greg Ogden. It is the follow up curriculum to "Discipleship Essentials" used in our discipleship class.
The leadership class is designed for pastors, elders, deacons, and Sunday school teachers in the Churches and is designed to teach servant hood leadership, something badly needed in Haiti. We believe this will be the final piece to establishing a strong local Church in Haiti not dependent on foreign oversight. A typical class will be 8 students meeting and living on site for 3 months, running concurrent to the discipleship class with combined graduations.
Ramase Lajan is a Creole phrase meaning "gathering money" or literally "picking up money".
This program was started by Executives Without Borders as a franchise program in Haiti. EDTC opened its center in March 2013 thanks to a grant from The Dow Chemical Company and other generous donors.
Ramase Lajan is a recycling program designed to help the poor and underprivileged create an income source without dependency. People can gather various types of recyclable material and take it to our collection center. We purchase the material by the pound, and then process it by crushing and sorting the product, and finally putting it in 8' tall sacks which are then transported to PAP and resold to a processing facility.
As of October 2013 we have collected almost 80,000 pounds of plastic and aluminum. Before we opened, many of our regular contributors were begging and are now earning decent incomes through the labor of their hands. Many of the people we see are elderly, single parents, or people who have lost limbs due to earthquakes.
The community is noticeably cleaner with the "trash to cash" model. But most importantly, because Ramase Lajan is run through the local church, people are now identifying the church as helping the community, not taking away from it, as is often perceived. This has created fertile soil when our missionaries spread the gospel, as it has earned the trust and respect of the community.
The Ebenezer Discipleship Training Center Blog is a place to share updates, stories and to educate our supporters of all that we are doing in Haiti, including our Haitian Harvest Initiative.
Your support and contributions will enable us to continue the work God is doing in Haiti.