In the final part of this series, we will look at the fourth goal of Branch Schools, which focuses on the blessing of a family of believers at the schools in Haiti.
Goal #4: Grow Lutheran mission congregations at the schools that can expand into the neighborhoods.
The chart below outlines the path that Branch Schools followed as the three Port-au-Prince orphanages and schools were established. The humanitarian needs arose in 2010 with the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake. This crisis created many physical needs for the orphans now at the Branch Schools orphanages, including shelter, food, water, and clothing. As these needs were addressed through the establishment of the orphanages, the next goal became education. Creating schools at the three orphanages to provide secular education helped prepare these orphans for their futures.
At the core of Branch Schools, however, is the spiritual education. The children learn Bible verses and the Catechism, and just this last June, 6 students publicly confessed their faith through confirmation! Growing naturally from this spiritual education is a nucleus of believers, found at all three Port-au-Prince orphanages and schools, the Pilate middle school, and now the Les Palmes pre-k/k school. The students from the neighboring areas bring home their workbooks, including their Catechism copies, and practice their memorized Bible verses with their parents, bringing God's Word into homes in the communities around the schools.
Along with the humanitarian needs being met at the orphanages and the spiritual and secular education provided at the five schools, Branch Schools is blessed to have church services every week to minister to this nucleus of believers. By the end of 2020, over 400 people attended these worship services, and we pray that this number will only rise!
As the nucleus of believers expands, we recall Jesus' words in the Great Commission: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:18-20). Thanks be to God for this amazing ministry at Branch Schools.
Branch Schools is overjoyed to have these congregations at the schools that we hope to continue growing into the neighborhoods and beyond. Thank you for your support to help us get there!
Branch Lutheran Schools of Haiti, Inc.