Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Anatomy of a Disciple: Men's Conference unites generations

This week we hosted three men from The Well Church, including Chris Schultz, Ericlee's best friend since junior high, Sam Babcock, a former student and basketball player, and John Lynch. The team came to speak at the Youth Conference and then lead the Men's Conference. Both conferences were held in Pignon at our mission base. We quickly all became a family as these three men embraced the experience and jumped into ministry in Haiti.

The Men's conference kicked off on Monday morning. Pastor Chris was the lead teacher sharing a curriculum called "The Anatomy of a Disciple" that he originally helped develop for The Well Church in Fresno, California. The talks were a road map on how to be a disciple as Jesus modeled. Chris challenged the men to submit their hearts and read their Bibles regularly as a life guide book.

Together the men studied the Bible and unpacked the themes of: Relationships, Morality and Generosity over the course of the week. Chris, John, Sam and Ericlee all shared their own life stories during the services. The conference included time for the men to break into small groups for discussion as well as large group discussion and worship time.

One of the biggest highlights for the team was joining the Haitian men each morning at 5:30 a.m. for a time of worship and prayer. They all would rise before the sun to spend this time with God. The team noted that there was never any time constraints. Individuals could share prayers for 5, 7, even 10 minutes. What a contrast to the way the team experiences prayer meetings back home.

After each morning session, the team led the men in some fun bonding games in the courtyard of the school. These games included "Cross the River," a team-building game where the men had to work together to stay on the rocks while crossing through the courtyard/river.

The "Barnyard Game" was especially memorable as the men had to make the noises of barnyard animals in order to find the others in their group. The courtyard erupted in crazy noises and belly laughter during this game. The Haitian men all commented on how much they loved these games and wanted more.

Part of the beauty of this conference was seeing the older and younger generations come together. Fathers and sons attended together. Many laypreachers and regular attenders of the church were there. Even men from the neighborhood were included. 

On the final evening, the men participated in a foot washing. They were asked to wash each other's feet as a gesture to serve one another and model what Jesus Christ did with his disciples. This was a meaningful service: Fourteen men accepted Jesus as their personal Savior that night and 6 rededicated their lives.

The conference concluded Friday morning with a time of sharing for the men. Chris asked each of the men to write their name on a stone along with one key word or concept that deeply affected them through the teaching. These stones of remembrance were laid on the steps of the church before they departed.

**Read more reflections directly from our team here.

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