One feature of the GARBC Conference that many other conferences lack is a good many reports. In each general session, there is at least one report of some kind in addition to the preaching and music. These are not always exciting, but this morning’s truly was. More on that in a bit. The overall effect of the reporting is that you realize this association is doing things all over the place. The GARBC doesn’t own and directly operate very many of these efforts. Rather, they are partnered and networked with all kinds of doctrinally identical groups and “have a hand in” what they are accomplishing.
The report at the close of this morning’s general session is a prime example. Chris Hindal reported on recent efforts by GARBC International Ministries (which he directs) in Haiti. But the Haiti effort is actually a project of the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries. The GARBC is just one of these partnered ministries.
Hindal’s report featured slides of the devastation in Haiti and helpful information about what is being done and what needs to be done. International Partnership is linked with 28 churches in Port au Prince. 17 of these lost their buildings in the quake. 10 of the pastors’ homes were destroyed as well.
Thousands upon thousands in Haiti are still living in tents with no end to this situation in sight. Hindal described one tent camp he visited where 40,000 people are living in tents. He has heard of others with as many as 70,000. And “no facilities,” so the sanitary conditions must be—well, unsanitary in the extreme.
Pastors in Haiti
A highlight of the report was the observations and experiences of several pastors in Haiti, which Hindal related to us. One pastor says the people of Haiti are now much more open to the gospel because they believe they have been judged by God. He reports that his church has gone from 200 on average before the quake to 350 now.
Another pastor reported that his congregation is completely scattered since their building is gone and all their homes are gone. So he has spent months going from tent to tent looking for his flock. About 40 people have come to know Christ as a result of that contact!
The report closed with a plea for help. The International Partnership and GARBC International Ministries are in need of just about every imaginable kind of help for the Haiti effort. They are looking for teams from churches, money for building materials, skilled and unskilled workers, people capable of oversight, teams to work with children, folks to bring tools (and leave the tools behind for future teams).
Specifically, the Partnership has an opportunity for one couple who can occupy the house they have in the area as a base of operations. They need a man who can act in the contractor role and his wife manage the house as a guest house. They can accommodate teams of up to 20 people at a time in this location.
If you think you can help, go to www.garbcinternational.org for more information and to contact the organization.