The materials include (1) a solar powered audio player equipped with discipleship lessons and dramatized readings of the Creole Bible; (2) a user-friendly discipleship group leader’s guide for facilitating the group; and (3) a user-friendly discipleship group members manual for literate group members. The opening section of the program, “What it Means to be a Christ-Follower”, is designed for the evangelization of individual group members so they can clearly hear and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.
From there, participants learn the essentials of being a faithful Christ-follower by discussing angelology and demonology (issues central to the voodoo-animistic culture of Haiti), dealing with temptation and sin, God’s design for the family and home, practical ecclesiology, and faithfulness as a believer.
Upon completing the program, each individual will have not only heard and understood the gospel, but also will have had formation on the essentials of being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ .
Reaching the Heart of Haiti began in 2009 in partnership between Emmaus University (then called Emmaus Biblical Seminary) and Growth Ministries. Under the leadership of Dr. Charles Lake, Growth Ministries developed a discipleship program for oral learners for the purpose of providing a means to develop full-blown disciples of Christ for those who could not read the Scriptures or do daily devotions due to the challenge of literacy. In 2011, Dr. Lake launched the program through two pilot groups of pastors in both Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitian, Haiti. The Cap-Haitian pilot group was organized by the leadership of EBS, who also provided facilities for the training process.
After many months of polishing the program, in real-life discipleship groups, the final version of the program was launched in 2013 and has had tremendous impact ever since. The success of the program paired with the passion of the Emmaus University community for reaching the unchurched of Haiti — Emmaus faculty member Jean Junior Cinéas was the primary individual responsible for cultivating this passion within the University community through leading individual church plants and teaching Missiology at Emmaus — resulted in the University President’s vision for organizing an official program within the greater EU ministry that would help facilitate the effectiveness as well as the extended reach of the program.
That official program is Reaching the Heart of Haiti. On September 14, 2015, Emmaus University President, Dr. Matthew Ayars, officially announced the launching of Reaching the Heart of Haiti during chapel service.