Theological Education and Training in Action

Pam Simpson writes, “I have just made my eighth visit to teach at Emmaus Biblical Seminary in Cap Haitien, Haiti, one of many theological colleges/seminaries run by OMS throughout the world.  In 1997, I felt God was calling me to full-time mission work, so I gave up my teaching job in England and took a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies at Regent College in Vancouver.  Then followed a long search for suitable work, until I discovered that OMS needed short-term lecturers in Haiti.

At present EBS has about 50 students, some of whom are already pastors (one is a bishop, according to his classmates!).  Since, there have been men who have become pastors, simply because they could read, it is clear that any training they can get is vital.  This year, I taught New Testament Eschatology for two weeks, then Church History for two weeks.  In past years I have also taught Systematic Theology and General Epistles.  I enjoy it very much, though it can be hard work, and students’ questions can be challenging.  One hardy perennial is to be asked to give a Christian explanation for zombies!

After teaching, I spent a week working in the library, as I have taken on the task of trying to improve the stock of French books.  Most of the books that have been donated are in English, which most students cannot read sufficiently well.  The Langham Partnership have supplied new books, and I have found some older ones through donations and in second hand bookshops, but the search is still on.”

As is well known, Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere: many people go hungry and children in rural areas often do not have the opportunity to go to school, but the churches do a great deal on very limited resources to help those in need and to spread the gospel.  Two graduates of EBS, for example, are leading churches in in the most primitive conditions in mountain regions (no electricity or water supply, no work other than farming).  They sleep on church benches, and I know one of them does not get enough food.  I have visited these and a number of other churches, and I feel privileged to be able to worship with them and to contribute to the training of their future pastors.

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