Lessons for Missions from Slumdog Saints

For years, Kent Annan, co-director of our Core Ministry, Haiti Partners, has been following Jesus in Haiti – the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.   I’ve had the privilege to visit Haiti and witness the inspiring and effective work of Kent and his Haitian and American co-laborers.    Earlier this year Kent journeyed to the slums of Bangkok and wrote a moving, honest, insightful and hopeful essay for Christianity Today about cross-culture missions.   

He recently shared these reflections about why he went to Thailand and wrote this story, and what he, our colleagues in Haiti, and all of us can learn from the New Friars and Slumdog Saints:

HP CoverSeptember 19, 2023
Kent Annan

I travelled to Bangkok six months ago.  First time in ten years I’d travelled to a country other than Haiti.  It was for an assignment to write about people who live and work in slums there and around the world.  They’re inspiring in how they follow Jesus and dedicate their lives to justice.

I wanted to help tell their story, because their lives are worth listening to and say something important to all of us, whatever our faith.  You can learn more about them in the cover story I wrote for September’s issue of Christianity Today.

This was also a chance to think about how similar approaches have been important to our work.  We have just four full-time American staff.  John has lived in Haiti for most of the past 22 years.  Living there has deeply shaped his approach.  Erik’s capacity to strengthen our partner schools, among other things, was developed while living in Haiti for two years and then returning regularly since 2001.  A couple years later, my wife, Shelly, and I moved to Haiti, as I wrote in my first book.  All three of us spent years living in small, simple homes immersed in the life of ordinary Haitians, eating with them, laughing with them, and building long-lasting relationships.  Jonathan hasn’t lived in Haiti, but spends a good part of each year there and has made great progress learning Creole and culture as he works and shares life with our colleagues. 

Our Haitian leadership team also comes to the U.S. twice a year. Haiti Partners’ board of directors has committed to meeting in Haiti every two years, and many of them also make additional trips in between.  All of these ways of “being with” each other is critical to shaping how we do our work.  Through partnership.  With deep respect. From a posture of shared listening and learning.  And with trust that can only be cultivated through years of relationship.

None of this would be possible without you who provide generous support, prayer, and friendship as we continue to move forward.  May we keep listening and working together for love and for justice. 

With much gratitude that we get to listen with you for hope,

Kent, co-director of Haiti Partners

When you give to EAPE, you invest in a network of innovative, holistic and effective ministries, and help make it possible for missionaries like Kent Annan to impact lives and communities in Jesus’ name.  If you have questions about Haiti Partners, or any of the ministries we’re investing in, please call EAPE’s office at 610-341-1722 or use the “Contact Us” form below to send an email.

A Lifetime Achievement Award & Global Call to End Corruption
John Engle at WorldBlu Live Conference in Denver, CO

John Engle speaking at the WorldBlu Live Conference in Denver, CO.

I’m extremely pleased to tell you that John Engle, a co-director of Haiti Partners, EAPE’s Core Ministry in Haiti, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from WorldBlu, an organization that promotes democracy worldwide in the workplace. John has committed his life to helping people realize their potential as children of God through what he calls “freedom-centered practices.” The award he received carries with it significant grants from large corporations which will be used to further the work of Haiti Partners.

Haiti Partners recently dedicated a new Children’s Academy. This facility is home to one of seven partner schools that offer education to some of the poorest children in Haiti, and also serves as a teacher training institute that equips more than 300 Haitian teachers each year. Through Haiti Partners we’re able to provide faith-based education to our Haitian brothers and sisters, which is an essential part of EAPE’s mission.

Another new and important ministry of Haiti Partners is Micah Scholars. This program enables twenty-five young church leaders to receive training in Haitian seminaries and intern in the churches and schools related to Haiti Partners. The ministry of Micah Scholars ensures the evangelical emphasis of this EAPE affiliate. Your gifts help make this possible.

Tony Campolo signs Global Call to End Corruption

Tony signed the Global Call to End Corruption. You can learn more about this movement and sign the petition at

If you follow my speaking itinerary, you may have noticed that I was scheduled to speak to the British Parliament on May 15th. This meeting was set up by the British Bible Society, and it proved to be a much more significant event than I had anticipated. I was asked to address the topic of corruption, and I spoke to a packed house. The reason for the great interest in this lecture was that while those in government long have appropriated huge grants for helping poor people in developing countries with feeding programs, medical services, and support for education and economic development, much of this money ends up in the pockets of corrupt government officials in those countries. Our EAPE missionaries not only have firsthand knowledge of how corruption has severely hurt the poor, but are able to suggest positive ways to deal with it.

On hand for my address to Parliament were representatives of the British Evangelical Alliance. Following the program they began circulating a petition that, hopefully, will be signed by a million British citizens, calling upon Parliament to press for measures that will address this problem.

With your support EAPE is making a difference across America and around the world. So please continue to give so that this work can continue to grow.

Hope for the Future in Haiti and the Pacific Northwest

The accomplishments of our EAPE mission workers are so numerous that the space in a single newsletter will not allow me to report on them all, so let me tell you about just two of them.

Children's Academy First Buidling February 2023

The first building of the Children’s Academy, dedicated on February 24, 2023. The goal of Haiti Partner’s school program is to provide life-long learning and community transformation.

Haiti Partners, the ministry EAPE started and continues to support in Haiti, has launched a new program: The Children’s Academy. On February 24th a new building was dedicated and is now being used for a pre-school that serves 75 children. These are children who have had no preparation for first grade and would likely fail without this pre-school experience. The teachers have been carefully selected and have received extensive specialized training.

Initially Haiti Partners is funding this program, but over the next five years it will be nurtured to self-sufficiency. A bakery is being created with a grant from the Pan American Development Foundation that not only will create jobs for some of the Academy’s neighbors, but will gradually assume responsibility for sustaining the Academy. John Engle, Kent Annan, Kerline Janvier and Alex Myril, who worked together to lead in the development of this program, deserve a lot of credit and EAPE is grateful to God for their leadership.

Art therapy at REACH Camp

Art therapy at REACH Camp. REACH Camp provides a safe and loving environment for children and their families impacted by HIV/AIDs.

Out of the many other programs that EAPE supports, I think the ministry of REACH deserves some special attention. This is a year round outreach to children and teenagers in the Pacific Northwest who have AIDS or have tested HIV positive. This ministry went through a traumatic transition because of the death of its Executive Director, Michael Fischer, due to cancer. In spite of this great loss the REACH team pulled together and actually expanded the program. One of their activities is a summer camp program and this year the camp attendance grew by 50%! Michael’s legacy continues through the highly enriched spiritual emphasis REACH now has. One mother reported: “My HIV positive son connected with an HIV positive young adult at this year’s summer camp – that was the predominant takeaway. My son felt normal and felt he had future.”

The Bible verse that became the theme for this year’s camp is Jeremiah 29:11 –The power of this verse reverberated throughout all of REACH’s programs.

As EAPE reaches both children and adults around the world through 300 full-time workers we depend on your prayers and faithful support. Your

God at Work in Haiti – Children’s Academy & Chickens

I want to give you the good news about one of our Core Ministries—Haiti Partners. They recently received a $250,000 loan to start a poultry business. And I believe it is in act of God’s intervention that they were recently blessed to have a German  missionary, who has expertise in the poultry business, “just happen” to join Haiti Partners at precisely the time they needed help in making sure this new enterprise becomes efficient and profitable.

This new project will not only create desperately needed jobs for Haitians. It will also provide income for several of the schools that Haiti Partners is developing and supporting. The goal is to make each of these affiliated schools self-supporting. And there is little doubt in my mind that Haiti Partners will succeed.

One of these new ministries in education will be constructed in the mountains just four miles south of Port-au-Prince on 2.8 acres of land. There will be eight classroom buildings, administrative offices, a library and a computer lab as well as a kitchen and dining area.

The Children’s Academy will be consistent with the ideals to which Haiti Partners is committed – Spiritual and moral growth, civic responsibility and empowerment, environmental stewardship, entrepreneurship, artistic creativity and individual expression, fluency in Haitian-Creole, French and English, technological fluency, especially with computers. I can think of no better way to share God’s love in a tangible way with God’s children in Haiti at this time than this.

Given the way God is at work in Haiti Partners bringing together free enterprise and education, it is not at all surprising that their work has been featured on TV by the Discovery Channel and Fox Business News. Your gifts to EAPE are being multiplied a hundred fold around the world. This is one story of how it’s happening.

Our Core Ministries like Haiti Partners, Cornerstone Christian Academy, Urban Promise, Mission Year and numerous others that you have helped EAPE to start and sustain are deserving of your ongoing sacrificial support. We need some extra help right now – so give all you can. Thank you!

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