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:
September 19, 2023
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.