Pastor Dan Beaudoin of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stony Ridge is heading to Haiti for nine days of missionary work, Feb. 3-12.
In 2010, an earthquake with seismic magnitude of 7 left one million people homeless, killed an estimated 316,000, and another 300,000 were injured. The government of Haiti estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings collapsed or were severely damaged.
Since, many countries have responded to appeals for humanitarian aid, pledging funds and dispatching rescue and medical teams, engineers and support personnel.
Pastor Beaudoin and six other pastors from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois will join pastors from Denver, Colorado as part of a project supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America. Pastor Beaudoin, the only one with this group from Northwest Ohio, will fly from Toledo to Miami, Florida, and from there to Haiti.
This is part of the Transforming Leadership Initiative, an ELCU initiative. The first year, pastors are taught how to become mission leaders within their congregation, the second year they are taught how to teach people to become disciples, and the third year they learn what the church is doing around the world.
First, Beaudoin’s group will travel to an orphanage in Port-au-Prince to give Bible lessons to youth and offer humanitarian services.
“Then, we’re going out to the country to see how the Lutheran church has been teaching people to actually grow peanuts so they have a source of protein. They just don’t have a lot of food there and peanuts grow very well in Haiti’s soil,” Pastor Beaudoin said.
Then, they will travel to the city of Jacmel to observe how a medical mission is being operated by the Lutheran church. The earthquake caused heavy damage in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel.
For Pastor Beaudoin, who has served as a missionary in other parts of the United States, this is his first time in an international capacity.
“The goal here is that I’ll come back and hopefully connect our congregation with a certain ministry or mission in Haiti that we can support. Once we get a relationship established with the orphanage, or the agricultural work, or the medical mission, we’ll find a place that will fit for our people,” Pastor Beaudoin said.