Teaching to Transform is excited to be on the cutting edge of what God is doing in Haiti to transform this nation! God has called Harlan Betz to teach Haitian leaders, train Haitian pastors, and mentor Haitian young people. We believe that as we impact these leaders we are setting the stage not only for their transformation, but also for the transformation of their families, their communities, and their country.

Haiti Facts

Population: 10 million people
Language: Creole and French
Religion: 80% Roman Catholic
Size: Area of New Hampshire
National Religion: Voodoo

80% living under the poverty line
54% live in abject poverty
Average Income $2/day
Poorest Country in the Western hemisphere

90% of all schools are private
50% of children do not attend
20% of Haitians attend high school
60% of Haitians read & write

Many Haitian pastors have no formal theological training and receive no salary. They must work outside the church or do subsistence farming.


A Shout Out after the Shoot Out

          On Monday morning, November 13, there was a shoot out between the Haitian National Police and the Grand Ravine Gang on the campus that houses STEP Seminary and Maranatha School. I arrived on the campus during the shooting and I was there on campus from 8:45 AM until about 11:45 AM. Just before noon the President of STEP Seminary shut all classes down and directed us to leave the campus. Unfortunately, about seven innocent students, faculty, and staff from the Maranatha school were killed. It was determined that some of the Haitian National Police were responsible for the massacre of these innocent civilians.

          This was an unsettling experience. I struggled with what happened and how it happened and why it happened. There was no way to really make sense of it all. I know that STEP Seminary is in a very dangerous area. I know that it is in a drug and crime infested area. I know the most wealthy and most weaponized gang in all Haiti lives next door to STEP Seminary. I know that many in the government. as in all countries, can be corrupt. I know that even those in the police department can be corrupt. I fear for the students and I fear for myself. I know that some Haitians see Americans as the enemy or as an easy target for robbery or kidnapping. During the month of December, I wrestled with whether it was wise for me to go back down to serve at STEP Seminary. 

          Is there danger? Yes. There is danger everywhere… but especially in a third-world country. I keep remembering a quote I head when I was a teen-age camper at East Iowa Bible Camp: “The safest place in the world is the center of God’s will.”  God clearly called me to this ministry. I was reminded of a quote from missionary C. T. Studd: “Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell, I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell!” Perhaps God wants me to serve at an outpost on the gates of hell. God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble! I want to give a shout out to Him! He is my Provider and my Protector! The Lord is my Shepherd!

          After much prayer and fasting by Sharon and me, much searching of the Scripture, and much seeking of counsel, we have determined that God wants me to continue to serve as a professor and mentor at STEP Seminary! Motivated by the love of Christ, energized by the power of the Spirit, and seeking to glorify God, I am willing to be an instrument of Christ in teaching Haitian leaders and in transforming Haitian lives! I am desperately dependent upon the Lord and I am desperately dependent upon your financial support and your prayer support! Thank you for partnering with me. God will recognize, remember, and reward you for the eternal impact of this ministry (Hebrews 6:10)!



September 2017 - Hurricane Irma

       Due to Hurrican Irma, I was not able to fly down to Haiti for the September teaching session. Consequently, the Academic Dean, who had taught Soteriology before, is carrying the added burden of teaching the Soteriology class. The Academic Dean and the President of STEP Seminary suggested that I change my focus to preparing the syllabus and the contents for my November teaching session on nine of the Pauline Epistles.

       It was a little disappointing not to be able to teach Soteriology in September, but I am actually very excited about switching gears and preparing to teach New Testament books to these Haitian students at STEP Seminary.  

       I am grateful for those of you who prayed for me as I prepared for the September teaching trip, and who prayed for Sharon and me as we went through Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and who prayed for us as we wrestled with how to respond to Hurricane Irma as it was passing Haiti and hitting Florida. 

       The Scripture says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord!” (Psalm 37:23). My grandmother Gladys Betz read that verse and in her own handwriting in her own Bible she wrote these words in the margin: “The stops also!” The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord... and the stops of a good man are ordered by the Lord! The Scripture is truth and my grandmother was right. Therefore, I am confident that God is still on the throne and I believe the Lord stopped me from going to Haiti in September.  

       Now I have turned my attention to studying the Pauline Epistles and to putting together the syllabus, the notes, the quizzes, and the test for this next course that I will teach at STEP Seminary on the Pauline Epistles. The good Lord willing, I will be flying down to Haiti on November 3 and returning to Texas on November 18. In addition to teaching a 30 hour course on the Paulline Epistles, I will be speaking at eight student chapels. I can hardly wait! 

       Thank you again for praying for us and for partnering with us in this life-impacting endeavor.