That’s Rae Burnett’s strategy.
Burnett is Christian Aid Mission’s Haiti Director. She directed emergency response to last year’s deadly earthquake and is in regular touch with indigenous missions there.
As Burnett sees it, millions of dollars poured in, and foreigners flooded the country—but humanitarian aid alone will never solve the problems of Haiti. Only the Gospel can bring lasting change.
“As Christian Aid’s Director for Africa, I have seen it over and over,” Burnett says. “A native takes the gospel to a previously unreached area. Villagers respond, and a church is planted. Little by little, as the light of Christ permeates their lives, they change. Their spiritual life affects their physical life, and conditions are transformed. Christ does it through them. It is not imposed on them from the outside.”
Burnett says Christian Aid Mission’s job is to provide the financial means for local ministry workers to do the restoration and building they need to fulfill what the Lord has called them to do in their country. That work then opens the door to the Gospel.
“I knew that Haiti was settled by African slaves, but even I was shocked to see the similarities. Little has changed but the location. The culture and mentality is 100 percent African,” Burnett says. “Voodoo, brought from the homeland and mixed with Roman Catholicism, assures the place of darkness, fear, and hopelessness. The Gospel is the only answer, and it comes most effectively by far through native missionaries.”
Bob Finley founded Christian Aid Mission in 1953. The organization currently assists 796 indigenous missions that deploy 80,000 native missionaries working among 3,000 tribes and nations.