The HCDF came to Fond-des-Blancs to serve as a catalyst for discipleship and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and God’s plan of holistic reconciliation, both spiritually and physically. HCDF chose to locate their ministry among the poor, who generally have some of the greatest physical needs, and invest in developing the community in all areas of need, much like Jesus did. Jesus said to go and make disciples in the “Great Commission,” and to that end, HCDF began by organizing a pastoral association that brought together most of the ministers in the community. Joint activities for evangelism and church growth were planned and implemented.
HCDF’s ministry began with all the churches meeting together on the last Sunday of every month for a discipleship meeting. A Bible class was organized for the ministers and their lay leaders. Jean Thomas’ role was that of an itinerant preacher. He would spend a month at a time in each of the churches teaching and preaching primarily about the basics of salvation. Gradually he was drawn to an abandoned church where just four people met regularly for a time of prayer. He was the only minister they had serving them in years. Jean served them communion and taught a Bible lesson. As time passed, more and more people kept coming to the church. Before he even realized it, Jean had a congregation on his hand. By 1987, it was a thriving church and a full-time minister was hired. Today the church is the Evangelical Church of Fond-des-Blancs with seven satellite churches in the four-county area of Fond-des-Blancs.
While this congregation is the focal point of HCDF’s faith-based activities in the community, it does not detract from the other programs. The pastoral association is still very active and the monthly discipleship meetings are better attended than ever. The Bible class for the ministers has grown into a small theological program. The main church also operates a Christian School during the weekdays with emphasis on quality education for the poor. The school is called L’Exode (which means “Exodus” in French, similar to the Biblical exodus account of a people escaping oppression) and they are continuing to develop the school for students to continue their education from preschool through high school in an environment that focuses on Christian principals in a safe and modern academic environment. Six of the seven satellite Churches also operate a primary school in their respective areas.