The Mustard Seed Ministry began as a faith-based ministry in 2010. It was founded by Sue Garard and originally focused primarily on the spiritual and practical needs of women in crisis. She was especially committed to single moms and pregnant teens. Since then The Mustard Seed Ministry has branched out to encompass compatible ministry opportunities.
Vision For Haiti began in 2016 when pastor Al Garard was introduced to a young couple who were ministering in Haiti through Baptist Haiti Mission. His interest in their ministry led him to visit Haiti on several occasions. During his visits he learned of several critical issues facing churches in Haiti. As he evaluated what he learned, it became clear that the greatest need was for qualified and properly trained men. There are Seminaries, Bible Colleges, and Institutes in the larger cities, yet they are often inaccessible to many pastors throughout Haiti. While Al and his brother Mark were there seeking to know what God would have them do, a number of men reached out to them. They asked if they would be willing to come alongside them and mentor them to become more effective ministers of God’s word. Collaborating together, they developed a program of biblical and theological study designed to equip them in both pulpit and practical ministry. They realized the best way to implement this program was through live streaming. Since beginning the mentorship program, the opportunity to help others has expanded greatly and far exceeds their resources, including the opportunity to teach and mentor many more Haitian men who are already participating in Bible training programs in Haiti. They are currently developing a more complete pilot program with a view toward involving other pastors and qualified teachers who can partner with them to fulfill their Vision For Haiti.
Vision for Haiti will focus on both finding and training biblically qualified men. Whether planting a new church, or renewing a weakened church, the key is having the right men in place. They must be called by God and meet the biblical qualifications for church leadership. Vision For Haiti will also give attention to the office of the Deacon, as this ministry is often missing or mis-functioning in the Haitian church.
In order to stay focused on our primary vision, we will strive to meet the following goals. The first letter of each goal forms an acrostic for the word TEAM. We must have a team of ministry partners working together if our Vision For Haiti is to be realized.
We firmly believe the local church is at the center of God’s plan for the world. Therefore, everything The Mustard Seed Ministry and Vision For Haiti seek to accomplish will be under the counsel of our local church. Our mission includes serving established churches, and the planting of new churches as God allows.
This is ground zero for us. Everything we do must be tethered to the primary goal of finding and training godly men for ministry.
To accomplish our Vision For Haiti, we must multiply ourselves to maximize our efforts before the Lord returns. Finding men who have the time, interest, and ability to do the sometimes difficult work of mentoring men through a translator will be a challenge. However, we are encouraged by the number of men who share our vision and are ready to be deployed when the pilot program is completed.
Haiti is a nation in crisis. Therefore, Christians in Haiti are in a state of crisis. While various humanitarian resources are available from organizations already in the country, connecting people to those resources can be a challenge. While our primary focus is gospel centered, not humanitarian centered, we hope to partner with faith-based organizations to ensure that “the household of faith” in Haiti gets connected to the available resources. We believe this is a diaconal ministry that needs to be nurtured in Haiti.
Sound biblical literature in Haitian Creole is limited, especially literature designed for men preparing for the ministry. Because we are focused on training men for ministry, we feel compelled to work to find a remedy for this situation. This is a huge project that we cannot accomplish ourselves, so we are looking for people and organizations to work with to resolve this issue for the spiritually hungry church in Haiti.
Al Garard and his wife Sue have been involved in church planting and development for almost fifty years. They have spent extended periods of service in Belgium, Australia and Haiti. God has blessed them with four children, 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. One of pastor Al's greatest ministry blessings is the privilege of equipping men for ministry. He is presently training men in both Haiti and his local church where he pastor's. (Ephesians 3:21)
Mark has pastored a church in Oklahoma the past fourteen years. Prior to planting the church in Oklahoma, he helped plant and co-pastor a church in Illinois, and has been instrumental in the planting of other churches as well. He was the Principal of a Christian school for a number of years, where he also served as Athletic Director and coach. He and his wife Beverly have been blessed with two daughters and two grandchildren.