Ministry in Haiti
Mark and I (Mary) arrived safely in Haiti yesterday. We went to two different churches this morning that are part of CONASPEH. We had lunch with Pastor Francoise and some of the bishops and students.
It is great to see some of our friends again here. An added BIG surprise was seeing our former missionaries Kim and Patrick Bentrott and their three children who are here at the guest house with us. It is a children’s first visit to Haiti and Kim‘s first visit since the earthquake in 2010.
by Mary Friedman
(Thank you to Karen Pohlman for translating Pastor Francoise’ e-mails from the French for us!)
The Haiti Team is happy to share pictures and an annual report for 2017-2018 we have just received from Pastor Francoise Villiers, Executive Director of our mission partner in Haiti: the National Council of Spiritual Churches of Haiti. Last year our church donated money for roof repairs at the headquarters building in Port-au-Prince:
First Church raised almost $16,000 during the Haiti Scholarship Fund Drive last spring. That money has enabled many more students to attend school this year!
Bishop Fontus with students at his school in Saute which Mark Pohlman and Mary Friedman visited last year with Pastor Francoise.
Girls classes at Bishop Fontus’ School in Saute.
Pre-school students at the CONASPEH–supported school in Saute.
Pastor Francoise writes to us that “Education is a luxury in this country, from day to day, things become more difficult for the parents. If it was not for Longmeadow, we do not know how we could help these children in difficulty. For the families that have 5-8 cchildren in a house, our school cannot help them all, thus every third child in a family has a grant(scholarship) in this program subsidized by the Longmeadow church.”
Following are some examples of the things that C.O.N.A.S.P.E.H.…
For over 15 years, First Church has been involved with CONASPEH, a non-governmental organization that was formed in 1986 by 50 Protestant Haitian ministers. CONASPEH has 4,000 member churches and plays an important role in the economic, social, religious, and intellectual development of Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
In 1995, First Church gave $50,000 for a CONASPEH headquarters that served as a school, medical clinic, and office for economic development until it was destroyed during the earthquake in January, 2010. First Church continues to support CONASPEH by providing tution scholarships to the school. In 2009, over $10,000 was donated to the fifth Haiti Scholarship Fund Drive. The CONASPEH school reopened under tents and among trees in April, 2010. The 2010 fund drive concentrated on donations to help the school rebuild. We continue to support the school by holding an annual Scholarship Fund Drive. Please consider donating to the Haiti Scholarship Fund Drive.
Many members of First Church have traveled to Haiti to provide hands-on help in the areas of education, communication, computers, and medical services. Members of the Senior YES! youth group have also traveled to Haiti. They have helped out at both the CONASPEH school and at an orphanage.…