A few months ago, I spent about a week with Faith Church in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. I was introduced to that church by an old friend, and founding member of my congregation (Church of the Redeemer), Mike VanHook.
Some of you have heard me speak about my time in Haiti. I was overwhelmed by the crushing poverty of the country. I was also impressed by the godly work of Faith Church, and other ministries associated with them. I was especially impressed with Pastor Bruno. While I've only spent a few days with him, Mike has walked with him for fifteen years. Bruno is a man of passion and character. One thing I especially appreciate about him is how deeply committed he is to transparency and accountability. I have often found this to be a real issue when dealing with ministries in very poor environments.
A few weeks ago, Pastor Bruno was in Nashville. He, Laura, and I had lunch together. As I was driving us to lunch, I asked Bruno how Laura and I could help his ministry. He told me about three things that were pressing needs.
While I was considering these needs myself, I also decided to bring them up to our Mission and Outreach Committee. You may not know this, but Church of the Redeemer sets aside 10% of our income for mission and outreach. This committee helps to assign those funds.
The committee decided to act on the needs I presented. But they also wanted to offer folks an opportunity to participate as well. The Vestry agreed, and decided that we should open a special designated fund just for June and July. During these two months, you can contribute towards three specific needs at Faith Church, if you wish. We will then transfer the funds to Faith Church, and we will receive reports on how they are used.
Here are those three needs: Scholarships, Teachers, and the Construction of the Sanctuary. As a special act of worship this summer, I invite you to join me in giving (even a very small amount) to the work of Faith Church.
One-third of Haitian children do not go to school. That's because almost all available schools are private. Since the majority of Haitians live on less than two dollars a day, you can see where paying for school would be a real problem.
Faith Church has established Faith School for the children in their impoverished area. 120 children now attend, but more could go if they had the money.
I asked Bruno how much it would cost to sponsor a child for a year of school. He told me that $250 would cover school, books, uniform, and lunch (when the school could afford lunch). That's for the entire year.
Redeemer will be sponsoring four children to go to Faith School this coming year. You can sponsor a child, also. If you would like to do so, give $250 to Redeemer, and indicate "Haiti Scholarship." Bruno will send us the names and pictures of the children that we sponsor.
I asked Pastor Bruno how much he pays the teachers at Faith School. He told me "$90 a month, when we can pay them. And we don't pay them during the summer."
That's a full-time salary of about $3 a day, when the salary comes through. Given how critical teachers are to a school, Redeemer has decided to give $900 to pay for one teacher for the upcoming school-year. If you'd like to help provide a teacher for Faith School this year, give any amount to Redeemer, and indicate "Haiti Teachers.
To the right, you'll see a picture of Faith Church's sanctuary. Approximately 250 people worship there on Sundays, many standing outside. Bruno has plans drawn up to build a large, sturdy, cinderblock sanctuary. He can get it built for $10,000.
Redeemer is giving $1,000 toward the building of the new sanctuary. You can pitch in, if you'd like. Just give any amount to Redeemer, and indicate "Haiti Sanctuary." Bruno will keep careful track of the expenditures, and we'll receive reports on the progress.
How to Give
If you'd like to give to any of these three needs, you can bring/mail a check to Redeemer. 920 Caldwell Lane, Nashville, 37204. You can also use our on-line giving by going here: https://portal.icheckgateway.com/ChurchOfTheRedeemer/
Please remember to indicate in the MEMO LINE where you'd like the funds to go. Haiti Scholarships, Haiti Sanctuary, or Haiti Teachers.