Opportunities abound to serve in Haiti
    April 9 2014 by Bartley Wooten, Guest Column

    On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the Caribbean country of Haiti. Already a poverty-stricken nation, this earthquake and the dozens of aftershocks that followed catapulted the population into economic, political, social and physical collapse.
    Both the earthquake itself and the disastrous effects it caused killed hundreds of thousands of Haitians. For four years now, many organizations, companies, governments and churches have continued the relief work much needed in this country.
    After a recent trip there, it is difficult to express what we witnessed. We returned home a day late because our flight from Miami to Raleigh was cancelled. After sleeping in chairs and on the floor at the airport, we remembered the words of one of our Haitian team leaders, “Preaching the gospel is always hard.”
    His words were certainly accurate for us. In fact, one Haitian pastor told us that the week before a group of voodoo sorcerers invaded his church and attempted to assault and kill him. But the Spirit of God prevented the lead sorcerer from touching him and the sorcerers eventually left. 
    Although Haiti is a land of very real spiritual warfare, this is the moment to reach the country for Christ! Rene Romil, our team leader for Christian Faith & Action Ministries – Haiti (CFAM) and former North Carolina Baptist Men’s (Baptists on Mission) helper, said it is time to “invade Haiti with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
    Our team included Paul Langston, director of missions at Eastern Baptist Association; Jeff Broadwell, pastor of Green Springs Baptist Church in Parkton; Richard Weeks, pastor of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Faison; his wife Tammy; Ted Press and Bartley Wooten, pastor of Beulaville Baptist Church in Beulaville. 
    We visited 11 schools and the churches with which they are associated. The team shared the gospel at most of the schools and saw 676 people make professions of faith – about 60 of those were adults. 
    Each school administrator works under the authority of a local church and a pastor. Most struggle to pay the teachers’ salaries that average $75 per month. The typical school has 30-70 children in each classroom with one teacher. The schools are very basic and most students are unable to pay the $100 annual tuition.
    Students sit on wooden benches side-by-side, and the teacher uses a chalkboard. The schools have very few resources. Teachers are not formally educated. There is a great need to help these teachers with more resources and training.
    On top of the many churches and schools Romil and his team have planted, several new churches that have asked to come under the umbrella of CFAM. This speaks to the integrity of Romil and his team. His ministry was birthed out of his partnership with N.C. Baptist Men during the earthquake relief. Baptist Men continue to assist Romil with some expenses.
    From North Carolina Paul Langston and Tammy Weeks established Hearts for Haiti, a handmade ink pen ministry. They send $1,000 monthly to support the schools.
    CFAM’s mission statement says, “Our vision is to bring the gospel to the nations, which is the Great Commission. We feel that the only way the nation of Haiti will ever rise up out of physical poverty and [out of] spiritual slavery to Voodoo (satanic worship) is by introducing them to Jesus Christ.” 
    They are committed to reach the rural areas of Haiti where people have no access to electricity, road, school, hospital, drinking water or church. They plant churches accompanied by schools and community clinics whose primary purpose is to spread the gospel and equip believers. The ministry focuses on making disciples and training church leaders.
    There are many opportunities to pray for CFAM and be involved in the needs in Haiti. The ministry wants to build a concrete block-making facility near Arcahaie that will help provide salaries for teachers and pastors. They will need a vehicle to deliver the blocks they make. There are needs to build chicken houses in several mountain communities so the nationals can raise chickens for food and for sale. A medical clinic in Cabaret needs volunteers. Sports camps need to be staffed, construction workers are needed, and financial support is always appreciated.
    For more information, call Langston at (910) 293-7077 or email dom_easternbaptist@embarqmail.com.
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Bartley Wooten is pastor of Beulaville Baptist Church in Beulaville. He also occasionally writes Sunday School lessons for the Biblical Recorder.)
    4/9/2014 11:43:23 AM by Bartley Wooten, Guest Column | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Baptists on Mission, disaster relief

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