Press Release For Immediate Release: Eden Westside Baptist Focuses Mission Efforts on Southern Haiti
This year, Eden Westside Baptist Church teams up with a new partner, Global Christian Mission Outreach,) to deliver desperately-needed recovery assistance to victims of Hurricane Matthew in southern Haiti. Focusing on the city of Les Cayes, EWBC plans at least four mission trips during 2017. Teams will focus on repairing a damaged church, hosting a Vacation Bible School for area children, holding a crusade, and delivering Christmas packages to the children of Les Cayes.
Eden Westside Baptist Church Focuses Mission Efforts on Southern Haiti
Pell City, AL March 31, 2017– On October 4, 2016, as the Atlantic hurricane season wound down, a nasty Category 5 hurricane hit the tiny island-state of Haiti with winds exceeding 145 mph, dumping as much as 40 inches of rain on a land that hasn’t truly recovered from the earthquake that struck in 2011. According to the Haitian government, Hurricane Matthew killed 546 people, though other organizations claim the actual total is three times that high. The storm partially or completely destroyed more than 200,000 houses, dislocating 1.4 million Haitians.
Adding insult to injury, Matthew almost totally destroyed local crops, stripping the small country of its primary food sources. It destroyed or severely damaged communication systems, which are already substandard, and road damage rendered some of the most devastated areas unreachable by aid workers. Delivering another unfairly hard blow, a cholera outbreak following the hurricane killed an additional 29 people, further stressing the limited emergency aid and resources available.
Where Eden Westside Baptist Fits In
For the past four years, Eden Westside Baptist Church (EWBC) partnered with Good Shepherd Ministries, focusing ministry and missions work in the region of capital city of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. In addition to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the church pastors and members sponsored and participated in numerous missions trips, including medical missions to deliver critical healthcare, Vacation Bible School programs to enlighten, entertain, and educate children, and a few building projects.
This year, EWBC Pastor Jacky Connell and Missions Pastor Scotty Pinson felt led to change their focus from the area of Port-au-Prince to the southern region of Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew left such severe damage and broken hearts. The region of Les Cayes is now the primary focus of EWBC’s international mission outreach efforts.
Partnering with Global Christian Mission Outreach, or GCMO, EWBC plans at least four mission trips there during 2017, some specifically to help repair damages from the hurricane, and others to continue spreading the Gospel to the people of Haiti.
Four Trips, Many More Opportunities to Help
The first trip took place March 8-18, when 10 of EWBC’s men headed to Les Cayes to repair Christville Church of Fonfrede, a local church heavily damaged in the hurricane. The second trip, planned for July 11-18, is a special mission by our college-age young people, who will head to southern Haiti to paint a church and minister to the children through a Vacation Bible School program, just like those our American
EWBC’s third trip is on docket for August 1-7. This trip is especially important to Pastor Connell, as his chance to personally minister to the people of Haiti. During this trip, he will preach at a regional crusade held at Christville Church of Fonfrede that reaches thousands of Haitians each year. The crusade is taped and broadcast online worldwide. This trip also includes hosting a sports camp and VBS for the local kids.
The fourth trip, scheduled for December 2-9, is a very special time, when the members of EWBC deliver Christmas bags to the kids in Haiti. Members fill and turn in special 2-gallon bags between July and September, lovingly stuffing the bags with essential items like non-perishable food and toiletries, as well as a few special surprises like toys. Last year, EWBC members prepared and delivered over 300 bags. This is a great way for those who can’t go on a mission trip to Haiti themselves, but still want to do something meaningful for the people of Haiti, particularly the children. Many of these kids have never even gotten a Christmas gift, so these bags are truly significant to them.
Helping Haiti Even When You Can’t Go
Not all members get to go to Haiti, but all can contribute. EWBC participates in GCMO’s child sponsorship program. This program allows anyone who wants to the ability to sponsor a Haitian child through a regular gift of $30 per month. That $30 is less than an American water bill or cable TV, but provides a Haitian child with school tuition, school supplies, and a nutritious daily lunch. Sponsorship money also provides clean water to their community. Sponsors who go on one of the mission trips to Haiti also get the chance to meet the child they’re sponsoring.
For more information on joining one of our mission trips, helping someone else make the trip with a financial contribution, becoming a GCMO Child Sponsor, or other questions involving our Haiti missions, please contact EWBC’s Missions Pastor, Bro. Scotty Pinson at 205-369-7824.