As we usher in a new year, we want to bring to your attention a very special initiative that involves Haiti and our family of churches around the world. Better HAITI Inc. is a new non-profit started by disciples of Haitian descent living abroad. Better HAITI grew out of a committee that was charged by Lesly and Danie Cadet, who currently lead all of our churches in Haiti, to direct an international fund-raising campaign to help build a multi-use facility for the church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We are seeking to bring together disciples, particularly those of Haitian descent, throughout the kingdom to share and utilize their resources to help the church in Haiti. Our first project is to build a first-rate building that will serve as a meeting facility for the church and as a venue that can be rented out to the community at large for meeting space. This will enable the church in Port-au-Prince to have additional revenue streams. We believe the Holy Spirit has led us down this path.
The 2010 earthquake destroyed the building that the church used for its worship services. The church currently lacks the funds to construct an adequate facility and currently meets under a gazebo on land that it owns. It has no walls and a tin roof. Better HAITI Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization and a registered non-profit corporation in the State of Florida. Better HAITI’s mission is to support the work of the International Churches of Christ in Haiti. Through its projects, Better HAITI seeks to strengthen the church in Haiti and to improve the quality of life of its members. The idea is to leverage resources around the world, but primarily in the U.S., inside and outside of the church, to advance the work in Haiti. We plan to establish technical advisory panels of architects, engineers and contractors within our fellowship worldwide who can assist us with this project. We also plan to utilize the expertise of legal, financial, accounting and IT professionals within our fellowship worldwide. Better HAITI is inspired by the prophet Nehemiah’s approach. Nehemiah learned of the condition of his homeland and was alarmed. He assumed leadership and took the initiative to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem while living abroad. The International Churches of Christ in Haiti are dynamic and vibrant but also face a number of unique challenges. The church in Haiti started in 1989 but it is still reliant on outside support, primarily from generous supporters of the New York City Church of Christ. The country has been plagued by political turmoil for decades. Many of the brightest in our churches have left the country or are planning to leave in search of better opportunities. Haiti is a special place. But it also requires special attention and care.
The reality of Haiti is that so many are of very modest means. Haiti is considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere. According to the World Bank six million out of 10.4 million Haitians (59%) live below the national poverty line of $2.41 per day. Over 2.5 million (24%) live below the national extreme poverty line of $1.23 per day. Better HAITI endeavors to think “outside the box” to find practical solutions to some of the challenges. It seeks to develop long term strategies for the overall health and wellbeing of our churches in Haiti. Haitians in the diaspora are talented, industrious and hardworking people. So many of them thrive abroad when given opportunities. They have a special love and attachment to their homeland. You’ll find disciples of Haitian descent dispersed throughout our fellowship of churches in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe just to name a few.
Better HAITI provides disciples of Haitian descent and anyone who wants to help the opportunity to assist the church in Haiti. Nehemiah brought attention to the difficult circumstances that Israel faced and rallied his countrymen to the cause. Each one worked on rebuilding specific sections of the wall of Jerusalem and the God of heaven gave them success. Better HAITI plans to follow this model. Finally, we plan to be RADICALLY transparent in our finances and to conduct our affairs with the highest levels of integrity. We want to be above reproach and welcome input and advice in this area. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact us at email@example.com. Most importantly we ask for your prayers, knowing that as stated in Ephesians 3:20, our God is “…able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” There will be challenges and obstacles but by faith, the God of heaven will grant us success. And we ask that you consider taking an action in the new year such as: