Partnerships keep Liberty churches in Haiti for the long-haul - Word&Way

Partnerships keep Liberty churches in Haiti for the long-haul

LIBERTY — Ministry through partnership will help restore Haiti, members of two Liberty

Members of Second Baptist Church, Liberty, and First Haitian Baptist Church, Kansas City, work together to box relief items they collected to send to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. (Second Baptist, Liberty, photo)

churches believe. Second Baptist and Pleasant Valley Baptist churches are partnering with others to assist the Caribbean nation to overcome the effects of a Jan. 12 earthquake.

“Team Mango” developed at Second Baptist Church in the wake of an opportunity to partner with First Haitian Baptist Church, Kansas City, to collect beans and rice. “One of the first things we learned is that 70 percent of Haiti’s income comes from people living outside of the country,” associate pastor Mike Lassiter said.

Second Baptist first became involved when members heard that First Haitian Baptist was collecting beans and rice to distribute locally. Haitians living in the Kansas City area gave the money they would have spent for the staples to be sent to their home country. “Our partnership grew out of that,” Lassiter said.

That project led to a joint effort to collect clothing, medical supplies, food and personal hygiene items. The two churches collaborated and enlisted several other congregations and community organizations to contribute to the drive.

Second and First Haitian worked together to box the items and to load the boxes on pallets. During the first two weeks of July, members will load the materials into a 40-foot container for shipment to Haiti where the Evangelical Church of Haiti will distribute them.

In addition, the two churches have worshipped together, once at each facility. “The projects have really excited our congregation because they have brought Haiti here,” Lassiter said.

In March, two members of Second, four members of First Haitian and two women from Kauffman Scholars Inc., a program of the Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation, ministered in Haiti and explored long-term options.

Second Baptist hopes to send another joint team to the Caribbean nation in July or August to talk with leaders in several communities. Out of those discussions, local leaders plan to choose a community with which to partner for three to five years.

“We will ask the community to determine what is needed,” Lassiter said. “We like the local component…which brings a lot to it, rather than us determining what needs to be done.”

Pleasant Valley Baptist continues to minister through a partnership with the Global

Mica Broyles of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, Liberty, talks with Haitians Nemi (far left) and Larry (right) in St. Louis du Nord. (Pleasant Valley, Liberty, photo)

Orphan Project in the works before the earthquake struck. The church has already sent several teams since February, with the latest one going June 3-11.

The team worked with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, spending two days on the main campus in St. Louis du Nord. Team members worked in an infant orphanage and with the elderly at the Grand Moun facility. They also did house-to-house evangelism, and two women accepted Christ.

The Pleasant Valley group provided Vacation Bible School for children for two days at an NWHCM orphanage in Salines Mayette and for three days in St. Nicholas du Mole, the first-ever VBS offered in that area. The Missourians also encouraged missionaries who have just relocated to the area.