New Hope Community Christian Reformed Church of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., just completed a mission trip—a one-week trip to Pignon, Haiti. But it was by no means the first. The congregation has been sending teams to Haiti several times a year since 2004, and two more trips are planned for this year.
The team of 13 that recently returned included teens and adults of all ages. They ran a health clinic, played with orphans, held revival services, and helped to build an orphanage.
New Hope Community has a close relationship with Jerusalem Baptist Church in Pignon, and is finding financial and prayer sponsors for 22 orphans who will live in the church’s new orphanage.
The church has helped build nine buildings in the Pignon region (used for both church and school) and plans to build two more. The congregation hopes to sponsor many more orphans and aims to sponsor 100 children to attend the schools they built.
“God has blessed our missions efforts,” said Kirby Williams, pastor of New Hope Community, who leads the mission teams. “Several other churches that desire to be involved with Haiti but don’t have the contacts have joined with us in some of our trips and projects. We hope to increase this collaboration in the future.
“The Christians we know in Haiti have nothing, but they have a closer, better relationship with God because the church and the Lord is so much of what they do,” said Williams. “We come away with the feeling that we live in a kind of Disney World alternate reality; theirs is the reality.”
“I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for seeing the poverty face to face,” said Sherry Shoemaker, who along with her 17-year-old daughter Raszana, joined the Pignon team in February. “The orphans depend on God for their every need. They don’t look beyond the need for today, and God provides.”