A makeshift cross stands on the rubble of what was Evangelical Baptist Church of LiLavois, Haiti. Believers have scavenged a parachute to use as a shelter for the church. Chris Hindal, director of international ministries for the GARBC, traveled to Haiti in March to visit pastors and churches in the Association des Énglises Evangeliques Baptistes d’ Haiti, a fellowship of Haitian Baptist churches in the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries.
Hindal spent his trip listening to the Haitian pastors and planning for additional relief efforts through GARBC churches. During Hindal’s visit, Pastor Rony Lapointe described how some members of his church were killed, including his assistant pastor. But in the aftermath of the earthquake, church attendance has doubled, and many have made professions of faith. Now church members meet on Saturdays to clear the rubble so they can rebuild, but the work is being done manually, and the progress is slow. Of the 28 Baptist churches in the Haitian fellowship, 17 were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, along with the homes of 10 pastors.
Through the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries, Chris Hindal is urging GARBC churches to assemble work teams and raise money. He has rented a guesthouse in Port-au-Prince to house missions teams traveling to Haiti this summer to rebuild churches and pastors’ homes. Noting that construction in Haiti will likely use cement block walls, wood trusses, and sheet-metal roofing, Hindal is recruiting work teams with carpentry and masonry skills.
In addition to organizing church-based relief teams, Hindal is coordinating other relief efforts, suggesting that churches consider raising a $5,000 offering for building materials that can be purchased and delivered to the construction sites in advance of their team’s arrival.
Darrell Goemaat is director of photography for the Baptist Bulletin. His trip to Haiti was partially funded by a friend of the magazine.
What can we do?
Organize a work crew from your church. Chris Hindal will help your team plan a missions trip that will partner with Baptist churches in Haiti. E-mail Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raise an offering to pay for emergency relief and construction supplies. See “Building Materials for Haiti” for information on donating.
Invite Chris Hindal to present GARBC International Ministries at your church. E-mail Chris at email@example.com.