As the disaster response portion of CBF’s work in Haiti concludes, ongoing sustainable ministries take over to build upon the great strides and partnering attitudes that were established just after the devasting 2010 earthquake. Last weekend on March 3rd, hundreds of people gathered at the newly constructed Siloë Temple Baptist Church in Grand Goâve to celebrate this partnership and all that has been accomplished since the 2010 earthquake. Grand Goâve sustained extensive damage, losing about 98% of their buildings. CBF has partnered with this small community in their endeavor to rebuild the community and their lives.
CBF’s work has been focused in the areas of construction and medical ministry. Volunteers from the United States and Canada have served alongside Haitians in significant projects. First, the town rebuilt its school so children would not have to wait to continue their education. Next, the focus turned to rebuilding their church. All the while, Conscience International has been facilitating the construction of Rubble Houses in the broader Haiti Housing Network partnership. Rubble Houses are earthquake-resistant, providing a much needed sense of security to those who lost their homes. Conscience International continues this work in Grand Goâve. Jenny Jenkins, CBF field personnel, continues her medical ministry in Grand Goâve as well, providing an ongoing ministry opportunity for short term mission volunteers.
The Siloë Temple Baptist congregation flooded into their proudly standing sanctuary, with former volunteers and the partnership’s representatives in attendance. Local pastors and leaders, as well as CBF representatives, like Harry Rowland and Mike and Brenda Harwood, approached the podium to express their joy and gratitude both to God and to everyone who made the rebuilding possible. Three different choirs attended, leading the congregation to fill their sanctuary with singing. “The place just rang with music,” says Cindy Falk, a former volunteer with the Disaster Response ministry.
Additionally, it was an emotional farewell for Mike and Brenda Harwood, who have represented CBF’s Disaster Response work in Grand Goâve for the past 3 years. “It was a bitter sweet event for us, being our last real event before leaving Haiti,” reported Mike and Brenda. “God has been very good to us over the last three years and the dedication of the church building was a great way for us to say thank you to Him.”