Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Mission in Haiti
In the 1980s we had the great privilege of meeting Hubert Ulysse, a man from Jean-Rabel, Haiti, who secured his education in Port-au-Prince. When we met Hubert, he was stationed in the U.S. Navy in Chicago. It was there he began to work under the direction and pastoral guidance of our founding pastor, Pastor L.R. Davis. Hubert was later transferred to a duty station in Norfolk, Virginia, where Pastor Thomas had the privilege to be his pastor as he continued to study for ministerial service. After his discharge from the Navy, Hubert moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with his wife and daughter to begin a church in the large Haitian community there.
Pastor Hubert Ulysse had often spoken with Pastor Davis about returning to Haiti to work in the ministry. Years before, Pastor Davis had received a vision of a mountainside of dark-skinned people worshipping together and had hoped Pastor Ulysse would be a part of seeing that vision come to pass.
While pastor of the church in Ft. Lauderdale, Pastor Ulysse wrote to his family in Haiti, sending summaries of his messages and bulletins. His mother, who is very proud of her son, would share this news with others in her village. A church in her area was so impressed with the reports she received, they contacted Pastor Ulysse about working together, who in turn contacted our headquarters in Illinois. Under Pastor Davis’ direction, Pastor Paine, Pastor Thomas, and Pastor Ulysse then traveled to Haiti, and were blessed by the hospitality, compassion, and great love for God they witnessed there. They stayed for the better part of a week and worked with other pastors in the area, which led to the establishment of CFCMI congregations in Haiti.
Pastor Ulysse and his family soon moved permanently to Haiti to oversee the work there. In 1998 the Haitian government officially recognized CFCMI as a church in the Country of Haiti. This official recognition allows the church to perform official services such as weddings and funerals. It has enabled us to purchase land to build church buildings, schools, and other facilities. Since this recognition, CFCMI in Haiti has grown rapidly with the establishment of numerous congregations throughout the country, with its headquarters in Bon Repot.
As of June of 2003, CFCMI’s outreach into the country of Haiti consists of approximately 20 churches and numerous “stations.” Stations are smaller, more local, assemblies that serve as gathering points for fellowship and worship between church services. This is often necessary due to the arduous travel conditions and high costs involved.
There are many needs is the country torn by civil war. Among the greatest of these is adequate educational opportunities for the children. Therefore, in 2002, the congregation in Bon Repot began a K-7 school. Subsequently, CFCMI began a sponsorship program to allow individuals and businesses to sponsor children to attend the school, since many children cannot afford school without sponsorship. The school presently has an enrolment of over 150 children.
CFCMI is also receiving outside support to install water-harvesting systems to communities throughout Haiti with inadequate or impure water supplies. This project has only recently begun, but due to the interests and donations of individuals toward this need, this project is already promising to be a terrific means to fulfill a dire need in Haiti for drinkable water.
Though Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere, many there are receiving the true riches of Christ through this ministry. We are thankful to be used of God in this manner. Each visit to Haiti brings us closer and closer to our brothers and sisters there and teaches us, in return, by their testimony of Christian contentment, love, and devotion.