Nestled within the lush embrace of Haiti’s northwestern region, Bayonnais stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of its people and the captivating beauty of its surroundings. The heartbeat of Bayonnais is its people, who exude warmth and resilience in equal measure. The community is tightly knit, where hospitality is not just a gesture but a way of life.
Melissa Hoffman, Executive Director of EWO Haiti, explained, “Visiting Bayonnais changed my life. This community, despite all of its hardships, is incredibly faith-filled and joyous. I fell in love with the people of Bayonnais. I feel like I know them. I’ve gone to church with them, I’ve hugged their babies, I’ve cried with them over loss. The only thing that separates us is where we were born in the world.”
First Presbyterian partners closely with Friends Empowering Haiti and EWO, two nonprofits supporting Outreach for Christ in Bayonnais (OFCB). OFCB serves a remote mountain valley, supporting four schools, a clinic, and a local church. While we cannot visit at this time due to political unrest, this has not stopped us from supporting this community with our financial resources and prayers.
One way our church members do so is by sponsoring students. At present, 37 students are sponsored by FPC members. Sherri and Kent Buzard stand as a shining example of this partnership. Their unwavering dedication is exemplified by their long-standing commitment to the people of Haiti. “We believe sponsorship provides hope, forms bonds, and helps to break the cycle of poverty. We have been blessed to sponsor children in Haiti for over 20 years and look forward to continuing to help where we can.”
Kerloude, an OFCB graduate, describes the experience of being sponsored. “It’s encouraging to me. It makes me study hard and work because I have someone who pays my school fees. Having a sponsor means a lot, especially for an orphan. I hope that God will provide for my sponsor, bless my sponsor, and keep them healthy.”
On October 25, OFCB’s Actionnel Flourisma will be on-site to share the status of the mission in Haiti and the good work being done through EWO and Friends Empowering Haiti. Learn more about our partnership with Haiti or sign up for the luncheon with Actionnel here: firstpres-charlotte.org/global-outreach.