After a devastating earthquake rocked Haiti in January 2010, God laid a short-term mission trip to the country on the hearts of Wesleyans from the United Kingdom.In April 2011, Cassius and Vanessa Francis, leaders in The Wesleyan Church of the British Isles, visited Haiti for a few days to meet with Global Partners’ Caribe Atlantic Area Director Dan and Joy Irvine and National Superintendent Rev. Doucet Desronvil. The leaders felt United Kingdom Wesleyans could be more effective than simply sending money and provisions from afar. Instead, they advised the Francises to assemble a team to return and work on a mission. As a result, the Love Haiti project was birthed.
Eleven people traveled to Haiti in August 2012 to serve in various capacities. The partnership of churches working together has been crucial to the success of the mission and broadened the ministry and learning opportunities for the entire team.
The team planned to work at with teenagers at two camps located at a new church plant in Li la Vois with Pastor Edna Joseph (Li la Vois is where people resettled after the earthquake) and in Source Matelas with Pastor Jean Claude Guerrier. However, news of the camps soon spread far and wide in both areas, and the camps were extended to include preteens. The team led corporate devotion and worship times, facilitated sports, music, and technology activities, and workshops. The United Kingdom visitors also made presentations at both churches in their Sunday morning services.
Those who traveled to Haiti have been challenged and inspired by the locals and received a warm welcome when they arrived.
“We believe the people have recognized the heart of what we were trying to achieve and why we were there,” says Cassius. “It took us a year to fundraise for the mission through various sponsored events, including a fashion show, music concerts, an art auction, and even a birthday tea party. We give God thanks that we have accomplished what we set out to do.”
Volunteers are currently planning and fundraising for the next Love Haiti Mission, August 3-17, 2013. Team members request Wesleyans to pray for various needs in Haiti:
- The youth leaders, in particular the leaders at Li la Vois and Source Matelas Wesleyan churches. They have a tremendous role in inspiring this and future generations with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Dan and Joy Irvine, Rev. Doucet, and the church leaders in Haiti. They have achieved a tremendous amount, but they are well aware of the challenges and scale of the task ahead.
- Further mission opportunities to inspire the British Isles District of The Wesleyan Church
Cassius Francis is from The Wesleyan Church of the British Isles and is in church leadership at the Moseley Wesleyan Holiness Church in Birmingham, England.