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Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Haiti Initiative

A Note from the Haiti Mission Team

We had the privilege in January to spend six days with the “Mother Theresa” of Haiti, Pastor Luc Deratus.

Pastor Luc leads a 20–year–old mission, Harmony Ministries, that serves the poorest of the poor in three areas of Haiti: the remote mountain village of Toman (near the Dominican Republic border), a rural community in the coastal area of Leogane and in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Haitian capital of Port–au–Prince, Citie Militaire.

Roy Gust, Wayne Stingley and Rev. Mac Schafer in front of Harmony Church #3 in the mountain town of Thoman where the team saw close to 500 in medical clinics and painted the interior of the church. Roy Gust, Wayne Stingley and Rev. Mac Schafer in front of Harmony Church #3 in the mountain town of Thoman where the team saw close to 500 in medical clinics and painted the interior of the church.

In addition to thriving Christian congregations at all three locations, Harmony operates government–accredited grade schools with over 800 pre–K through 6th–grade students that are the only schools in their communities and provides health services through a professionally staffed clinic in Citie Militaire and periodic health screenings and pharmacy services in Leogane and Toman.

We cannot begin to describe the poverty we encountered in these communities, but can relate to you that Harmony Ministries’ churches and school facilities are an oasis in the midst of the squalor.

Our team included two doctors, two nurse practitioners and a medical student who, along with the rest of our team, conducted medical screenings and dispensed non–prescription drugs (some provided by our members) and prescription drugs to nearly 800 people over two days at the rural locations.

While we were not medical experts, it was obvious most health conditions encountered were the result of inadequate nutrition. For instance, the vast majority of women over 18 years old suffered from severe anemia and its side effects and many children were substantially undersized and malnourished.

Pastor Luc handing out juice and peanut butter sandwiches, provided by our members and other churches’ members, to the school children. Pastor Luc handing out juice and peanut butter sandwiches, provided by our members and other churches’ members, to the school children.Our team also provided a meal and vitamins for the school children, thanks in part to donations in–kind by members of our congregation, and applied a fresh coat of paint to the sanctuary in Toman and the chapel in Citie Militaire.

The last Sunday, Mac Schafer and Rev. Jeff Vamos of Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church, New Jersey, delivered a sermon at the Port–au–Prince church to a gathered congregation over 900 strong. The service was truly moving and the Caribbean–inspired gospel music would stir the soul of the most conservative Presbyterian.

There are a multitude of opportunities for Pinnacle to be “in mission” with Pastor Luc and Harmony Ministries.

Key priorities now include:

1. Additional funding for the schools, and

2. Replacement of the roof on the Port–au–Prince Sanctuary that was substantially damaged by gunfire between U.N. forces and criminal gangs that tried to take over the Citie Militaire neighborhood in 2006.

We plan on discussing these alternatives with our church Session and hope to present a recommendation to you in the near future.

Peace,
Wayne Stingley, Roy Gust and Rev. Mac Schafer