HAITI: OUR MISSION OF HOPE
New Bethel Baptist Church
Rev. Robert Smith, Jr.,
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28: 18-20 KJV
I travel to Haiti once a month, unless it is not possible for some reason,
to make sure the needs of our children and our churches are being met.
We have the joy of sharing with two orphanages, three schools, and
eleven churches in and around Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital. Our
work has grown to the point that we make a trip every four to six weeks
and very often, monthly.
It is my prayer that you will be inspired to become a part of the life giving ministry that is our
Haiti Mission. As you look at the work, places and faces in the pictures ask God to lead you in
helping the best way possible.
May God bless you!
Pastor Robert Smith, Jr.
New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
Our work in Haiti continues to grow and grow. We are working with 14
pastors and their call to lift their people in Haiti. We have connected
with many Haitians in the United States to implement projects that go
beyond a hand out, to a hand up. You can help in any way you feel led.
Prayers are just as powerful, or more so than dollars. Your prayers will
take money out of the hands of the unsaved and put it in the hands of the
people of God.
Since November 2004 our major foreign mission emphasis at
New Bethel has been to work tirelessly to fulfill our mission for
the Kingdom of God in Haiti. We have partnered with other local
churches such as Tree of Life Baptist Church to support the
efforts of local organizations such as The Caring and Sharing
Mission and the Mission Baptist New Covenant D’Haiti.
Since the devastating earthquake of January 2010, there is so much more work to be done, and
our efforts are being intensified so that we may make a meaningful contribution to rebuild and
enrich both the natural and spiritual lives of God’s children there.
Our specific focus has been two-fold:
first, to ensure that the needs of the children are being met, particularly with
respect to their regular care and feeding, as well as special occasion gift giving
Our second focus has been to rebuild three church/schools in Croix des
Bouquets, Pernier and Delmas: subdivisions of Port-au-Prince. Delmas,
the ‘Mother Church’ is complete, with minor issues such the lack of window shutters to
protect the newly installed pews from water damage. The other two churches
have much more work to be done with the masonry infrastructure and
interior work. Despite this, it is exciting to note that Spirit-filled worship
services continue on a daily basis at all locations.
As you can see, your help is still needed. It takes all of us working together
for Kingdom building, both at home and abroad to fulfill this vision. Will
you join with us? Is God touching your heart to donate today to this cause?
OUR SHORT TERM GOALS:
Our short-term goals to December 31, 2013 are:
.Fact-finding Mission Trip: September 22-24, 2013. to obtain a detailed assessment of
the level of effort (labor and material) required to fulfill the vision at Pernier and Croix
Anniversary Services in Haiti: November 7-10, 2013. You are invited join our Haitian
brothers and sisters in celebrating the anniversary of the Mother Church at Delmas.
Christmas for Haiti Revival at New Bethel: Our annual Christmas for Haiti Revival is
planned for December 2 -6, 2013 at 7:00 pm nightly at New Bethel.
This is our opportunity to personally raise awareness of the needs of
our sister church/schools in Haiti, and for your support in helping to
spread the love of Christ to the children. We look forward to this
time of fellowship with you and your entire church congregation.
Christmas for the Children in Haiti: December 15-20, 2013. For
the children of the three church/schools, it is our intention to present
each child with age-appropriate clothing, toiletries, a toy as well as
a reminder of Jesus’ care for them. We sincerely thank the
Michigan District Association of the National Baptist Convention for their large donation
of over 800 dresses, underwear and footwear for the girls and 1,000 pair of underwear
and footwear for the boys. There are still more purchases to be made.
OUR LONG TERM GOALS:
It is our goal to fully complete the physical renovations of the church/school
at Pernier by December 31, 2014, and to continue to intensify our
missionary activities in Haiti for the glory of God, so that the Word of God
may continue to have its free course.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
You too can make a difference by:
• Constant prayer for the ultimate success of the Haiti Missions.
• Donating of your time and/or talent to the New Bethel Baptist Church Mission Department for the
continuing work and support of the Haiti vision.
• Contributing financially to further the Haiti mission. Please note that donations will also be accepted
during the Revival week.
We sincerely thank you for your support, and look forward to hearing from and seeing you as we work
together for the Kingdom of God in Christ Jesus
Would you please make your checks directly to our address indicated below or Donate through our
website homepage. Please remember to type in 'Haiti Mission' in your Description. All contributions are
tax deductible, and will be used to the glory of God.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I
was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye
visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Matthew. 25:34-36 KJV
New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
8430 C.L. Franklin Blvd., Detroit MI 48206 Web: www.nbbcdetroit.org
Tel: (313) 894-5788 Fax: (313) 894-2929 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DETROIT NEWS January 25, 2010
Smith, pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church, brought a Haitian refugee, Yasmine Joachim, to church Sunday so his parishioners could hear first-hand of the strife and need in that poor country, made even worse by recent national disaster. Joachim, 27, arrived in Detroit Saturday from Florida.
"She's 27 but is so tiny she looks like she is 14," said Smith. "She's lived in an orphanage there all her life. She gave testimony to it all and it is not a happy story. It was a very emotional service."
"I am grateful, but I also am not because it's not about myself," Joachim said. "I thank God I made it safe here. I'm just trying to see how I can get help there."
Smith personally knows how life has been difficult in Haiti -- well before the recent earthquake. He has visited the country frequently since Nov. 2004 and seen its impoverished people attempt to deal with strife and the aftermath of two hurricanes. He said in the past year he has made almost monthly visits to Haiti, taking what he could to help orphans and a mission in Port-au-Prince.
"I just returned from there December 20, said Smith, who works with the C&S (Caring and Sharing) Mission. "And I'm scheduled to go again tomorrow (Monday)."
Donations have ranged from contributions of "a jar of dimes from a little girl" to 500 rollaway beds he hopes to get to children who have been sleeping on the ground for the past 12 days because they fear entering buildings that might collapse again.
On a recent shopping trip he picked up 60 pounds of rice, 50 pounds of pinto beans, 40 pound of spaghetti, and 50 pounds of ready-to-eat meat, all of which he plans to personally deliver to the mission, along with bottled water and other supplies.
Some donations, such as the rollaway beds, will be transported to Haiti on private aircraft by a donor who has asked to remain anonymous, Smith said.
"I've heard some of the relief efforts and other people say 'just send money' but I have also talked with people I know down there and they have told me what they need, and I am going to do my best to get it to them," Smith said. "I'm hoping with military forces in place we can prevent some of the mob scenes we have seen in the past and begin orderly distribution of food and aid to these desperate people."
"The eyes of the world are on Haiti right now and instead of looking at poor people some distrust because of their religious practices or whatever, we are looking at them as people who need our help," he said. "We are looking at them with humanity."
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100125/METRO/1250335#ixzz0iLmap8eB
The 26-year-old Yasmine was out shopping for a gift for her nephew when the 7.0 earthquake hit. It took about 38 seconds to destroy the house that she and eight members of her family lived in, but all of her family survived, and in that she is more fortunate than hundreds of thousands of her countrymen.
“Rev. Smith is one of the mission members to Haiti and he goes there all the time to help the people,” Yasmine said. “And he was the one to get me a visa to be able to come here.”
Even before the earthquake, about 80 percent of Haitians lived in abject poverty with unemployment hovering around the same percentage. But in the wake of the recent disaster, Haiti is immersed in “a perfect storm” of human suffering and need.
It’s been almost two months since the devastating earthquake, but the dire and deadly situation in Haiti is still catastrophic. Basic human necessities like shelter, medical care, food, water and clothing are lacking, unavailable or out of reach. These shortages are not recent developments but have plagued the small nation for centuries, but in the wake of the disastrous quake, millions of lives hang in the balance with each second.
Rev. Robert Smith is pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church located on Linwood Avenue in the heart of Detroit’s west side. It is a ministry steeped in the best tradition of the Black church. The legendary Rev. C.R. Franklin led the church throughout the ’60s and ’70s and used the pulpit to pursue freedom and justice for oppressed people.
Rev. Smith began making humanitarian trips to Haiti in 2004. He met Yasmine the same year in the aftermath of hurricanes Ivan and Jean and was impressed by her intelligence and compassion. He facilitated her transition from Haiti to the U.S. and she currently resides with Rev. Smith, his wife and family in Detroit.
Smith is a large, portly man who speaks with the authority of someone that not only has seen hardship and human misery and folly but has, (with the help of God), triumphed over them. One cannot be a pessimist or a cynic and be an effective church leader and minister of God. And after spending time in Smith’s presence, one senses he is a perennially hopeful man, although his optimism does not diminish his powers of evaluation.
“Other people are planning what Haiti is going to be from now on,” said Smith. “And they’re leaving out the Haitians. There have been economic summits planning the future of Haiti and President Rene Preval was not invited to the summit. That’s something to think about. But if they think that the Haitians are going to lie down they’ve got another thought coming.”
Haiti has a glorious history of standing up. It was the second republic in the western hemisphere to fight against tyranny and win its independence. (The United States was the first.). And its people seem to remain strong in spirit despite the incredible catastrophes they’ve endured throughout the centuries. The earthquake is only the latest in a sequence of events and machinations-political, economic, and otherwise-that has undermined and destroyed Haiti’s vibrancy as a nation.
According to Rev. Smith, the Haitians have suffered a blockade around their nation for over 100 years. They have also been the target of extortion and usurious loans from European banks, yet they will not allow their nation to become a tourist attraction for the benefit of outsiders and corporate-owned hotel chains while Haitians are shut out from sharing in development and profits.
Even in the midst of the incredible outpouring of money and supplies to Haiti there is criticism that these desperately needed resources are being misappropriated and not getting to the people it is intended for. Yet, Rev. Smith encourages people to continue to open their hearts and give.
For although all of the help that is sent may not make it to those who need it most, if we allow this to discourage us many will die who might have lived.
“There are no jobs there right now,” said Yasmine. “So I came over here so that I can be able to work and go to nursing school and then go back to Haiti and help. The spirit of the Haitian people is strong but sometimes they get discouraged.”
March is the beginning of the three-month rainy season in Haiti and because of the gross lack of shelter and sanitation, the waters could cause diseases like malaria and other plagues to develop. The country is in desperate need of housing materials, latrines, water purifiers and sanitation supplies.
“Haiti has poverty, illiteracy, overcrowding, no infrastructure, environmental disaster and large areas without the rule of law,” said historian Alex von Tunzelmann. “And that was before the earthquake. This is a catastrophe beyond our worst imagination.”
The tragedy in Haiti and the help that is needed there is ongoing, and it is how we respond to this need which will act as a barometer of our faith and of our very humanity.
“To indicate that one cultivates the presence of God does not necessitate the outer symbols of the pious look, the somber clothes, the ostentatiously carried Bible, the dangling cross,” wrote the late, great Adam Clayton Powell Jr. “But it does necessitate the bringing of more beauty, truth and goodness into the world and into the lives of others — of all peoples in all places, wherever one can find them or their need.”
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