Church leader Will Bates and others traveled to Cathor, Haiti to see how gifts from First Baptist were being used by the Friends of OFCB in that remote village.  This is his report.

“In 2013 I took my first trip to Cathor, and I saw first-hand the progress that is being made.  I saw it at the school, and at the new medical and dental clinic staffed by people from the village.  The community is excited about these new opportunities and I was very excited for them.

“Let me tell you about the people in Cathor.  They are resourceful, hardy and hard-working.  People carry construction materials for hours uphill, often in over 90 degree heat.  Throughout our stay, I saw many carrying heavy loads, some in 5 gallon buckets or bowls on their heads.  There were many farmers working in their fields in the upper 90 degree heat.

“They are a warm, friendly, and gracious people.  As we met people, they told us that they were happy that we were there.  One day I spoke to a young man named Tesly in French and the little Creole I know.  I asked him how to say other things in Creole. He went straight home, brought back his Haitian Creole phrase book, and gave me my first one-hour lesson in Creole.

“The students are pushed hard in school.  It became apparent in conversations with a number of high school and middle school students that they see the opportunities that their education can give to them.  They are taught English and took the initiative to start conversations with us to practice what they have learned.

“We joined them in worship on Sunday that included heart-felt praise in song, time of prayer, and hearing God’s message.  That evening, there was a concert with their band and community youth choir.   Everyone was so joyful.  Amidst their struggles, their daily lives without food, and minimal income to provide for their needs, this time of music and praise seemed to uplift them so much.

They are determined to make the most of what they have.  Between the community leaders of Cathor and the FOFCB board, there are ideas and visions of what more can be done for them to provide for themselves.  However, they continue to need all the support that has been given through our World Hunger Day support and more.

“Just as they were uplifted by the concert, they are also uplifted by our presence as we walk with them in their struggles and rejoice with them in their joys.”

We are a part of Friends of OFCB along with other churches in the Charlotte area.  The goal of this organization is to build on a foundation of relationships between people in the U.S. and people in Haiti who are intensely focused on providing hope and improving lives.

Support includes the school, including teachers and staff, building projects, and partnering with community leaders of the village of Cathor as they plan the next steps for growth and to help themselves.