In 2005 Tom and Kate Veneman and C.D. and Myra Boone teamed up to provide community development projects for the North West peninsula of the country of Haiti. Tom and Kate and their three children already had contacts in that area due to a previous 4-year commitment.
Project North West Haiti’s team effort began in January of 2005. The project has focused on the mountain village of Passe Catabois where work has progressed on a guest house, medical clinic, shop building and a hospital. These are providing living quarters for future teams and health services for an area that 500,000 Haitians call home. Carpenters, mechanics, masons, tile layers, welders, electricians and nurses have tag teamed to improve the conditions in this community. Each time that teams have traveled to Haiti they have encouraged Christians there by visiting local churches with team members’ testimonies and preaching the Word.
In December of 2008 Tom, C.D. and Mikhail Arvamenko traveled to Haiti to evaluate the possibility of building a church in the mountain area of Kaluk. Due to various challenges including a remote location and access to water, we decided that Kaluk should wait for a future project. The local missionary showed us the village of Vyon which was about thirty minutes from Passe Catabois and asked if we would finish a church building there that was begun ten years ago. This became our first church building project.
In March 2009 two teams went back to back to build cement forms for pillars at Vyon. These would reinforce the walls to hold trusses that an open space church/school house would require. The teams built doors and windows into prepared shipping containers that would be used as overflow housing for the hospital. Funds generated by the team members were used by local masons to completely plaster the block walls of the church inside and out which prevented weathering and also strengthened the structure.
In December 2009 two more teams went to build the trusses for the Vyon church/school project which span thirty-seven feet. The team also built more doors for the containers that made more rooms for the hospital.
In April 2010 two teams went to install the trusses and wood to lay the roof panels on. The project was finished to the point that we had promised and the Vyon Church is being used daily. Plans are being made to install doors and lay a cement floor.
Our next project will be building a church at Kaluk, an hour from Passe Catabois and another two thousand feet in elevation. These people are in a spiritually dark and remote mountain village and their church has never had walls to protect them from the elements. A church building here will let the forces of Voodou know that the light of the Gospel is here to stay.