NOTE: every year, two local missions and two international missions are designated to receive the proceeds from God’s Gift Shop, (held the first two Sunday’s in December). This year’s recipients are America’s Youth, Soup Train, Trou Jacques, and Haitian Missionaries.
The Soup Train
The Soup Train was begun through a simple conversation about the 60 people on the waiting list to receive Meals on Wheels. There was no money to add them to the weekly delivery of 5 frozen meals for those folks fortunate enough to be included. Tackling the problem head-on, a group of friends began Soup Train. Barnabas and generous checks provide the food. Volunteers meet each week at the old Yulee Elementary school kitchen and prepare the meals for the 28 neediest folks among the 60 who were not being served. Read More…
To be updated…
Trou Jacques, La Gonave, Haiti
BUILDING UP GOD’S CHURCH, GENERATION TO GENERATION
The young adult members of First Presbyterian Church have embraced the community of Trou Jacques on the island of La Gonâve Haiti. They have visited them in their homes, played with the children, taught Vacation Bible School … and each time they hear about “the scar on the soul” of the community.
Trou Jacques is a remote, mountaintop village with beautiful views of surrounding mountains and the Caribbean Sea. As you crest the final hill to the local school, you see the outline of concrete blocks with rebar and weeds sticking up, a daily reminder to the community of being forgotten, abandoned by others. You see, 15 years ago another church in the United States partnered with this small community, promising to help them provide education for their children and build a place to worship. But that US church left La Gonâve and took its relationship and resources somewhere else. The people of Trou Jacques continued to work hard at educating their children and at worshipping together in a small classroom building built long ago. Each Sunday, desks and blackboards are moved out and a makeshift altar is brought it. And much joyous singing and dancing and praying begins.
We have a chance to heal that “scar” and to show the true meaning of being in a relational ministry. We can help to build that sanctuary, a place of worship for the next generation and the next. And generations of members of First Presbyterian will worship alongside the people of Trou Jacques in celebration of God’s love for all of us.
Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and McDonough Presbyterian Church in Georgia along with several individuals have worked hard for 2 years to raise the $90,000 needed to build the church at Trou Jacques. As of July, only $10,000 is needed to complete the project. Please join others in building up God’s church at Trou Jacques and in cementing the relationship between First Presbyterian Church on Amelia Island and St. Philip and St. James Church on the island of La Gonâve.
The Presbyterian Church USA made the decision in 1969 to work alongside the Episcopal Church of Haiti in remote and rural communities ignored by the government. One aspect of the partnership is the placement of Presbyterian missionaries in the country to help with programs and projects beneficial to the Haitian people.
MEET JO ELLA HOLMAN
Jo Ella has been involved with mission teams in Haiti since early 2000. She has participated in numerous conferences and conventions both here and in Haiti and is familiar with the La Gonâve Haiti Partnership. Currently, she serves as regional liaison for the Caribbean, facilitating and supporting programs of PCUSA partner churches as they serve local communities in other countries.
Jo Ella says of the Caribbean churches and the regions they serve, “Many of these churches and the people who comprise them are challenged—as are many in their societies—by poverty, oppression and injustice. I have been touched by the warmth and joy of the people who, despite these hardships, have remained faithful to the love of God in Jesus Christ and are a sign of hope in their communities.”
MEET MARK HARE
Mark has been an agricultural missionary of the Presbyterian Church USA to Haiti since 2004. His work helps farmers provide adequate nutrition for their families and generate income by selling excess crops.
Mark’s work in Haiti demands resourcefulness. One of the most popular agricultural techniques he teaches involves making miniature garden plots inside discarded auto tires. “In the dry season, there is no rain for five to seven months and people run out of food,” Mark says. “So the tires are a way that they can produce something even during the time when they normally couldn’t.”
MEET CINDY CORELL
Cindy is the newest member of the Haiti missionary team and is serving in-country. Cindy began mission service in 2012 “ready to dive deep into the sea of serving others.” She visited Haiti in 2010, and the experience had a profound impact on her vocational future. “I was forever changed,” she says, “and I could no longer be satisfied in an ordinary job and only finding fulfilling and meaningful work on the side.”
Presbyterians, she notes, can make a difference by working for U.S. policies that will help the landless and voiceless in Haiti. Through building relationships with Haitians, Presbyterians can grow spiritually as well as gain a better understanding of justice, Corell says.
OUR THREE PRESYBTERIAN MISSIONARIES IN HAITI RAISE THEIR OWN FINANCIAL SUPPORT. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO SECURE THEIR CONTINUED SERVICE TO BOTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND TO HAITIAN PEOPLE AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.