Women walking for miles with buckets of water on their heads, people waiting in lines for hours to get a bowl of rice to eat, children housed in hot schools built of corrugated metal, an infrastructure still in disarray, optimistic vendors lining the streets, community water wells and teachers teaching for months without pay are some of both the challenges and blessings that Bishop Victor T. Curry of New Birth Baptist Church Cathedral of Faith International, along with a Missions Ministry team from New Birth, witnessed during a visit to Haiti on Friday June 7.
Curry, founding senior pastor/teacher, and New Birth, a 17,000-member multicultural ministry based in North Miami, have consistently sent resources and lifted prayers to Haiti from the inception of the ministry. After the 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, Curry and New Birth made a commitment to heighten help for the people of Haiti not only at that time, but until help is no longer needed.
A few months after the quake, New Birth donated $50,000 to four charities that were “on the ground” helping the people of Haiti. Additionally, Bishop Curry started the Hope for Haiti Radio Program on AM1490 WMBM radio that focuses on Haiti’s progress and challenges; the Jesus Cares Program that provides counseling for Haitian-Americans grappling with the tragedy; and established one of the church’s facilities as a drop-off center for food and clothing to be sent to the island.
Curry also established the Haitian-Affairs & Missions Ministry (HAMM) at New Birth to galvanize Haitian-American members of the church to organize evangelistic and missions projects that will benefit the people of Haiti locally and on the island. Over the years, with New Birth’s support, Curry has continued to support Haiti spiritually and tangibly.
One example was the day trip to Haiti organized by Elder Carlo Ullysse, director of New Birth’s HAMM. Curry, accompanied by a group of ten, including city of North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre, flew to Port-Au-Prince for what was in his words, “A life-changing experience! We must continue to pray for and support our brothers and sisters in Haiti.”
The delegation visited Food for the Poor’s Feeding Station in Port-Au-Prince, Harmonie Ministry Church, which also houses a school and a clinic in Derriere Cite Millitaire, and a school that educates over 400 children, Kingdom Kindergarten School in Ruelle Jeune.
Witnessing these organizations in action was a blessing as they all had received a portion of the initial $50,000 donation in 2010. Keeping his commitment of continued assistance, Curry also presented three checks totaling an additional $10,000 to the deserving organizations. Officials from Food for the poor stated that they will use the funds to build a house in New Birth’s honor for a needy family.
While the group was blessed to see the work being done, the consensus was that much more needs to be done both for and in Haiti. To that end, Curry was moved to transition “Hope for Haiti” into a foundation through which specific initiatives to assist with food, water, education and housing will be undertaken, as Bishop Curry and the kind people of New Birth continue to live out their promise.
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