One of my great joys in this mission, is partnering with mountain churches in Haiti and helping them establish places to worship. The church in Gross Roche has very humble beginnings, meeting under a simple structure made of scrap metal and sticks. I remember the first time I visited Gross Roche, in 2014 and witnessed the church worshiping. They had next to nothing - yet, people walked from miles around to come to church. In 2014, Hope Rising partnered with the Christian Church in Thomassique to help establish the Christian Church in Gross Roche (a ministry of GVCM.org).
It’s hard to communicate how difficult life is in these remote locations. And how difficult it is to build. People from the church worked for weeks to fill areas of the two-track road that washed out with each heavy rain, just so that we could get the water well drill-truck to Gross Roche. After drilling the water well in early 2015, the road washed out again and is now only accessible on foot, donkey or motorcycle. During construction Haitian men would walk over a mile, one-way to gather a bucket of rocks or sand from the river for the foundation and to mix in the concrete. The workers would make this two-mile round trip, multiple times a day. The construction lasted for over a month carrying thousands of buckets over hundreds of trips. It is remarkable how difficult the process was and how hard these men worked to build the church.
March 2018 Discovery Trip
Last fall when we started planning our March 2018 Valor Christian High School Discovery team - I knew we had to visit Gross Roche and host a VBS to share the Gospel. For years I had dreamed of helping to establish this church in the remote mountains. The church has been growing over these past three years, and now that it was established - I couldn’t wait to return and use the new building for outreach with the Valor team, and be apart of the growth that this church is experiencing.
Traveling to Gross Roche was a challenge, as I knew it would be. But, God provided for our team and the students did a great job making the journey. Once there - they jumped in and set up for VBS. Our team was praying and rehearsing and preparing for this VBS over many weeks. Around 100 Haitian children showed up - literally out of nowhere.
During VBS we rotated five groups: crafts, snacks, music, games, and Bible Stories. The last station was where our team shared the Gospel using the Bridge illustration.
Our High School students loved and embraced the children in Gross Roche. I am proud of how our students served. After playing with the kids and singing and sharing the Gospel over and over - they passed out backpacks to the moms of the Gross Roche kids. Before coming on the trip, the students went around their homes and gathered gently used items, then packed and carried them all the way to Gross Roche. Our students had been praying over these backpacks the entire trip.
We used the backpacks to let these wonderful moms know that they are not forgotten, and that God sees them and loves them, and we love them too.
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