Richard Farris, missions pastor at CornerStone Christian Fellowship (Las Vegas 4 Foursquare Church), has led more than 80 missions trips in the past 15 years. Of the trips he led last year, one in particular left quite an impression. Traveling to Haiti’s capital, Port-Au-Prince, and eventually journeying to the remote, mountainous village of Les Cayes presented Richard’s team with unique challenges and provided life-changing opportunities for the more than 1,700 people they served.
Haiti, home to roughly 9.8 million people, was devastated by the region’s major 2010 earthquake. The country experienced a torrent of media attention, but in Richard’s words: “Haiti is a very broken country; it was before the earthquake—and it is worse after. However, there is incredible promise if we will all continue to grow and persevere with this nation.”
Haiti is between stages two and three in Foursquare’s Four-Stage Development Model, meaning the national church is being nurtured, leaders are being trained and congregations are growing. Recent figures show 44 Foursquare workers serving in the area and two new churches out of 10 total. There were 756 decisions for Christ reported in 2010.
For Richard’s team, poor or absent roadways made travel from Port-Au-Prince to Les Cayes tremendously difficult. Upon their arrival, they set up a clinic to meet physical needs through medical attention and education—at times for people who had never before met with a doctor. The team took advantage of the opportunity to introduce or reconnect patients to Jesus. The Haitian people were responsive not only to the much-needed medical advice, but also to the gospel.
Richard points out that the team that went to Haiti was actually a hybrid of two groups, one out of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and another Foursquare church from Atlanta. Two groups that had never before met worked together to bring relief to the people of Haiti. Richard notes: “God can do anything with us, through us or in spite of us. … There is hope for [Haiti].”
If you are interested in serving on an upcoming missions trip to Haiti or elsewhere, visit connect.foursquaremissions.org.
By the Numbers
|9.8 million||people in Haiti|
|756||decisions for Christ|
|15||churches and meeting places|
These numbers reflect data for 2010 as listed in the 2011 Spiritual Report