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Every year, First Presbyterian Church donates funds and sponsors walkers in the CROP Hunger Walk. CROP walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world. CROP Hunger Walks help to provide food and water, as well as resources that empower people to meet their own needs. From seeds and tools to wells and water systems, the key is people working together to identify their own development priorities, their strengths and their needs – something CWS has learned through 70 years of working in partnership around the world.
First Presbyterian Church supports the clean water for Honduras program of the Rotary Club of Grand Haven. The Rotary Club and dedicated volunteers have installed thousands of water filters and have constructed small and large water systems bringing clean water to families in Honduras.
Founded in 1997 by Tom Braak, Faith in Action International (FIAI) is a Christian, grassroots organization whose goal is to tangibly express God’s love to people living in impoverished communities. Tom was born in Marquette, Michigan and felt God’s call to become a missionary in Haiti.
FIAI is presently focused on assisting families living in the mountains surrounding Haiti’s Artibonite Valley. FIAI staff provide fruit and vegetable trees, goats, water filters and follow-up training to Haitian farmers and families so they may learn to identify, prioritize and solve local challenges. Since the mission’s founding, staff have helped Haitian villagers learn best practices for sustainable development that will prepare them for a better future. Pastoral and lay leader seminars provide training, Creole Bibles and Hymnals to Haitian clergy members through FIAI’s work. Clergy from the U.S. travel to Haiti to discuss the scriptures, songs to use in worship, Christian films, and administration of the sacraments, among other ministry work.
This program provides Haitian families with materials and training needed to help stem waterborne illnesses like typhoid, cholera and chronic diarrhea that cause more than half of the deaths in the country each year. The FIAI mission has provided hundreds of water filters to Haitian villagers for more than a decade.
A gift of $70 provides a family with a bucket water filter system, installation, training and follow up.
With more than 12,500 fruit trees growing in the FIAI nursery, Haitian recipients will realize increased incomes from taking their products to market. More than 23 varieties grow during Haiti’s rich growth season, including: Mango, Avocado, Lemon, Kenep, Sour Sop, Lamapen, Guava, Orange, Cacao, Apricot, Pumelo and Chocolate Pudding species. At farmers’ requests, FIAI also provides seeds for Hot Pepper, Eggplant and Cabbage to grow in gardens. Moringa trees, whose leaves are highly nutritious, are also grown.
A gift of $25 provides a family with fruit trees, training, and follow up to restore tree cover to the land, protect the environment, and provide a critical food source for nutrition.
When clergy and lay leader seminars are offered, they sometimes attract over 150 local Haitians involved in ministry. Since the prominent religion in Haiti is voodoo, FIAI works to provide support to Haitian Christian churches to help them reach more and more people. By demonstrating the love of Christ in a practical way that improves the lives of many, FIAI is able to teach Haitians that Jesus is the reason for believing in and living out the Christian faith to find solutions to problems in everyday living.
A gift of $120 provides pastoral training support, musical instruments and teachers, talking Bibles, the use of sound equipment for revivals and the showing of Christian films, plus training in Christian ministry principles grounded in Biblical teachings and scripture.
A gift of $40 provides a Bible, hymnal, and study book, all in Creole, for a pastor. Very few Haitian pastors have formal training, much less Bibles, due to their inability to purchase them.