Rotary Club lends help to Haiti

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2018

On Tuesday, Jeremy Sheasby spoke about his recent trip to Les Cayes, Haiti to his fellow Rotarians at the Rotary Club of Picayune’s weekly meeting.

Sheasby said the New Palestine Baptist Church in Picayune partnered with the Haiti based church Mount Brillé six years ago, and since then have been engaging in activities that help the church and the surrounding community grow.

The activities include a tree ministry, Vacation Bible School for children, construction or repair of homes and churches and a women’s ministry.

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He said that within the past year his church was involved in helping rebuild houses destroyed during 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. This year, the goal of the mission trip was to begin reconstruction of the church destroyed during the hurricane, he said.

Although church members provide assistance with several projects, the tree ministry organized in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Picayune is considered the biggest service project provided to the people of Haiti, Sheasby said.

“Fruit trees are huge for the people in Haiti… so every tree they grow produces some kind of fruit that is used as a form of payment. They trade it off for different goods and survive off it,” he said.

Since the storm destroyed most of those trees, the local Rotary Club provided them with 100 trees of which members of the church personally distributed 30 percent. After the trees were distributed, church members shared the gospel with the people in the area, Sheasby said.

During his trip, Sheasby also visited the Good Shepherd Orphanage, which provides a place for 35 children to live full-time. The orphanage also provides a daily feeding program to about 150 orphans who are without a home, he said.

Sheasby said the church is raising funds to purchase an industrial mixer so the orphanage make bread.

In the past the orphanage provided a meal of rice beans and bread. But the mixer at the orphanage is no longer operational so bread is unavailable.  The mixer is expected to cost about $2,000. Donations for the mixer are being accepted at New Palestine Baptist Church, Sheasby said.

The church is located at 2336 Palestine Rd., in Picayune and can be reached at 601-798-3571.