Haitian Christian Mission exists to empower the Haitian church to build better communities and better relationships between God and man through Jesus Christ; and to help the Haitian people rise above dependencies and achieve personal sustainability through their own God-given resources.
We at HCM are striving to promote sustainable living and good stewardship of resources in the communities we serve. We take very seriously our responsibility to empower the Haitian church and help the Haitian people rise above dependencies. With this in mind, we have created policies that will ensure that the service we and our visiting teams are doing is aligned with our greater mission and that the generosity of our supporters is going toward creating sustainability rather than dependency.
Please read these policies thoroughly. We realize they may restrict you from doing things that you wanted to do during your trip, but we ask that you consider the situation through the lens of our mission statement (as provided above). Understanding these policies prior to your trip will prevent confusion during your trip and will empower your team to serve the Haitian people in a meaningful and impactful way.
Many teams bring clothing, medical supplies, school supplies, or personal items to give away. Some teams purchase food in-country for distribution to the church members, students, or community members. The following are newly adopted policies regarding these distributions:
1. All distribution of food, clothing, and supplies will be handled by local Haitian leaders.
2. Visiting teams will give the donated supplies to the Haitian pastors, school leaders, or appropriate supervisor.
3. Visiting teams are encouraged to pray as a group with the local leaders for those who will be receiving the supplies. By following this method, you can empower the Haitian church and lessen the Haitian people’s reliance on outside aid. People will see the Haitian church as the unit that is caring for them, serving them, and loving them. This enables the local leaders to build deeper relationships with their communities, relationships that can grow and sustain far longer than those with a visiting team.
Individual Aid Policy:
While you are in Haiti, it is possible that you will have one or more locals approach you with various requests: requests for money, cell phones, education sponsorship, food, etc. In seeking to promote sustainability and eradicate dependency, we ask that you follow these guidelines:
1. If someone asks you for aid, please share their request with an HCM leader so we can help address the need.
2. Please encourage those making requests to take their requests to the appropriate HCM leader.
3. If you would like to meet an individual’s request, our leaders will be happy to discuss the options with you.
4. Make no promises to give or send individuals anything, because they will be counting on that more than you could imagine.
1. All requests for personal aid must go through the HCM leaders. They will decide which needs we can meet and how to best do so.
2. Individuals must follow the procedures already in place at HCM. We have procedures for education sponsorship, food assistance, and financial support. Those in need must follow these procedures to receive the help they need. In bypassing these procedures, the individual may take away aid from someone who is in greater need or has been patiently waiting.
HCM’s mission is to empower the church and strengthen communities. We know the importance of meeting individual needs and realize that helping one person can empower them to touch even more lives; however, we also have to consider HCM’s larger vision and ensure that the aid we and our supporters are providing is aligning with that vision.
Work Project Guidelines:
Many visiting teams do wonderful work around the HCM compound, whether that be painting, organizing, pouring cement, cleaning, or building benches or playgrounds. For some large projects, HCM hires Haitian workers in order to encourage the local economy. It is encouraged for you to follow instructions and learn from the local building crews as they would respect your place of work.
We greatly appreciate your hard work in helping to improve our mission. Here are a few things to keep in mind while doing small projects.
1. Invite locals to join you in your work. For example, if you are planning a painting project, be sure to bring lots of extra paintbrushes. Students and other locals love to join in the work and this can be a great way for you to interact with the them, encourage teamwork, and possibly provide them with opportunities to serve and learn that they would not otherwise have.
2. Keep the attitude of Christ. At all times, remember that you are to be representing Christ and serving the Haitian people. Please remain respectful of the culture while doing work projects by wearing appropriate clothing, speaking respectfully, and showing a spirit of service, humility, and cooperation.
3. Plan out your projects with us. Prior to your trip, we will work with you to plan projects that will be beneficial for the mission, will fit within your abilities and interests, and will not take away work from Haitians. We thank you for being understanding and for your cooperation during the planning process.
We encourage you to check out this short article covering these concepts. The author outlines five way we can “channel our good intentions for global engagement into wise actions that will lead to lasting impact.”
5 Ways to Do Mission Work That Will Actually Change the WorldHow to foster long-term development instead of dependence.Link: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/reject-apathy/5-ways-do-mission-work-will-actually-change-world#UX6qwl0rUL0BYuxA.99
If you are looking to do a deeper study on this topic, we recommend the following books:
When Helping HurtsBy Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
Multiplying Light and Truth Through Community Health Evangelismby Stan Rowland