"...so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5
One Body is a growing organization of believers in Haiti and America who recognize the value of partnership. While partnering overseas has many facets, One Body focuses on three key areas: Church Building, Relationships and Encouragement, and Investing.
why we exist
Haitian pastors and their churches are daily proclaiming the gospel to their communities. Most of those communities live in very difficult circumstances. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, have left many churches with damaged and crumbling buildings or no building at all. Many churches meet in simple structures consisting of posts, a roof, and a dirt floor. Congregations look to their pastor not only for spiritual leadership, but also for medical assistance, food, financial help, and other practical support. Because pastors and church buildings are the center of community life in Haitian villages, constructing church buildings and establishing relationships in these villages is an incredible opportunity to invest holistically in Haiti.
Pastor Daniel Dieudonne and his wife Nicole have served faithfully at Bethel Church in Croix-de-Bouquets, Haiti for many years. They not only serve the community of Croix-de-Bouquets but also work to provide support and encouragement for villages in the surrounding area especially the pastors and their families at the churches in these villages. Because of Daniel's connection to other pastors, One Body leaders have been able to meet with several other devoted pastors passionately serving throughout Haiti.
It is the goal of One Body to build 25 churches in 10 years. Having a safe place where Haitian believers can gather for worship and biblical teaching is the cornerstone of the One Body program. The needs are great and vary widely; some Haitian communities gather to worship together in metal shacks with dirt floors, while other villages have no church building at all. Each new church costs $30,000 to build. American partners have an opportunity to participate by raising funds to cover as much of each project as possible. Additionally, those partnering in the United States could potentially travel to Haiti and help finish the church and attend the dedication service!
RELATIONSHIPS & ENCOURAGEMENT
It is the desire of every Christian to connect with others in the faith and to lead the lost to Christ. The vision for this component is that Haitians and Americans will become a source of encouragement to each other as well as a resource in all that encompasses a life lead by Jesus. For some partner groups, there will be a chance to travel to Haiti and meet their new friends face to face, to see where they live, and learn about each other's cultures. For others, it may mean corresponding via text messages and emails or by other means of communication.
The financial needs of Haiti can seem overwhelming and unending. One Body wants to support our Haitian brothers and sisters by supporting them as they seek to generate their own resources, ultimately becoming financially independent. They need working wells, sewing machines, modes of transportation, and rainwater harvest systems, among other tools for sustainability. We believe many American partners will be inspired to become a part of this exciting aspect of One Body.
An annual pastor's conference is one way Pastor Daniel reaches out to the church leaders in surrounding communities. Daniel partners with American pastors and medical teams to not only bring biblical teaching and materials for the conference, but also basic medical attention for the pastors and their families that often travel long distances for this unique opportunity. In 2015, Daniel was able to expand the conference to include teaching sessions for the pastors' wives. This annual event is one way American teams and Haitian pastors can connect and take the first steps toward partnership.