Testimonial Letter

On a Sunday in June of 1986 our assistant rector, Newell Anderson invited a few people at St. John’s to stay after church and meet a priest from Haiti. I’m not sure Fr. Anderson had even met him at that point; a friend had been to Cap Haitian and had brought him back to Atlanta. They were visiting churches trying to drum up support for a mission trip. Thus began our relationship with The Reverend Jean Monique Bruno (Pere Bruno).

In December of that year, ten people from St. John’s and one from St. Philips left on our first mission trip to Haiti. We were disappointed we could not get one more person to commit to go. It seemed important to be a “band of twelve”. Someone pointed out that we were twelve because Jesus would be with us – that settled it. These twelve are still very involved in the work of what has now become “Bethlehem Ministry”.

Pere Bruno spoke at St. John’s on Wednesday, July 21st. There was a group of 50 people represented by 8 churches. He talked about how much he enjoyed coming to St. John’s saying “it’s comfy”. He thanked St. John’s for being one of the first churches to come on board and pointed out that we have been very instrumental in the life in North Haiti.

He pointed out that even supporters thought he was crazy when he talked about his vision for Haiti. Time is proving that his vision of a holistic multi-project initiative to break the cycle of poverty and ignorance in Haiti is attainable. What started in Terrier Rouge in 2002 as 30 pre-kindergarten children has, by adding a grade a year, grown into a school of 640 children. Some of the original 30 will be entering 8th grade this fall.

Healthcare, Environmental Restoration and Sustainable Employment complete this holistic approach. The people of the community are involved and have a voice in creating their future. Pere Bruno is not offering a “band-aid”, but an opportunity for the Haitians to make a change in their community and in their country.

Thanks to Carl Cheely, the entire evening is on tape and you will be able to view it soon on our website. For more information, or to find out how you can help, please visit www.BethlehemMinistry.org or donations can be made to Bethlehem Ministry, 105 Rocky Road, Morganton GA 30560-3886. You can make a difference in Haiti.

Gwen Fields