Brethren Mission Fund Newsletter Spring 2014

Intergenerational Workcamp in Haiti
New Covenant School
Haiti Worship Shelters

Recently an intergenerational work camp was held from March 12-19, 2014 in Haiti. It was led by Doug and Holly Miller from the Upper Conewago Congregation (Southern PA District). The group has returned safely after a very successful trip!

Some time ago the New Covenant School in Haiti had an opportunity to purchase some adjoining land for $30,000, on which they wanted to build a church and an orphanage. In 2013 the BMF committee was made aware that enough funds were in place for the school to finally purchase the land. The transaction was finalized just before the intergenerational work camp arrived in Haiti in March, 2014.

Because the work camp was coming, and because the land had just been purchased, the opportunity was available for the work camp to begin construction on the proposed church house. In recent years, the BMF had pledged to contribute $40,000 toward the construction of Worship Shelters in Haiti. To date, about $20,000 had already been given. These shelters typically consisted of a tin roof with some wooden supporting posts. Because of the urgency of the situation (with the work camp on its way), funds were pulled out of the Worship Shelters fund, and used for the construction of the church house at the New Covenant School. The BMF is still committed to giving the remaining $20,000 that was pledged toward Worship Shelters. However, we have been made aware that although the Worship Shelters are useful and appreciated, the Haitians are often looking for more permanent structures, which include concrete floors and masonry walls.

The intergenerational work camp was therefore able to begin construction on the new 35’x50′ (two-story) church meeting house in St. Louis du Nord. They got about 2/3 of the first floor walls built. They also participated in a vacation Bible school for the children. About (19) volunteers participated in the work camp. Additional funds are needed to continue supporting the church building project in Haiti, and to replenish the funds that were spent on the work camp project.

Alpha and Omega
The Alpha and Omega Fellowship (ANE District) and the Laurel Street Mennonite Church (a Lancaster Conference congregation) serve the Latino community in the city of Lancaster, PA. Together they are sponsoring their Ninth Annual Vacation Bible School and Day Camp this summer, from July 28 to August 1. The BMF committee has again agreed to support this work and is contributing $1,500 toward this out-reach effort, being sent directly to Alpha and Omega.

Renacer Church Planting Vision
Renacer (which means rebirth in Spanish), is a movement in the Church of the Brethren to establish new Hispanic congregations in the U.S. This effort is headed by Pastor Daniel D’Oleo, who currently resides in Virginia. His goal is to plant (80) Hispanic CoB congregations in the U.S. by 2020. Daniel D’Oleo is in the process of establishing a board and a budget. Earl Eby, the chair of the Brethren Mission Fund, has agreed to serve on the board. A Spanish congregation has been started in Ephrata, PA, and the Renacer group is giving leadership to the new congregation. Although no formal request for funding has been made at this point, the BMF committee is in favor of this work and will consider financial support when it is formally requested.

Puerto Rico-Morovis Church Plant
Three years ago the Vega Baja Congregation in Puerto Rico planted a church in the village of Morovis, about twenty miles away from Vega Baja. In February of 2011, the BMF committee agreed to contribute $1,000 per quarter for the next two years to this work. The BMF committee recently reviewed the Morovis church-plant progress and agreed to continue our support of $1,000 per quarter for the next year. In the past, all funds were channeled through the Atlantic Southeast District. But now they are requesting that monies be sent di-rectly to the Vega Baja Congregation, earmarked for the benefit of the Morovis Church Plant. The committee will review this funding in February of 2015.