Haiti Help & Hope is holding a fundraiser on September 10th to raise funds for ministries in Haiti.
Local community members Sylvia Pusser and Nancy Howle helped begin the non-profit Haiti Help & Hope. This organization directly supports Haitian Pastor Sidor who is currently in Haiti with his wife, Lillian, building up the Lahai Roi School, three churches and two church plants.
Pastor Sidor and Lillian moved to the United States and ended up living in Georgia running their cleaning business with their four children.
“He knows the comforts and freedoms that we have here in the Unites States,” Pusser said.
While he established a home in the States, his mother and brother began a ministry in their homeland, building up a church and school in the mountains of Maui, Haiti.
After his mother and brother passed away, Pastor Sidor journeyed to Haiti for the funerals and saw the ministry they left behind.
“[He knew] the ministry would dissolve and felt God tug at his heart strings,” Pusser said.
In 2011, Pastor Sidor returned to Haiti to continue the ministry full time. Meanwhile, his family remained in Georgia running the business and sending funds. After a year in Haiti, his wife was able to join him in the work.
“There was no backing other than family,” Pusser said.
Pusser, who was once a principal and teacher, also went to Haiti in 2011 to help the schools. She witnessed the cinderblock classroom with hard benches and little more than chalkboards and chalk.
“[There was] no paper, pencils, crayons. No anything – no breakfast. [Just a] small bowl of rice and beans was basically all they had,” she explained. “They come because they wanted to eat. Having been an educator, I know how important breakfast is.”
At school, the children are fed and taught French and English in addition to their native language of Creole. They also have Bible lessons, giving children the opportunity to share what they’ve learned with their parents and community.
“Just because they come to school doesn’t mean they know Jesus,” Pusser explained.
The school currently has 235 children who walk miles to get to school, eat breakfast, and receive an education that can provide them with future careers. Lahai Roi School even has a water system in place.
“People can bathe. There’s water for animals right outside of the school,” Pusser said.
“Our church donated money for a solar panel [to give them] some electricity,” Howle said. “He has so many things he wants to do.”
“They’re the only place in the village that has electricity,” Pusser added.
Unlike the local communities in our area that bond and help one another in times of need, communities in Haiti are left without support.
“The state and officials in Haiti care nothing about the people… [Some people say] why go to Haiti when there’s so much to do right here. [I say] why can’t we do both?,” Pusser explained. “They don’t have anything…. They just want to be loved.”
Haiti Help & Hope gathers sponsors to raise the salaries for the schools’ teachers and classroom needs. The salary of a teacher in Haiti is $125 per month.
“The majority lives on $1.25 per day,” Pusser said.
Pastor Sidor hopes to continue to grow the ministry, adding churches and expanding the Lahai Roi School beyond the current fifth grade level.
Although the schools are the a main focus of Pastor Sidor, there is much more in the community that is carried out through funding.
One woman lost her home in a hurricane. After she and her children were forced to sleep in the mud, Pastor Sidor was able to gather the funding to build them a new home.
“There’s so much need, but you can never give or share enough,” Howle said.
While the Pastor and his wife are continuing their ministry in Haiti, their four children remain in the United States.
“He said, ‘This is what God called me to do. God has promised us all eternity to catch up with family’,” Pusser explained.
Haiti Help & Hope is separate from Pastor Sidor’s ministry, but provides him with 100% of their funding.
“It goes only to him. It’s easier on him to receive one lump check,” Pusser said.
Nancy Howle, who once held a position at a bank, does the bookkeeping for the organization.
“[The funding] just pours in, and it’s amazing,” she said.
“We take steps of faith. You just wouldn’t believe how many generous people are in this community,” Pusser said.
The fundraiser will feature The Sand Band, and barbecue and refreshments will be available for purchase. Bring lawn chairs and blankets! The event will be held on Sunday, September 10th at Rubicon Farm, located at 564 Rubicon Road off of HWY 73 in West End.
Tickets may be purchased at $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. Children twelve and under are free. To purchase a ticket, call Sylvia Pusser at (910) 947-2306.
To learn more about the Lahai Roi Foundation and the ministry, visit MercyforHaiti.com. Donations may be made out to “Haiti Help & Hope” and mailed to Nancy Howle at 151 Howle Rd., West End, NC 27376.
Haiti Help & Hope was founded by Sylvia Pusser, Nancy Howle, Jan Williams, and Vikki Blue. Supporting churches include Bensalem Evangelical, Culdee Presbyterian, West End Presbyterian, Jackson Springs Presbyterian, First Baptist in Pinehurst, Eagle Springs Baptist, Middle Cross Baptist, West End Baptist, Pocket Presbyterian in Sanford, Central Methodist in Silk Hope.