Les Cayes & Vernet
Located just outside the southwestern city of Les Cayes, a small community called Vernet was struck by Hurricane Matthew in October of 2017. Vernet is home to approximately 3,000 people, some of whom are native to Vernet and others who have recently fled from Les Cayes to seek relief from the hurricane and find a better life.
Life in this area is very difficult for children and families as poverty has been intensified by the complete devastation from the hurricane. In addition, the practice of Restavek—a form of child slavery—is rampant in this area, and these children desperately need intervention.
Ministry & Serving Opportunities
Forward Edge offers community-based ministry for vulnerable children called “Kids Club.” On a weekly basis, over 100 children hear the Gospel, eat a healthy meal, and participate in fun activities and games. Teams serving in Haiti have the opportunity to serve at the Kid’s Club and provide encouragement for every child who attends.
Teams will have various opportunities to serve alongside the program and our Field Staff:
- Visiting and helping out with our Kid’s Club program
- Hosting a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for youth
- Community feeding programs
- Maintenance and general fix-up projects for families in need
- Men’s and women’s discipleship seminars
- Day camps (sports, bible, art, music)
- School-improvement projects
- Painting and clean-up projects
- Clean water projects
One of Haiti’s biggest draws is its potential for specialty teams. Medical teams, home building teams, pastoral conference teams, and other forms of organized ministry are all welcome outreach opportunities. Teams will also have the opportunity to pray over and care for Restavek children in the community, making a lasting impact on their lives.
Teams will stay in a safe, gated guesthouse approximately 20 minutes from Les Cayes. Each bedroom has bunk beds with fitted sheets and each bathroom includes a shower. Breakfast and dinner will be made each day for the team; lunches will be packed. Teams can expect to eat different meats (chicken, goat, beef), rice, beans, mixed veggies, breads, and a variety of local fruit.
What to Expect While in Haiti
Haiti is ranked as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Therefore, team members may experience culture shock upon arrival and through experiencing Haitian culture. Haiti is a country that receives many mission teams and it’s not uncommon to find the airport full of other American teams headed out to serve – but don’t let that discourage you from coming! As the need is so great in Haiti, other organizations realize that they, like Forward Edge, can’t just stand by and watch. Forward Edge in particular works in a more remote part of the country—Les Cayes and Vernet, an approximate 5-hour drive from the airport.
Throughout the long, scenic journey to Les Cayes, the team will witness many different levels of socioeconomic poverty juxtaposed with spectacular beauty. In driving through the various communities and living situations, scenic mountain tops and beach roads on the way to Les Cayes, the drive is by far one of the most remarkable parts of the trip.
Get Ready for a Life-Changing Experience
Team members returning from serving in Haiti often find within them, a renewed purpose and perspective. From the impossibly welcoming and loving Haitian community, the wonderful food that Madam Lucie and her team prepares and serves, the warm and sunny weather, and the realization of God’s divine presence and work being so evident among the people and programs, one can’t help but be forever changed through the experience.
We hope this blog has provided you with a clearer picture of what it looks like to serve in Haiti with Forward Edge. We’re grateful for the past, current, and future teams investing in the communities of Haiti! Find out how to take a team to Haiti here.
You can protect a child from entering the form of slavery called Restavek by sponsoring a child from Haiti here.