History of H.E.L.P.

HELP-Cap Haitien was established as an offshoot of God's direction to Holy Cross Lutheran Church in North Canton, Ohio.  Initial support for the Lutheran churches in Northern Haiti came from a group of Lutheran churches in Northern Minnesota. They are organized under Lutheran Mission Association (LMA). They continue to support the churches in Northern Haiti.

In 2010, under the mentorship of an amazing woman of God with a deep heart for the people of Haiti, named Lynn Sheerhorn, Holy Cross sent its first mission team to Cap Haitien, Haiti.  This mission team partnered the people of Holy Cross with the pastor of The First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cap Haitien.  Pastor Eliona Bernard is a native Haitien, who was seminary trained in Fort Wayne, IN, and returned to Cap Haitien to establish his church.  Pastor Bernard now oversees five churches in and around the Cap Haitien area, each of which also has a school.  His role as God's servant in Haiti is more than any one man can successfully undertake, and he works tirelessly on behalf of his beloved people.

That first mission trip was an enormous eye opener for our people.  Nothing can prepare a person for the reality of Haiti, short of being there.  We arrived in November, 2010, several months after the devastating earthquake that shook this already troubled island.  We ran a medical clinic, where we examined and treated long lines of people each day, many of whom had never been seen by a doctor.  The people were poorer than we could imagine, living without electricity or clean water or even food for their families. We helped the Haitien construction team work on a school building.   Our hearts were opened. The task before us seemed astronomical.  But God has been insistent. 

Our initial discoveries about the city and people of Cap Haitien include:

  • 60-75% of the population remains illiterate
  • 80% unemployment
  • No public school system
  • 300,000 orphans or street children in Haiti
  • One physician for each 10,000 people
  • Most of the land is not farmable
  • The majority of the country has little or no electricity or indoor plumbing
  • Charcoal is the main cooking method
  • Malnutrition is the pervasive health problem
  • Most of the people we met do not eat every day
  • Clean water is not readily available to many residents
  •  Mortality for infants and children under 5 years old is nearly 40%
  • Life expectancy is in the 50s for both men and women

God has brought about a Christ-centered relationship between Holy Cross and Pastor Bernard.  God has led us to expand our mission efforts to His work in and around Cap Haitien.  Yearly medical mission trips are being made to help the people and to assure them that HELP is an ongoing presence in their lives.  A second team is concentrating on immediate and future needs for the people and working to meet what needs God enables us to meet.  Our people are working to provide water and agriculture and sustainable food, by way of chickens and, hopefully, rabbits, moringa trees and other renewable resources.  God is good, and HELP is certain that God’s will done God's way never lacks God's supply!  To Him be the glory!