New Building, New Strength
Just a few years ago Cite Soleil was declared by United Nations to be one of the most dangerous places in the world. Even today, it is a desperate place whose residents struggle for survival. The living conditions are as abysmal as any third world slum. And it is right in the middle of this desperation that the Cite Soleil Wesleyan church is strategically placed. The large two story masonry building was rendered unsafe by the earthquake and had to be demolished. This congregation led by battle tested veteran, Pastor Michel Esperanse, is the epitome of Christ’s salt and light analogies. Returning this congregation to an adequate and secure ministry center has been a challenge. To protect buildings and property and the school children who daily attend classes here a 12 foot perimeter wall had to be built, requiring nearly the resources of a complete building. Even before the perimeter wall could be completed to its full height several bullet holes were found in the newly constructed school buildings.
At this point this project is nearly complete because of the partnership of World Hope International and a number of churches and district teams. World Hope has a long standing history with this particular school and took responsibility to build two new classroom buildings. Christ Wesleyan, Milton PA was the first team on the ground to begin work on the perimeter wall in the midst of enormous piles of rubble, followed by two teams from the Dakota district which directed the new structure, set the trusses and covered the building with steel. Indiana South District poured side walls and electrical rough, with another Dakota District team batting cleanup, installing the ceiling.
The church is still in need of new benches because in the midst of these challenges the congregation has continued to experience growth. Pastor Michel and his associate Pastor Leah have also provided leadership to several church plants among the earthquake refugees in squatter camps north of the city.