Haiti holds a special place in Cynthia Hart’s heart; she and her sister Bridgyt, were fortunate enough to travel to Haiti in 2015 on a mission trip through the Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s (CPC) Haiti relief initiative. On that trip, Cynthia and Bridgyt fell in love with the residents of Haiti and found blessings in the building of churches and the construction of a community center for The Haitian Council of Cumberland Presbyterian. The Haitian council is made of 6 pastors who have been ordained by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
What makes the Cumberland Presbyterian Haiti Relief fund unique is that members of the church here in the United States work directly with and frequently visit the native Haitian pastors (the Haiti Council) of the Cumberland Presbyterian churches in Haiti. This direct relationship ensures that funds are properly managed and accomplish the most for each congregation.
The moment that she felt a spiritual connection with Haiti was when she was walking with her group to market, and they passed a herd of pack donkeys on a hill. This scene reminded Cynthia of how Jesus must have lived and it brought tears to her eyes. Here she was in the middle of a foreign land hoping to help others and yet found herself humbled completely.
On the trip home Cynthia came back with a lifetime of memories a donkey pack satchel, and a crupper as reminders of her stay. She also adopted two Haitian children through the Haitian Christian Development fund, their names are Anderson Bonhomme and Fendia Bruno. She maintains a relationship with Anderson and Fendia through letters and sends funds that allow them to attend private school. Cynthia hopes to plan a return trip to Haiti in the near future to see her adoptees again and revisit the congregations in Fond des Blancs.
Haiti had been in the news a lot over the past few years beginning with the devastating earthquake in 2010 that affected an estimated 3 million Haitians with a death toll of over 200,000. Haiti sought to rebuild and progress had been made, but unfortunately Hurricane Matthew wrought havoc once again on the small island nation on October 4th, 2016. At the time of impact, Hurricane Matthew was a category 4 storm and unfortunately resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives. Haiti is known for levels of record poverty and poor housing conditions and Hurricane Matthew brought extensive damage to Haiti’s already unstable infrastructure.
Hurricane Matthew damaged or destroyed 5 of the 6 CPC in Haiti. Upon hearing this information Cynthia decided to pool her resources and talents and host a fundraiser to rebuild the damaged churches. Cyn Shea’s Café & Catering hosted Hope for Haiti: Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction to raise funds for the restoration and rebuilding efforts of CPC.
Hope for Haiti was held at Cyn Shea’s, featured live island music (courtesy of Hyidea’ Burgess and Eric Martin), a Caribbean inspired menu (jerk chicken, Caribbean coleslaw, sweet potato salad, white bread, and Key Lime pie), and an amazing array of auction items donated by local businesses and individuals. Through the combined efforts of the Huntsville Community we raised over $10,000 through Hope for Haiti and relief efforts through these funds and the works of CPC’s missionaries to rebuild these community epicenters.