By Amanda Boston

With more than half of its populace plagued with illiteracy and unemployment, Haiti is the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere. To help reverse the country’s plight, FishHawk Fellowship Church partnered with Welcome Home Haiti in 2013.

Welcome Home Haiti seeks to restore the country as it builds homes and provides Haitian men with employment and Christian discipleship. The ministry focuses on raising up godly Haitian men to provide for their family.

The nonprofit organization is a boots-on-the-ground ministry in Pillatre, a northern village in Haiti. Its founders, Steve and Shelley Hari, permanently reside on location fostering a relationship with community and coordinating mission teams.

The infrastructure of Pillatre consists of a church, school and medical clinic and satisfies the town’s most basic needs. However, the personal home dwellings are constructed of mud and sticks, which pose sanitary and safety issues.

Welcome Home Haiti builds an average of 12 homes per year. The 400 sq. ft. homes are block construction with no running water and separate outdoor latrines.
The hired Haitian masonry employees complete the majority of the project. Then the mission team funding the project journeys to Pillatre to install the roof, paint and build furniture.

FishHawk residents Bryan and Sara Friendshuh spearhead the Welcome Home Haiti mission efforts at FishHawk Fellowship Church. The husband and wife team organizes, trains and leads mission teams to Haiti every March and November.

This past November, a team recently finished a home build. Currently, Bryan and Sara are planning a mission trip for high school students in March. The March trip will align with the Hillsborough County School District’s spring break.

With 13 mission trips to Haiti, Sara has witnessed the fruits of the ministry and explained, “What started out as a way to minister to a group of men and provide provision is now bettering the community as men share labor skills and their testimony of faith.” She continued, “If you can find a mission that is God-oriented, Lord provided and Christ led, it’s an amazing thing to be a part of.”

If you would like to know more about Welcome Home Haiti, visit www.welcomehomehaiti.com. To financially support Welcome Home Haiti, visit https://secure.qgiv.com/event/927898/. To inquire about upcoming mission trips, contact Robin at missions@fishhawkfc.org or call 655-7431 Ext. 229.