Haitian family camp draws 900+, with 67 professions of faith and 20 baptisms

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Photo above taken by Jerry Cerphy.

LEESBURG— Nearly 1,000 children, youth and adults, representing 50 Florida Baptist churches, attended the annual Haitian Family R.I.S.E. Camp, resulting in 67 professions of faith and 20 baptisms.

‘Being Haitian is an asset in the mission field.’

John Voltaire Haitian Ministries Catalyst, Florida Baptist Convention

During the four-day retreat held at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center June 23- 26, families celebrated how God is working through Haitian Baptist churches and were encouraged to engage with the mission to reach the nations with the gospel.

“I am glad to see what God is doing among Haitian people today,” said John Voltaire, Haitian ministries catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention. “You have the opportunity to share the gospel with Hispanics, Jamaicans, black and white Americans, Venezuelans. … Being Haitian is an asset in the mission field.”

Voltaire also announced the newly formed Southern Baptist Convention National Haitian Fellowship, organized at the 2023 SBC annual meeting and representing about 500 Haitian churches.

Photos taken by Jerry Cerphy.

Biblical messages were presented by pastor Erik Cummings, New Life Baptist Church in Miami Gardens; church founder Mardochee Bellerice, The Ark of God in West Palm Beach; and pastor David Jacques, The Kingdom Church in Orlando.

The camp’s theme, Crafted, was drawn from Psalm 139:14 in which David praised God for being “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Through workshops, worship, baptisms, Bible trivia, sports competitions, water activities, a talent show and bonfires, the Haitian families celebrated being fearfully and wonderfully crafted by God for His mission. Praise dancers and musicians led in heartfelt worship.

In breakout sessions, which were organized by age groups, attendees learned how to understand their identity in Christ and make a biblical defense for their faith and identity.

About 60 camp registrants were first-time attendees. By the retreat’s end, 67 people made professions of faith. During the Sunday morning worship service, 20 were baptized by Reginald Joseph, minister, Haitian Evangelical Baptist Church of Homestead.  Many others rededicated their lives to Christ in response to an altar call by Bellerice.

“Being Haitian is cool; speaking Creole is cool,” Voltaire said on Sunday morning while encouraging the families and youth to embrace their culture and leverage it to reach the nations for Christ.

Photos taken by Jerry Cerphy.

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