This is a Baptist organization. Our Statement of Faith lists our beliefs and is on the website at www.bhmcanada.ca. Not all of our visitors are required to believe as we do, however, they and their families living with them may not participate in activities nor propagate beliefs which are contrary to those of the Baptist Haiti Mission. By association with the Mission you represent the mission to the public.
We are happy that you desire to be a part of the work here and we want your time to be profitable for you as well as for the people of Haiti. We have written some guidelines that will help to insure that this can be a pleasant time of ministry for your team, the missionaries here and the people you’ve come to serve.
Prior to being accepted as a team coming to serve with BHM we require that you as a team leader read the book by, Anne-Geri Fann & Greg Taylor called, “How to get Ready For Short-Term Missions”. We ask that you give us confirmation that you have read this book and that you will also require all of your team members to read it prior to arriving here in Haiti.
After reading the book it will give you a clearer understanding of the best ways that you can serve most effectively. Our guidelines are basically following the principles in this book but there may be some that are more specific to the Haitian culture. It is of utmost importance that you are willing to submit to the mission leadership even if you don’t personally agree with it or understand it. This will make your trip much more beneficial.
The projects will vary depending on the size of the team and the skills that those members have. We ask that the team try to raise some of the funds needed to help with the cost of materials needed for the project.
The following will give some basic information to help answer some of the questions that teams may have concerning their trip to Haiti.
It is desired whenever possible that one of the group members be a returning volunteer who could help orient the new team members and act as the team leader. We ask that those coming be in High school or older.
• Length of Trip: Mission Team trips usually last from 7 to 14 days.
• Cost: We ask $25 (USD) a day to help cover the cost of the room, utilities, water and the evening meal. We charge $80 (USD) per person for transportation during the stay. $150 US per person if teams are going up North.
We also suggest that each person raise $200 (USD) for the purchase of materials for a project fund. This will help us make sure that we have materials here ready for the team. Some projects will cost more then others but we as a mission do not have funds to cover these work projects so if you can raise funds it would be a huge help. This amount is optional but we pray you will contribute what God provides. Since the earthquake, we are having mostly constructions teams come to “rebuild a home” for a Haitian family. The cost for a home is $3,900* (USD). If your team is coming to do this project, then we ask that your team try to raise that amount instead of the $200 (USD) per team member for the project fund.
• Accommodations: There are accommodations available for the teams staying on the compound with electric from 7:30am to 5:30 pm. Sheets, blankets, towels, washcloths, pillows and pillowcases are provided. Water is one of the limited resources in this country so we ask that it be used sparingly. For this reason it is good to bring enough clothing so you won’t have to do laundry. If your team is working off the mission it will depend on the location as to the facilities available for accommodations. Our electricity is the same as North America 110 volts.
• Food and Water: If your team is staying on the mission compound, food will be the responsibility of the team for breakfast and lunch. Your team can bring food in for these meals or purchase food once you arrive. The evening meal will be furnished. There is a restaurant on campus open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday. You can purchase a meal for between five to seven dollars. Filtered water is available and bottled water can be purchased if you prefer.
This schedule is an example of what your team’s day might look like
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Begin working on project for the day
12:00 Noon Lunch
1:00 PM Return to project
6:00 PM Dinner and clean up
7:00 PM Team time, this time is free for the team leader to do as they wish
Preparing for Your trip to Haiti
1. Passports: You will need an up to date passport to enter Haiti.
2. Airline ticket: TBD
3. Currency: It is best to travel with American currency. While in Haiti, American currency can easily be exchanged into Haitian currency. Visa cards are accepted at the restaurant and gift shop on the mission compound.
4. Health: Since the terrain of Haiti is rugged, you need to be in excellent health condition. If you have special health issues or dietary limitations, we advise that you not come.
We encourage you to check with your physician before traveling to Haiti. It is important to have your regular immunizations and tetanus booster updated. It is up to you and your physician to decide as to whether or not you choose to take Malaria medication and also prescribed medication for travelers’ diarrhea. Please arrange to have health insurance while you are traveling and for your stay in Haiti. You are responsible for your health care while visiting here.
Packing to Go
Check with your airline as to how much luggage you are allowed (this changes often). If you wish, you could bring articles that are needed for the ministry in Haiti. (See list of needed supplies)
Personal items you will need
• Lightweight cotton clothing is strongly suggested. Skirts or dresses for girls.
• Jacket or sweater, it gets very cool in the evenings
• Comfortable walking shoes
• One-piece modest swim suit, if you are coming to the camp.
• A water bottle, flashlight, extra batteries
• Toiletries, mosquito repellent, sunscreen
• Band-Aids, Tylenol or any needed medicines
• A good outfit for church services
Arrival in Port-Au-Prince
While on the plane, you will receive a Visa card and upon arrival at the airport you must pass through immigration. When passing through immigration the Visa card you received will be processed (you will be staying at the Baptist Haiti Mission in Fermathe address is 62 Fermathe). You then proceed to the luggage area to claim your luggage. You can purchase a luggage cart for $2.00 (USD). There are Haitian porters at the luggage carousel that can help you if you want. Claim your baggage and transport your luggage through customs inspection and to the door leading outside. If you have a Haitian man help, pay him after you get to the door leading outside. If you wish to do it by yourself that is fine and “No” is understood in their language. As you leave the building remain in the fenced in area. Look for the driver who will be holding a sign BHM. Ask the driver if they are going to Baptist Haiti Mission.
As you leave the fenced in area, there will be other porters who will want to help you once you are outside, pay them only after loading your luggage into the car. It’s better to pay just one person (the boss) and he will divide among his helpers. $1.00 (USD) per bag is acceptable (however they will always ask for more).
Before you exit the airport you may be asked to hand in your luggage claim tickets to a customs officer.
DO NOT give away these tickets until you have received all the pieces of your luggage. Without these claim tickets, your luggage may be lost without recourse.
It is also possible that you may be asked to pay customs on large new items that you are bringing into the country. Be prepared!
After leaving the airport our drivers have been instructed to come straight to the mission. Please do not ask them to stop places, or take different routes.
If you lose your luggage, go to the far end counter of the baggage claim area. There you will receive a “lost baggage” report form to fill out. Keep all this paperwork and proceed out to your waiting transportation. We will send for your luggage as soon as we know it has arrived at the airport, which is usually the next day.
Shopping and Touring
A gift shop is available here on the compound to purchase gifts. Airport prices are much higher.
Services on the Mission compound
• Email is available for emergencies only. Check with one of the missionaries. We request that you leave your computers at home, since our bandwidth is very limited.
• American money can be exchanged at the mission
• Clean drinking water is readily available
We request that you lock all living quarters when no one is there. Valuables such as extra funds, passports, visas and the return tickets should be put in the vault with BHM or given to your host for safe keeping. We have four night watchmen on duty each night. When you are away from the mission keep your wallet in your front pocket; never leave camera or important items unattended.
All facilities on the Mission compound are non-smoking. Liquor is not permitted anywhere on the Mission grounds.
We ask that you be good ambassadors and remember that you are in a foreign country with very conservative views. Your attire should reflect good taste, and take into account the cultural preferences of Haiti and the local church. Pants or shorts worn in public are not considered appropriate attire for ladies. Modest skirt or dresses should be worn. However if your team is traveling off the mission campus and building houses, for modest reasons, women may wear loose fitting pants. Men may wear long shorts. The Haitians dress up for Sundays and so men are asked to bring long dress pants, dress shirts for Sunday. Ladies need to have at least a cap sleeve on their dresses for church. Short skirts, tight fitting clothing, bare midriffs or low cut tops for women are not considered Godly and will give a very negative testimony. Another thing that is considered improper for ladies is more then one earring in an ear. Long hair and wearing jewelry for men are also considered non-Christian.
If your desire is to be a positive testimony then you must be willing to set aside your personal rights and show deference to the people you wish to minister too. The city of Port-Au-Prince has been greatly influenced by the States in the last few years. You will see many now who do not practice these dress codes but please remember that the Christian community still has very conservative views.
You are encouraged to be a part of a National church service here on the compound and join the missionaries for other opportunities of fellowship and worship.
• Sunday Morning Worship Service, Fermathe Church (Baptist Mission) at 10:00 AM.
• English speaking Sunday school class. Meeting in the conference room at 8:30 AM.
• Sunday Evening Bible Study in Mission homes at 6:00 PM.
• Wednesday morning devotions are in the conference room at 9:00 PM.
BHM foreign missionaries and teams that visit are a guest in a nation that is not their own. We ask that you respect the authorities that are here and not engage in any sort of local political activity nor discuss the politics of Haiti publicly. This can be very dangerous!
If you choose to bring in supplies, here are some ideas: (You may also want to contact us directly and ask if there are certain items that would be specifically helpful for the work that your team will be doing.)
At the moment we have sufficient medical supplies, so we ask that you NOT bring any medical related items. If there are needs we will post them on our website or contact you to bring them in.
• Ready made frosting (all flavors), dessert mixes, and dream whip
• Canned meats, spam, tuna, ham, chicken etc.
• Paper products such as paper plates, napkins, paper towels, 30 gallon trash, 13 gallon trash bags
• Nuts for baking, snacking nuts too, dried fruits, and chocolate chips
• Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese
• Work gloves
• As other needs arise we will let your team leader know
• All children love backpacks to carry books to school
• Extension cords, paint supplies, brushes etc.
When you leave Haiti you will need:
• Your immigration card, which you received on the airplane
• Airline Ticket
We thank you for your interest in the ministry of the Baptist Haiti mission and we look forward to meeting you. If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to contact us. The contact person in Haiti for teams is Kyrk or Deborah Baker. Email address: email@example.com or Mark Tenaglia, Chair, Baptist Haiti Mission of Canada.
BHM Fast Facts
• 350 Churches across the midlands and northern sections of Haiti – over 100,000 members
• 354 schools – over 68,000 children
• Sponsor a Child for less than $1 a-day (all fund go straight to child)
• Established in 1943 by John Turnbull
• Turned over to John’s son Wallace and wife Eleanor in 1948. They directed the mission until 2004
• BHM established mountain terracing in Haiti
• Teams of 10 come in regularly to help the Mountain people build houses
• Teams of 10-12 come to Haiti regularly to help the mountain people in a variety of projects
• Teams normally will fund-raise to cover the cost of their particular project
• Runs a restaurant and gift-shop for visiting team
• Maintains an 83 bed hospital with two operating rooms, a pharmacy, labs, and an outpatient clinic