By Rev. Adrien Wilsonne
First Baptist Church Fort Erie has built a unique outreach to the Haitian community living there, and beyond! Since my family and I arrived in Canada from Haiti in 2007, I have had a passion to help other newcomers adjust. I love being the hidden hand that will be the reason for someone to praise God.
My primary task is to work alongside Matthew House to help resettle new Haitian immigrants. This involves serving as their translator in legal meetings, driving them to their medical appointments and school appointments for their children, and serving as a point person and reference during this early stage. If they move out of Fort Erie, my role is to reconnect them with a church in their new community.
Another important aspect of our ministry is the opportunity to celebrate together what God has done for us. Our strong church social committee organizes parties such as graduation, birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. These activities strengthen our relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ and provide those who are living on their own with a reliable network of friends.
I also lead a French/Creole bible study/prayer meeting over the phone. This service is designed to provide the creole/ French speaking attendees with the opportunity to worship in their mother tongue and is an alternative for those who cannot attend the Sunday morning services. It has grown to several services a week and reaches out to a broader Haitian community living outside of our region, province and even country.
First Baptist church Fort Erie has built the reputation of one of the most diverse congregations in the Niagara Region where everyone feels welcomed and accepted. Our mission to share the good news of Christ’s love through word and deed goes beyond our border. Last year, we helped more than 100 families among the victims of the Earthquake that almost destroyed the southern part of Haiti. Thanks to our outreach to the Haitian community, First Baptist Fort Erie has become a missional church.