July 5 was a momentous day for the Gros-Morne, Haiti, Church of the Nazarene as the city's first fully furnished, state-of-the-art computer laboratory was dedicated at the church's facility.
The Church of the Nazarene's Southern Florida District partnered with the Gros-Morne Church of the Nazarene for nearly two years following the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010. Southern Florida Nazarenes contributed more than US$150,000 to assist the church in replacing the roof of its school, which was destroyed by the earthquake. Additionally, the roof to the 2,000-seat sanctuary was completed after being stalled by the earthquake, a hurricane, two city floods, and marketplace fires. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries also provided a US$60,000 grant for the project.
The project started with Gros-Morne pastor Paul Zamor's dream to reach out to his very poor community with a first-class educational program and a computer laboratory.
Two Nazarene churches in Southern Florida, Bradenton First and Redland Church of the Nazarene, helped fulfill the dream by providing US$10,000 for the 21 laptops. Because Gros-Morne only has municipal electricity about three hours each night, special generators were needed to provide consistent electricity to operate the lab. Southern Florida engineer Jim McLellan designed the lab tables and electrical system to run the computers and a video projector.
On the day of the dedication, more than 100 students, faculty members, and community leaders filled the new laboratory for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The Gros-Morne mayor and police commissioner attended the ceremony, as did the engineer who designed the church and school.
Using the newly installed video projector, Pascal Permis, pastor of the Indiantown and Port St. Lucie Evangelical Nazarene churches, served as the master of ceremonies. Speakers included Southern Florida District Superintendent David Nixon, Southern Florida Nazarene Missions International President Dennis Moore, Southern Florida Work and Witness Coordinator Roy Shuck, and Zamor. Shuck and his daughter were responsible for acquiring the computers and creating special programs to help train students on technology.
Zamor expressed his sincere appreciation for the new computer lab and for other contributions provided to his congregation of more than 1,000 and school of more than 800 students. Nixon pledged his continuing support for the Gros-Morne area and told the mayor to expect more quality programs for his community from the Church of the Nazarene. The Gros-Morne population exceeds 200,000 people.
In addition to the construction of the computer laboratory, additional team members painted the interior of 12 school classrooms.
This is the second Work and Witness team from Southern Florida to visit Gros-Morne, which is more than 100 miles north of Hait's capital, Port-au-Prince.The first team to visit Gros-Morne earlier this year constructed 100 pews for the church sanctuary. Another Southern Florida team is scheduled to visit Gros-Morne early in 2013.
--Southern Florida District