Baissin Caiman is a community of 7,000 people tucked away between the hills and the Caribbean Sea in western Haiti. Like most of Haiti, the landscape is harsh. Most of the people are charcoal farmers. They cut down the trees to make charcoal, which is sold in markets. Because of infrequent rains, gardens are few.
Luther Hansley began work in this village in 1995. Through partnerships with the Baissin Caiman Church and many partner churches in the United States, much has happened. There is now a school where 150 children attend, a pump for fresh water, an outhouse, a kitchen, a meeting room and a bread oven. The bread oven provides many women with an opportunity to make a living.
St. Martin is located at the southwestern tip of Haiti. You can see the ocean from the front steps of the church. From the top of many hills, you can see almond and coconut trees lining the small and scattered gardens. Though it looks lush from above, life is struggle. Women often walk long distances to get clean water from the few available wells, while men try to provide for their families by selling charcoal.
The church in St. Martin seeks to meet the needs of the community by running a school and hosting medical clinics in addition to vibrant worship service and Sunday school classes.