Leaders of Haiti and Cuban churches will speak Sunday

Born into poverty as the son of a voodoo priest and essentially sold into child slave labor in his native Haiti, Marc Honorat has overcome obstacles most Americans could only imagine in their worst nightmares.

Today, he ministers to the poor and trains church leaders through the Haiti ARISE ministry he and his wife, Lisa, founded in 2003.

On Sunday, Honorat will share his personal story and how he hopes to change Haiti for the better at Rock Point Church in Newberg. by: SUBMITTED - Good works - Marc Honorat (fourth from left) stands with the original leadership team of Haiti ARISE, the ministry Honorat founded in 2003 to improve the lives of people in his native Haiti.

With Cuban church leader Faustino Brene set to address the congregation a week later July 6, Rock Point members and any interested community members will have the opportunity to hear first-hand how they can help change lives in two of the poorest countries in the world.

“Both of these guys are major national leaders,” Rock Point pastor Jeff Wells said. “It was just a coincidence that they’re both back to back at our church.”

Honorat, who was saved from child slave labor at age 12 by his brother and placed in a children’s home, will speak at 10 a.m. and share how he was once helped by the kindness of strangers.

Thanks to the generosity of a Canadian woman, Honorat graduated high school at age 25. In hopes of helping others in Haiti, he then attended Caribbean Christ for the Nations Bible College in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for two years, and finished his Bachelor’s Degree in Theology at Evangel Bible College in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

After meeting in Jamaica and marrying in 2000, the Honorats founded Haiti Arise and now serve as directors of the ministry as they travel regularly between the island nation, the United States and Canada.

While Honorat’s experience is new to Wells and his wife, fellow Rock Point pastor Karyn, the couple is familiar with the work Brene has been doing in Cuba having visited the communist country in February.

“Religious freedom in Cuba has really opened up since 1999,” Wells said. “Castro has really relaxed the ability for churches to meet, even though they’re not officially churches, they’re unregistered. But they’re free to gather for worship. Since that time, that network of churches has really experienced explosive growth.”

Brene, who will speak at 10 a.m. July 6, has played a key role in the Bethel Church movement, which has already established 500 churches in the country and aims to double that number if it can garner enough financial support.

“We were ministering in some of their churches,” Wells said. “People are living on $20 a month and eating beans and rice every day, with a little bit of chicken. They don’t get any beef or fish, just the very basic staple. It’s a very Spartan living that they’re experiencing there.”

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