Pastor Tom Hoehner of the Covington UMC led a team of ten members this summer on their first third-world mission trip. The volunteer trip to Haiti provided labor for a construction phase of a church school being built at the Methodist Church of Thor, a community on the outskirts of Port au Prince, the Haitian capital. Covington UMC contributed $4,500 toward labor and materials.
Port au Prince is a city of 1.7 million people. Haiti is among the most poverty-stricken counties of the world. Haiti has no public educational system and has unemployment of approximately 80 percent. The average annual salary of those employed is $550. The Methodist Church, along with other Christian denominations, provides the only educational opportunities for Haitian children.
The Methodist Church is one of the fastest growing Protestant denominations in Haiti with 148 Methodist Churches. The Thor church is one of 105 churches which have a school. School is presently held in the church sanctuary, with approximately 70 students. Costs for a child to attend the school at Thor are $110 a year for school and lunch.
The Covington UMC team's mission was to construct walls at the Thor church school. Covington members also assisted with funds to underwrite school scholarships and lunch program.