Sunday, January 31, 2010

Manatee's Haitians build on their faith

Leading both the Bradenton Herald and today is Carl Mario Nudi's feature on Manatee County's Haitian community. The assignment was challenging because Haitians live throughout our county, not in any one concentrated neighborhood; and Haitians aren't recognized yet as a singular ethnic group by the U.S. Census.

But Carl soon found the heart of the Haitian community: church. He talks with Mesack Dieudonne, who heads Let Us Take a Stand for God Ministry, a Manatee organization that links 12 area churches with Haitian congregations; the Rev. Jean Claude Presendieu, pastor of Bethesda Haitian Evangelical Church; and many others. Regardless of whether the Haitian population is 2,000 or 20,000 here, their faith is a core anchor in our community.

And at a time when that faith would logically be shaken, when their homeland is in rubbles, it seems to be only strengthened. The statement in Tiffany Tompkins-Condie's photo here captures that strength:

The outpouring of help continues to show the compassionate core of our diverse community.

-- Joan

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