Ministry in Haiti loses leader

By October 2, 2007

Haiti (CRWRC) — Odenor St. Cyr, the long-time director of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's partner
organization, Haitian Program for Training Diaconal Organizations (PWOFOD), was
shot to death in Port au Prince two weeks ago, Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Leanne Geisterfer, Latin America team leader for the Christian Reformed
World Relief Committee, reports that the attackers shot St. Cyr several times
while he and his wife were driving away from church on Tuesday evening.

Geisterfer said she believes the shooting was a random act of violence and
likely started as a kidnapping attempt.

"This is a hard blow for the Christian community in Port au Prince. We
have lost a cherished leader," Geisterfer said.

"Odenor was passionate about churches working in their neighborhoods.
He was respected and loved by those who knew him."

St. Cyr was employed by PWOFOD for 15 years, most recently as its director.
PWOFOD is a Christian community development organization working with churches
in the poorest urban neighborhoods of Port au Prince, empowering church leaders
to reach out into the community with capacity-building training in small
business ownership and adult literacy, among other programs.

PWOFOD is one of six CRWRC partners in Haiti. CRWRC has been in Haiti since
1975 and currently works with other Christian Reformed organizations under the
name "Sous Espwa," Source of Hope, from offices in Port au Prince.

Ongoing socio-economic instability continues to plague Haiti despite the presence
of U.N. peacekeeping forces and the Preval government, which was democratically
elected in February 2006. Violence, corruption, and poverty remain a way of
life for many of Haiti's citizens.

"Pray and work for an end to the senseless violence that plagues so
many countries in our world," Geisterfer asked. "God's peace be with
us all."

 

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