Bois Marchand Farm, Pt 1

Bois Marchand Farm, Pt 1

The Bois Marchand Farm – Part One: HCDP Waters, but God Grows

The Bois Marchand Farm impacts the life of everyone who comes into contact with it. In my judgment, it’s one of HCDP’s greatest accomplishments. It’s the simple things, like walking over to the farm to have a mango with the kids and say hello to Pierre Charles who is working in the field, or helping the children tie up the goats and plant some okra seeds, that mean more and more to me as the story unfolds.

In the year 2000, HCDP bought a small piece of farmland just outside of Gonaives, Haiti, near a tiny village called Bois Marchand. At the time this land was purchased, it resembled something like a swamp – a watery mess that used to be a rice field. And so, a transformation of the land needed to take place before it could produce in abundance.

Pacius Gueston, HCDP’s development director, was the man who had a vision for this farm. By applying hard work, persistence, and the agricultural education that he had received, he would transform the old rice field into a land of harvest within a year of its purchase.

By any standard in Haiti, this was an amazing accomplishment! This wasn’t just important for HCDP, but also for Pacius’ family and many people from the Bois Marchand community. To many, the farm represented a source of sustainable food for years to come. For some it would become an opportunity to work and earn a living where they had none before. For others, the farm would be a model that they could learn from and then go apply to their own piece of land.

I was most impressed to learn that shortly after the first harvest, several of the surrounding Haitian farmers came to Pacius to learn agriculture. For other Haitians, improving their own farms would change their lives. It meant more food, work, and education for their children. When I go to the farm today, I see the affects of Pacius’ training these men throughout the entire village. As I walk or ride my bike to the farm, I always see others farmers working together to water their crops and use farming methods that Pacius taught them.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of all is that the farm continues to grow more than just fruits and vegetables. The farm has become a location for a church plant in the Bois Marchand village. Last Sunday, I worshipped at the farm with some Haitians from the village. I recognized several people I had seen passing by on my way to the farm during previous weeks. When we prayed, sang songs, and had communion together, that place became more than just a farm to me – it became the church. To me, this is an inspiring accomplishment in Haiti that has made the last fifteen years of hard work worth it. And let’s remember that as HCDP continues to plant seeds and water them, it is God who continues to make his church grow.

Be watching for the next story, Bois Marchand Farm Part 2, which will tell about some of the hardships the farm has faced over the years, including two great floods that almost took everything with them!