On any given Sunday, Esau Jean Pierre can be found at Siloé Baptist Church in Grand Goâve, Haiti. He may be leading the praise and worship portion of the service, encouraging the young members, singing with the men’s ensemble, or just sitting with the congregation and worshipping the Lord. He is a strong Christian believer whose faith has sustained him through difficult times.
Soon to be married, Esau is a trained mechanic who has a heart for serving others. After the 2010 earthquake, Esau, along with many other Haitian and international volunteers worked with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and American Baptists to rebuild Siloé Baptist School. The school for more than 300 students was completely destroyed by the earthquake. Today it is a beautiful, bustling campus with earthquake resistant buildings. Esau’s primary role in that project was guardian and mechanic.
During the rebuilding of the school, Esau met Pastor Tim Brendle of West End Baptist Church, Petersburg, VA, who went to Haiti as Disaster Relief Field Coordinator for CBF. After his six months in Haiti, Pastor Tim returned to Virginia but continued to seek a way to create jobs in Haiti through sustainable commerce. Esau shared this vision and stayed in touch with Pastor Tim and after years of research, the two started taking steps to create a sisal cooperative in Haiti.
Esau’s leadership has been extremely valuable in the formation of the cooperative. He has spent countless hours on the phone talking with notable individuals who have grown sisal in the past and are highly motivated to revive the industry. Over and over Esau has explained the concepts of a sisal cooperative and has worked effectively with the Conseil National des Cooperatives (CNC) in Port-au-Prince to obtain legal status for the cooperative.
Esau has had a lot to learn as he has led this movement. He strongly believes that the CPCS exists in Haiti today because God has been at work to make this a reality. As the market moves forward, there will be much more to learn, but Esau’s hard work and integrity have laid a foundation for the cooperative and will continue to foster its development in the future.