In 2006 the OPC grieved the death of OPC misssionary Matt Baugh, who was killed in missionary service in Haiti. Pastor David Smiley and former Providence ruling elder Jim Wilson had just been with Matt at the spring meeting of our presbytery. At the OPC General Assembly that summer God raised up OPC Pastor Ben Hopp and his wife, Heather, and their children to go to Haiti to continue the proclamation of the gospel and the training of local church leaders.

In the spring of 2007 the Hopps moved from Freedman, South Dakota, where Ben had been the pastor of Bethlehem Reformed OPC, to the gulf coast of Florida, where he and his family prepared for their arrival in Haiti that June. The Hopps became members at Providence before their departure, and we have been so blessed to praise God for His work in them and through them over the past four years. The Hopps spent much of last year after the devestating earthquake in Haiti in our midst, and are returning to the Bradenton area next week to begin an eight-month furlough where they will travel to many OPC congregations to share what God is doing in Haiti in these days as the Bible-believing Presbyterian Church in Haiti continues to grow in breadth and depth. Heather will teach one of our Vacation Bible School classes at Providence this summer for the second year in a row. Pastor Smiley, ruling elders Matt Folkert and Al Hanna and deacon Matt Avery have all had the opportunity to visit the Hopps at their home in Kaliko, Haiti. Pastor Smiley and Al Hanna have both had the opportunity to join Pastor Hopp in conducting officer training for men raised up from among the churches where Pastor Hopp joins in the ministry of the Word.