SUGARCREEK — Rice. Beans. Haitian chicken. Spicy cabbage relish. Red beet salad. A simple yet authentic Haitian meal. It was an idea that launched five years ago when Lenord and Trish Bonnegre from Haiti cooked up the first Haitian Supper Fundraiser and served it to the community. There were 280 in attendance.

"We felt surprised, mostly, but also excited that there was so much interest in an event like this," was Trish’s response.

Trish was raised in the larger Holmes County area and met Lenord Bonnegre in Haiti about 20 years ago; they married in 2010. Together they launched Restoring Lives Ministry to serve the Haitian people through church, pastoral training, and providing education to the youth and children.

All are invited to attend the Haitian Supper Fundraiser set for July 20 with serving from 5-8 p.m. at Maranatha Church south of Sugarcreek on state Route 93. Takeout is served beginning at 4:30.

The call to the ministry came to Lenord’s life in his late teens. "I want to see the church progress spiritually," said Lenord, of his ministry vision.

Though the call to the ministry was clear, he endured frustration of how to walk it out. After much discouragement and limited resources he began exploring options of how he can serve people in the States and use it as an avenue to raise funds to help his own people in the village of Passé boi d’ormes (pronounced Paws-Bwadom) in Haiti.

Each year the crowd attending the fundraiser has grown and the positive response serves as a great encouragement to Lenord and Trish and the ministry they have been called to in Haiti. They feel like each attendee somehow becomes a part of the ministry to bring freedom, deliverance and hope to the people of the island of Haiti.

The food is prepared in the authentic Haitian style Lenord and Trish and their family enjoy when they’re in Haiti. Many people from the larger Holmes and Tuscarawas county areas have visited Haiti on mission-related endeavors and this gives an opportunity to reconnect with the tastes, culture and ministry on the island.

For more information on the July 20 fundraiser of special Haitian food along with a sundae bar featuring Mudd Valley Ice Cream, contact Esther Troyer at 330-204-1502. To learn more about Lenord and Trish’s ministry, visit: RestoringLivesMinistry.com.