Hope Shining in the Darkness
The Bible tells us darkness MUST flee from light. Have you ever really thought about this? Try something today, find the darkest room in your house. Turn out the lights and try to plug any cracks or holes where light might enter. Then turn on a flashlight or the light on your phone. Even the dimmest light cannot be snuffed out by the darkness in that room! This is what it’s like when we reflect the Light of Christ. The moment we believe in Christ, we are called to reflect His Light.
The last year has held many opportunities to quit, to succumb to burnout, to allow our flame to be extinguished, yet at Haitian Christian Outreach, we refused. And because we refused to allow the circumstances around us to extinguish our flame, we saw God move in miraculous ways! One of those ways was through our six Emmanuel Christian Schools.
Our teachers and students, despite the circumstances of the last two years, continue to press on! In 2019, schools in Haiti were scheduled to start in September. Due to extreme civil unrest and for the safety of the students and teachers, schools did not open until January 2020. Then due to COVID, the schools sent students home in March for the rest of the school year. The 1,600 students in our six schools lost an entire year of education.
And yet, many of the teachers refused to allow their students to be in the dark and fall behind in their education, specifically the older students. With the little resources they had, many teachers were sending lessons and homework through text, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook. The teachers of Emmanuel Christian Schools know the importance of education and what life changing opportunities it brings to the students, their families, their communities and ultimately their country.
Consider the numbers:
- In 2019, statistics from the World Bank showed only 50% of all school age children attend school.
- These same stats found 30% of those who do attend school in Haiti, will not make it past the third-grade. Did you ever question whether you would make it past the third-grade?
- Again, these statistics show 60% of students who do make it past the third-grade in Haiti, will not make it past the sixth-grade. Did you ever question whether you would make it past the sixth-grade?
There are numerous variables behind these statistics including the financial burden schooling places on a family. The Haitian government requires the people to pay to go to school. When a family lives on less than $2.00 per day, it can be to keep even one child in school. By the time children are old enough to work in the field or sell goods at the market, the family then is faced with a very difficult decision: schooling for one of their children or basic needs.
Part of our ministry at Haitian Christian Outreach is to change these statistics! To equip and empower the future of Haiti so that they can be the beacon in the darkness!
How do we do that? One of the ways in which these students are able to stay in school is through the blessing of Child Sponsorship, a gift to a child which illuminates possibilities and opportunities they would not have otherwise! Of the 1,600 students in our schools, only 470 of these students are currently sponsored. That is only 30% of our students, does this statistic sound familiar?
$20.00 a month provides a child with a life changing opportunity through education, a free meal, and free healthcare from the Peredo Community Hospital. It provides them with hope, shining in the darkness, a pillar of guiding light!
While each child is taught the mandatory state education, additionally in our schools, they receive Bible education. We are providing them with a foundation on which to build and grow their relationship with Christ. It is our hope and prayer that through our relationship with God, we can raise up these children to be the Light of Christ for Haiti! It is our prayer that because they have received an education in a Christ centered environment, because they are being brought up to know the Word, to pray and speak to our Heavenly Father, and have a community in Christ surrounding them, we pray this generation will change Haiti for Christ!
Since opening Emmanuel Christian Schools, Haitian Christian Outreach has already seen God’s harvest!
Pastors of the churches, principals and teachers of the schools, doctors and nurses of the hospital, many were once students in our schools. They are now shining their light in the lives of others they serve!
Because of their flame, the word of our churches, schools, and hospital are spreading across the country! The Superintendent of our schools, Mr. Morrisett applied for the position after one of our doctors treated his family member at our hospital. There, he was so impressed with the care and compassion his family received, that when he found out the position was available, he said, I want to be part of what is going on in this ministry.
It is because of a child sponsorship that Dr. Fernel, a former student of the school in Seguin, was able to continue through secondary school and go on to medical school. He then returned to work as a pediatrician at the Peredo Community Hospital!
These are just a few examples of how God uses the light of Christ that we reflect to change someone’s life! This year, God has given us a challenge to find sponsors for 100 students each quarter of the year! By the end of 2021, that will have 50% of our students sponsored! 50% of the children we serve will be holding on to the light of Hope for a brighter future! 50% of our children will have their intellectual, physical and most importantly, spiritual needs met because someone cast their light into our children’s lives!
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of Light.” (Ephesians 5:8)
If you would like to shine your light into the lives of the children we serve and become a Child Sponsor visit our website to sign up today!
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