Today was the first day of class for the first Children’s Hope Mountain Institute. This is a new concept in teaching here. We are focused on mountain children. Children who most likely will not progress beyond the third grade. 60% of the children in Haiti do not go on to the fourth grade. We are addressing what we call the 3R’s plus J. Reading, Riting, Rithmatic, and Jesus. Our goal is to give these children an opportunity to be literate, functional adults who have been immersed in the Gospel. The first institute is in Bossier which is a small mountain community just East and North of Jacmel. Pastor Marc planted the church with our help. Many people in that community have come to Christ in the past year and a half.
We are renting two rooms in a house at the bottom of the hill that the church/school sits on. The house is owned by a Voodoo priestess who has been attending Pastor Marc’s church. Until this year, she had quite a following, but now nearly all of her followers are Christians. God is amazing.
When Martie and I arrived this morning we were greeted by these moms and children waiting for things to get started. There will be 25 first graders in this school. We will add a second grade next year as we work through what exactly a Mountain Institute is going to be. The institute is “French Free” meaning that we will not teach the children the French language but spend our time teaching them the fundamentals of education.
I had the opportunity to speak to the parents – briefly this morning. I told them about Proverbs 22:6. I told them that Children’s Hope considers it a privilege to help these children to learn about math, reading and writing, but also to learn more about the Gospel and Jesus Christ. We have a lot of work ahead of us. In the days ahead we will be improving the building .. right now it’s tree branches and worn out tarps. We are bringing in desks for the children, blackboards, cooking supplies, food, books, school supplies .. uniforms. Martie, with the help of Samuel Mezidor our assistant, measured all of the children for uniforms this morning. The children were wide-eyed as they saw the school come into being today. Please pray for Bossier and for us as we strike out on this adventure. Pray also for the other five schools that started classes today as well. God is Good – All The Time!