For many of us, we take our school years for granted. There were times when we didn’t like school or understand why we had to complete another equation or parse another sentence.
The fact that we can pick up a book and read, doesn’t catch us off guard as a blessing.
But in Haiti many things suddenly become blessings—fresh water, a vehicle, wellness, and education (to name a few).
Imagine being in your late twenties with a minimal education—basic reading (maybe), writing, and arithmetic. Imagine being in your fifties and only being able to scratch out an, “X” as your signature. For most in Haiti, education is a privilege and a ticket of sorts to success. Parents are often forced to choose which child receives any education because they simply cannot afford to pay the tuition for them all. For the one that attends school he has a fair chance of lifting himself out of the unending cycle of poverty. For the rest at home, they’ll need to learn a trade or occupation in order to survive.
In our latest newsletter, we talked about our newest area of ministry: mentorship and trade training. Through mentoring individuals and teaching them a trade, we hope to empower the people to become self-sustainable. Education or not, we want them to know that there is hope.
Haiti needs to be changed from the inside out. Haitian men and women need to be raised up to be the change that needs to happen in Haiti—and the Lord is faithfully doing this through spiritual mentoring and teaching self-sustainability. Learning to hammer a nail, work a saw, build a shelf, weld, or plant a field are all skills that can help Haitian men and women in their need for an occupation.
We desire to share with them the handiwork of Christ in their life and the handiwork of a trade; a trade that can help them to be self-motivated, self-sustained, and carry on the skill they’ve learned.
(Kiki learning to weld on a water tank frame)
Kiki is our first trainee and has proven to be a young man who is eager to learn. Lately, he’s been trained in the area of construction and carpentry—and enjoys the work immensely. He comes weekly, is fed a meal, and learns the beginning stages of a trade. He’s learning to weld, saw, paint, and use a tape measure (who knew!) and this guy is SO proud to be learning these skills. Having minimal education hasn’t been a negative either because it’s given Zachery an opportunity to teach him basic mathematical skills and to invest even more in his life.
(Kiki with some members on a team from our sending church in Iowa)
We’re not sure where God is going to take this ministry, but we’re sure excited to be a part of the work He is doing.