In the midst of fear and confusion over COVID-19, Haiti stands as a stark reminder that overcoming in the middle of uncertainty is possible by the grace of God.
Haiti is a country of resilient people.
Children and adults who have experienced unprecedented poverty, increased scarcity, and political corruption—yet continue to press on. But it isn’t easy. Almost 60% of people in Haiti live on an income that is less than $2 each day, and about 60-70% of Haitian people don’t have a job. In recent days, political protests have shut down the transportation system, destroyed businesses, and closed schools.
As Asnel shares in this video, prayer and support from people like you are the reason students—like him—can go to school and gain the skills and education that will give them hope and a future.
Take a look—
Asnel is 22 years old and is currently in 11th grade. As a child, Asnel didn’t have access to education, so his parents made the unthinkably hard decision to send him to live in an orphanage so that he might have the best chance of getting an education.
In Haiti, this is not an uncommon decision for parents. Without access to public education, they have only one choice: pay for private school. But with extremely limited resources, most parents cannot pay for school tuition, school fees, and school supplies.
As a result, 32,000 children living in Haitian orphanages, 80 percent have at least one parent who is alive but who cannot provide for their education.
While orphanages can provide care and schooling, they are not what children need most—family.
An invitation that changed everything
Unfortunately, while the orphanage where Asnel lived took care of him and met his needs, the school days were very short, and the orphanage was unable to provide 11th grade. So when the opportunity was presented to Asnel to attend Lifesong Christian School—just in time to enter 11th grade—he accepted.
According to Asnel, when he moved into the Family Life Residences on campus, everything changed. He receives three meals a day, a secure place to live, and a quality education. His house parents love him and treat him with compassion and kindness.
Recently, the house parents spent time teaching the students about budgets and spending—real-life issues they’ll face after graduation. Using “Lifesong dollars,” the students shopped on their own, chose what they needed to buy, and practiced staying within a personal budget. The students loved this activity and learned from it.
In Asnel’s words—
I like the way they care for us—the way they watch out for us.”
Living in the Family Life Residence Home has given Asnel more time and opportunity to study, and it enables him to learn more about God. In his words, “Since I’ve been living at Lifesong, God has helped me to know Him more.”
Asnel is one example of what happens when students in Haiti are reached with the Gospel and the love of Christ. Nearly half the population of Haiti is children, and many of them don’t have hope of a future. As many as three-quarters of Haitians are unemployed, and as much as 75% of Haiti’s people live in poverty.
Before the protests began, 70% of kids in Haiti didn’t attend school regularly. And when they did come to school, they would often sit and wait for teachers who wouldn’t arrive. With recent protests, that number has grown.
But people like you are reaching students like Asnel and giving him the education and the tools to break the cycle of poverty and become a leader in his community.
Thank you for being part of stories like this one.
Together, let’s reach more students in Haiti for the glory of God.