There are two dramatically opposing photos I immediately think of whenever I reflect on my first visit to Haiti more than five years ago. One is of the laughing faces of four 9-year-old girls at the School of Hope. They were teasing each other playfully when I stopped them for a photo and they were more than happy to pose for me with their biggest smiles.
The other photo is one I took a day earlier of a boy around 10 who was leaning on a broken wall in a dirt lot next to a school in Simonette, one of the 12 partner villages Mission of Hope works with to build healthy economies, schools, and churches, and people. We were in the courtyard with several dozen children during recess. The boy, one of thousands in Haiti who do not have the privilege of attending school, was watching without moving a muscle. I could see and sense the longing in his eyes and heart to be one of the students playing around my legs.
Right now, American families are flocking to stores to stock up on school supplies for their children. I see them every time I shop and I can’t help but think about these Haitian children. We see education as a right for every child, but in Haiti education is a great privilege. The enrollment rate for primary school in Haiti is only 57%, and fewer than 30% of students reach sixth grade. But…these statistics are not true for children educated in the schools run by Mission of Hope!
If you support Mission of Hope, either through child sponsorship or generally, you are helping to make a classroom seat available for lonely and uneducated children like the little boy I saw watching his peers in Simonette. I’d challenge you not to take this lightly; children in Haiti are severely disadvantaged from birth and a Christ-centered education is a tremendous gift to their daily life and their future. Their opportunity to attend school also blesses parents who might never have attended school themselves as they learn to value and support their children’s education.
Mission of Hope always has a list of children who long to attend school and need a sponsor. Pray about helping. Just $35 per month helps a family with registration and tuition, a daily nutritious meal, teacher training, and a Christ-centered curriculum. Your support provides the way to a future filled with hope for a child. I wouldn’t want any of you to be surrounded by happy school children and look to your left or right and see a child longing to join in as I did. Instead, you might one day attend a high school graduation of 150 Haitian teenagers who are beating the odds—a celebration just like the one Mission of Hope held this spring.