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March 2005 Report:

Giving Hope and a Future…

By Our Special Correspondent

The words of Jeremiah 29:11, in which the Lord promises to accomplish his plans giving hope and a future to the “exiled,” seem very poignant when one visits a devastated country like Haiti. A nation once ruled by foreign powers, then cruel dictators and the voodoo religion, Haiti is now in the throes of great change. The present upheaval is providing some significant opportunities for the expansion of God’s kingdom there and for a brighter future for the whole nation. After President Aristide was overthrown the new interim Prime Minister/President, challenged the people to rebuild and to make a habit of reading their Bibles – an astounding harbinger of hope.

As you may know over one million children  representing 60% of all Haitian students, are in evangelical Christian schools. Those numbers are unparalleled in any other nation. The vision has clearly been caught by growing numbers of Haitian believers who see hope for their country in a generation of Christian school graduates. But what about their teachers? Most lack higher or even high school education themselves and nearly all are incapable of obtaining some essential teaching resources due to the nation’s economic devastation. Nevertheless they press on. But they need our help with teacher training and with the provision of school resources--immediately as well as long term. That is our mandate.

For eight years eastern Canada member schools have been training and equipping Haitian teachers and students. In February 2005, Joyce Baker, Connie Mycroft, Ginny and Mark Kennedy led conferences in Port au Prince and Cap-Haitien. Connie and Joyce also spoke at conferences in the Dominican Republic. As a result of a ‘chance’ meeting with the head of 163 Christian schools in and around Gonaives and a billet with a Haitian business man’s family, we have invitations to train teachers in two more areas in the near future. Though the climate and the bugs may not always be ideal, ACSI Eastern Canada’s leadership continues to have an overwhelming sense of urgency for Haiti “because a great door for effective work has opened to us” (I Cor. 16:9) – we feel we dare not miss this chance!

Plans are currently underway with Haitian leaders for an ACSI Teacher Certificate programme to be started soon. Haitian leaders have expressed deep gratitude to ACSI for the student supply bags donated this year by Canadian ACSI students (about 750 of them) and the special offerings towards emergency relief in Gonaives. As we look to the future we continue to urge heads of schools and principals in Eastern Canada to seek God’s will regarding their school’s involvement in providing basic supplies, teacher resources, personnel and funds while this door is open. Your help is essential for this work to go forward. We urge you to continue to pray for Haiti, for the Certification programme - and for your partnership with us. Remember Jeremiah 29:11-14!

For more information about ACSI Haiti, contact

ACSI Eastern Canada Contact Information

Regional Director: acsiec@sympatico.ca  Webmaster: admin@acsiec.org

Phone:   705.728.7344   Fax:705. 728.4401

Mailing Address:  1 Wenden Crt. RR#2  Minesing, ON L0L 1Y2  Canada

A member of the Independent School Associations of Ontario

and the Canadian Council of Christian Charities