Up at 5 am, breakfast at 5:30 am, on the road to Lycee National de Petion-Ville School at 6 am, at the front gate at 7 am. No one’s complaining about the tough morning schedule. They’re too eager to meet their new students.
Lycee is a renowned high school. There is a distinguished atmosphere around campus compared to other schools. Just seeing the students’ uniforms, we knew they were a different level of student.
We’re dealing with 10 departments and 10 different superintendents of education. The one in charge of all the west coast schools said to the minister of Haiti that all schools are unable to hold the English Camp because of final exams. The minister replied, “I don’t believe in impossible. We’re on the same path, hand-in-hand, if we both have something precious to offer our students.”
After minister’s words, the superintendent issued a memo to allow English Camp into three public schools. One of those is Lycee National de Petion-Ville School.
The superintendent then declared, “I just sent a letter to three schools. No more short notice. If you come in advance next year, I will mandate English Camp for all public schools.” We can’t wait to see how big IYF English Camp becomes next year.
The students of Lycee National de Petion-Ville School have a lot of passion for learning: they even bring their desks and chairs into the field to study. We asked them about their future.
“I dream of becoming a doctor. Once I do that, I will go to the Republic of Cuba because I was healed through medical support I received there. I really like to try new things, so IYF English Camp is very good opportunity for me. It is hard to find new opportunities at school. I really need IYF English Camp for my future.” –Hebert Lemorin (17) / 2013 IYF English Camp in Haiti participant
Academy Class 1 held a brainstorming session. The topic was about what could make Haiti better. Ideas ranged from education and universities to support for good programs and a clean environment. Students shared their answers and by the end of class, everyone had a dream planted in their hearts.
“I like Haiti. My country is safe and we now know how to share with one another and cooperate. But the problem is, we don’t know how to create a better Haiti. I am good at accounting and would like to become an accountant. But, I just gave up on my dream because nobody helped me. Not even my teachers could show me how to achieve it. Participating the IYF English Camp, my thoughts have changed. I got to know a lot of teachers, as well as the heart of God. I believe I can do it now.” – Heiby Cange (23) / 2013 IYF English Camp in Haiti participant
Through the English Camp, God gave these students teachers who are not only capable of delivering knowledge, but the precious heart of the Gospel. We met one of those teachers who said the following:
“I saw an IYF English Camp poster in the subway station. I took a picture of it with my cell because I wanted to teach English even though I didn’t know anything about IYF. My boyfriend is diplomat and went to Haiti. At that moment, I remembered IYF English Camp. I didn’t see the poster for this year, but I just started browsing IYFUSA.org. Once I knew it was happening this year, but I had some reservations because of my lack of English proficiency. I emailed IYF to ask if I could participate even though my English was not good. They immediately replied to me by email and phone saying it would be fine. Two people came and explained the English Camp to me and I realized that this organization had heart. And here I am, in Haiti, participating in IYF English Camp.
Yesterday I received salvation through a fellowship with a church elder. He explained the Gospel with an example of a son who wanted to commit suicide because of his debt. One day he received a phone call from his father who told him that he paid his debt in full. The son became very happy and free. At that moment, I realized that God’s heart is like that. My heart opened toward God. When I heard that Jesus died on the cross for my sin, I believed it and I received salvation. I felt the heavy burdens I was carrying since for along time disappear. I was so thankful.
I met a girl in front of the library this past March. She was from South Korea. And she told me there was a Bible Seminar with a famous Korean pastor. She talked to me for ten minutes and the last thing she said was that I didn’t have sin. I just thought she was weird. But after having fellowship with the elder, I now understand what she meant. It’s unbelievable what’s happened to me. God was always looking at me and I felt that he wanted me to meet Him.
These are just some of the teachers and students who have gathered at IYF English Camp. At first glance, they seem like ordinary people. But we know when they share each other’s knowledge and their hearts begin to flow together, they can become leaders who can create change. They have already transformed into little stars that will shine on Haiti and the rest of the world. And we’re not even a week in.
More to come from Delmas, Haiti.