Together with emergency funds and Gifts with Vision, our gifts to Mission & Service enabled us to build a church-run high school in Haiti.
The opening of a new secondary school in Duplan, in the hills above Port-au-Prince, was the high point of celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the Église Méthodiste en Haïti (Methodist Church in Haiti) in February 2017. The United Church of Canada financed 80 percent of the cost of building the seven-room structure following the massive earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, destroying or damaging many schools and churches and killing between 225,000 and 300,000 people.
The shiny yellow building housing the new secondary school is bursting with 215 students and 19 staff. Already, Edzaire Paul, who heads up the Methodist school system, is dreaming of adding computer and science labs, as well as a playing field so students don’t have to compete with motorbikes as they play soccer on the dusty road near the school.
Education was the church’s calling card to Haiti. In 1817, the first president of the Republic of Haiti authorized the first Protestant missionaries to come to the island nation on the understanding that their work would include providing schooling in the newly formed country. Today, the Methodist Church runs a system of 105 primary schools, 15 high schools, and a teachers’ college, as well as three vocational schools. With children in some areas travelling two hours by foot over rocks and boulders to get to school—sometimes without having had breakfast—the need for a major investment in education is clear. Mission & Service makes these schools accessible to families with limited incomes, an important investment in the future of Haiti.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.