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Hope for Haiti #Haiti Trip 3

Three eight year old children on a school bench in the blistering heat of the Haitian midday sun. They are being very patient as I ask them about their dreams for the future.

If you were to ask a group of 8 year olds in the UK, what would you expect to hear?
“I want to play for Manchester United…?”
“I want to be on X factor…?”
“I want to be a film star…?”
In the blazing midday sun.
Daniel tells me he wants to be a soldier so he can serve his country.
Jennifer tells me she wants to be a doctor so she can help children.
Finally Marie tells me that she wants to be a Gynocologist.
Now first, I didn’t even know what a Gynocologist was when I was 8 years old.
Second where did this civic vision come from?
I am listening to a 23 students in a leadership development programme that Compassion run in Haiti. Its a fantastic programme helping Christian young people from impoverished backgrounds have the opportunity to study at university. With only 2% of Haitians having the opportunity to study this is a significant investment into the future of Haiti. The Compassion young scholars are explaining why they are studying the subjects they are just beginning to study at Univeristy. as each one of these teenagers take the podium we hear that one wants to study law to defend the rights of children, another wants to be a diplomat to help Haiti get back on its feet.. On and on they go each student so confident in their vocation so clear in their Vision.
“I want to help change the education system of Haiti.”
“I want to sponsor children.”
“I want to bring justice to the legal system”

The Challenge for student ministry

I have been doing student ministry in the UK since I was a student in 1991 and I am struggling to think of a time that I have heard a UK student express sentiments like this. I can think of three possibilities:
  1. I have been speaking to the wrong students or haven’t been listening hard enough
  2. It’s just not the British thing to say these sort of things- they are thinking it on the inside but can’t articulate it this way
  3. Students are not thinking vocationally or at least not on this kind of scale
Yes there are exceptions to the rule : teachers, doctors, nurses and law students all seem to know what they want to be when they graduate but still do not talk about changing the world. I have tried to help university students think through their calling and having been challenged by the Haitian young people I am challenged to try much harder in the future. I had the opportunity to meet the head of the IFES movement in Haiti and their building was destroyed in the earthquake. My French is pretty poor but somehow her infectious enthusiasm for the students of Haiti is getting through to me. She believes the students are the future for changing Haiti and is working tirelessly to help them make an impact.
EUGENE Itazienne Secrétaire Générale Associée Du Groupe Biblique des Ecoles et des Universités d’Haïti (GBEUH)
Haiti has some amazing children and young people investing in their future seems a fantastic strategy to change the country and the world. Lets get alongside them in prayer and offer our support to help them make a difference.

 


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