On our second medical mission trip to Haiti, we met Stephanie Alexandre. Since then, we have provided a scholarship for her education at the OFCB school in Bayonnais. She is nine, in second grade and her favorite subject is reading. She wants to be a nurse. Stephanie is typical of children in Bayonnais: Happy, with bright faces and loving arms. Education in the area was non-existent until the late 1990s. Now the 1,700 children and adults at the OFCB school are preparing themselves for the future. Most depend on sponsors for their education, uniform, books and one meal a day. The people of Bayonnais, even without adequate food, electricity and sometimes shoes and clean water, are happy people who show their love for us and God. Through this ministry, we think of Luke 12:48 - To whom much is given, much is expected.
Nick and Darlene Beard, Charlotte, NC
I started sponsoring Merlines education in 2010. She is 13 and in second grade. I send her small packages of girlie things – jewelry, pocketbooks, hair accessories, dolls and the like. Merline wants to be a nurse. Her favorite food is rice, and she loves playing soccer. She walks 30 minutes to school and thanks me profusely for paying her tuition. She prays for me in church regularly.
Juanita Efird, Charlotte, NC
I have provided a scholarship for Jonalie Simeon for 3 1/2 years. It has truly been a blessing. I am touched by his letters and his gratitude for the opportunity to attend school. I chose him from a group of photographs of children needing a scholarship, and his somber expression tore at my heart. His parents are both deceased, an he now lives with his aunt and uncle.
Marsha Rexford, Charlotte, NC
After the scholarship began, I started hearing from Agneau. He is 13 now, in third grade, the youngest of seven children. He lives in a stone hut with a tin roof. His father is a farmer, his mother deceased. He walks 15 minutes to get to school in Nicolas. Last autumn, I went on our church mission to Bayonnais, Haiti. I was able to meet Agneau on our last morning. He was hesitant at first, but broke into a big smile when I told him who I was. We talked through an interpreter. He seemed slight for 13, and clearly had just shot up by the look of his trousers. What an eager appearance he had, what a bright smile. To see him, hug him and remind him that he and his family are cared for was a life experience. There is so much to be done to help our country and our world, how can this possibly make a difference? It is making a difference to Agneau.
Mary Cappleman, Charlotte, NC
We have been blessed to provide a scholarship for a child. Our son, Matthew Daniels, told us about this opportunity. Our child displays the joy of childhood and also the struggle she goes through to attend school, walking three miles to get there. I continue to send her hair bows etc., and love seeing her smile as she wears them.
Bunny Daniels, Charlotte, NC
I provide a scholarship for Instant Derisma, who turned 19 on January 1. He is in eighth grade and walks two hours to school. Instant wants to be an engineer. I am so committed to supporting this school that I got my Sunday School class to provide scholarships for five students. I went to Bayonnais to be a blessing and ended up being blessed beyond belief.
Sandy Hieronymus , Charlotte, NC
I was so fortunate to go to Bayonnais on a mission trip 3 years ago, spending time with Actionnel, and the lovely people in Haiti. I feel honored to support Abellanda, after seeing first hand the school, community, church and getting to know the children and adults living and teaching there. God certainly touched my heart in so many ways; mostly through the kids going to school there! One of these days, I hope to go back!
Susan Davis, Matthews UMC