Beginning in 1791 with a voodoo ritual referred to as the Boukman ceremony, in which Haitian slaves invoked Satanic help to obtain their independence from the French, Haiti has languished in a perpetual state of disarray. The revolutionaries sought to obtain liberty through an alliance with the forces of evil and the net result is they have been enslaved by fear, poverty, and ignorance for generations. Dictators, one after the other, have exploited the people by keeping them poor and ignorant. Educated and professional Haitians disappeared under Papa Doc Duvalier. In recent years, Democracy has brought a bit of light to this situation, but still an uneducated population understands little of the operation of government and can be easily duped and manipulated.
The church has long encouraged education by providing parochial schools and it is the church still that values people and believes that the transforming power of God can change the vicious cycle. These schools were largely confined to the mainland of Haiti. The island of La Gonave, at roughly 35 miles long and 18 miles wide located just 11 miles off Haiti’s western shore, is the largest of several “satellite” islands. The remoteness of the island is manifest in an even lower literacy rate. It was to the island of La Gonave that my brother, Rev. Matt Baugh, was called by the OPC as a missionary evangelist. One of Matt’s greatest challenges was trying to teach scriptural doctrine to many who could barely read. For this reason, he had hoped that the planted churches would also establish Christian schools that would provide a solid education for future church leaders. After Matt’s death, God provided another missionary evangelist to resume his work, and our family has caught Matt’s vision to establish these schools.
The Lord has blessed the effort, and to date there are four schools teaching 195 students. Most Haitians have had some exposure to the age of technology whether it be satellite TV or internet and have seen how the rest of the world lives. They are beginning to value and seek education so that they and their children can have better lives.
Trinity Grace Church has made the decision to support the effort on La Gonave. The Missions Committee voted unanimously to approve funding for the upcoming Teacher Training that is scheduled for August. We had 20 teachers last year, donations this year allowed us to increase that number to 25. During training the 25 teachers will meet for a week long seminar aimed to encourage and teach them how to be more effective in teaching the children.
Please continue to pray for this work as we remember the words of Christ found in Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” What encouragement we have in knowing that our Christ has been given ALL authority by God the Father. May God raise up children from within these schools that share the HOPE found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing that He WILL continue to build his church, and the gates of hell will NOT prevail against it, we look forward in eager expectation to what the Lord has in store.