To The Least of These

BWinter 2017 - To the Least of Theseoth Église Baptiste Emmanuel de l’Ouest de l’Île and FAIR (Fellowship Aid and International Relief) have been blessed to be direct witnesses of what God has done in the past six years with the Grace in Action – Haiti project. Fellowship churches and individual donors this past fall have generously given $6,930 to allow this project to move to a new level of self-sustainability. Thank you for your support!

I can’t recall how many testimonies we’ve received about the difference the feeding program makes in the lives of the students who receive a daily meal, the number is too great. It’s a major church ministry, as the students (many from families that don’t go to church) receive daily Bible teaching.

This program couldn’t exist without the true and engaged mobilization of the local community. Although the program is funded largely from Canadian sources, it is run mainly through a local volunteer force, so the funds we send are used almost exclusively to purchase food.

When this initiative started in 2009, the program was serving 450 children three times a week during the first semester. Over the years, Emmanuel’s ability to contribute was reduced from $0.30 US per meal to $0.12 – that’s a reduction of 60%! However, through local engagements and by God’s grace, the school has been able to increase capacity, providing a daily meal for the last seven years. For almost two years the program has been serving over 650 people – students and teachers – daily.

Teachers, church elders and the school director have all seen major improvements in student success. The director claims that since the program launched, students are performing well beyond the regional  average in their year-end national exams.

For many years, Salem Christian School was the only school that didn’t have a feeding program for their students; now they are one of the few schools in the region that provides a daily meal. This emphasizes the importance of the Hungry Stomachs project and its goal to make this program sustainable for the current and future generations. The establishment of a garden is such a practical way of creating self-sustainability, and can be an additional teaching opportunity for the kids! Since the garden will be located beside the school yard, it can be built into the school curriculum. This presents a powerful means to increase the opportunities to involve and influence these kids and teachers, showing them how precious and important agriculture can be. The feeding program has been such a “grace” in action from God, and we’re so blessed that He gives us the opportunity and privilege to participate in making this program sustainable.

Here’s the testimony of the school Director, Brother Ederis: 

Over the past five years we have been privileged to have our brothers and sisters from Canada that support the daily food program at our school. We offer our deep thanks to the brothers and sisters from Emmanuel Church, and to all the others that I don’t know, for contributing to the progress of this ministry. It is a true ministry for us that is very much appreciated; this is why we are praying God to bless all of you from Canada that contribute to this ministry. You can’t understand the difference it makes in the life of the kids. The students are working and learning way better than before, so the teachers too have more strength to teach. A big, big thanks again to our brothers and sisters in Canada!” 

Since September 2009, the Grace in Action feeding program has served over 516,500 meals by God’s grace!

Norman Nielsen is Associate Director of FAIR (Fellowship Aid and International Relief).