Faith Adventure Team Dedicates New School Site
“We are humbled and honored to stand with you in the support of the building of a sustainable school… We stand with you in prayer as you continue the real hard work and labor of love, by being salt and light in this world. We honor and bless you.” —Christian Mungai, Global Outreach Pastor, Mariners Church to Pastor Samuel Metelus, Communauté de Gloire, Haiti.
Included in the email that delivered these words to Pastor Samuel on March 7, 2017 was confirmation that $260,000 had been wired to Port-au-Prince for the purpose of purchasing 7.5 acres of land in southern Haiti upon which Sam could start building the premier private school that he and his team have been dreaming about for years. Some of the money was generously donated by members of the congregation. The rest was a magnanimous gift from the church in support of the first-of-its-kind strategic sustainability plan from one of its global partners.
Since 2010, Mariners’ Haiti Ministry has been working side-by-side with Samuel to rebuild after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince. In that time, we have helped build a “forever home” for 55 children who were orphaned in the quake, launched a church which now has upwards of 350 members, created jobs through a “piggery” and other sustainability initiatives, and provided disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Now, we’re helping our partner to build a school that will provide an exceptional education for more than 1,000 students, including Pastor Sam’s 55 kids. Revenue generated by the school will financially sustain the orphanage and the church, eliminating their need to rely on Mariners Church for support, while also providing for countless outreach initiatives in the local community.
Since its inception, the Glory Glory Center has relied 100% on donations from the United States. With monthly expenses of $6,800, the cost of caring for the Glory Glory Center’s 50+ children (including food, clothing, shelter, house parent care & support, electricity & clean water, school fees, books & uniforms, routine medical/dental care, physical safety & security, consistency & nurturing, skills training & leadership development, and spiritual discipleship) is $81,600 per year. With each passing year since the earthquake, it has become more difficult for Sam’s foreign partners to raise the funds necessary to sustain the center, which is why it is imperative that Samuel identify a means of generating enough income to render the center financially self-sustaining.
Just last week, a faith adventure team from Mariners had the extraordinary opportunity to be the first team to visit the land in Torbeck which Pastor Samuel acquired in April. Led by Lead Pastor Kyle Zimmerman, the group held hands and prayed over the land, claiming it for God’s glory, asking God to protect the land and all the children who will one day attend school there, and praying for wisdom and fortitude for all (Haitians and Americans) who will be involved in the (likely lengthy) process of turning a strategic plan for a K–Grade 13 school into a reality.
A Greater Vision for Haiti
When Pastor Samuel accepted God’s call to raise 52 children after the quake, it was part of an even larger, God-inspired vision to influence the only generation that Samuel believes can change Haiti…its youth. Recognizing that true change can only come from within, Pastor Samuel is committed to creating opportunities for Haiti’s young people to learn and to grow to become effective agents of change. His goal is to empower Haiti’s youth with the ability to think critically and creatively to solve problems, to convince them to remain in Haiti rather than join the Diaspora, and to encourage them to commit to making a difference—economically, socially, spiritually, politically—in their own homes, churches, communities, and—ultimately—their country.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.” —Nelson Mandela, Former South Africa President & Nobel Peace Prize Awardee