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Posted by on Nov 19, 2020 in Community of Southern Haiti, Financial Sustainability, Haiti Ministry

Significant Progress Made at Collège Lumière

Despite the setbacks that Covid has brought to the world this year, the Collège Lumière school project in Haiti has taken giant steps forward, thanks in large part to the determination and perseverance of Pastor Samuel and his team, our ministry volunteers stateside, and the generosity of Mariners Church and others! 

For ease of reading, I’ve broken this recap into topics, under which you’ll find detailed information and photos. Just click on a section to read it. The post concludes with three images that detail the school’s construction, from then to now to what’s to come. Enjoy the recap!

What's Collège Lumière? A quick reminder.

Collège Lumière is the embodiment of Pastor Samuel Metelus’ dream to inspire Haiti’s young people to learn and grow to become Haiti’s future leaders and effective agents of change.

This school will provide an exceptional education for more than 1,000 students, including Pastor Sam’s 50+ kids. Revenue generated by the school will financially sustain the kids’ forever home (Glory Glory Center) and Pastor Sam’s church (Communauté de Gloire), 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’s imperative that the school be completed.

Sam’s kids are growing up! We first met these kids 10 years ago when they came into Sam’s care following the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, their hometown, in January 2010.

Status of the school today

Thanks to the generosity of Mariners Church and a number of private donors, the school is looking great! It’s come a long way since 2016, which is when Sam purchased the 7.5 acre future school property along Rte. 2 outside Les Cayes. 

Prior to the school, the site was home to cows and goats. This photo was taken in August 2017.

Today, much has been built and more is being built. For a detailed breakdown, view the slides 1 & 2 at the bottom of this blog post (click to enlarge them!).

There’s still more to come (slide 3), for which we’re currently fundraising. We need a total of $400,000 to complete construction of the remaining buildings, which include the library, science building, and sports facilities.

If you or anyone you know is interested in giving financially to this project, please visit our Give page for details and links.

By September 2019, the kindergarten building and the main classroom building (pictured) were under construction. This photo was taken during out last in-person visit.

 

Covid caused only minor setbacks

In April 2020, we received word from Sam that he and his team were ready to begin registering students for kindergarten through 5th grade for a September 2020 partial opening.

Unfortunately, that plan was derailed by Covid. Thankfully, Haiti hasn’t seen the high case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths that other countries have experienced, but they did experience a significant country-wide shut down that closed schools and churches and brought work to a halt. According to Pastor Sam, Port-au-Prince was most affected, with the rural south largely escaping the pandemic.

Schools and churches have since reopened and construction has resumed. Sam’s goal is to fully open the school in September 2021.

35kw solar system installed

We’re super excited about the solar opportunity that came along unexpectedly this year!

One of our volunteers put us in touch with Let’s Share the Sun Foundation, which facilitates the use of solar energy in poor communities throughout the world to enhance the quality of life of those communities. Unbeknownst to us, one of their leaders was on one of the very first trips Mariners Church took to Haiti immediately following the earthquake, so when we brought up Pastor Samuel’s name, he said, “Yeah! I know him.” What?!

Let’s Share the Sun put us in touch with one of their trusted installers who helped us outfit the school with a 35kw system spread out over 11,000 sq. ft. of rooftop, which will power the entire school. The installation included inverters and batteries so Sam will be able to capture and store the sun’s energy for future use. It’s an incredible solution, paid for in part by a $20,000 grant from the Noll Foundation.

Mounted on the 2nd story roof of the main classroom building, this solar system will provide energy to the entire school site.

This 35kw system was paid for, in part, by a generous grant from the Noll Foundation.

What's needed to finish the school

We need to raise $400,000 to see Collège Lumière to completion. That will pay for the science building, library, and sports facilities, which is all that remain to be funded.

Do you want to hear some great news? We have a $35,000 grant lined up! We just need to raise $125,000 of our $400,000 goal for it to be released to us.

This is so exciting! But we need your help. If you or anyone you know would be interested in contributing to the construction of the school, this is the time to do it. Help us get this grant! Visit our Give page for details and links.

$35k grant is ours! With your help 🤍

Though we need a total of $400,000 to finish this project, if we can raise just $125,000 in the next couple of months, we will receive $35,000 from a local foundation, which has awarded us a grant for the construction of the library at College Lumière.

This is so exciting! But we need your help. If you or anyone you know would be interested in contributing to the construction of the school, this is the time to do it. Help us get this grant! A special link to give has been created, but it will expire December 10th! This is a PushPay link that has been set up for us by Mariners Church.

PRAY | GIVE | GO

PRAY — Our friends in Haiti can always use our prayers! Pray for Pastor Samuel, his ministry team, the 50+ kids at the Glory Glory Center and the House Moms who care for them. Pray for the school project, that it will be fully funded and construction completed in time for school to open in its entirety in September 2021. Pray that Haiti will see an end to political unrest, fuel shortages, and food insecurity, which are all constant threats. And pray for our ministry team here in the USA, that we can continue to partner with Sam from abroad, without getting to visit our dear friend in person!

GIVE — If you feel called to give financially, please visit our Give page for details. Our biggest priority, right now, is to fully fund the school project, which requires $400,000 for the few items remaining, including the science building, library, and sports facilities.

GOJust not today. Unfortunately, we won’t be leading any faith adventures to Haiti until the Covid pandemic is under control. But we’d love to have you join us in the future 🙂

View the videos!

The last time we were in Haiti (September 2019), construction of the school was well underway. Two videos, shot during that trip, capture the building and dedication of the kindergarten playground and the overall vision for the school, as described in detail by pastors Sam and Geiger.

Playground (viewing time: 3 minutes)

Vision (viewing time: 11 minutes)

The following “slides” were created for Awaken: Wonder, an event sponsored by Mariners’ Women’s Ministry just last night (11/19/20).

For almost a decade, the women of Mariners Church have embraced Pastor Samuel and Haiti as their focus for global outreach. They have generously raised funds at their annual holiday gatherings to support a multitude of projects in Haiti, including the construction of Collège Lumière.

Our thanks go out to Kathy Baab, one of our amazing volunteers who hosted last night’s Haiti Table at Awaken!