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Posted by on Oct 10, 2021 in Community of Southern Haiti, Financial Sustainability, Haiti Ministry, School

Collège Lumière Opens Its Doors with 300+ Students

Despite civil unrest, a global pandemic, an assassination, and an earthquake followed by a tropical storm… we are thrilled to announce that Collège Lumière has opened its doors to its first class of 300+ students.

It’s the first day of school for Sam’s kids at Collège Lumière! These kids from the Glory Glory Center are looking sharp in their new uniforms!!

October 4th, 2021 marked the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL at this premiere private school. Long a dream of Pastor Samuel Metelus, the school’s business plan was written in 2016. Fundraising began immediately thereafter, culminating in an awesome display of generosity by the congregation of Mariners Church at Outreach Weekend in February 2021. That weekend, the school became fully-funded, and the push was on to complete construction in time for the next school year.

In September, prior to the school’s opening, Sam, along with Aunald Raymond & Naomie Desmorne (these three make up the school’s senior administrative team), celebrated with the community at a packed “pre-school” event that welcomed more than 750 children and parents to the site for a tour, games, singing, snacks, and more. The event lasted several days and was a huge success!

Every child who attended Collège Lumière’s “pre-school” fête (party) enjoyed a hefty bowl of rice with chicken.

Nobody loves a big bowl of food more than Sam’s boys (left)! Party-goers included students from kindergarten through 13th grade (right).

Though, Collège Lumière is expected to educate approximately 1,000 students annually, Sam’s first year enrollment is between 300 and 350. This is the perfect number with which to start, in a year marked by instability and uncertainty.

Kids in the Kindergarten enjoy a spaghetti lunch on the porch of their building; for many of these kids, it will be their main meal of the day.

It’s truly a testament to God’s goodness that Collège Lumière is able to welcome any students this fall. 2021 saw its unfair share of challenges!

  • Highway bandits and roadblocks caused repeated delays of both building materials and furnishings.
  • Inflation caused the price of raw materials to increase significantly.
  • COVID greatly slowed the pace of construction.
  • Then the earthquake on August 14th damaged or destroyed thousands of buildings all over the south. Many students and their families were left homeless. (Fortunately, at Sam’s school, only the electrical room caught fire when its solar battery banks collapsed in the earthquake; the room was a total loss, but the rest of the school remained unscathed, thanks to neighbors who formed a bucket brigade to douse the flames.)

Nevertheless, Sam and his team remained faithful, prayer warriors in the USA as well as in Haiti got on their knees, and God worked the magic only He can.

The following photos were taken by Sam in July 2021. Though there are still some items that need to be finished (painted, etc.) or built (like the soccer fields and basketball courts), Collège Lumière is ready for it’s first class of students!

Classrooms and Admin Building at Collège Lumière

View of the Main Classrooms, Administration Building, and Cafeteria as of July 2021 at Collège Lumière.

College Lumiere's Restrooms and Classrooms

View of the Restrooms and Main Classrooms as of July 2021 at Collège Lumière.

College Lumiere Kinder Classrooms

View of the Kindergarten Classrooms and Kindergarten Restroom as of July 2021 at Collège Lumière.

College Lumiere Auditorium

View of the Auditorium (still under construction) as of July 2021 at Collège Lumière.