This post was written by our son John. It is cross-posted from his blog, BacktoHaiti.com.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” —Matthew 28:19a
Jesus’ command to make disciples drives everything we at Rehoboth Ministries do in Haiti. We believe that Haiti will never be healthier than the Haitian church. The church in Haiti, in turn, will never rise higher than the level of its leadership. As such, our Bible training institute is at the heart of what we do. Haiti is a country where the Gospel has often gone “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Too often, missionaries have majored on evangelism and mercy ministry to the neglect of the local church. As such, Haitian believers can be woefully under-taught. (This semester, for example, a student of mine who has attended an evangelical church for years was genuinely surprised to learn that Christians have always believed that Jesus was God as well as man.)
As I wrote in February, however, this has been an exceptionally difficult year in the life of our Bible institute. In contrast to previous years, most of our students have been unable to pay their school dues. As a result, Rehoboth Ministries has had to subsidize most of the teachers’ salaries, stretching a ministry budget that even on a good day doesn’t have much give. This isn’t necessarily our students’ fault. The declining value of the Haitian gourde (from 42 to 47, relative to the U.S. dollar, since I moved back in August 2013), coupled with the rising cost of living can make our school’s annual tuition of 9,000 gourdes per year (about $189 USD at the current exchange rate) a steep hill to climb. Every year, the money is worth less. Every year, things cost more.
We don’t like seeing our students go into debt in order to receive Biblical training. As such, we would like to create a series of need- and merit-based scholarships. For $20 per month ($240 per year), you could cover the annual cost of tuition and books for one student. Scholarships could serve as a powerful incentive to academic excellence as well as touching an economic point of need. The availability of scholarships could also give our school (which has twelve students at present) the opportunity to attract more students. Sponsoring a scholarship is easy to do. It can be done in one of two ways:
- Mail a check to: Rehoboth Ministries, P.O. Box 8222, Fayetteville, NC 28311. Make sure to write “BIBLE SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP” on the check. (Due to the fact that PayPal takes a 3% cut of all online donations, we would prefer you use this option if possible.) One hundred percent of what you give will go to covering students’ books and tuition.
- To donate online through PayPal, click here, then click the yellow “Donate” button. Enter the amount you would like to give, then tick the box to make your donation a recurring payment.
Over the next few weeks, I will be posting videos of Bible school students sharing about how God called them to ministry, their experiences at our school, and their hopes for the future. I will also be in the United States for most of the summer (May 19 — August 16). If you are interested in speaking to me personally about this, please leave a comment on this blog or send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would love to hear from you!