November 18th, 2010 at 10:34 am
DALLAS – Texas Baptists have the opportunity to change a life and in the process help shape the direction of a nation.
Texas Baptists has partnered with Siloe Baptist School in Grande-Guave, spearheading an effort where individuals and groups can send impoverished Haitian children to a Christian school for $15 a month. The funds pay for a student’s books, tuition, uniform, backpack and supplies.
As it does around the globe, education changes lives, said Bill Arnold, who leads Texas Baptists’ disaster response efforts. Schooling opens numerous doors for people to pull themselves out of the poverty that dominates the nation. In essence, Texas Baptists have an opportunity change Haiti’s future one student at a time.
“God continues calling our attention to the people of Haiti,” Arnold said. “He calls us to reach out with compassion. This is an opportunity to do just that.”
Students at the Siloe Baptist School crave an education, Arnold said, and private schools like it are critical to educating young people. Private and church-run schools educate 90 percent of students. Christian schools in particular, like Siloe Baptist School, provide one of the few education opportunities for impoverished young people.
The Siloe Baptist School is located in Grand-Guave, an area outside Port-Au-Prince where Texas Baptists have focused their disaster response efforts. The convention is seeking to carry out a multifaceted holistic ministry that addresses a variety of needs.
Disaster response funds will help pay for Haitians to dig two water wells, which should prove to be well-timed and critical to help of area residents, Arnold said. Recently, a cholera outbreak hit several regions of Haiti, killing roughly 450 people and hospitalizing another 7,000.
Hurricane Tomas hit the edges of the country Nov. 5, flooding some regions. The intense storm could foster a wet environment in which cholera thrives.
“Access to clean water is one of the basic needs for healthy living,” Arnold said. “In the midst of a cholera epidemic, access becomes even more critical. By helping supply the funds for these wells, Texas Baptists are helping prevent the spread of disease and sharing the hope of Christ in a fundamental way – meeting a physical need that will enable us to share the gospel as well.”
Texas Baptists continues facilitating mission trips for people who want to serve there. The convention has helped medical professionals, Texas Baptist Men volunteers and church teams minister in a variety of ways. It has helped provide water filters that provide clean drinkable water.
For more information about Texas Baptist disaster response efforts, visit www.texasbaptists.org/disaster. For more information about sponsoring a Haitian student, visit www.texasbaptists.org/changealife. Information also can be attained by calling 888-244-9400.