Haiti Providence University

Haiti Providence University as of January 25, 2012

Rick Reflects

By Rick Ireland, January 25, 2012

I sometimes feel that I am seeing the world of the Bible playing out before my very eyes. This was certainly true a couple of weeks ago as Cookie and I participated in a two day retreat for the leaders of Haiti Providence University. The first day of classes was a week away, and they were trying to put the final touches on being ready for their first class of students. I found myself in the midst of an amazing group of Haitian leaders driven by a vision. Their vision is to transform their nation by providing a college education for men and women who would go on to become leaders in all aspects of Haitian society. Their first class will produce business leaders, nurses, engineers and educators. These Haitian leaders want to do more than give students a good education: they want to develop their students to approach life with a Christian worldview. They believe this is the only hope for Haiti’s future.

If you were to look behind these Haitian leaders, you would see two centuries of struggle. Just in the two years that I have been in Haiti, this struggle has included an earthquake, two hurricanes, political instability and a cholera epidemic. But these leaders were not looking back. If you look around their world, you will see grinding poverty, high unemployment, 50% illiteracy, and on it goes. But they are not looking around. They believe God has called them to a higher task. And with their eyes firmly on Him, they are looking at what they believe can be. I was humbled to even be invited to be in the room.

When you are around people with such vision and passion, it’s dangerous. You just might be infected. They have certainly captured Cookie and me with their vision. We are both teaching this first class of 45 or so Haitian leaders-to-be and are finding them to be bright and highly motivated. Where is God working in your world? One of the mistakes Christians make is to ask God to bless what they want to do. In Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby suggests that a more biblical approach is to see where God is working and join in.

You might be surprised at the impact it could have on your life when you find where God is working, and join the team.

Monday, January 16, was the opening of Haiti Providence University, a Christian university located near the capital, Port-au-Prince. The university offers liberal arts undergraduate degrees in education, business, theology and nursing. Construction on the first building began in December 2010, less than a year after the earthquake that left many Haitians homeless. Pray for university president/rector Jean Marc Zamor (a Free Methodist), the more than 50 university students enrolled, and instructors desiring to apply biblical principles to their lives.


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