I had traveled to Haiti by myself to begin construction of our new school. A very exciting adventure for us personally and for the ministry.
When the Lord first brought us to Balan we had no idea we would have a school and a church. We knew early on that we would have a medical clinic as that need was obvious to us, but a school was not in the plans. I must say that for me this is something that brings me so much excitement and joy. We had some reservations about how the other schools might respond as our new school means no support from us for their schools but we felt this was the direction we were supposed to be moving.
When I arrived in the village I was having a conversation about the new school with some of the women and children in the village. One of our cooks at the Salvation Army was concerned that all the children would want to come to our school and that would hurt the other schools. We informed her that we are only enrolling 25 children per class so that would not be a problem.
I had traveled with a few of the children we sponsor to their school just outside Balan and when I got there the headmaster asked me to come meet with him. We have sponsored about 25 children for secondary education at this school. They had asked us in the fall to sponsor more but we told them that was all we had the ability to sponsor. I walked into the office where the headmaster and another man were. I was in a remote part of the village without a translator. The headmaster told me that he was disappointed to hear that we would not be continuing our sponsorship. I immediately began feeling uncomfortable and was sensing that I had not walked in to a good situation. He told me that I needed to pay for the additional children. I told him we never committed to sponsor additional children and that we had paid for everyone we were going to sponsor. He continued to insist that I pay for the other children and that it was my responsibility. They were asking me for $1,037 US dollars. I told him that was not the agreement and he said it was my responsibility. I told him I didn’t have any money and that I would see what I could do as a way to get out of there. He said, “I pray to God you get the money” and this was said in a very threatening way. I knew I needed to leave immediately.
I got back to our property in Balan and told Ken, our driver, what had happened. I called Scott and told him that I was very uncomfortable and that we needed to pay them so that we would not cause any problems in the future. Ken went to the school and took them $250 US dollars and told them we would wire the additional money. Ken made it clear that this would be the final money that we would be giving them.
This situation made me begin to question our decision to start a school.
On the plane ride home I was reading in the new testament. I felt a prodding to stop reading and I asked the Lord what I should read. I was expecting a leading to a book of the bible but instead I heard the Lord say, “Deuteronomy 3:18”. It caught be off guard but I eagerly turned to find out what the verse said and the voice of the Lord leaped off the pages of my bible as I read, 18 “And I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The Lord your God has given you this land to possess. 22 You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’
God used His written word to clearly communicate a message to me that we were walking in His will and that we did not have to fear man. Our God is so good and He Reigns!