purpose

World Changers

I had lunch with a ministry partner today and I shared the vision of the Oasis Project. It has been a while since I last had the opportunity to put words to our goals and our processes, to share my excitement about what we get to be part of in Haiti. It was energizing and encouraging to remember why we do this.

It was three years ago right about now that we began to formalize this dream of helping the youths who aged out of Lifeline continue in their education, have safe housing, and consistent access to food, health care, and other necessities. In that time we have established and adapted our program. We have learned from others who are doing similar work in Haiti. We have exchanged countless WhatsApp messages with students and logged thousands of frequent flier miles in trips to and from Port au Prince. We have learned to trust each other and we have suffered disappointments together. We have set goals, we have revised goals, we have achieved both small and great things.

Through it all these past three years, our vision has remained the same: first, to prepare. To prepare them for life outside of compound walls. A life filled with challenges and temptations and victories and disappointments. A life lived with a sense of purpose and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their community.  Second to equip. To give them the tools and resources and opportunities they need to reach their goals. To become independent. To break the cycle of children orphaned due to poverty. To positively impact their families and their communities for Christ.

This process is slow. It takes time to create systemic change. It’s difficult to be patient and wait. It’s difficult for us working here in America. It’s difficult for these young adults wanting to get on with their lives in Haiti. But as I look back today, I am encouraged by the progress that has been made and I have hope for the future. Because I know these kids and they are world-changers.

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History

Why another ministry in Haiti?

Haiti Lifeline Ministries began serving in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, in the early 2000’s. Their purpose was to support the orphanage director in the work she was already doing at Centre Children International. They would send down grain from their own farms and support the creche financially from their own pockets. But as the word spread, the ministry grew, and so did the children. People began to wonder and worry, asking, “What happens to these children when they leave the orphanage? Where do they go? How do they eat? Or finish school?”

For years we were unable to answer that question confidently. We knew that Nicole did her best to provide safe places for the children to go once they were too old to stay, but her time and resources are limited, like everyone’s. But Oasis was created to be an answer to that question.

At Oasis we want to take away the burden of wondering how school will be paid for, or rent, or groceries. The relief these young adults feel is evident on their faces when they know that their basic needs will be met each month and they are freed up to focus on their education and their spiritual growth – two of our primary objectives. Students are also trained in goal-setting, budgeting, and other important life skills.

It is our desire to graduate young adults who are firmly rooted in Christ, properly trained in a profession that is applicable in Haiti, equipped with real-life skills, and emotionally whole, ready to impact their family, their community, and their country for Christ.

purpose

Our Purpose

For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 44:3

Empowering the youth of Lifeline is an important step in the transition process for children who have grown up at Lifeline. While the crèche does its best to provide a safe, nurturing atmosphere for all of the children there, the facility and staff lack the capacity and ability to fulfill all of the societal duties and roles that would traditionally be passed on within a family unit. Equipping youth to interact with the world outside of the home, fostering relationships with extended family, fellow church members, and neighbors, as well as preparing him or her to function independently are all essential steps in the transition process. The Oasis Project seeks to support our students in obtaining each of these critical skills during their time in our program, preparing them to impact their communities from a place of wholeness and strength.