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.