You've been hearing from me a lot in recent weeks, but I promise I'll let Kate back on here soon. Today, I wanted to talk to you about the construction seminar that I mentioned a couple weeks back. We are calling it the "Séminaire de Construction des Caraïbes." Which is French for the Caribbean Construction Seminar. (People speak Haitian Creole here, but French is still the norm for anything even semi-official. Hence our use of French for the title and most documents for the school.)
Here are some of the decisions the staff and I have made thus far before I share with you the heart and reason for the school:
The primary reason we are having only 10 students is because we want this school to be small enough to feel like a family. We really feel that our impact will be the greatest by being able to personally disciple and mentor each of the young men. A school that is too large will make the feel much more institutionalized and might mean students fall through the cracks.
So the family feel partially explains the heart of the school but not fully.
Even in Haiti, young men (and ladies for that matter) often end up in a state of limbo or feeling lost after school is finished. Maybe they are still living at home, or don't have a job, or don't really know what to do with their lives. It is a state of confusion that can keep young men from growing and maturing into God's will for them. It is a difficult thing to explain in words, but you can see and feel it. Personally, I know what that is like and I've seen it in other young men.
I'm so grateful for the men God put in my life who helped me traverse that time. But it wasn't that they told me what I should do. It was that they took the time to involve me in their work. Remodeling a basement, building a fence, or even just stacking wood. By teaching me all those little practical skills they opened the door to speak on much greater heart topics.
That is exactly what we are recreating during this school.
We will be teaching practical skills that will give these young men the opportunity to earn a living, and through that we will be able to speak with much greater authority on their character, purpose, and relationship with God to absolutely change their lives.
That is the true heart of the school.
We've been blessed to already have two professionals from Pennsylvania contact me about coming down to teach on estimation, layout, concrete, and masonry. That has been an answer to my prayer. My background in civil engineering means I can certainly teach on those topics, but not with the same power of someone who lays concrete and block as a regular part of their day.
To be honest though, one prayer that has yet to be answered is the financial side of the school. We need $15,000 to be able to run this school well, and there have been a few people already willing to help, but no concrete numbers yet. (Couldn't help but put the "concrete" pun in there!) The cost breakdown is below:
$1,400 - Flights and lodging for speakers, and translator
$600 - Lunch for all 10 guys for a full 6 weeks
$3,000 - Tools! (You can never have too many, but what we are wanting to do is actually supply each student with the basic hand tools for concrete and masonry at the beginning of the school, let them use the tools during the school, and then give them to the students after graduation!)
$10,000 - Construction materials. We are looking at a few different options for building projects that will allow the students to practice, but will also serve as a practical structure after completion either on campus or in the community.
If you feel led to give, then please let me know! Checks can be sent to:
PO Box 236
Akron, PA 17501
Please put a separate note that says your donation is for the construction school.
You can also give online over at our donation page. If you choose to give online, would you please shoot me an email or text saying that you did. Just so that I know your donation is specifically for the construction school instead of general use.
Those of you in the Pueblo area can also give via cash/check to Family Worship Center, with a separate note saying it is for the Fishers construction school.
All of the above options are totally tax deductible! (Even though you probably don't want to be thinking about taxes right now.)
There are a number of ways to get a hold of me:
719-582-5610 (A US based number that will allow you to call or text us without pesky international charges.)
If you are reading this on our website, you can leave a comment below.
If you are reading this via email, just reply to that email and it will come straight to us.