By: Devin Vanderpool, Director of Communications
"For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." - Proverbs 2:6
LiveBeyond seeks to relieve oppression through a variety of methods. We provide food and clean water; we care for the injured and the sick; we bind up wounds and provide medicine. But would any of that matter if the people we minister to did not have the knowledge to use clean water? Would the nutritional support we provide in the Maternal Health program be as meaningful if we did not teach expectant mothers that drinking alcohol and smoking could harm their unborn children? Would healing injuries mean as much if our friends did not get the opportunity to learn about the Great Physician?
Education comes in many forms at LiveBeyond:
- LiveBeyond offers weekly teleconferences for locals in personal finance, pastoral training, and agricultural development. We are so thankful for the volunteers that devote an hour of their time each week to uplift those who would otherwise not have access to this knowledge or support.
- Jacklyn Vanderpool and David Johnston offer discipleship training classes to our Haitian staff so that they can learn more about evangelizing to others. Jacklyn is also faithful to evangelizing outside of our typical sphere of influence through the Beans and Rice Evangelism program. (Learn more about that here.) And these labors are not in vain. Americans evangelizing to Haitians is great; but how much more powerful it is to see Haitians evangelizing to Haitians! Our friend Harold continues to set an example for all of us as he makes disciples among his friends and family despite the persecution he faces. (Read about that here.)
- The women in the Maternal Health program learn about caring for themselves and their children during and after their pregnancies. Dr. Vanderpool took great pains to begin this program years ago as one of our first major outreach projects, and it has only grown from there. No longer 60 women meeting each week in a garage, it now provides nutritional support, education, and regular check ups for 275 women each week in the comfort of the LiveBeyond clinic. Tayler Johnston, WHNP, CNM, Director of the Maternal Health program, has expanded the program this year by regularizing postpartum home visits, instituting a hotline for the expectant mothers, and even providing delivery services. I would be remiss if I did not mention the incredible leadership of our Haitian staff member, Gertrude Telus. I love watching her work because you can tell how much the women in the program respect and admire her. (The best is when a mom comes in claiming that her breast milk is spoiled. The fire comes of out Gertrude then as she does everything in her power to convince that momma otherwise - and it always works.)
- The Kè Pou Timoun program offers tutoring opportunities, Bible lessons, ESL classes, and literacy education to over 110 children. Volunteers can show these kids extra attention when they serve on a general mission. These kids all started the program 40% underweight. It has been amazing to watch the transformation in those that have been in the program the longest. (Some of them are even a little chubby!) LiveBeyond's vision includes incorporating our Kè Pou Timoun participants into LiveBeyond's primary school and eventually the secondary school (funding pending). Construction of the primary school began in June of 2017. It will be an American style school, taught in English by Haitian and American teachers to provide the children with the capacity to study for higher degrees. We know the future leaders of Haiti are in the Kè Pou Timoun program! (Everyone who has met Stevenson is sure of that.)
Each of these education efforts is instrumental in raising the quality of life in Thomazeau. And LiveBeyond won't stop there. We are constantly searching for ways to expand our education efforts. We believe that education is a vessel to end the poverty cycle in Thomazeau and all of Haiti.