In May our CIDM staff and leadership team hosted our first Principal Appreciation Dinner for the high school principals in the Jacmel area. Our purpose was to thank them for partnering with us as they allow CIDM to teach Bible classes in their schools. Even though many of the principals are not Christians, we are thankful they realize the importance of bible classes in their school.
We shared CIDM’s vision, our heart for the Haitian youth and how these are Haiti’s future leaders. As the Word of God is taught, hearts are transformed, changing the nation of Haiti to one day honor God.
Two students shared their life stories with the principals and how their lives have dramatically changed because of the biblical truth and hope they found while learning in their high school bible class. The principals were happy to hear these two students bravely speak forth and realize there are many more whose lives have been radically changed as a result of learning applicable bible teaching in school.
We asked the principals to give us the changes they have seen on campus and in students, since the Bible has been taught in their schools.
These positive changes have occurred in the high schools because the Word of God is being taught:
- Students’ over-all behavior has changed. They show more love and respect for each other and their teachers
- Students often are heard and seen counseling each other with biblical values and guidance they’ve learned in their bible class
- Many of the students who are following Christ have become role models for their classmates
- Students often take the initiative to pray at the beginning of their academic classes (this is permissible in Haiti)
- Students’ behavior has changed in their academic classes. Students are more attentive, talking less and listening more to the teachers. They’ve become more disciplined students overall.
- The high school campus is more peaceful
- There has been a considerable reduction in students demonstrating demonic possession at school. (Due to satan’s long hold on Haiti through voodoo and other demonic practices, it is common for evil spirits to rebel when the one they inhabit is at school learning and taking positive steps for themselves.)
CIDM asked the principals what we can do to further partner with the principals and more effectively reach the students with biblical teachings and values.
The principals suggested ways we could more effectively reach the students:
- Organize some interactive activities related to bible teaching, such as holding bible competitions at each school
- Teach bible classes in more high schools (we’ve taught in 16 high schools this current year and look forward to more next year)
- Host more events like this, gathering the principals together for training and community
Pastor Abraham (a trusted pastor and founder of the highest academic ranking school in Jacmel) conducted an informative training for the principals. He shared godly principles and leadership skills to teach and equip them in the important role and career they’ve chosen. Unbeknown to us, there are no regular training and/or collaboration meetings among the Jacmel high school principals. They are basically leading the high schools with no support system. This teaching and interaction with other principals were extremely effective, and they learned ways to make a more positive impact in their schools and students. The forum was conducive to principals sharing their most challenging situations and asking for advice and help. The principals’ last request is that we host this type of activity again, at least annually.
The evening was a huge success and it was a more blessed and fruitful time than we’d even anticipated. We were overjoyed that the evening brought opportunities of community, knowledge and growth to the principals, and greater insights for us at CIDM. Please pray for CIDM and the schools in Jacmel as our leadership team prepares for the upcoming school year. Our prayer is for God’s favor with the principals and to teach the Bible in even more high schools the 2019-20 school year. Thank you for your prayers and financial partnership. Without you, this activity would not have been possible!