We make our plans and the Lord laughs. I had imagined that I would knock out all of the tasks associated with launching a Bible College / School of Ministry. I hoped that after I reach out to all the churches in the Spokane region, they would embrace this uniquely better plan to help them grow their churches and expand their ministries. I expected that all of the people that I'd served and helped over the years would jump at the chance to help me crowd fund this grand endeavor. What can I say, I'm an unrealistic optimist. True story: Years ago, I would buy lottery tickets and be sincerely surprised when I didn't win.
To my surprise, the Lord has opened a door to train pastors and leaders in Haiti. This is not what I planned, but what our Omniscient God has provided. I am excited to share that in just a few weeks, and in cooperation with Happy Kids International, Atlas will begin a 1 year BETA test of our Bible College program. The BETA test is crucial to our future success in Haiti as we must determine where Haitian culture, values, worldview, and common knowledge intersect and divert from ours. You may find it shocking, but unless Haitians are educated by westerners, they are not taught critical thinking. Critical thinking is essential for employing sound hermeneutics and developing a good exegesis of the Scriptures. We will also have to create an educational process for three distinct groups of people. Group 1 consists of Haitians that can read and write English. Group 2 is Haitians that primarily speak and write Creole, and group 3, the last group we will engage, consists of illiterate Haitians (40 plus percent).
Full implementation of the program for groups 1 through 3 will take about 5 years and $50,000. At that point, it will be fully run by Haitians, and self duplicating. For example, a leader in a rural community who has completed the Atlas program, may be the only reader in their area. As an educated person, they will be commissioned to transfer the gift of reading to their community. As a spiritual person with a solid foundation in the Word of God and the ability to interpret the Bible properly, these individuals will be the "watchman on the wall" for their neighbors (Ezekiel 33:7).
I'm glad that God does not make his plans based on MY vision for how things ought to be. Team Atlas is really encouraged by what God is doing. We don't fully understand it, but we are confident that God has a plan for us. We know that somewhere in Spokane and throughout the world, our students await us. We are confident that God is with us and that with his presence comes his providence. The adventure is just beginning!
As they say in Haiti, Bondye Beni ou (God bless you)
Photo credit - https://forgingfutures.org/ They are making a difference for Haiti
Note - $50,000 is a rough estimate that includes travel and tech expenses only