Back to School Bags Packed

Every year, 20|20 Research company participates in a service week, where they focus their efforts on “Doing Good” and serving local non-profits throughout the Nashville community. As Jim Bryson, founder and CEO of 20|20, is also the founder of The Joseph School, they spent this past Monday volunteering at TJS– and we are so grateful that they did.

Alone, they were able to organize, group and bag shoes and curriculum for all 119 students the year. They also made Welcome to the 2018 School Year cards for the new first graders.

Growing Each Year

Last year, 20|20’s team also helped bag uniforms and shoes, but we’re very excited to have the uniforms made in Haiti this year — creating less US expenses and jobs in Haiti, instead.

We’re five days away from our fourth school year at The Joseph School. Please pray for our second team heading to Haiti this weekend, with multiple bags in tow. Pray for our teachers, staff, students and their families. We thank 20|20 for their incredible help this week, and we thank YOU for being a part of this journey.

Service Week in Action:

 


Demonstrating Discipleship: HBU’s Mission Trip to TJS

While a sharp spike in fuel prices sparked turmoil, devastation, and a political crisis in Haiti, Houston Baptist University was serving our students with hope, joy, and discipleship. Despite the unrest that was enveloping Haiti, they humbly painted our clinic, provided toiletries and vitamins to students, and treated all members of The Joseph School with respect.

While these deliberations were incredibly helpful, perhaps the largest contribution this group made to our school was the Vacation Bible School that they ran. In their multi-day VBS, they taught, loved, and demonstrated servant leadership in its most raw form. As these college students changed our students’ minds and hearts, The Joseph School also left an indelible mark on these volunteers. As Darby Isereau, one of the participants, penned: “Haiti is beautiful. Haiti is resilient.”

As the volunteers themselves can best speak on their personal experiences, we have featured a testimony below from Lauren Butler, one of the travelers on the trip, who is pictured to the right:
“This was my third time coming back to Haiti and working with The Joseph School, and it seems like each trip is better than the last! This was my first time taking a group through my school, Houston Baptist University, and it was so cool to come with them this year! We expected to love and serve those around us, but everyone that we encountered loved and served us. Everyone we met was so kind towards us and full of joy that you can’t help but keep a smile on your face! I have so many amazing memories from this trip, but one of my favorites is when we went on house visits to kids that attend The Joseph School. Last year when I was in Haiti, I met a 2nd grader named Taina and we became fast friends. This year, we were able to go to her house and give her flip flops, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and vitamins for the duration of the summer. I brought her a little gift to give her, and I was so glad I was able to deliver it to her in person! She remembered me and my name, and my face and heart lit up! I thought about her a lot over this past year and I loved hearing from her that our friendship did not just last for one week last year. I am so excited to see her and all the other students excel in school and see how God will use each of them! Haiti and The Joseph School holds a special place in my heart and it gets harder to leave each year. I can’t wait to go back!”
Thanks, Lauren, for your inspiring words. We are so grateful for all that the HBU team has done for The Joseph School, and pray that our mission will continue to guide your servant hearts.

 


Training Talented Teachers: Update On P4H Teacher Conference

As teachers are the cornerstone of academic quality, we are committed to hiring the most dedicated and effective educators of Haiti to guide, instruct, and empower the next generation of Haitian servant leaders. Due to our adherence to a curriculum that is strong and up-to-date, we require our teachers to attend regular conferences, so they can continue to adjust the practices they implement in the classroom, as well as remain updated on the most relevant topics of the time. Today we’re going to sneak a behind-the-scenes look at the most recent conference our teachers attended: the P4H Conference.

P4H Global’s Educator Professional Development Conference is focused on training Haitian Educators to use effective, student-centered methods of teaching in their classrooms.

P4H invests in educators because they have the responsibility to shape the minds of the future generation. Future professionals such as doctors, lawyers, educators, pastors, and other vital members of society all begin as curious students in the classroom. Unfortunately, due to the fact that most Haitian teachers do not have any pre-service training, the majority of Haitian classrooms are marked by rote memorization and an authoritarian, teacher-centered approach.

As P4H specializes in a collaborative and compassionate approach to education, The Joseph School teachers attend this conference to acquire the skills to develop thoughtful, lifelong learners and leaders.
At the annual P4H Conference, US educators gather for three days to share their expertise and research-based educational strategies with Haitian teachers. Topics such as foundational education theories, classroom management, leadership development, and mathematics strategies are explored during the conference, providing Haitian educators with the opportunity to learn new methods and network with other educators from their country.

Overall, the professional development opportunities that P4H offers equip our teachers with invaluable skills that allow them to meet the distinct needs of their students, while enriching their minds and hearts.

We are so grateful to have wrapped up another year at the P4H conference!

 

 

 

 


Time4Updates: A Spotlight on Time4Haiti’s Mission Trip

A Play Day to Remember

In the words of Time4Haiti, one of our incredible partner organizations that recently took a mission trip to TJS, “teachable moments happen frequently outside of the classroom.” This very philosophy serves as the basis for much of their impactful work, and led them to sponsor a Play Day for The Joseph School– complete with sack races, 3-legged races, tug-o-war, body through the hoop races, and the boys’ and girls’ soccer tournament finals.

Designated playtime is an integral part of any child’s education and development. Aside from the creative benefits, sports encourage leadership while teaching students the importance of teamwork. That is why we are so grateful for Time4Haiti’s efforts to coordinate this Play Day: our students loved it, and we are so glad they had  fun and learned valuable life lessons! Time4Haiti’s focus on encouraging and empowering our students offered them the space to let loose and just be kids. At the end of Play Day, the team took our students to cool off and play in a beautiful river. What an incredible ending to a memorable day!

 Community Involvement

Collectively, Time4Haiti truly has a heart for service. Not only did they coordinate Play Day, but they also got involved in the local community.

They helped the homeless in Cabaret paint their shelter and gave them a Bible, Children’s Bible story book, an English dictionary, and some hygiene products to share. They also performed a village cleanup, and did village ministry in Minoterie. We are incredibly grateful to have been involved with a group that champions Christian service ideals so well.

 

The Visual Story of Time4Haiti’s Trip:

 

Time4Haiti: thank you again!

 

 


United by Uniforms

Welcome back, TJS supporters! As the school year comes to a close, we are celebrating some exciting news on the horizon: student uniforms are now being made IN Haiti!

As you may know, in the last three years, we have purchased uniforms here in the United States. While we appreciated the American services, we wanted to do something more to help our friends in Haiti. NOW, thanks to the pilot sewing program (sponsored by Nashville’s own Immanuel Baptist Church!), we are having the uniforms sewn in Haiti! Not only will this switch provide much-needed jobs to families in Haiti, but it will also decrease production and distribution difficulties as we grow from 90 to 120 students, and plan to continue to expand every year. Uniforms are $100 pers students and include: two shirts, two pants/shorts/skirts, shoes (still purchased in US) and Socks.

This change is more than a mere location switch: it is a Transition that is going to serve as the grounds for the Transformation of lives.

The photo to your left features John Kerry, rising 4th grader, modeling the first draft of the Haitian-made uniforms!

And check out the behind-the-scenes look of our hardworking Haitian friends to the right, as they carefully take measurements and calculate the correct dimensions for the uniforms. We are blessed with an incredible team and are so excited to watch this program kick off!

We also want to extend a special thanks to TJS Board member, Natalie Inman, for providing the sewing machines!

Thank You.

To all of our followers: thank you, kindly, for reading and for believing in our mission. The Joseph School would not be the same without YOU! With your generous contribution, you can quite literally provide the clothes on the back of a student. We are deeply grateful for your support during this exciting Transition!


Healing Brings Hope: Medical Trip Update

It’s no secret that healthcare in Haiti is scarce. The average life expectancy is 63 years, 30% of the population is considered food insecure, and the infant mortality rate is 55 per every 1000 live births (as compared to 5.8 per 1000 in the United States). While unfortunately, some of Haiti’s debilitating conditions are untreatable on a large scale, many diseases are avoidable with regular check-ups and nutrition monitoring. We are blessed to have the incredible Lisa Hellmann, MSN/APRN/FNP-C travel frequently to The Joseph School to keep our kids healthy. She recently performed end-of-the-year check-ups on our students and we are glad to report some updates from the trip!

Thanks to Lisa and her dedication, the health of the students at The Joseph School continues to be superior to that of the other Haitian children in the Cabaret community. 28 students who are deemed at risk for summer malnutrition will be placed in our summer nutrition program, which Linda helped pioneer. This program ensures that students and their family units who may lose weight over the summer have sufficient access to healthy food.

Kennylove Georges received her scoliosis brace in May 2018. She is being treated through Healing Hands for Haiti under the care of Dr. Pascal. Lisa continues to coordinate her plan of care alongside Dr. Pascal and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Nau. Per Dr. Pascal, 6-9 months of bracing and biweekly physical therapy will determine whether surgical correction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle is needed.

As much as we could list off all of Lisa’s great work, we know you’d love to hear from her personally. Below we’ve included an excerpt from her that tells her perspective and of a story of a little girl and a baby doll:

“There are many special needs adults and children throughout the Cabaret community. One of these special needs children, Fedli was gifted a wheelchair earlier in the year by Terrell Smith, one of The Joseph School’s board members. On this trip, I was able to check-in with Fedli and see how her new wheelchair was impacting her life. I also delivered a baby doll that Terrell had sent to Fedli.”

“Needless to say, Fedli and her family have been greatly blessed by not only the gift of the wheelchair, but also by the outpouring of love offered by The Joseph School and its supporters. The gift of a baby doll seems small, but for a child who has nothing…the doll was an expression of the love we have for her and also the love God has for her as well. Watching her react to the baby doll, immediately cradling it and loving on it reminded me that every little girl deserves a baby doll…even special needs children in Haiti. It was a precious moment that I will never forget.”

We cannot thank Lisa enough for all of the time and generosity she has poured into our school. Largely thanks to her, The Joseph School students receive the proper medical care to stay healthy. Thanks for providing hope through health, Lisa!

 


Beep Beep, We have a School Bus!

Are you ready for some BIG news? We are thrilled to announce that through the prayers and generosity of many people– particularly the Three Rivers Local School District in Cleves, Ohio– we purchased our very first school bus! Previously, we rented buses from Michael’s Orphanage when mission teams were in Haiti. Now, thanks to the Three Rivers Local School District, we have our very own bus, which their community generously stocked with school supplies.

Today, more than ever, our students and staff in Haiti need a more dependable transportation option. Some of our students wake up at 5 a.m. to walk several miles to school, whereas others must rely on limited and unpredictable tap-tap drivers. This 72-passenger bus will provide a consistent and safer transportation option for our students, staff, and mission group participants.

This project– shipping a school bus– has a lot of moving parts, literally and figuratively! We want to extend a special “Thank You” to Tim Wagner, Director of Transportation and Food Services for helping us fulfill our vision of obtaining this bus. We are also grateful for Ryan Bennett, who has started raising funds in Kansas. Meagan Rebler, who started a GoFundMe in Texas to raise both awareness and funds for this bus. She’s also traveled to TJS multiple times. We could not have gotten this far without them!  However, we still have a ways to go.

Presently, Lance Whitehurst, a local Ohio bus driver, is driving the bus to Riveria Beach, Florida! The bus should ship by this weekend. As you now know, we have the bus—and thanks to the school district, it’s packed full of supplies—so now we need help to ship it! Our goal is to raise $10,000 by June 22nd, but as our cause is so urgent, we hope that prayerfully, we can raise these funds by June 15th.

When you donate, you can immediately make a difference in the lives of the children of The Joseph School. Through your kindness and generosity, we can advance in our progress to ship this bus. Every little bit helps.

Make a tax-deducible donation. 

Ryan Bennett (left) on his first trip to Haiti in August 2017. At which he traveled many miles (by car and foot) to students homes who currently walk to school every day.
Meagan Rebler (right) during her last trip to Haiti. She started a GoFund me to raise a bus in late 2017 before we had plans ourself. She’ll be retuning to Haiti in three weeks with Houston Baptist University.

 


What What! A New Truck!

But we still need to get it to Haiti.

Thanks to some incredible individuals at Lee Company — Bill Lee, Richard Perko, Travis Edwards, and Gerry Vance — we have a much needed truck for our Haitian operations!

We are so thankful and excited for this generous gift because (if you follow our Haitian Director, Bildad Michel on Facebook, then you’re likely aware that) our current TJS vehicle is experiencing countless issues. Thankfully, we now have a newer vehicle and we’re raising funds to ship it to The Joseph School in Haiti.

Bildad will be in the U.S. next week, and he plans to drive the new truck to the Miami port at which it can be shipped to Haiti. From shipping to customs, and a few other costs in between, we need to raise $5,500! Can you help us reach this goal?  

Please visit https://thejosephschool.kindful.com/?campaign=297534 to help us ship the truck!


Sailing Through Service: Sailer Financial’s Volunteer Help

Ship ahoy! Last week, Sailer Financial visited our Nashville headquarters and proved to be such a huge help to us that we CAN’T wait to share more about all of their great work! Keep reading for a snapshot of their day:

Sailer Financial took a half day before joining us to help sort curriculum and take inventory to be sent to Haiti. Much of this curriculum comes from many of our amazing supporters, who have donated books, games, and other learning tools to our office.

However, as a non-profit organization, we are often time-strapped: as our small staff is assigned to so many different projects, it is, at times, difficult to allocate resources to sort through these donated materials. We are incredibly grateful that Sailer Financial took the time to aid us in this operations process, as their dedication and positive attitudes propelled them through the work– and the afternoon.

Additionally, they worked on signage for our upcoming donor event– stay tuned for more information in this arena, soon!

With deepest gratitude, we thank you, Sailer Financial. We love our volunteers!

The Visual Story of Sailer Financial’s Day:

L to R: Andy Michael, Pamela Talley, Jenny Wilson, April James, Jeremy Hutzel

 

Visit here to learn more about Sailer Financial!


Cumberland University Mission Trip: Leaders in Action

Leadership: it’s the primary discipline we seek to instill in our students, the foundation on which our school is based, and the guiding force behind our teachers’ instruction. Since we believe that servant leadership will unlock future economic and social advancement in Haiti, we’re always grateful for partnerships with other institutions who promote leadership, both in Haiti and from the U.S. Recently, Cumberland University traveled down to The Joseph School on a mission trip to our school and they led a Leadership Conference. We’re excited to shine a spotlight on their service today.

After the volunteers arrived in Haiti, they wasted no time in getting started. As a group, they single-handedly spearheaded an effort to encourage our students to develop as servants of God: a Leadership Conference. During their multi-day conference, they emphasized the importance of flexing many different— and often, seemingly opposing— leadership muscles. While a leader must necessarily approach situations with confidence, he or she also must possess humility. Evidently, they spoke on the nature of pride as one of the seven deadly sins, and they underscored that although it can certainly lead to “accomplishment,” it can also lead to “hate.”

Additionally, they encouraged our students to approach situations with logic and empathy, taught them how to be self-disciplined yet collaborative, and highlighted the importance of communication. The conference culminated with a call to action: to lead by example, as Jesus did, as a means of demonstrating servant leadership. Our students learned that with great power comes a great responsibility to serve their neighbor.

 

While the Leadership Conference was a hit, the Cumberland University volunteers didn’t stop there. They led a science workshop with the kids, planted trees, played soccer at the orphanage, painted a house, picked up trash, and served as the hands and feet of Jesus. We are so grateful for the generosity they extended, the energy they exuded, and the example they provided. It is our hope that these volunteers will continue to spread our mission to their families, friends, and neighbors. We are so glad that you are a part The Joseph School!

We’d also like to issue a special thank you to one of our TJS Board Members, Natalie Inman, for initiating and leading this trip with her CU students. Thank you Natalie!