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Nashville CEO Opens Haitian School

Original article published in The Tennessean by Jamie McGee, jmcgee@tennessean.com

After years of planning and fundraising, 20/20 Research CEO Jim Bryson opened a school in Haiti last week, serving 31 kindergarten students.

The Joseph School is near Cabaret, about 16 miles from Port-au-Prince, and the students are from nearby villages. Five Haitian teachers will lead the school.

Bryson began developing plans for the school after traveling to Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Recognizing the educational shortcomings exacerbated by the natural disaster, he began raising funds to build The Joseph School.

Bryson originally envisioned the school as a secondary school for orphaned children. Instead, the school will begin with 5 and 6-year-olds and will add a grade level each year through high school. While some students are orphans, the school has expanded its scope.

“We discovered that to start as a secondary school, you are pulling kids from educational experiences that are really widely varying,” Bryson said. “We made the determination that the best way to impact the students and to impact the country over the long term was actually to start at the beginning and give them a very high level of education starting in kindergarten, all the way through.”

The school opened Sept. 21, with local leaders and several parents joining the children in their new uniforms.

“We were so well received in the city of Cabaret that we got a lot of support, a lot of help,” Bryson said.

The Joseph School is in a rented house, and plans are underway to build a facility, Bryson said.


Opening Ceremony & Dedication for The Joseph School

A day we have faithfully prayed for has come.  The Joseph School has opened its doors.

Teachers. Students. Parents. Neighbors. Staff. Friends.

Everyone came out to dedicate The Joseph School to the Lord. It was an exciting day for those in Haiti and for those here in the states as well. We’ve waited many years for this day. It’s been worth the wait.

31 Kindergarten Students

Fifteen boys and 16 girls all from the surrounding villages of Cabaret. Seven of the students come from the local orphanage. All have been tested and meet (or exceed) Kindergarten standards. These youngsters are SHARP! We’re already so proud of them.

Five Teachers

We are blessed to have some of the best teachers in Haiti: Jenny, Dallen, Sonia, Rose and Israel. Pray for wisdom and creativity as our teachers pour into the next generation of leaders!

One Goal 

Our mutual goal is to develop Haitian servant leaders who love God and love Haiti.


The Joseph School Opens in September: A Story of God’s Provision

Written by TJS Founder, Jim Bryson

After a long journey, The Joseph School is opening!

God has taken us many places and taught us many lessons over the past five years, but he has been faithful.  On September 21 st , The Joseph School will open its doors to 30 Haitian children!

These children will begin an educational process rarely available in Haiti.  Each will receive a world-class education focusing on academics, leadership, service and discipleship that will prepare them to lead and love their country.  Simply being chosen as the first class of The Joseph School, they are already leaders preparing the way for the thousands to come behind them.  After five years of work, planning, travel and praying, opening day is almost here.

Getting to this point has been a story of God’s provision.

We accepted the vision for The Joseph School in the fall of 2010.  First, God took us to Thomazeau where we met Bobbie and Lourdie Toussaint.  We came to love them and the children at their orphanage, Children of Hope.

Bobbie and Lourdie loved The Joseph School vision and wanted to help.  In 2013, they took us to Lourdie’s hometown of Lascahobas on Haiti’s Central Plateau where Lourdie offered to give The Joseph School land to establish the school.

In the spring of 2014, The Joseph School Board of Directors began praying for God to open The Joseph School in 18 months, September of 2015.  Immediately, things became difficult.  That summer, our ownership of the land was challenged and became mired in the Haitian legal system.  We were forced to stop development while the legal process ground to a halt.

Even so, we kept praying not knowing how God would answer.  In the fall of 2015, we asked our supporters to pray with us.  People prayed.  In April, we upped the ante again.  We asked our email group to fast one meal on the 15 th of the month from April to September and pray for God to open The Joseph School in September.  The week that email went out, God moved.

Jean Bildad Michel is a Haitian citizen completing his education at Cumberland University.  In mid-April, he walked into my office and said, “I want to do something meaningful to help my country.  I believe in the mission of The Joseph School.  I believe God is calling me to help and I think I can make it happen in September.”  I was stunned.  After many discussions and much prayer, The Joseph School Board of Directors voted in May to send Bildad to spend the summer in Haiti preparing to open school in September.

Bildad returned to his hometown of Cabaret to prepare for opening a school.  The Lord blessed him with volunteers and friends who helped him make the preparations.  The City of Cabaret pledged to give The Joseph School about 40 acres of land.  Bildad was able to rent a large house that would serve as a school and as a guesthouse for visitors.  He found talented teachers who can help with the school’s founding.  God blessed him greatly.

On August 11 at 8:11 a.m. the Board of Directors of The Joseph School voted to open in September, 2015.  Right on time!  God answered our prayers from the last 18 months.  He did not need a lot of time to start a school. He waited until the time was right.

The journey has been long and the path has not been straight.  But God has been with us all the way.  As we make final preparations for the long-anticipated opening, we know God will continue to be with us in the months and years ahead.  We are more convinced than ever that The Joseph School vision is his calling.  We are grateful for his faithfulness.

Thank you for your faithfulness in this journey as well.  It has not been easy.  The path has not always been clear.  But we have arrived on the threshold of opening. This time is made all the more exciting by the difficulties overcome to get us here.

I’m looking forward to sharing more about The Joseph School in the exciting days that lie ahead.   Please continue praying.

God answers prayers…and it may not be in the way we expect.

Bondye Bon. God is good.