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Not being in Haiti doesn’t mean the work stops – in fact, it’s been one of my most crowded months ever, researching and searching for the best prices and the right combinations for the Our Hope Deaf School classroom.
While I imagined it would be over $5,000 to create the kind of atmosphere deaf children in Haiti need, we’ve done well and come in under budget.
This work will benefit a relatively small number of children, but one child is worth the whole world.
When my son Paul was nearing high school, our district was in the process of constructing a brand new school, one to be the pinnacle of design in Indiana.
I was on the planning board. When I asked what plans were being made for deaf and handicapped students, I was told that there was nothing planned – there were not enough students to warrant the expense.
The hair raised straight up on my head and I said to the Chairman, our District Superintendent of Schools, “One child who is in need of an education is enough!”
“How do you justify that statement, Mr. Summers?” he said.
“If my son were your son, and if he wore your family name, then one child would be enough,” I replied.
In the end I was on the losing end of the effort – but I had not lost my integrity. And I remembered that experience when I had a chance to make a difference.
When Andre and I first talked, I told him that we dare not leave one single boy behind. That began the entire process that we now see coming into focus.
Praise God for my beloved Andre and the fact that we both seem to think alike and find such common unity in our work.
On the classroom, I’ve cleared every detail with Andre. A couple will join me on the trip to Haiti for a few days, assisting in setting up, painting and equipping the new deaf classroom.
And continuing my bargain-hunting ways, no money donated to our mission will be spent on the trip!
We don’t have a date settled yet, so for now I’m preparing everything for shipping. I think all will be proud of the finished classroom, outfitted for the varied ages of children we have.
Our challenge will be how to enlarge our focus and outreach to help others in remote villages to have opportunity for an education – but it’s a challenge we look forward to meeting!
FILLING THE CLASSROOM
I’ve been working with a dear-loved brother in Covenant Church who expressed and interest in getting supplies for our Place of Hope campus schools, including the deaf classroom I’ve mentioned previously.
The process stretched on for a bit – months went by. Then he contacted me with a confession – and a way to immediately move the project forward.
“Pastor John, I have failed you,” he said. “So I am going to just give the money and have you to do the purchasing.”
I spent several hours trying to assess the needs and what we could provide that would be of help.
In talking with the principal at POH, one of her wishes was a copier for the class needs. There were a few other items needed, so that money from Covenant Church came in handy.
But they took it a step farther – the church handled all the purchasing so there was no tax on $2,500 of school supplies, all of which is ready to be shipped for the new school year.
My all-in-one desktop computer with DVD will be installed in the new deaf classroom. Students will now be able to spend time studying American Sign Language via DVD, plus learn keyboard principles and computer language.
My beloved friend Charles Lowers has cleared and prepared this computer for classroom use. Praise God for this.
BOOKS & MORE
Betty and I are so grateful for the large amount of funding that came in as a result of our 65th anniversary celebration. God used my new books in a special way also in this effort, so I am very grateful.
I am re-writing “GIVE ME THIS MOUNTAIN,” reflecting all the changes that have come about since I first started with it. And I’m writing a new book, “CHANGING TIMES.”
Plus, I’m working on what you’re reading – the new blog on is up and running, as I tread new ground once again. I’m pleased to be able to use it to let you look inside the fine work being done at Place of Hope.