“Ellie?? So good to see you again!!!”
It’s June 5th, the second day of IYF English Camp in Haiti and these kinds of greetings are heard all around Lycee Benoit Batraville School. The quote above is from a teacher who spotted his student from last year who proceeded to take out last year’s “passport” camp guide with a bright smile as if it were the most precious thing in the world.
Ellie was a problematic student in 2012, so it’s amazing to see him participate again and take a leadership role in the camp.”I’m back at English Camp because I missed it so much. I still remember the song that I learned last year. I also want to be diligent in learning more English so I can translate the next time. I received so many things through English Camp. I want to help other people, too.”
This is Ellie in a classroom at Lycee Benoit Batraville School drawing a picture of his future as a camp translator. Ellie received so many changes in his heart, and with that, he’s here again with a new dream and hope.
One thing that stands out is the look on teachers’ and students’ faces as they sing together and flip through these “passports” with joy and thankfulness.
Lycee Benoit Batraville Shool is holding IYF English Camp for the second time. In 2012, IYF volunteers had to transfer buses three times and it took an hour and a half just to reach the school. But, that did not prove to be an obstacle for IYF to return.
Lycee Benoit’s principal decided to hold IYF English Camp again after a presentation meeting last year. This year’s camp overlaps with Lycee’s exam schedule, but they chose to reschedule to accommodate for the IYF English Camp programs.
“We appreciate English Camp because the program unites so many youths. I was once part of a volunteer program in Europe, but at that time, only French speakers were able to participate. IYF brings people from different nationalities together, regardless of language limitations and it looks so good. And the camp has been a success so far. I see IYF as a very international organization and I want to stay connected so I can interact with other schools in the U.S. and Korea. IYF is my friend.”
-Lycee Benoit Batraville School principal.
We are also seeing many students eagerly listen to the Word at our Gospel Class. Among those anticipating it, there is a student named Joseph who we interviewed.
“Last year, I remember hearing at camp how we can receive the forgiveness of our sin when we do wrong things. I never heard those words before, so I wanted to listen more. I was so happy when I heard English Camp was coming back to our school. I just heard in Gospel Class today about how our sin entered this world through Adam and Eve and how Jesus died on the cross and cleansed our sin. I’m no longer a sinner. I’m righteous.”
-Joseph, IYF English Camp participant
Joseph was introduced to God last year, which allowed him to listen precisely to the World this year and receive salvation. We could feel how pleased God was that the Gospel is being spread at IYF English Camp.
God loves Haiti. He wants Haiti to rise from the pain caused by the 2010 earthquake. He wants Haiti to change. And God has placed us center stage for these purposes. We are witnessing everyone we meet change through God. They are gaining hope, receiving salvation, and wanting to share their happiness with others. We hope many students continue to meet God through IYF English Camp.