I really want to communicate something well and I'm afraid I can't do it justice. Sometimes I don't do very well promoting our work in this social media space, because I'm uncomfortable with the hyperbole and lack of nuance that so many ministries and causes use when telling stories.
With all that said, here is what I've been struggling to share:
This year Heartline came very close to making the hard decision to close our Women's Education Center for financial reasons. The women who need it and benefit from it the most often can not pay enough for it to be sustainable. We are charging fees this year and offering scholarships when possible in an attempt to keep the school going. During our last meeting to go over the 'plan' (in which the math doesn't work and we realize we need to step out in faith) - the Haitian director of the school and her husband simply said:
"All around the city of Port au Prince there is an increase in prostitution. Women are increasingly desperate and we are seeing it in areas we have never seen prostitution before. This school needs to open and continue offering an alternative and teaching skills that allow women to support themselves in better ways."
I can't get that out of my head.
The Women's Education Center opened for the 2016-2017 school year today.
Thank you for your prayers and support - from Heartline, the women of Haiti, and their families.
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Written by Tara:
I'm not sure who might follow along on other social media - especially on the Heartline Ministries official page. In case you may have missed it on Heartline's page, effective September 1, 2016, Troy became the Director of Heartline Ministries in Haiti. The McHouls (John and Beth McHoul, Founders of Heartline Ministries) have laid the groundwork and have given 27+ years to this work. We hope that by stepping into their roles, they might have a chance to rest, relax, and experience a bit of a chance to release the biggest stresses of leadership and ministry. The link to that announcement is HERE.
For Troy and I - To say that we struggle with the nuances of sharing the stories of our Haitian friends, co-laborers, and neighbors is a bit of an understatement. We don't want to hyper-spiritualize or under-appreciate the things that happen here. We want to be truthful and honest and respectful, and check our emotions and frustrations and our own paradigms and filters at the door. While it is not entirely possible because, HUMAN, we hope to share with you the work happening here with integrity and honesty. It is not perfect. It is not always successful. It is complicated. It is real. Please pray for this work and the people we seek to elevate. If you're in a position to give, please give.