OMS Outreach Jan-Apr 2013 - Page 22

Eternal Change … One Child at a Time By Cindy Lenker, Missionary in Haiti, One Mission Society When I stepped into the office and saw the slightly-built girl in her tattered dress and thinly soled shoes, I sensed she was waiting for me. With one week before the start of school, the flow into the office had been nonstop. Ruth, our receptionist, confirmed my suspicions. When I asked the girl what she wanted, with haunted, serious eyes, she simply said, “I want to go to school.” Ruth explained that she was 12 years old, one of three children, and that her single mother was unable to afford school. In fact, she had never attended school. In Haiti, affordable schooling is unattainable for most. That’s where One Mission Society’s Starfish Kids (SFK) program steps in. Starfish Kids is an evangelism and education ministry that works directly with the OMS-founded Emmaus Fellowship of Churches to partner donors with students who otherwise could not afford school. These $25 monthly sponsorships provide a Christian education and the opportunity to evangelize and disciple more than 7,000 Haitian children in their relationship with Jesus Christ each year. When I came to Haiti in 2011 as the sponsorship coordinator for Starfish Kids, it was apparent that we needed more sponsors. In 2010, the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince sent thousands of Haitians to seek refuge in Cap Haitien, which is where the SFK ministry headquarters is located. The influx of refugees greatly increased the number of students in Starfish Kids schools. Although the promise of free education in Haiti is slowly becoming a reality in some areas, it’s not yet available to all children. How does Starfish Kids find sponsors? “By God’s grace and through our OneLife Changers,” says field director, Brett Bundy. OneLife Changers are individuals who have a heart for Haitian children, realize the great need and want to help. OneLife Changers promote Starfish Kids by seeking 22 22