***Due to the ongoing fragile nature of this first year student’s situation, we have decided not to share his name and photo.
I grew up in Northern, Haiti, way out in the country, never with electricity or water. I grew up in a family many generations Catholic, well engrained in Voodoo. My parents, their parents, they have all been Catholic and Voodoo priests, generation after generation.
So I was brought up in deep, but even when I was a child, only 8, I wasn’t comfortable with the things I was seeing in our church. I didn’t want to be there, and I knew something wasn’t right. I saw a darkness there I never wanted to be a part of.
When I was young, there was a teenage boy in my village who was always spending time out in the street, always gathering children and teaching them about the Bible. He took kids who never got to go to school and formed Bible clubs, teaching them the basics and always, always teaching and preaching about the friend we had in Jesus.
I loved to listen to him, and soon, I started going to Jopnel’s church and over time, he led me to Jesus. He discipled me and brought me to the Lord, and my family was NOT with me.
I started helping Jopnel and shadowing him all the time in church, and when I was in high school, he went to Emmaus University to become a pastor, and kept working with us on the weekends. During that time, I had a clear call. TEN TIMES, I had the same call.
When I was sleeping, I heard a voice call my name. When I asked who it was, (and I really didn’t know the Bible well yet) the voice kept saying, “If you chose to walk the road I have for you, it is going to be hard. But son, put your trust in me.”
This same dream, I had it, word for word, again and again and again.
My parents saw that I was strong in biology, and they started to push me to go into medicine after high school, so that I could make money for our family. Things had grown harder and harder with them since becoming a Christian, and now they told me if I didn’t take this path, I would be on my own, it was my last chance. I disappointed them deeply, but I knew that the path they had for me was NOT the one the Lord kept pointing me to.
It was Jopnel, now newly graduated from EU, that found the money for me to sign-up at Emmaus. My family mocked me, and said I’d never have the money to study the Bible without them, but I did my testing with Jopnel’s money and I passed. My family was so, so against me following the Lord, that even when I passed and was accepted, it was with tears in my eyes.
His open doors have all been clear, and they have all been painful.
But I’m walking through them and remembering He told me 10 times to trust Him.
I want to be like Jopnel. I want to teach people about Jesus. I jumped right into great classes, especially the Dynamics of Spiritual Growth class with Pastor Belony. But the first weekend I went home, my family would not allow me to enter. They said I am no longer their son, and while people had encouraged me to hide my faith, to lie about studying the Bible, to hide it from them…I just know in my spirit that’s not His path, either.
A group of women in my church helped me pay my first tuition payment. When the second payment was due, I sold all my clothes. For the final payment, just a month ago, I sold everything else I had from my family. I don’t have one more thing to sell, and so here I am.
Pray that the Lord would help me do His will in everything. On the weekends I stay with a family in my church, but they are so stretched as it is, and I hate being a burden on this dear family. Pray that the Lord might give me a family and a home this summer, pray that the Lord would make a way for me to continue studying now that I have nothing left to sell, no other place to find the funds
My family genuinely thinks that I am insane…that hurts me so much, because I care about them so much. But I think there were people that must have thought that about Jesus. I pray I can be like Him.
To be a VITAL part of a continuing story like this one, please give online here now or send checks payable to Emmaus University to 3170 Airmans Drive Unit 1153-EUH Fort Pierce, FL 34946. We need your help providing student scholarships in ANY amount to help men and women like these live and study at Emmaus!