A Brighter Future for Starfish Kids

December 11 2018

Eleven years ago, Ofrane Saintil and his wife, Gerumene, lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Saintil worked as a delivery driver. On one trip from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien, he was in a bad accident, leaving him with a broken arm, leg, and teeth. Gerumene’s aunt attended the OMS-related Grace en Sion Church in Cap-Haitien, and she had the church pray for Saintil.

He accepted Christ at that moment because he realized God had saved his life.

Saintil and Gerumene moved to Cap-Haitien because they believed that was where God wanted them.

Gerumene says living in Haiti is difficult. Even working full time and earning a salary, they don’t have any extra money after they provide food for their family and meet basic needs. There is definitely not enough to pay for school tuition and purchase books for their children.

In 2011, Grace en Sion School became a partner school of One Mission Society’s Starfish Kids program. In 2013, Saintil and Gerumene’s oldest child started attending Grace en Sion School. They have four children: Jonas, Watcherline, Louvens, and Emmauella. Watcherline and Louvens are now sponsored through Starfish Kids.

They are so thankful for the sponsorship because it provides tuition, school supplies, and books for their children to receive a quality Christian education.

In 2015, Grace en Sion hired Saintil as the security guard for the church and school because he had proven to be trustworthy and hard working.

Gerumene says the Starfish Kids program is so important to Haitian families who have difficulties making ends meet. Parents respect the Starfish Kids schools because they know these schools are reputable.

One of their favorite aspects of the school besides the sponsorships and Bible teaching is that Grace en Sion starts teaching children English and Spanish in kindergarten. Knowing multiple languages will help open doors for them in the future. Most schools charge extra money for these courses, but at Grace en Sion, they are part of the curriculum.

God’s grace and provision is evident in countless ways through Saintil’s story and dozens of others sponsored through Starfish Kids. Please consider a gift of $300 to cover one child’s tuition for one year.

Tags: give hope for christmas, starfish kids, christian education

Grateful Starfish Student

May 10 2018

In a country where attending school can be difficult and expensive, Starfish Kids is helping Haitian families by providing tuition assistance and books for sponsored students. Even with the sponsorships, we sometimes see students leaving schools for various reasons, often involving the family moving due to illness or for job opportunities. We don’t always know why a student leaves, sometimes mid-year, which can be a challenge. But this makes graduation stories even more inspiring. We see incredible stories of perseverance through some of our sponsored students.

In June 2017, Luvenson Lorvince graduated from secondary school after 11 years of sponsorship through the Starfish Kids program.

Luvenson grew up in a single-parent home. Luvenson’s mother was responsible for raising Luvenson, along with five of his siblings and two of his sister’s children. She worked hard, selling bread and roasted peanuts to provide food for her household, but it wasn’t enough to send her children to school.

Through his local church, Luvenson was accepted into the Starfish Kids program and was matched with a sponsor. Luvenson says that, after God, his Starfish Kids sponsorship has been the most important thing in his life. It provided him with an education he would not otherwise have.

He graduated with the highest grades in his community. His dream is to attend university to become a civil engineer and help improve his country. He wants to give back and help provide opportunities in the same way they were provided for him. Luvenson believes that without education, there can be no progress for his country.

He is thankful for his sponsor through Starfish Kids and prays that God will continue to bless all sponsors abundantly so more children in Haiti can be helped.

Our prayer at Starfish Kids is for God to reach students like Luevnson and their families through school sponsorships. The gift of sponsorship truly is changing lives in Haiti one student at a time.

Tags: starfish kids, sponsorship, child sponsors, sfk, haiti,

Father-Daughter Connection in Haiti

August 10 2015

The relationship between a father and daughter is often precious, fascinating, amiable, and puzzling at times. I have fond memories of my own dad taking me to his workplace, planning irreplaceable family vacations, and playing numerous games of checkers. I also look warmheartedly upon my three daughters as they interact with my husband, known affectionately to them as Daddie-o. The girls, even as teenagers, call out an enthusiastic, “Dad’s home!” when they see him pull into our driveway at the end of a workday.

It’s additionally intriguing to see young girls mimicking their dear ol’ dad. They may slip on his work boots, “help” him hammer a nail, or shoot basketballs. The Word says in Ephesians 5:1 to “be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Our heavenly Father is the king, so that makes his daughters princesses. I can just imagine the twinkle in his eye when his young ladies choose to follow him in service and obedience.

I met a sweet mademoiselle named Guilanda when her papa, Mano (short for Emmanuel), brought her to work with him at the OMS campus in Haiti. She was just a petite toddler at the time, and Mano smiled widely as we fussed over his precious gift. Now Guilanda happily attends a Starfish Kids school. According to her dad, “The SFK program has transformed our lives because we can afford Guilanda’s uniforms since we have help with tuition and books.”

Guilanda enjoys math, has so many favorite Bible stories she cannot decide which one is the most beloved, and aspires to be a doctor when she grows up. Mano says he and Guilanda “have hope for the future because she is getting a good education, and God is creating work for me.” This dedicated daddy sees how the Lord is protecting their health too. Mano and Guilanda are confident that their Father in heaven is working in their lives.

According to Mano, if he could meet Guilanda’s sponsor, he would say thank you and “I pray Jesus would continue to bless you.” That’s a common theme as I meet the parents of precious Starfish Kids children. The parents usually realize that sponsors give with a heart of generosity because of God’s goodness. Appreciation overflows from not only Mano and Guilanda but from numerous Haitian fathers, mothers, and children associated with Starfish Kids.

If you are a sponsor of a Starfish Kid, thank you! If you'd like to begin to sponsor a child, call us at OMS today: 317.888.3333.

By Angela Chandler, Communications Department, One Mission Society

Tags: father daughter relationship, haiti, starfish kids, sponsor a child,

Mother - Son Connection in Haiti

February 20 2015

It seems to be that mothers and their sons have a particularly remarkable relationship. Biblically speaking, there are some great examples of the mother/son connection. Hannah prayed long and hard for a child, and the Lord blessed her with a son named Samuel. The Word says that Hannah promised to offer Samuel to the Lord so that he could serve him as long as he lived. In the New Testament, Eunice, the mother of Timothy, passed along her faith to her son. And, of course, Jesus had a distinctive and close relationship with his mother, Mary.

When I met Widline and her son Junior in Haiti, it was evident that they have a unique rapport too. Junior was timid and shy to meet me and to be interviewed, but his mom gave him the reassurance and encouragement to answer my questions to the best of his ability. Widline told me of how God provides for her family of six children, two of those being boys. Although Widline fell sick when she was a teenager and almost died, she was healed after much suffering, yet she was not able to graduate from school.

As a result of Widline’s inability to finish school, she puts a lot of value on seeing Junior complete his education. This courageous mom passes on her love for God’s Word to her son as well. Junior is a Starfish Kid, and the prompting he receives from his mom to learn about the Bible is evident as he shares with me that his favorite biblical story is when Jesus calls the little children to follow him. Junior’s life is not only being transformed at home, through the love and support of his mom, but also at school, where as a SFK, he is seeing the value of following Christ and sponsorship. He hopes to help other children some day, just as through the program he and his family are getting assistance.

Psalm 91:1 is a verse Widline put to memory. It says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” As she passes on the importance of relying on God in all things to Junior, I suspect he will indeed help others as he is able. Do you see the correlation between that mother/son relationship? That same pattern of cohesiveness can easily overflow into the connection between sponsors and their SFK child or children. With the same spirit of love, compassion, and generosity, children’s lives can be affected by God’s people passing along the transformational power of sponsorship.

By Angela Chandler, OMS Communications

Would you like to know more about OMS' Starfish Kids ministry? Email us at info@onemissionsociety.org to learn more.

Tags: ministry to kids, starfish kids, haiti, education, sponsorship