We are thrilled to share with you our latest training report from Haiti! Last month, we sent four of our fearless teachers back to Haiti to assist our Haitian partners with round 2 of their training program. The teachers were Patrice Tsague, Scott Landis, Pastor Tami Firman and Nancy Russell. They traveled to join our National License Partner, Pastor Ebed Paul, and his team from Leve Kampe Mache, Evens Gabriel and Pastor Renaud Philistin. In just a two-week period, Pastor Ebed and our team held four Biblical Entrepreneurship classes and trained 232 students – Wow! God is up to something BIG!
This amazing team had to overcome many challenges and schemes the enemy tried to use to stop this training from taking place. Several team members and family members got sick and were hospitalized, Pastor Ebed’s car broke down, and roads shut down due to flooding. However, our team was triumphant and God was with them in every circumstance – thank you Lord!
The training started with BE I – Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship in Cap Haitien, Haiti, October 23rd-25th. This class was planned and taught, completely by our Haitian team. They trained 56 students with businesses representing the following industries: schools, shops, bookstores, bakeries, food stores, computer stores, auto parts, guesthouses, laundromats, multi-level marketing, cybercafé, safe drink, snack bars, pharmacies, and transportation.
The second class was BE II – Practices of Biblical Entrepreneurship in Cap Haitien, October 30th – November 1st. This class had 71 students, with 53% with existing businesses. The class even came up with 67 different business ideas.
One of the highlights of this class was an activity where three students develop a quick business plan for a chance to win $100 as an investment or loan to be repaid by the next class. It’s essentially a mini business plan competition to get them ready for the ultimate competition in 2015.
The three businesses presenting were a restaurant, a peanut butter manufacturer, and a cell phone and accessories distributor. The winner was the cell phone and accessories distributor by the viability of his idea and showing a clear demonstration of his ability pay back the investment. His plan was so impressive and his delivery so compelling, that we gave him all the capital he needed which was $150.00 to expand his existing business at 5% interest per month for the next five months. To receive the money he not only signed a loan agreement, he also had to get three people to sign a character reference for him and he did. We will see what he does between now and March 2015.
While Patrice was in Cap-Haitien, he also had the opportunity to preach at Pastor Renaud’s church. Pastor Renaud’s church is very impressive with over 6,000 members and it was built totally dependent on local resources. Patrice’s message was titled “For Such a Time as This.” He challenged them to embrace the opportunity to rebuild Haiti and turn themselves and their country from a begging nation to a giving nation and people. The message was overwhelmingly received. The people of Haiti are tired of being viewed as beggars and ready to be investors and givers. They even gave him a small honorarium.
Next, Pastor Tami and Nancy traveled to rural Pignon, Haiti to meet with our partner, Pastor Daniel, where they held a BE II Class – Practices of Biblical Entrepreneurship for 30 students. These ladies traveled on motor bikes without packing workbooks or clothes to make it Pignon despite the weather and travel challenges. They even taught class without their original supplies or notes!
Additionally, with help from Pastor Daniel, this class had almost 100% retention from BE I in July. Praise God! 70% of the students had existing businesses covering the following industries: Food, shoes, gas, Christian bookstore, chemical products, electronics, pharmacy, and auto parts.
The last class of the trip was BE I – Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship in Port-au-Prince. We had an incredible turnout with 75 students! About 47% of the class had existing businesses. Like usual, every student was required to pay for the class, which was priced at $70 USD. For those students that needed financial assistance, we offered partial scholarships to 30 of our students, special thanks to our two donors that stepped up, Dan & Charlene Scarborough and NCompass. We thank God for partners like you!
Before Patrice left Haiti, he had several key meetings; one with Operation Mobilization Caribbean who committed to provide up to $100K of loans or investments to businesses that complete the BE program and will be requiring that all those who they invest or lend money to go through the BE program. Another meeting with a Pastor in Haiti who is a candidate for President and will be running in the next election. The final meeting was with Dr. Abe Valentine who wants to sponsor a BE class at his church targeting larger businesses.
We look forward to our next trip which will wrap up BE II and III and begin preparing students for their regional Business Plan Competition and then the 2015 International Business Plan Competition! Trip dates TBD.
We would like to say thank you again to all who have played a role in launching and growing our BE program in Haiti. Special thanks to the BE Haiti Committee, Elevation Financial Group, The Founders Club, and others who have supported us through prayer.
To contribute to this effort or other international efforts visit www.nehemiahproject.org/donate or to join the BE Haiti committee or other sustainable mission trips contact Katie Kavehrad at email@example.com.
Make sure you check the website (www.nehemiahproject.org) and
Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NehemiahProject) for photos and video of this Sustainable Mission Trip!