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From Voodoo Temple to Child Development Center

education in haiti The property now housing the Simonette Child Development Center used to be a “peristil,” or Voodoo temple, where a well-known Voodoo priest named Sore ruled for several decades.

Sore was such a famous Voodoo priest that people from different regions in the country came to see him every day for different reasons. Pastor Monas had to face fierce opposition from Sore when he was called by God to start his ministry there 21 years ago.

Just a few months after Pastor Monas began his ministry in that area, Sore, the Voodoo priest, gave his life to Jesus. Many of his followers also turned over their lives to Christ. Before he passed away, Sore dedicated the property to the Lord for the local church and different ministries, including the school.

Currently, Simonette Christian Church is the first partner to benefit from the ministry’s reconstruction program after the 2010 earthquake that destroyed the inadequate school infrastructure that existed.

Pastor Monas shares,

“I give thanks to God that among the 44 projects that were destroyed by the earthquake, Simonette is the first one that benefits from the reconstruction. I have been facing big challenges in my ministry here during the last 21 years, but I can now testify that our partnership with Compassion (10 years) has opened the door to long-term development for our community.”

Before Pastor Monas’ ministries started in Simonette, none of the children in that area had the chance to reach the seventh grade. The reason for that was the location of existing schools. It took some children three hours to walk to the nearest town for school.

The Simonette school has made a great difference in the community as it allows more than 300 children, 280 of them sponsored, to benefit from the best education.

“Before I started my ministry in Simonette, the whole community was under the domination of Satan. As a result, many children died before reaching grade six. Because of the gospel, the devil has now no power over the children and their parents.”

Parents and children were brokenhearted when the earthquake destroyed the only school in the community. This new construction with 12 classrooms and other infrastructure brings hope again, as it will allow more children to benefit from a better education.

Ricardy is an orphan who became sponsored at 5 years old. Now, at age 15, he is in grade nine and has big dreams for the future because of our ministry’s help. Ricardy tells us,

“I like Compassion very much because were it not for its assistance, I would never been able to go to school since I have no mother and no father.

“I like my school because it is near my house. During recess time, I go to my house, eat a little something, and come back to class. If it was far away from my home, my grandmother would not be able to find transportation money to send me.

“After the earthquake, we were gathering under a tent for class. Right now I am proud of my school because it is the most beautiful school in the whole community.”

Pastor Monas is proud to see that his vision is being accomplished through the years. The reputation of the church is increasing every day because of the quality of our program. The academic performance of sponsored children is higher than the national average.

In the latest statistics, our students ranked an average of 74% in the grade 12 final exams compared with the 50% country average, and 86.11% in grade 13 final exams compared with the 86% country average.

Pastor Monas ultimate’s goal is to see that all of the children from his community have the chance to attend school and become accomplished adults. He also would like to see the whole Simonette population turn their lives to Jesus before he passes away.