A few decades ago Bolosse was a top destination for Haiti's wealthy families; however, due to political unrest, failing governments and fatherless families this beautiful hill on the sea became a place of despair, misery, and one the poorest places in Port-au-Prince. The youth, turned toward violence, sex and drugs in search of finding a sense of purpose and gangsters ran the place.
2013 HTC graduate Jackson was one of those gangsters in Bolosse.
"I began life as a quiet and respectful boy, but growing up my mom and dad practiced Voodoo and when our mother left us things began to go very bad for me. I skipped school to get drunk and spent time with the bad guys in the ghetto. I became the leader of a gang. It brought me pleasure to start fights with the police and other gangs, and I felt powerful when it was one of my gang members who shot or killed someone. My community forced me to leave because I had become so dangerous.
I shouldn't be alive but God led me to Haiti Teen Challenge and my life is no longer the same. I learned that God is my Father and that I need to leave behind all my sins and follow Him. Jesus commands that,
"Whoever wants to be my disciples must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
God really loves everybody and he wants me to tell others about his love. I am now welcomed in my community where with my HTC brothers and sisters work with young people who, because of their age, condition and academic levels cannot enter the HTC residential Program. Through the HTC Impact Club we bring them Hope, Love, and Encouragement that they can only find in God."
In Haiti 80% of people living in urban areas live in poverty. Life is hard in Bolosse,
but radical and sustainable change is occurring through the work that Jackson and other HTC graduates are doing at the HTC Impact Club. Every week over 90 people come to study God's word. They are studying the book of Romans and learning about what the foundations of a family are according to the heart of God. On Saturday evenings they gather together to worship. Like Jackson, the graduates of HTC are dedicated to teaching the hundreds of kids on the street about Jesus. They are also teaching math, English and computer skills and working with community leaders to help their neighbors have a better quality of life.
Haiti Teen Challenge believes that Haiti will not change until Haitian young men and women are transformed by Christ, equipped in the things of God, skills, training, and education, and mobilized with purpose to rebuild their cities. Recently visitors from the US offered their perspective after visiting Bolosse; on previous trips to Haiti they had spent most of their time "doing things for" the people in Cite Soleil (a community like Bolosse) and they were surprised by the comparison between the two communities. In Citi Soleil, they said, there is a lack of ownership of their problems, the streets are filthy, and visitors are mocked and distained. In Bolosse the community received them with a warm welcome and smiles, the streets were clean and Haitians are leading the initiatives.
St. Louis Jhonn from Bolosse says, "It is not easy to grow in the right direction in my community. I often made the wrong decisions when it came to making friends and fighting was my favorite game. One day a friend named Benedict, who had graduated from HTC, called me and said, "John instead of fighting I am inviting you to a club." I asked him if it was a football club he said, "No the name is HTC Impact Club. They teach young women and men to know their value and how to serve their community." I eventually visited them and I liked it. At the HTC Impact Club we pray together and discuss the needs of our community. I am different than I used to be, I have stopped the bad things in my life and people have started to trust me and respect me."
Thank you for your continued support to:
"Build Godly leaders of integrity, so that Haitians are empowered to rebuild their nation for God's glory."
HTC Impact Clubs bring Haiti Teen Challenge into the community and are fully lead by HTC graduates. HTC Impact Clubs are currently located in Bolosse and Fort Medcredi.
Haiti Teen Challenge
740 East 24th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404
651.592.8774 (Vicki Jefferis)
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Défi Jeaunesse D’Haïti
108, Avenue Des Tourterelles
Delmas 75, Haïti