Two days before Thanksgiving I lost a brother. He was only 20 years old. His young life was short lived as a result of disobedience, bad company, a life of partying and drinking. Like most young people in Haiti he had no father to guide him, so he followed other troubled and directionless young men on the streets. He had five other young men with him when the car accident occurred. He and one other died and three are still in critical condition. This tragedy hit me hard and I felt devastated. So many young men and women are shattering their future just like my little brother.
Tragedy like this happens every day everywhere, but in Haiti this type of destruction has been growing exponentially. But this younger generation under the age of 25, which represents over 65% of the population, is hungry for a new direction and a new purpose.
Haiti Teen Challenge was started because in 2008 "For such a time as this you have been called." Esther 4:14. Since then we have been on a quest to provide another way, God's way, God's story. As we humbly serve these young men, we proudly proclaim that only Jesus transforms broken lives. And, while daily we are reminded of the enormity of the task, we are inspired onward by the lives that are being transformed, the hope that is growing, and the hearts that are eager to spread the good news that Emmanuel is here in Port Au Prince.
Without your generosity we would not be able to do what God has called us to do. Young men would not know about God's love, redemption and plan for their lives, and would probably end up like my little brother.
As we near the end of the year I invite you to trust God with us. We need your help. Would you consider a year-end gift to help us finish this year financially strong? Would you share this mission with your friends, neighbors and church leaders? Would you faithfully pray for us and for our students?
Thank you friends and partners, you continue to give us your best and we have been blessed. As my family and I celebrate our first Christmas in Haiti, our prayer for you is a Christmas filled with Joy.
Juilo Haiti Teen Challenge Executive Director