A very proud school board gathered with the Western Christian High student body around a school bus decorated with Bible verses the morning of Nov. 7. Dan Barkel, principal of Western, handed over the keys of that bus to Janeen De Jager, Rock Valley representative of Prosperity of God Ministries in Haiti.
The organization is based in White House, Tenn., but was started by a group of Haitian men from Minotrie, Haiti, where a village school was started only a year and a half ago. When Janeen heard that the school was looking for a bus she contacted the schools in the area, one of which was Western Christian. The school board in Haiti considered all the buses available to them and decided that Western’s would be best for them.
Barkel confessed “when Janeen first contacted us about donating a bus, my first thought was that the school itself is a non-profit for charity and you want us to donate?” Nevertheless, the idea was presented to the school board. “The more we thought about it, the more we realized how richly blessed we are here. We needed to give out of our wealth and bounty,” Barkel said.
The art students of Western Christian wrote Bible verses in Creole, the Haitian language, on to the school bus windows, and in the interior.
“We wanted the kids to do this because this is primarily a worship bus. You never know what kids are going through and what kind of encouragement they can take from those words,” De Jager said.
The bus will journey with De Jager to Tennessee where the representatives there will continue on to Florida. From there it will be loaded on to a boat and shipped to Haiti. The bus will travel those many miles carrying precious cargo donated by Western Christian’s student body. A total of $1100 worth of school supplies were bought the night before the ceremony last week and packed into the bus for its journey.
“I expected maybe a couple hundred dollars,” Barkel said. “I was just stunned by the generosity of our students.”
It was announced only one week previous that the school board was donating a bus and that any donations for school supplies were welcome.
“I was very impressed,” De Jager added. “I didn’t hear until this morning how much the kids had donated. It’s really awesome to see them going out of their way to help.”
Barkel plans to continue the relationship the school has formed with Prosperity of God Ministries.
“We want to this to be more than a one-time thing. Maybe in the future we could have some mission opportunities for our kids to go down to Haiti,” Barkel said.
“The idea is to impress upon the kids that Christian living goes beyond what we do in our own backyards,” Barkel added. “This is a great opportunity to do that, and to aid our fellows Christians while we’re at it.”