The Legacy Project
by Jen Hatmaker on November 6th, 2012

Scene: Haiti
 
On my right, buildings and homes still left in rubble three years after the earthquake, amid much reconstruction, but still.
 
On my right, men, young men, everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, sitting on the curbs, nowhere to go, apparently nothing to do.
 
Stretched out in front of me as far as the eye can see, Tent City, still home to over 20,000 displaced people, a city of sewage and deterioration and fear.
 
In my ear, our Haitian leaders telling us, “There is no local economic stimulus here. There simply aren’t jobs. We have no export or international trade or strong industry. We have no insurance system. There is no safety net.
 
And some small part of me simply despaired.

Because how can I help stimulate an entire economy? What could I possibly do to move the Haitian government toward reform? These systemic problems are beyond my scope, out of reach of my understanding. This is not my lane, and I feel helpless, frustrated, useless.
 
Then this from our leader:
 
“In Haiti, only 5 out of 10 children attend elementary school at all. Once they reach middle and high school, only 2 out of 10 kids get to go.”

 
Wait. Just. A. Minute.
 
No. Unacceptable.
 
I may not understand the nuances of economic stimulus and viable international exports, but I do know this: No country will ever lift out of extreme poverty with education stats like that. With 50% of the nation’s children totally uneducated and only 20% entering adulthood with even just a high school diploma, we are staring down endless cycles of poverty and disempowerment. We can pile on programs and initiatives and business models ad nauseum, but if half the future generation can’t even read, the ceiling will be reached before hope even got off the ground.
 
So…let’s build a school.
 
It’s so attainable, so easy, so sustainable and long-term. At Yaveh Shamma, the kids' home supported by Help One Now, Pastor Gaetan is raising 30 children. Additionally, 120 vulnerable kids from the community who couldn’t afford school otherwise traipse in the big metal doors of the kids' home five days a week in their little proud uniforms to attend the school as well.
 
This is what they are currently meeting in:

Another tent in a nation of temporary solutions. It is open, exposed to every gust of wind, every sheet of rain, every swirl of dust, every decibel of Haitian noise. The children outgrew the space ages ago. A few desks, one chalkboard, a thin partition of canvas between grades…I am awed by their resourcefulness. No shelves, no books, no other learning materials. Where would they put them? As is, it is simply a rudimentary roof over their heads where they are receiving the basic building blocks of a future.
 
Pastor Gaetan has the space. What he doesn’t have is the funding. Top to bottom, bricks and floors and roof and walls and windows: 90K. That’s it. The cost of a small, inexpensive home in America. It's so doable between us all, I almost want to laugh. The entire Haiti blogging team is rallying around this Legacy Project, and I daresay God sovereignly directed us toward this very task while in Haiti last month. He set it before us and said, “Champion it.”
The team, dreaming this thing up in Haiti, after our day was "randomly" derailed.

Let’s build it for him. For the kids. For the community. For Haiti.
 
It’s going to be so easy:
 
1. If you haven’t already, sign up for Pure Charity. "Follow" me through that link, and that is your ticket in the door. Then create your own account. (Missed that part? Read here.)
2. Back our Legacy Project. ("Fund this project" is the same thing.)
3. DONATE into your own personal Pure Charity account to get the ball rolling! I did it. All the cool kids are.
4. Continue to funnel your Christmas and holiday spending and just regular old boring necessary life spending through Pure Charity partners online and in-stores, and your personal giving account will continue to grow. With the Legacy Project backed, those precious dollars will start funding windows, floors, doors, walls. AMEN.
5. Invite your people into this dream. Share the Pure Charity Legacy Project page with your friends. Let’s move this sideways, out, and up.
 
We’re going to fund the school in seven phases, one building stage at a time. Not only does this break it down into manageable chunks, but let’s just say your church, your small group, your Sunday School class, your extended family wants to make a big dent together…$3000 for Phase 1? Take it. Run with it. Raise it together.
 
150 children impacted forever, with new students able to join every year. 12 teachers hired. At least 30 jobs created for Haitians in the construction. Building materials bought locally as economic stimulus. Families able to lift out of extreme poverty. This small project will literally impact thousands of Haitians over time and create a pocket of possibility where Jesus reins and hope rises.
 
Jesus always told us that the kingdom would come in small ways: like a seed, like yeast in dough, like a small pearl in a shell, through children and the meek. It may not feel fancy or totally comprehensive or enormous. But it is in the million small moments of obedience, of sacrifice, of trust in the power of Jesus that the kingdom advances. It's in your little offering and my small part and all of that added together turns into hope and a future. Building a school in the middle of poverty will not change everything…
 
But it’s a start.
 
It counts.

This is it, the stuff of the kingdom, the intercession for the vulnerable, the joy of mission. This school will be a safe place for a small community to send their children, providing them with everything they need to rise up and change their country. We might never know the ripple effects or see how far this one small safe haven reached, but in God’s capable hands, justice will roll on like a river and righteousness like a never-failing stream.
 
God, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
 
Let’s do this.


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49 Comments

Kelly - November 6th, 2012 at 9:40 AM
YES YES YES!!!
jaimelkelley@gmail.com - November 6th, 2012 at 9:44 AM
So excited to join you!
Jennifer Main - November 6th, 2012 at 9:51 AM
Beautiful! Awesome! Any missions trips needed/planned to help the Haitians who will be building this wonderful school?
Happi Lynn - November 7th, 2012 at 7:19 PM
That's what I want to know!!!

Karla McCall - November 6th, 2012 at 9:54 AM
Joining Now.
Anna Bowman - November 6th, 2012 at 9:59 AM
Love this!!! Signing up right now :)
Leigh Ann - November 6th, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Does this mean you can donate straight money into our Pure Charity accounts besides just the charitable stuff from retailers?
Jen Hatmaker - November 6th, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Exactly! You can just click "fund this project" and it takes you to a page where you can just donate with the card you registered. It starts in increments of $5, but you can change that to whatever you want! This will make a quicker, bigger dent than our small percentages, but altogether, it's going to add up to one AWESOME SCHOOL.
Leigh Ann - November 6th, 2012 at 10:30 AM
So, so cool. I hope you realize how just how uncomfortable you, your book, my church and God have made my life lately... A year ago I changed churches and started attending Passion City Church in Atlanta and have since gotten in over my head with their pursuit of God in the freedom movement and I'm loving it...that all happened just in time to read 7 and let God slap me upside the head all over again. Life looks a lot different going towards 2013 than it did a year ago and I'm oh so grateful.
Heather - November 6th, 2012 at 10:36 AM
What a cool opportunity!! I am a designer for an architecture firm here in the US and I largely work on schools - this hits close to home. I don't know where the school is at in the design process (it looks like there are some foundations already poured?) but I wanted to pass along the name of another ministry that does design work around the world in case y'all needed assistance with that. Engineering Ministries International (EMI - http://www.emiusa.org/) provides pro bono engineering and architecture services for projects around the world. I know they are currently doing several projects in Haiti and might be able to provide any services you need. (From an architect's perspective, rebuilding is very important, but it is equally important that the new buildings are designed safely so that they can withstand any future disasters). I can't wait to see the amazing things God is going to do in and through this Legacy Project!!!
Katie - November 6th, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Jen-Does the school need teachers or will the teachers be Haitians as well? I teach English as a second language and I am a graduate student studying (and hoping to teach) Spanish. I am interested in teaching abroad as a ministry. Just wondering! I love your blog, and I am currently reading "Interrupted" and enjoying being challenged by it!
Lana Hope - November 6th, 2012 at 10:45 AM
Thank you for posting this. Reminds me a lot of Cambodia, my heart.
Jenn Douma - November 6th, 2012 at 12:29 PM
WOW! Awesome... I am currently fundraising to provide five toilets for the orphanage. I've been in contact with Pastor Gaetan since your Haiti blogs, and he said that is a current need based on the Haitan social workers. So happy to be a part of Gods army rising up!
San Francisco - November 6th, 2012 at 12:45 PM
This is AWESOME! So many of us are overwhelmed by the need when we visit other countries - and often leave feeling paralyzed to help in any way. God bless you for pushing yourself to do something that others can be part of and make a difference. Changing lives. This is truly Kingdom work. Thank you.
Jimmy Eskridge - November 6th, 2012 at 12:59 PM
There seems to be a problem. I just donated and the first part is 2/3 funded:) Good problem to have!!
Linda Bolt - November 6th, 2012 at 1:29 PM
This is great! Thank you for finding a way to help us make a clear concrete difference. I'm on board.

Is there a way to purchase airline tickets in a way that goes through Pure Charity?

I'm excited about this project, and think this is very doable.

This is what I want for Christmas; I want this school to happen.

Keep us updated with progress, and progress with photos is super.


Jen Hatmaker - November 6th, 2012 at 2:21 PM
Priceline is a partner!!!! A wonderful place to book any holiday travel and rack up some money for the school! Plus, they have a whole bunch of deals available to Pure Charity users for travel...
Kristen - November 6th, 2012 at 2:14 PM
BAM. Phase 1 fully funded. Amazing! Thank you for backing your convictions with actions. This is love made alive!
Camille - November 6th, 2012 at 2:25 PM
Hey Jen....Part I is showing as already funded on Pure Charity. So how do we get to Part II? Awesome! :-)
DawnMarie Moe - November 6th, 2012 at 2:36 PM
Hey Jan - I went to make a donation and it's fully funded! But I still want to help - how can I do that?
Sara - November 6th, 2012 at 2:52 PM
Please post when phase 2 is up so I can back it :) Apparently I wasn't fast enough for phase 1!
J S - November 6th, 2012 at 3:10 PM
Thanks for the inspiration and just the right words to make me finally "do something"! Glad to be a part of Phase 1, and so happy to see it already met the goal! Looking forward to Phase 2...
Debby Morden - November 6th, 2012 at 3:17 PM
Hey Jen, Met you @ Deeper life Retreat & already finished reading INTERRUPTED & that is what you & God have done in my life the past few days-not just pulling a little string but a big lasso into the TRUE service of God!! Thank you, thank you thank you not for igniting the passion! Please post when Phase 2 is up- I am ready & willing to help change the world for God's Kingdom
Jen Hatmaker - November 6th, 2012 at 4:36 PM
PHASE 2 UP AND RUNNING!!! Phase 1 funded in half a day. I'm dying over here. Let's keep the ball rolling. This is so fun...we're building a school. I'm so happy. I love you, everyone. Here is the link for Phase 2:

http://www.helponenow.org/jen/
or
https://www.purecharity.com/legacyphase2
Leah Armstrong Anderson - November 6th, 2012 at 6:39 PM
Do they need teachers? 'Cause, ya know, I'm a teacher. And so is my husband. :)
Mari - November 6th, 2012 at 7:51 PM
This is awesome.
Amy D - November 6th, 2012 at 8:25 PM
Sorry. Dumb question. I don't see a link to "follow" you? Do I sign up first, and then I can follow you?
Annie - November 7th, 2012 at 4:00 PM
Maybe this goes without saying, but will this school and this pastor be also educating these students in the truth of the gospel? So awesome that their physical needs will be met - just want to make sure their spiritual ones will be as well. =) Thanks for alerting us to the Help One Now project, Jen!
Daron dickens - November 7th, 2012 at 6:18 PM
Hey, I am writing here because I can't figure out how to contact you otherwise. I am here at the Rightnow conference and just heard you speak. I would like to talk to you about finding a place to serve where the mission is the same. Also, which of your books includes the story of your realization that lead you to where you are today. Sorry again if this is an inappropriate place to contact you. Call me #crazy. You can reach me at: D_deezer@yahoo.com
Laurie - November 8th, 2012 at 7:36 AM
I love your stuff when I have time to read it. In fact, you are motivating me to get motivated to change things in my country of choice: Honduras. The schools are abysmal. I have become complacent about being an agent of change. Thy Kingdom Come, Lord!
rachel blazer - November 8th, 2012 at 1:45 PM
is there a place to order your books (and jennie allen's as well) that would contribute to my pure charity account? i saw barnes & noble, but i wondered if there were other places...
thanks! : )
Debby Morden - November 8th, 2012 at 3:35 PM
See that Phase 2 is 2/3 funded-Praise the Lord!! And thanking him to speak to MANY more generous giving hearts. For his Kingdom! Am enjoying 7 immensely even though it is giving me a jinormous backlashing for how selfish & wasteful I have been! Thank you for inspiring me to do things that only give Glory to God!
Erin Kirk - November 8th, 2012 at 5:53 PM
I'm in. It's easy too.
Laura - November 8th, 2012 at 9:10 PM
I was SO thrilled to go over and see phase 1 was already fully funded. AMAZING! It's posted on my FB page, I'm very excited for the kids this will impact AND their families!!!! The child we sponsor lives in Haiti... some day I WILL visit there. :)
Colleen - November 9th, 2012 at 6:20 AM
I am a missionary working in Latin America and just got my own initiative approved as field partner on Pure Charity, but I was so happy to be able to contribute a little bit to this project. Orphans. Haiti. Education. All big chunks of my heart. Thanks, Jen, for sharing Pure Charity and the Legacy Project with all of us.
Aja - November 9th, 2012 at 10:11 AM
I love this! I just set up my account and blogged about it too!! I can't wait to see this school built and all the precious kids that will learn so much there!! This is what Christmas should be like!
Margaret - November 12th, 2012 at 12:32 PM
the pictures keep gripping my heart!
Suzanna Scrivener - November 12th, 2012 at 7:19 PM
Jen, my husband and I are praying about adopting and Haiti is the place on my heart. Is there an agency that you trust that handles adoptions in Haiti?
Debby Morden - November 12th, 2012 at 8:08 PM
Almost done with Phase 2-Keep praying that God speaks to people's hearts in this the season of thanks & giving. Was so excited to see Pure Charity pop up when I checked out airline tickets on Priceline & Expedia -AWESOME!! Saw Katie Davis got Glamour magazine's Woman of the Year for her ministry in Uganda -was so amazed that she was nominated by a magazine that covets physical appearance rather true beauty within & serving for God's glory (I did vote for her about ten times). Maybe it'll be your turn next year Jen -you have inspired so many into true worship & service-Amen
Nancy Rue - November 13th, 2012 at 9:23 AM
As always, Jen, you are incredible at doing EXACTLY what Jesus told us we needed to do. You absolutely put skin on the message. I'll always remember how impressed I was the first time I met you at the Houghs' two summers ago and I've followed you through Lee ever since. I have something I want to ask you. Do you have a minute to get in touch? nnrue@att.net. I'll look forward to it. Nancy Rue
Scot Caviness - November 17th, 2012 at 9:32 AM
Jen - met u at Catalyst. Love 7. Reading your blog 1st time today/remembered this Co. If helpful:)

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=5yEum1DiWrs&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D5yEum1DiWrs

Scot
Debby Morden - November 17th, 2012 at 3:53 PM
SO.. excited to see the miraculous power of God speaking to hearts as Phase 3 almost funded. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Finished 7-laughed, cried and got angry over the ways we absentmindedly are destroying this beautiful earth God gave us to live in & praise Him for. Think 7 will be a GREAT Christmas gift addition for my family gift baskets /hum.. Thank you for shining the light of HIS LOVE wherever you go
Denise - November 26th, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Hi Jen, I've been reading your blog for some time and I love it. You move and challenge me in so many different ways, but always with love and humor. I was totally drawn in by your experiences in Haiti. I just wanted to let you know that I just sponsored the cutest little girl in Haiti as a "gift" for my parents for Christmas. Who doesn't want one more grandbaby? I smile every time I look at her beautiful boo-boo face! https://www.helponenow.org/sponsorships/getline-francius/ I hope someday to visit her and give her a huge hug! Thank you so much for all you share with us!
Pamela - December 4th, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Hi Jen. I just recently finished your book "7" and am currently undertaking my own version of it. Like you I read "Irresistible Revolution" and it messed me up. I was so overwhelmed though and didn't know where to start. Your book "7" helped me to take all I was feeling and find very practical ways to start changing right now in my life. When I read your post today, I could feel my spirit soar. I want to get involved. I want to help. I want to serve. I want to teach! I know the schools need to be built first, but what are the chances that some teachers are also needed - even now in the tent schools? Are there needs for teacher training? Men make wonderful teachers - especially to those men still in little boy bodies! If there are any trips in the near future to go to Haiti, I want to come!
Kim - December 10th, 2012 at 6:01 AM
Here's a bummer--it takes about 90 days from when you buy something to when the funds become available in your pure charity account. I'm getting quite a bit, but can't send it to you yet.

John Finkelde - December 27th, 2012 at 8:35 PM
Congratulations on all you are doing in Haiti. I visit Africa every year & love to see the positive impact our church is making on communities.
Debby - January 6th, 2013 at 6:42 PM
The Legacy Project is funded! How AWESOME to see God's people working for His Kingdom!! When will the building start? Will love to see the progress as it is built!! Praise God!!
Katie - June 18th, 2013 at 8:35 PM
So now that the school is all funded, what's next?!!!!
J S - September 6th, 2013 at 8:05 PM
Have you heard any updates on this?? My family was so excited to donate to several phases of the Legacy Project. It's now September and we're anxious to know if the kids are starting school in their NEW building!!

thanks!
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