Breaking Down Racial Barriers

Jean, Rubens and Julian: Haitian students enjoying Thanksgiving at the Bible Training Center

We currently have 4 Haitian men in the Bible training. Racial relationships between Bahamians and Haitians are a source of tension and Haitians are generally discriminated against. These men are only allowed to make half of what a Bahamian working the same job will make. They faithfully travel every night from Tarpum Bay which is about a 60 mile drive. This is a huge financial sacrifice for these men. They also consistently pay the full tuition for the class, and have never asked for a lower price or any special treatment. As a matter of fact, they have great joy when they hand in their tuition check! The Bahamian students are friendly, but not overly interactive with these men. They always sit at a table by themselves, during dinner time, and appear to feel inferior. Despite my (Mike Fastzkie) attempt to mingle during meal time, others in the class do not do the same.  During the most recent class, however, a Bahamian student named Roscoe, sat down at the table with the Haitian students. When I walked up, they were all enjoying good conversation. After a few minutes Rosco pulled out his wallet and offered the men $15 to help with gas for their journey. The men were very touched by this gesture, this was a moment that I will never forget and reminds me of why we are here and why we do what we do.  In April we celebrate the graduation of this, the 10th class to graduate from the Eleuthera Bible Training Center a true testament to the many who have served and a true example of God’s glory being made known on the island of Eleuthera and throughout the Caribbean.

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