“What Christians Believe: Some Basic Elements about the Resurrection of Jesus”

“What Christians Believe: Some Basic Elements about the Resurrection of Jesus”

For many individuals, the resurrection of Jesus is a myth just like the Greco-Roman myths of old. Others see it as a religious fable, a folktale, an invention of the early Christians such as Peter, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, etc. Other critics state that Jesus is a creation of the early Christians and that there was no historical person named Jesus the way Christians present him to the world or talk about the existence of a real Jesus in the Bible and church traditions.

By contrast, for Christians around the world, Jesus was not only existed as a human being; he is present or real in their life today. The majority of Christians around the world also believe the resurrection of Jesus is one of the top historical pieces of evidence that proves the existence of God, and comparatively, they believe the physical resurrection of Jesus is what makes Christianity what it is, that is, its association with Jesus’ divine origin and same nature as Yahweh, the creator God of the universe and all human beings. In this non-technical post, I would like to reflect upon some basic elements about the resurrection and what the majority of Christians believe about it.

1. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS WAS PHYSICAL. According to the Bible, the traditions of the Christian church, and the followers of the individuals who knew Jesus and walked with him while he was alive, Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the grave. They believed that the act of raising from the tomb was not a spiritual resurrection; rather, it was a physical resurrection.

2. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS WAS HISTORICAL. The resurrection of Jesus is presented as a historical event. According to many individuals who knew Jesus before his death, this same Jesus who was crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected showed himself to them on the third day. They also said that the resurrected Jesus talked to them, allowed them to touch his body, appeared to many individuals who are known as eyewitnesses, and even ate with them in group. These same individuals stated that the resurrected Jesus was not a ghost, an angel, a spiritual being, or an illusion. According to their reports, the resurrected Jesus was a real person, a human being with physical features and bodily parts.

3. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS WAS SUPERNATURAL. These same individuals also declared that the resurrection of Jesus was both a historical event and a faith-based event. By the integrating the idea of “faith” in their understanding of the physical resurrection of Jesus, they believed that God worked a miracle, that is, something extraordinary and unnatural, by raising Jesus from the dead by his power. In other words, they established a relationship between faith and divine power, physical resurrection and divine miracle. This kind of faith is not historical, but supernatural; yet the historicity of the physical resurrection required a supernatural intervention. In other words, faith in a God that can raise people from the dead validated the physical resurrection of Jesus–a human being. God raised Jesus from the dead by his power!

4. Thus, the resurrection of Jesus means and accomplishes many things.

a) First, it demonstrates that God can use his power effectively to do the unexpected, such as bringing to life a dead person, for example, Jesus who was also dead but God raised him from the dead; Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, who was also dead, but God through Jesus raised him from the dead.

b) Second, the resurrection also shows that all religious beliefs require human connection with the divine, as well as the proximity or presence of God with human beings. God is not far from us; he is near and present where human beings are present or live.

c) Third, the resurrection is a supernatural phenomenon that invites reasonable faith and belief in a powerful God.

d) Finally, the resurrection shows the fragility of human nature and the weakness of human beings. According to Christian belief in the resurrection, because God is not a human being, he is strong and has power over death and the forces of darkness.

5. These same individuals in the Bible (the New Testament), the first Christians, and early church reports and traditions constructed a new understanding of Jesus and his identity. What did they say exactly about Jesus’ identity and his deeds after the resurrection.

a) The writers of the New Testament and the early Christian thinkers and writers (i.e. church fathers) reinterpreted the teachings and deeds of Jesus in light of his new identity and in connection to the significance of the historical resurrection.

b) They believed because God raised Jesus from the dead, God also approved the teachings and works of Jesus while he was alive. In other words, Jesus was a man attested by God. The resurrection was a sign of divine satisfaction about the life and person of Jesus of Nazareth. God was pleased about Jesus’ character and how Jesus lived, treated people, and taught people about God.

c) Because of the resurrection, they exalted Jesus to a divine status and believed that Jesus was the “Anointed One,” the Jewish Messiah. Yet these same individuals gave a divine identity to the Jewish Messiah whom they said was Jesus.

d) Because of the resurrection, the early Christians worshipped Jesus the Christ the same way they used to worship God/Yahweh, and used divine titles and attributes they traditionally applied to Yahweh to Jesus.

e) Because of the resurrection, they began to read/reread more carefully about what Jesus really said before his death and investigated the supernatural connection of his sayings and works, such as his miraculous and exorcist activities, with the works and sayings of God of the Hebrew Scriptures/Yahweh.

f) As a result, they said only a God-like person could perform such supernatural works and say things only God could say. Yet these same individuals argued that while Jesus was fully human, he was more than a super hero; in fact, they believed that Jesus was God himself (they did not say it like that though. They used different literary techniques, technical concepts, writing strategies, and ideological concepts to establish Jesus’ divine origin) For example, before his death, the writers of the New Testament and early church fathers wrote many things about Jesus, including the following:

1. Jesus offered people eternal life and salvation; he forgave people’s sins;

2. Jesus said that God was his father and he was the Son of God–not in the sense that God was his biological son, but in the sense of he possessing the same nature like God or at least, having a direct connection with God like no other human being on earth–, making himself the Son of God;

3. Jesus said that he and God are one–not in the sense that God is in all of us or God’s presence is forever with human beings–; rather, Jesus was declaring that he possessed the same divine identity like God and like God, he is also God;

4. Jesus calmed heavy winds and told people exactly what was in their hearts. There are many other things the writers of the New Testament and church traditions said Jesus did and said. I have to be selective in this post.

However, both ancient and modern magicians and religious prophets do/did quite a few things like Jesus, and even make/made similar declarations like Jesus. What makes Jesus different than these miracles workers, houngan, mambo, magicians, medicine men? According to the writers of the New Testament and the writings of the church fathers, there were at least five things:

1. The physical resurrection of Jesus sealed the messianic identity and divine origin of Jesus. According to the Gospel and ecclesiastical traditions, the resurrection established the deity of Jesus and proved that Jesus existed as God before he became a human being. This is called the doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ in Christian theology.

2. Jesus’ exclusive and absolute claims of his divine origin or essence, having the same nature and equal power with God to forgive sin and raise people from the dead, and to save people from sins and give them eternal life.

3. Jesus’ exclusive claim that he is the “only way” to God. Jesus’ exclusive claim he is “the truth” and “life” itself. Jesus’ exclusive claim that he is the resurrection and life, and that he existed before Abraham was born.

4. The recognition of Jesus of his divine status and messianic self-consciousness linked to his messianic mission as God’s special emissary in the world.

5. Jesus’ own prophecy about his death, burial, and resurrection.

6. Jesus transforms people’s lives and make individuals better citizens and human beings.

Conclusion: Whether you believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus, Jesus’ deity, or doubted the historical existence of the historical Jesus, it matters how you live your life in the moment and the time to come. Your choice is a personal one. For many Christians, however, the resurrection of Jesus secures their hope in the time to come and guarantees their salvation in God. Christians believe that the resurrection is the gift for all people just like Jesus is God’s universal gift to humanity.

Happy Resurrection Day!

“3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born…

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?

Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 12-19, 55-56

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Index to (Re-)reading Saint Augustine’s “Confessions”: A 30-day Meditation!

Index to (Re-)reading Saint Augustine’s “Confessions”: A 30-day Meditation!

I created an index for the 30 days of our (re-)reading of Saint Augustine’s Confessions and meditating upon his life, and his ideas and understandings of God. At the link, you will have access to the individual title  and theme associating with each reading and reflection for all the past 30 days. Beginning in September, we will read again (for me it is a rereading; perhaps, for some of you, it will be a new reading.  I will post a daily reflection or meditation on this text) through Saint Augustine’s masterpiece, The City of God. I hope you have enjoyed the spiritual and intellectual journey through The Confessions.

St Augustine2

Day 1: Nothing in God Dies!

Day 2: God, the Most Beautiful One and the Most Present One

Day 3: You Made us for Thyself: We Rest in Thee

Day 4: God, the Infinite Life and the Infinite Being, is One and the Same!

Day 5:  Honoring and Glorifying God through Reading and Writing, and Thinking and Scholarship

Day 6: Human Beings Cannot Hide Away from God, the Most Glorious One

Day 7: The Holy Scriptures are Better than the Prose of Cicero!

Day 8: God, the Immutable One, is the Life of souls, and the Life of lives

Day 9: Man’s Mind is Not Supreme!

Day 10: God, the Everlasting Good, and our True Strength

Day 11: In Quest for a Clearer Vision of You and and the Truth

Day 12: The Joy from Faith and Shallow Happiness

Day 13: No one is Better than God, the Incorruptible One

Day 14: Christ, the Perfect Man, and the Wisdom of God

Day 15: His Conversion

Day 16: Writing about God as Vocation

Day 17: In praise of the godly Mother

Day 18: On Jesus Christ as the Immortal and Eternal Word and Truth of God

Day 19: What was God doing before he made the heavens and the earth?

Day 20: God and Time, and the Natural World

Day 21: The Past and the Future Do Not Exist!

Day 22: God, the Most Majestic and the Most Beautiful One!

Day 23: Toward the Quest for True Happiness and Joy, and Truth

Day 24: The God Who Makes both Men and Women Feel Special!

Day 25: The Literary and Analogical Trinity of God

Day 26: The God who Commands: He is the Common Good of all

Day 27: Creation and the Creator

Day 28: God and the Power of Human Memory

Day 29: Representational Hermeneutics: The Spiritual Truths Revealed in the Created Order

Day 30: God, Grant us Rest and Peace!

A Reading List on Western Philosophy and Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

A Reading List on Western Philosophy and Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

 by Celucien L. Joseph, PhD

Below, I recommend some of the most influential works in the history of Western philosophy, American philosophy, as well as Christian philosophy and apologetics. The list below is not meant to be exhaustive. For example, it does not deal with classical philosophy (with the exception of three to four titles on the list ); rather, the emphasis is on modern thought or history of ideas. I do not, for example, include works by African and Caribbean philosophers. I hope you will find the selected works helpful and meaningful to your own personal philosophical and spiritual growth and intellectual progress.

*** I wrote this post as a response to various inquiries I received from individuals and students who are passionate about the life of the mind and also from those would like to be well-versed in both Western Philosophy and Christian philosophy.

  1. Western Philosophy
  • A New History of Western Philosophy by Anthony Kenny
  • The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell
  • Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell
  • The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy by Bryan Magee
  • A Brief History of Thought by Luc Ferry
  • The Enfranchisement of Women by Harriet Taylor Mill
  • Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault
  • The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences by Michel Foucault
  • The Archaeology of Knowledge: And the Discourse on Language by Michel Foucault
  • Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
  • Some Thoughts Concerning Education by John Locke
  • Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
  • Critique of Judgment by Immanuel Kant
  • The Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
  • Phenomenology of Spirit by W. F. Hegel
  • Beyond Good And Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Gay Science by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Existentialism Is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
  • An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume
  • The History Of England by David Hume
  • Civilization and its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
  • The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt
  • Intention by G.E.M Anscombe
  • Modern Moral Philosophy by G.E.M Anscombe
  • Truth and Method by Hans-Georg Gadamer
  • Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics by Jean Grondin
  • The Hermeneutic Tradition: From Ast to Ricoeur
  • Structuralism: An Introduction by Robert Scholes
  • The Concept of Dread by Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  • Capital: Volume 1: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx
  • On Liberty and the Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill
  • Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
  • A Discourse on Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • On Certainty by Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir
  • Virtues and Vices by Philippa Foot
  • The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas
  • Ethics in the Real World by Peter Singer
  • Animal Liberation: A New Ethics for our Treatment of Animals by Peter Singer
  • Practical Ethics by Peter Singer
  • Famine, Affluence, & Morality by Peter Singer
  • Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • God is not Great Christopher Hitchens
  • The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

2. American Philosophy

  •  Nature and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Essays: First and Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The Will to Believe and Other Popular Essays by William James
  • The Varieties of Religious Beliefs by William James
  • Human Nature and Conduct by John Dewey
  • Experience and Nature by John Dewey
  •  The Public and its Problems by John Dewey
  • The Quest for Certainty by John Dewey
  •  The Soul of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty
  • Consequences of Pragmatism by Richard Rorty
  • Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard Rorty.
  • The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism by Cornel West
  • Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought by Lewis R. Gordon
  • Women, Culture & Politics by Angela Y. Davis
  • Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics by bell hooks
  • Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
  • Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • Love’s knowledge: essays on philosophy and literature by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • Sex & social justice by Martha Craven Nussbaum
  • On Race and Philosophy by Lucius Outlaw
  • Philosophy Born of Struggle: An Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy From 1917 by Harris Leonard
  • In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture by Kwame Anthony Appiah
  • Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy by Lewis Gordon
  • African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations by George Yancy
  • In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan
  • Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self by Linda Martín Alcoff
  • The Age of Atheists: How We Have Sought to Live Since the Death of God by Peter Watson
  • The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
  • The Moral Landscape: How Evolution Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris
  • The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
  • Breaking the Spell by Daniel C. Dennett

 

3. Christian Philosophy and Apologetics

  • City of God by Augustine of Hippo
  • Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
  • On Religion or The Christian Faith by Friedrich Schleiermacher
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
  • The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
  • The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
  • Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga
  • God, Freedom, and Evil by Alvin Plantinga
  • The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
  • Foolishness to the Greeks by Lesslie Newbigin
  • Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity by J.P. Moreland
  • A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by John Frame
  • Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck
  • Philosophy and the Christian Faith by Thomas V. Morris
  • Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview by J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig
  • Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective by Norman L. Geisler
  • Practice in Christianity by Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Christian God by Richard Swinburne
  • Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig
  • Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig
  • The Reason for God by Tim Keller
  • Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith by Douglas Groothius
  • How (Not) To Be Secular by James K. A. Smith
  • Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J.P. Moreland
  • Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism by John C. Lennox
  • Fool’s Talk: Recovery The Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guiness
  • Renaissance by Os Guinness
  • Can Man Live Without God by Ravi Zacharias
  • The Kingdom of God Is Within You by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog by James W. Sire
  • The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy: The 3 Essential Books in 1 Volume/the God Who Is There/Escape from Reason/He Is There and He Is Not Silent by Francis A. Schaeffer
  • The Postmodern World: Discerning the Times and the Spirit of Our Age by Millard J. Erickson
  • Truth or Consequences: The Promise and Perils of Postmodernism
  • God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams by David F. Wells
  • When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe
  • Thant’s Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith by Paul Copan
  • Foolishness to the Greeks and the Gospel and Western Culture by Lesslie Newbigin
  • Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey
  • The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind by Alister McGrath
  • Christ and Culture Revisited by D. A. Carson
  • The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson
  • The Gagging of God by D.A. Carson
  • How Shall We Live? Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

 

New Baptisms!

The church (“L’église Chrétienne de vie et d’espérance de Bois “/ “Christian church of life and hope of Bois d’eau”) we helped to establish in Bois d’eau, Port Margot (Haiti) married three couples who were living in cohabitation. We paid for the wedding and took charge of the reception. We also baptized five new members in our one year anniversary. We would like to share with you photos from both events and the great work God is doing in this city.

Please continue praying for Pastor Odelyn Olivier, the senior pastor of the church, and the people at the church, for spiritual strength and growth, as well as resources. Please also pray for the preschool we are starting in September 2019.

Click on the link below to view the photos of the Baptism ceremony :

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Hopefortodayoutreachhaiti/posts/?ref=page_internal

 

 

 

Updates: Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port-Margot, Haiti )

Updates: Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port-Margot, Haiti 🇭🇹)

The three boxes that contain the school supplies for the students and the classroom items are ready to be shipped today to Haiti 🇭🇹.

Click on the link below to access photos via our Facebook page

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Click on the link below to access other photos via our Facebook page:

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“Some Updates about the Haiti’s Preschool and Kindergarten Project”

We just purchased the school supplies for the amazing 25 children of “Hope Academy de Bois d’eau,” Port-Margot, Haiti. Allow me to show you in just a minute…

Hope For Today Outreach would like to thank everyone for your generous gifts toward the preschool/Kindergarten project in Haiti 🇭🇹.

We still need to raise more funds to buy food for the students ( to feed them 5 days a week when they come to school) to pay the teachers and staff. Personally, I can’t wait to meet every child who is going to attend “Hope Academy de Bois d’eau,” beginning in September 2019.

#SupporteducationinHaiti
#TeachourchildrenforanewHaiti
#Education&transformation

Mission and Vision Statements Modified

We modified the mission and vision of Hope for Today Outreach (HTO)

Hope for Today Outreach (HTO) is a Christian faith-based and non-profit organization that takes a holistic approach to sustainable development and human flourishing so we can empower the poor, the marginalized, and the economically-disadvantaged individuals and families. To achieve this goal, HTO invests in various (social) development projects and works in the areas of poverty, education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture and food, trade training, leadership, church renovation, spiritual formation, etc. We primarily serve families in the impoverished area of Port-Margot, Haiti to contribute to the Region’s development and growth, and human flourishing.

We maintain that showing compassion to and helping the poor, the needy, the homeless, and the imprisoned is an integral part of the Biblical story of God’s restoration of humanity and the goods news Jesus preached.

 

“Hope for Today Outreach’s Six Major Projects for Rural Haiti 🇭🇹: Toward Sustaining Development and Human Flourishing”

1. Establish fully funded (and free) schools (Preschool to High School) with arts programs, pre-vocational programs, medical clinics/facilities, and clean and sanitary water projects in Haiti’s poorest rural areas–10 schools per department;

***Haiti is divided in 10 Departments or Provinces, including Artibonite,
Centre, Ouest, Nord, Grand’Anse, Sud
Nippes, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, and Sud-Est.

2. Create literacy programs for illiterate Haitian adults in the most empoverished areas in the country: 10 literacy centres per department;

3. Establish vocational/professional schools with programs such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity, refrigeration, masonry, barber, culinary arts, etc., in 10 most needing rural areas in the country;

4. Create religious programs and theological schools to provide decolonial spiritual formation and training and to promote postcolonial hermeneutics and indigenous ecclesiastical practices: we’ll need 10 major centres: one per department;

5. Create Community libraries and community-activity centers: we’ll need 10 of those per department in rural regions in the country;

6. Create Teacher Education Programs & Leadership Schools in rural Haiti: we’ll need 10 centres per department

How to fund these programs and projects:

A. Through the development of Haiti’s agriculture and natural resources;

B. By soliciting assistance from Haitian professionals in the Diaspora to invest in these projects;

C. By establishing scholarship funds and grants;

D. By soliciting Haiti’s wealthy class and rich private sector to invest in these projects;

E. By promoting (and selling) Hope for Today Outreach’s intellectual resources such as books, cds, teaching materials such as seminars and workshops on leadership, health, and education, etc.

F. By encouraging generous and humanitarian individuals and families to add Hope for Today Outreach to their living wills, trusts, and estates.

***We are making the first step in realizing a small portion of our goals. In September 2019, Hope Academy de Bois d’eau, located in the rural area of Bois d’eau, Port Margot, will start running with 25 students. In the next five years, our goal is to start a medical clinic and provide sanitary and clean water to the population there.

Our motto is “to remember the poor.”

 

–Dr. Celucien L. Joseph, President

Update: First Day of Class at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port Margot, Haiti)

Update: First Day of Class at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port Margot, Haiti)

Hello, Friends: Today (Monday, September 16, 2019) was the first day of class for these amazing and talended Haitian boys and girls at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau. It’s both a joy and delight to see this collective dream of ours is being realized. I truly believe that education is one of the important vehicles to transform a country (Haiti) and help prepare the Haitian youth to become engaged and responsible citizens who will contribute to the common good and human flourishing in the Haitian society. In the context of Haiti, an engaged pedagogy is the most promising tool of decolonization and reconstitution of the (Haitian) mind toward a sustaining community and an effective and strong nation. Investing in education is to foster hope in life and impute optimism in human interactions and relationships; correspondingly, to invest in people and their future is to lead to the good life and the good community we all envision and covet.That is what we hope to accomplish at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau.

The photos below of these haitian boys and girls attending their very first day of class brought tears to my eyes. I just can’t believe what’s happening today. The staff of Hope Academy de Bois d’eau and Hope for Today Outreach (HTO) and the parents of these little ones would like to thank you for all the support you have provided to make this dream a reality.

We continue to count on your collective support and the cooperating efforts of various communities so that the students and (their) families at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau could fulfill their their dreams and goals in Haiti 🇭🇹 as well as the mission of HTO: (1) holistic and sustainable development, (2) improved and better human conditions (i.e. economic, political, cultural), and (3) strong civil and political societies in Haiti.

 

Click on the link below to view photos via our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHopefortodayoutreachhaiti%2Fposts%2F2466972616872304&width=500

 

Peace and Blessings,

Celucien Louis Joseph, PhD

President and Founder
Hope for Today Outreach

“Extreme Poverty in Rural Haiti”

“Extreme Poverty in Rural Haiti”

I’ve been taking frequent trips to Haiti since 1995; usually, I visit Haiti two to three times a year. It hit me very hard this year when I recently went to Haiti early in January. The good team from Hope for Today Outreach and I visited about 130 homes distributing hygienic items to Haitian peasant families in a remote area (i.e. mountain) in Grande Rivière. The human condition is inhumane and quite depressing in that rural area. The level of suffering has grown over the years and touched every aspect of (peasant) life. The level of poverty that I witnessed in that area is disheartening and problematic.

I met a lady who is the mother of five children. Her husband was not home at that time. The family lives in extreme poverty. She and I share the same last name. About five years ago, she lost her home to a tragic rainfall. Her house was totally destroyed by the rain.

As a result, she and her husband relocated to the new area where I met her. She is renting her current home for $ 1500 Haitian dollars annually, which is equivalent to $ 80 U.S. dollars, annually. She is is unable to pay her rent and several months behind.The current home she is renting is made of mud, wood, and palm trees. It’s a tiny 2 bedrooms. The wall in one bedroom is severely damaged and collapsed. She has no beds inside the house; all the five children sleep on the hard floor in the tiny living room. There’s no toilet or kitchen. Some of her children were wearing very torn clothes, and the little girls had no underwear on. Folks, this is extreme poverty!

 

“Redefining Poverty and what It Means to be Human”

1. Being poor does not mean you are not intelligent and can’t contribute to human flourishing.
2. Being poor does not mean you can’t have big dreams and lofty goals, and that you have nothing constructive to contribute to society.
3. Being poor does not mean you can’t become somebody great in life and does not have a (political) voice.
4. Being poor does not mean you can’t beat the odds of life and overcome all the unfortunate circumstances in your life.
5. Being poor does not mean you are linguistically deficient and psychologically unfit for society and upward mobility.
6. Being poor does not mean you are not a person and does not have dignity.
7. Being poor does not mean you should allow people to mistreat and disrespect you just because you are poor.
8. Being poor does not mean you’re a hopeless individual and that your life has no meaning.
9. Being poor does not mean you are not beautifully and unwanted.
10. Being poor does not mean God is done with you.

Grace and peace!

Dr. Celucien L. Joseph