We are delighted to bring you this guest blog from our friends at Hispaniola Mountain Ministries.
~Michael and Frida Donner
When others who’ve worked alongside him in ministry over the last three years were asked to describe him, there was a consistent underlying thread for Delince Cenat’s personality.
JOY. Pure joy.
Delince, 35, has a passion for Jesus that is seemingly unquenchable. His enthusiastic singing with the children, his beautiful smile and his sincere and hearty greetings make everyone feel welcome, loved and appreciated.
When asked where his endless supply of energy comes from, he gives glory to God and adds that he has “a passion to help others realize their dream.”
Delince began working as a translator for HMM in May 2013 and became the 2nd grade teacher at the Good Samaritan School in Anse-a-Pitre (Haiti) in September. He has quickly become a favorite among the children at the school and in other neighborhoods in the area where HMM partners with local churches – whether he is their teacher or not. In January 2015, Delince moved from the 2nd grade classroom to teaching the Bible class for all the students at the school. He is also serving as HMM’s liaison to the school for the child sponsorship program.
Delince says teaching the students in Bible classes is his favorite role yet. “I have a passion to teach Bible,” he explains. “I love letting them know about Jesus.”
Delince Makes A Huge Impact
The impact Delince is having on the children’s lives in Anse-A-Pitre is clearly evident. They respect him and revere him as a role model. “Many tell me, ‘Teacher, I want to be like you when I become an adult,’” Delince shares – and he adds that hearing this makes him a little teary. He encourages the students to attend church each week and shares it makes him “feel so excited” to hear them report after the weekend that they attended a local church.
Unable to start school until he was 10 years old, Delince understands the struggles most of his students face in coming to school each day. Delince grew up in the small Haitian community of Banano and is the oldest of eight siblings; he knows all too well the sacrifices involved in turning dreams into reality. For his final six years of secondary education, he walked 18 miles to school in Thiotte every Monday morning, leaving as early as 2 a.m. and walking 18 miles home on Friday evening.
“It was not easy because I did not have food to eat there sometimes,” Delince recalls. “My parents did not have enough to feed seven kids at home and one in Thiotte at the same time.”
Delince dreamed of continuing his education at University and becoming a computer engineer. He wanted to return to his home area “to teach other kids about the computer that never have [the] possibility to see one.” But Delince’s dreams were derailed while he was studying in Port-Au-Prince. His aunt, who was helping him pay for his education, lost her job when after his second year of computer training. After this setback, he shifted his focus to developing his English skills and began working as a translator. He still hopes to return to University one day to complete his degree.
Delince is engaged to be married this December and is one of the great leaders that we (HMM) are privileged to serve with in Haiti.