— What would it be like to live without electric lights?
Productive work is limited to the
hours the sun is shining. Without light
bulbs or reliable electricity, people in many poor regions resort to kerosene
lamps or open flame. Getting around
after dark proves a safety risk in poor areas, too, but this is something those
living in poverty deal with every day.
In the slums and rural
villages of Haiti, light and electricity are inconsistent at best, non-existent
in most cases.
affects everyone in the community. For
adults, their productivity is limited to daylight hours. Home-based businesses like tailoring end at
dusk. For children, school is followed by a long walk. Safety issues mean that
walk has to be in daylight, so time available in the classroom is restricted. When they arrive home needing to do their
schoolwork, students have no light to study, and all that greets them is darkness
and thick smoke from the open fire.
Bright Hope wants to change that and is doing so
through social media and advocacy. They're focusing on Pignon, Haiti,
a rural spot some 60 miles northeast of Port-au-Prince, where electricity is
scarce. More on that in a moment.
Bright Hope International President CH Dyer explains, "We've got churches that are being
planted, the Gospel being shared, people
coming to Christ; we have food, clothing, and medicines being delivered. We also
have microloan programs that are helping these families raise their income; so,
it's a real holistic effort."
One of the ministry's friends noted the issues with lack of light and decided to do something about it. "We recently had a contributor who had a
whole bunch of these hand-cranked flashlights–15,000, in fact–and people really loved them because there
was no electricity at night."
Bright Hope distributed the flashlights in a few
rural ministry areas in Pignon, and people loved them. "I am very
happy for this special gift, because my church is in the countryside. Sometimes
people don't have light. They don't have money to buy gas to put in their lamp.
When people find this flashlight, they will be very happy. It is a blessing for
the people," said Pastor Stanley, a Haitian Pastor partnering with Bright
Dyer goes on to say, "You can give them one of
these flashlights, and it won't wear out because it isn't relying on
batteries. It will give people a pleasant experience of being able to have
some safety at night, and is just a useful tool."
The donor, seeing the enthusiasm of the recipients, thought of a
way to not only meet a need, but also to raise awareness about Bright Hope's
work. "This donor said, 'I want to
help you in other ways, so I'll donate one of these flashlights for every
person who comes to Bright Hope's fan page on Facebook and 'Likes' you
From now thru
May 31, for every new Fan Page "Like" Bright Hope receives on Facebook, they'll
donate a hand-powered flashlight to a village in Haiti. They're hoping to get at least 5,000 "Likes" on the page.
It's no coincidence that there's a connection
between physical and spiritual needs. "It'll be the church spreading light:
physical light. Of course, our hope is that this will build
relationships so when it comes to the
next evangelistic meeting they have, they say, 'Hey–come to church. You know
that church that provided you that flashlight? Why don't you come to church and
hear more about this Jesus who loves you so much.'"
Making life brighter
for Haitians is as simple as flipping a switch, or in this case, clicking a
button. "Like" Bright Hope's Facebook Fan
Page at Facebook.com/BrightHopeIntl
to bring Hope and light to thousands. It is simple, free, and will impact
thousands of lives of those living in extreme poverty
Bright lights, Bright Hope, "Like" for Light.