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A lot of prayer + a little help + no excuses...
That’s the recipe Luckner Jean is using to make a difference. “A little help” is the ingredient you could provide for other international students like Luckner. Keep reading to see how…
Born into a preacher’s family in Haiti, Luckner is the third of nine children. “Growing up, life was very difficult,” says Luckner. “In Haiti, preachers don’t get paid. You just do it because you love Jesus. So feeding nine children was not easy.” He dreamed of an education, though school was miles away and required tuition.
But no excuses. “We didn’t have money to pay for school, but if you recruited five paying students, the school gave you a scholarship. So I found other students.” He walked hours back and forth to school each day. Luckner smiles, “I made it all the way through my senior year.”
“Since childhood,” says Luckner, “my dream was to preach Jesus. As John 15 says, I want to be a productive branch for the Lord.” As a teenager, Luckner attended seminars at Haitian Christian Mission, led by Etienne Prophete. A 1974 Ozark graduate, Etienne’s ministry has started 57 churches gathering 15,000 weekly, 12 schools feeding 4,000 kids daily, and a medical clinic serving 14,000 annually. Luckner hoped to attend Ozark also, though the finances would be a challenge.
But no excuses. He applied for OCC’s International Student Grant—which provides tuition for qualifying international students—and then prayed hard. “I contacted Ozark, explained my passion for ministry, and I was accepted!” Luckner moved in with a host family and began working for OCC’s custodial crew to provide living expenses. (Though he only makes minimum wage, he sends much of it to his family back in Haiti.)
The language barrier was a challenge. Luckner had to improve his English and decipher American expressions. He laughs at one example. “My co-worker Elijah and I were going to ride in a van to go clean a dorm. He said, ‘Do you want shotgun?’ I thought, ‘Is he gonna shoot me?’ Then he explained why the passenger seat is called ‘shotgun.’ Now I understand.” Of course, taking college classes in a foreign language was difficult.
But no excuses. Luckner worked hard, and his English is now outstanding. “I have loved my preaching class with Professor Damien Spikereit and my personal evangelism class with Professor Gerald Griffin,” says Luckner. “I probably learned the most in my Principles of Interpretation class with Professor Doug Welch. Ozark has been amazing.”
Recently married, Luckner and his wife Stessy (also from Haiti) dream of a ministry that, like Haitian Christian Mission, can reach thousands in their homeland. The needs in Haiti—physical, emotional, educational, financial, spiritual—are so great it can seem overwhelming.
But no excuses. Luckner is already building a team. He recruited his cousin Vladimir Louis-Jeune, a medical doctor, and his friend Sadrac Bathard, a counseling major, to come from Haiti to Ozark. Both men are current OCC students, getting the biblical foundation to serve their countrymen. Most of all, Luckner is trusting in the Lord. “God has called me, and I keep praying to the Lord for power and faithfulness.”
A lot of prayer + a little help + no excuses.
Not a bad recipe to make a difference. But Luckner and international students like him can only provide two of those ingredients. Someone else has to supply “a little help.” Would you be that someone?
Last year, OCC’s International Student Grants provided $161,600 for 16 students from places like Haiti, Kenya, New Zealand, Burundi, Guatemala, Thailand, and Costa Rica. That’s a yearly average of $10,100 in tuition dollars per student. That’s the “little help” these men and women need to prepare for a lifetime of ministry.
Would you consider a gift for OCC’s International Student Grants, preparing leaders to “make disciples of all nations”?
I have seen the return on this investment. In Brazil, I’ve seen the hundreds Nonato Silva (OCC ’89) has influenced for Christ. In Mexico, I’ve seen 16,000 believers mobilized for prayer by Berenice and Luis Antonio Escobedo (OCC ’07). Thousands in Jamaica have heard the gospel, thousands have studied God’s Word at India Christian Bible College, thousands in Asia can read the Bible in their own Lisu language because of Ozark’s international alumni.
“A little help” can go a long way.
The recipe works. These men and women come with lots of prayer and no excuses. Would you supply the final ingredient needed for their kingdom success?
Thank you for considering a generous gift as “a little help.” It would make all the difference for a student like Luckner.
Yours in Christ,
P.S. Please pray for Vladimir, Sadrac and all our international students. Ask God to meet their needs, deepen their knowledge, sharpen their skills, and strengthen their faith!