How We Want to LiveRich Stigall
Claude Mondesir grew up without a father in Haiti. He worked for everything he got. Going to school was a pipedream. Jesus was unknown. That all changed at age 16 when Claude met Pastor Kelly, who according to Claude, was one of the first American missionaries in Haiti.
Pastor Kelly took an interest in Claude, enrolled him in school, introduced him to Jesus and became a spiritual father to this teenage boy who was previously fending for himself. That began a 50-year (ish) adventure that took Claude to NYC where he learned English and construction before returning to Haiti where, now Pastor Claude Mondesir, cares for orphaned children who remind him a lot of his younger self.
Driven by the “debt he has to repay” (Claude’s words), he has been tireless in his ministry work. He has built churches, children’s homes, and schools all over Haiti. He has provided safety, education, jobs, hope, and opportunity in Jesus’ name to hundreds of God’s children. At GO, it has been our privilege to partner with Claude as he loves on those the world has left behind.
By his own admission, Pastor Claude is entering a new chapter of life. In it, he has one more thing he wants to do – go back to school.
So, this month, at one of the schools he built, sitting under the teachers he pays, and alongside many of the previously-orphaned children who have called him “Papa” for years, Pastor Claude will enroll in the 6th grade. Here he is proudly wearing his school uniform.
Sharp, streetwise, and charming, smart money says Claude gets straight A’s this semester on personality alone. Regardless of his final class standing, Claude inspires us.
Is he perfect? No. Is he our brother in Christ? Yes! Do we learn from him? Often. Do we love and respect him? Always.
Go, Claude! Your GO Project family is cheering you on! Your life and your new adventure in school is proof that you can’t go around spreading sunshine, hope, opportunity, and love without getting a little on yourself. That’s how we want to live! Thank you for being a brother who shows us how.