Most people in Haiti speak Creole or French as their first language, but an eighth grade student in Steve Gross’ class said her first language was English, despite never having been to the United States either. She spoke English first because her father wanted her to attend Cowman when she got older.
One Mission Society’s Cowman International School provides a high-quality, Christian education for students from preschool to high school. Since its founding in the 1960s, Cowman’s student body has grown to include more than 160 children from a variety of backgrounds. Some are the children of missionaries, others are the children of people who live locally, and still others are the children of business and government leaders in both Haiti and around the world. With its diverse population, Cowman truly is an international school, where parents want their children to be educated in English to help them with their futures. But more than that, Cowman presents the Gospel message to both the children and their families.
Steve and Melissa Gross joined Cowman’s ministry in 2013 after the Lord individually called both of them to serve in Haiti on two different mission trips. Melissa went on a Men for Missions (MFM) trip in 2010 and felt a calling to the mission field, but she didn’t talk about this until later. Steve also went to Haiti through MFM and felt that same calling.
The two finally talked about what God was putting on their hearts. They attended OMS’ One Weekend and prayed more about this call— and what started as a short-term mission trip ended up being the door to their long-term service in Haiti. The Gross family, Steve, Melissa, and their four children, moved to Haiti in 2013, where both taught at the Cowman School.
Both Steve and Melissa had taught at public school in the United States before going to Cowman. Speaking about teaching in Haiti, Melissa said that her favorite part was that they got to include God in their teaching, something that was different from her time in public school. Every morning, she added, they start the day off with prayer. The school also gathers for chapel every Friday, where the children can worship God and learn more about him.
God has been blessing Cowman as it continues to educate students and teach them about God. Melissa said that you can’t advertise well in Haiti, but God still provides the resources. The staff at Cowman are praying and seeking God’s guidance, and he is sending people to Cowman to help.
Currently, there is a need for more teachers from around the world, as well as quality teacher training for the current Cowman teachers. As more students enroll and more grades are added, teachers need to have the right knowledge and teaching skills to help guide these growing students. Melissa heads up the teacher training, and she has seen God moving in powerful ways, many times surprising her own plans for the program.
Steve added that the Grosses are also blessed to live in Haiti. He said the need for Christ is greater, and therefore so is the presence of Jesus. Christ is very present in Haiti, he added, and that is one of the best things about living there.
The Grosses returned to Haiti today to resume teaching at Cowman for the upcoming school year. Melissa will teach, as well as supervise the teacher training, while Steve will teach high school students. Please pray for the Grosses’ transition back to Haiti as they prepare to teach and to show God’s love to the children.
The Grosses also ask for prayer for the Cowman School. Steve, Melissa, and the other teachers at Cowman need prayers for organization as they put together the school year plans, especially in light of the new construction that has occurred over the summer. But more importantly, they ask for prayers for the students and their families to have the resources they need to help the children continue in their studies at Cowman and beyond and for each one to hear the Gospel and know God better.
Would you consider how you can help the Cowman School provide education and the Gospel to this diverse group of students?
To learn more about the Grosses, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/TheGrosses.
To give to Cowman International School, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/cowman-international-school.