BY CURTIS STOUT
Ten or twenty years from now, I believe we will look back at this moment in time, this chapter in our organization’s story, as a turning point. Where we are today is not where God is calling us to stay. Our heart still beats as strongly for Haiti as it has since day one of our organization. At the same time, as we continue to grow in our understanding of who the left behind are, we are beginning to feel a new burden as we chase after God’s heart for the left behind around the globe.
In response to this burden, we are pursuing opening our second school in Haiti within the next two years while also beginning to explore a new arm of ministry among unreached people groups (UPG). An unreached people group is a community of people with a common sense of history, language, beliefs, and identity that has less than 2% evangelical Christians among their population. Unreached people groups have little to no access to the Gospel, and many have never heard the name or experienced the life-changing hope of Jesus. Of the approximately 16,000 people groups in the world, around 7,000 are categorized as unreached.
In light of this new vision, we are rebranding our organization from Project 117 to One 17 International. Our name change is centered around our swelling heart for the nations. We believe One 17 International better communicates who we are and how we desire to serve the nations while eliminating confusion around the way it reads; we aren’t a project of a church or aid organization, but an independent, self-sustained organization named after the vision of Isaiah 1:17. Despite the change, we are staying true to our mission, vision, and values. The same people lead, support, and advocate for our work and students. We are simply expanding our vision to build and operate gospel-centered, transformational schools for the left behind beyond the borders of Haiti.
The Great Commission invites us to pursue the work of helping every tribe and nation understand and experience the tangible love of Christ. We believe that education translates cross-culturally and can be an extraordinarily effective way to develop next generation church, business, and community leaders that will bring the gospel to all nations.