In 1983, Roger and Norma Alexander moved to Haiti¬†with their two young daughters, Cara and Amber. They moved to the northernmost city of Port-de-Paix, a mere 70 miles from Cuba. When Roger and Norma arrived in Haiti, their goal was to teach and train church leaders. They desired to educate them in New Testament principles and procedures, so that Haitians could better minister to their own people. The Alexanders believed firmly that no one would reach Haiti as well as Haitians themselves. Therefore, their goal from the outset was training church leaders and lay pastors. It soon became clear, however, that Voodoo¬†was far too entrenched in many peoples’ lives to un-teach their false beliefs. In order to reach the people of Haiti before they became completely devoted to Voodoo, it would be necessary to begin instruction at a younger age. Thus was born the idea for a Christian school.
In 1983, Roger and Norma Alexander moved
to Haiti with their daughters Cara, 8, and Amber, 7.
Roger and Norma conducted a pilot program in 1986 with four students. All subjects were taught in English, and Bible education was a major part of each day’s lesson plans. It was a success. The following year, another of the Alexanders’ daughters, Carmen, graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a master’s degree in education. In the fall of 1987, Carmen moved to Haiti and became director of Haiti’s first and only Christian, English-immersion school. Since all instruction at the school was in English, and Haitian children did not speak English, it started with only a preschool class. As the original preschool class progressed, another grade was added each year.
A scenic view of Port-de-Paix, Haiti,
home of Sonlight Ministries
Land for building soon became a need for the mission, and it sought incorporated status in the United States in order to purchase property adjacent to the Alexander home. In 1989, the mission in Port-de-Paix became incorporated and adopted the name Sonlight Ministries. The school was named Sonlight Academy.