There are not enough schools for all of the children in the Dominican Republic. Hundreds of children are waiting for the opportunity to get into a school. Pastor Elza Phanord and her late husband, Rev. Jean Luc Phanord, had a vision: build a school for the poor in
the Dominican Republic to give the children there an excellent education and to teach them Christian values. With much volunteer work, donations, and prayer, the vision became real and the Joe Hartman School school opened along Kilometer 6 in the Dominican Republic.
The school currently has 11 classrooms, grades Preschool to Fifth Grade. There are 250 students, ages 4-12. The majority of the children live in the barrio and have a Haitian background. These children's home lives are not easy. They come to school with empty stomachs and once home, they are forced to take on adult responsibilities because their parents are not there to take care of them. The Joe Hartman School provides them with a place where these children can just be kids.
Each year the school grows and improves due to the help of mission teams around the United States that come to do construction work in the barrio. Engineers Without Borders is conducting an ongoing project which includes providing the school with consistent electricity and figuring out how to give the school a better source of running water. Each construction project will provide a more comfortable and safer environment for the students to learn and thrive.
Joseph E. Hartman was born April 24, 1945 in Gettysburg Pa. He is the fourth of five children of Lawrence and Mary Hartman and has four children Ty, Tammy, Tobey and Tracy. In 1997 Joe and Ty both felt the hand of the Lord put a call on their lives as they were standing in a downpour of rain in JFK stadium in Washington D.C. during a Promise Keepers Conference. Joe´s life began to change as the Lord drew him into a deeper relationship. Joe spent much time alone in his shop as he worked listening to worship music and praising God. Joe has been so privileged to have come to know so many different people. And to see God do so many amazing things while serving his King and Master Jesus. Joe has been blessed again and again with his brothers and sisters in the D.R . and looks forward to the day his health will permit him to once again visit La Romana to see all the glorious work our mighry God has done.
We are all grateful for Joe's generousity and kindness. His dedication to the people of Kilometer 6 is not only commendable but also inspiring. It is an honor that the school would be named after such a loyal man of God.