Blog is written by Courtney Kelderman, a junior at Central College who is at our grounds in Gonaives, Haiti with Conner Kelderman, a junior at the University of St. Thomas, Robin Reinke, a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas, and Moriah Erickson, a junior at Bethel University.
Hello from Haiti!!
What a wonderful, warm and eventful day we had today. Whether it be the large smiles we see on the kids faces when we speak to them, or the joy we get from singing Justin Bieber with the nieces staying with us, we see God’s love in it all.
We started off our day by going to visit a school. One of our soon to be teachers, teaches at this school. We visited with his 6th grade class and brought them a futbol, which for all of us is soccer! We stood in front of the class and answered questions about ourselves and our families. We told them where we went to school and what we are all hoping to be when we grow up. One boy asked us “when we finish school and have our jobs, are we going to come back and do it in Haiti or help Haiti.” we all agreed that it would be awesome to do so, and he said “I will pray for that to happen”. It is little conversations like these that show us the light of the Lord in the people. He knew we wouldn’t be able to help, without God’s help first.
We also stopped in a few Pre-k and Kindergarten class rooms. We had almost all smiling faces from the kids begging us to stop in and see them. Except one little boy who was very scared of the strange looking white kids in the class! These two classes didn’t have teachers, the youngest kids in the school and the teachers just didn’t show up today. It was so sad to see, but it also is good to know how Silentor can make his school different and better for the children that are able to join in on that journey.
When we got back to the house Silentor’s nieces were ready and waiting for us to return! We had some down time before we went to the school so we gave the girls each a slinky and bouncy ball that Robin brought for them, which they loved. We then proceeded to paint all of their finger nails and toe nails. These girls are so much fun and I honestly think my buddy Bebe has just as much Bieber fever as I do!!
Now it was time to head over to the school. Kids were already there waiting for us! Singing, dancing and soccer playing began right away. Our job today was to check our lists of the children we have wanting to start school and the after school program. We made sure that we had a picture and information for them so that everyone in America can pick a joyful Haitian child to help sponsor. The children could hardly understand one word that I said, but it didn’t matter to them, we communicate anyway! The children really love and help each other as well. Sharing the candy that we gave and making sure that everyone had a piece. They have such caring hearts, it’s contagious. You see how Jesus shines through the programs Silentor puts on. They don’t have much, and Silentor can’t give them much, but they just want to be around the love and support thats given. They would say that they’re so blessed to be able to go there, it is eye opening to someone from America.
On a lighter note, I met a buddy named Coq. He’s quite the little stud. I taught him and his friend how to cat daddy, bernie and do the stanky leg. They’re definitely better than Conner and me.
The roof and stairs are also finished on the school. The security guard Bobby is sleeping on it, in a different spot every night, and loves it. This school is going to be awesome for the kids. Just in one day we saw the roof be completed! They’re all working so hard to make it wonderful.
Silentor’s sisters have been making us great meals and they’re making us feel right at home. It helps how much fun the girls are! I’m going to be honest, I am probably the pickiest eater a lot of you know, but I am REALLY enjoying the Haitian pasta. Spaghetti the first night and another great pasta the next! I was loving it. The bread in the morning is also great, the even have peanut butter here for me to slap on top! Also, the coca cola in a sweet bottle is the best.
Tonight, actually while I write, they are playing the guitar and singing a few Christian songs that we all know. It is so fun to either teach them it in English, add actions, or learn it in Creole.
Silentor made a great point to us when we got here. It might not seem like at every second we are doing something that would make a difference to US. But to the kids, it’s making a difference. Which is awesome to know, and to even see. A smile can go a long ways.
I’m not going to lie, at times because I am so far away from home and my parents I start feeling home sick, or just wish I could send them a text and say hello. But as we begin making bracelets, coloring or singing with the kids I right away feel better. God can take those sad or sca.,red feelings completely away.
Thanks for continuing to pray for us on this trip. God is truly taking care of us and WE are the lucky ones to get this chance, all of these awesome kids are changing our lives as well.