Blog is written by Anna Selser, a 22 year-old from Bettendorf, IA, who is at our grounds in Gonaives, Haiti. Anna attends Mt. Zion Congregational Church and has a degree in engineering. She has spent the last two weeks in Haiti working with our programs.

Today was my first official lesson with the Etoile Girls Empowerment Program. I led them in a bible study about God’s plans for their lives. We discussed Jeremiah 1:5, 10:23, and 29:11. The discussion centered on how God maps out plans for everyone before they are even born, provides people with the plans to follow in the path he has set out for them, and has thoughts of a bright future for each of his followers. I had each girl write down and share what they believed God’s plan was for them. This was to prepare for a goal setting session I plan to do with them later this week/

The women of in the Empowerment Program

Hearing all of the girls’ responses was very touching. Every single girl started out thanking God for the blessings they have already received and just for granting them life, gratefulness not often seen from young people in the United States. One girl responded that she believed her calling was to not only be a nurse but also a leader in the community and to use that influence to help improve the environment for others. Another young lady said she was not sure yet what God’s plan for her was, but that if she continued praying and following God, when it came to her she would know. Hearing these ten girls speak so about their future and what God has in store for them despite the fact that they live in a community in which achieving these goals could be very difficult was really a humbling experience. I can’t even begin to relate to the obstacles they face just to complete their primary education, so I am just happy to offer any encouragement or help with any planning I can.

We end each session by going over some English phrases. I had prepared things I wanted to teach the girls so I was just going through my list not really paying any attention. I looked at my watch and the girls had been there almost two hours. I asked Silentor how long he usually keeps them, he said one hour. Not a single one of them had said anything! No one looked bored, no one was sleeping; they were all eagerly writing down what I was writing on the board, repeating what I was saying, and looking at me intently. They WANTED to be there. If it had been my college class that was supposed to be an hour long, and the professor tried to keep us there for two hours, every single student would have been out of that room 59 minutes earlier! This isn’t even a class for them, it’s an after school program, AND it’s the equivalent of their finals week, that’s how much they want to learn English,

So I have finally achieved my 2nd grade dream of becoming a teacher, and I enjoyed it. I’m definitely falling in love with the young ladies of the girls empowerment program and it’s going to be very difficult to leave them behind next week (I already can’t believe it will be that soon). When I return to the States I’d really love to continue to help these girls achieve their dreams through a fundraising effort so if you’re reading this please start to take this under consideration.