All in God’s Timing – Melissa
This week I had the privilege to help the students at school and the little ones in the PMJ program make simple hands prints to send back to sponsors.
There was a little 3-year-old that would not have it; she clung to her mom and would not come close to the paint or me, the ‘blan’ (the white woman!). We encouraged the mom, Isman, to stay next to the table so that her daughter, Islan, could watch other children participate. After 34 children had a turn, she still refused. I told the mom that I did not want to create an atmosphere of fear and that it was ok she didn’t make a handprint.
That Saturday, Mark and I were asked if we wanted to participate in a Home Build Family Blessing, where a family is given the keys to their newly built cement house – we felt honored to go. When we met the family, it was the same momma and little girl! By the end of the singing and praying, the little one walked up to me, wanted to be picked up, and even put her head on my shoulder!
Isn’t our Heavenly Father just like that? He beckons us to come, calls us by name, waits patiently for us, and when we are ready, He is always there waiting for us.
How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
Learning the Language – Mark
One of the opportunities we have had with learning Kreyòl is to have conversations with the people that work here and learn more about their lives. They are patient and are more than willing to engage us in our broken sentences and mispronounced words. For example, this past week, I had a conversation with our Saturday gate guard, Joslyn, about his ongoing study of English. He proudly showed me his latest English story that he is studying. We agreed we could help each other, himself with English and myself with Kreyòl.
Joslyn uses one of our Personal Energy Transportation (PET) carts to leave home at 4:00 am and pedals the cart with his arms to work at the gate each Saturday. His story is one of hope in God. You can listen to more of his story here: https://youtu.be/ylwZXcBMaW4
Church in Haiti – Melissa
The churches in Haiti are as varied as the churches in the U.S. Some churches have four walls, cement ceilings, and electricity for instruments and microphones, while others have none of those things. But that doesn’t stop people from gathering together to worship and pray.
We have chosen a little country church called Agape Church. It has tree limbs to hold up a tin roof, and sometimes a dog or chickens will come in to find shade. The church is where the 5th and 6th graders meet for school, so the pews are actually thin benches with wood planks as desk tops. This church was started years ago for people in the community who did not have fancy clothes or shoes to wear to mass – they were simply encouraged to come as they are.
This church does not have electricity for worship; however, the purest of harmonies rise every Sunday in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving to our heavenly Father. I am humbled by their hearts’ cries every week and am blessed to be encouraged by this body of Christ and their faithfulness to always give praise.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100: 4-5
Leading Like Jesus – Mark
Our pilot leadership training for the teachers of the School of Light for pre-school through grade 3 is nearly finished. It began the last week in January and will end in June. It consists of ten sessions that meet on Friday afternoons for about 2 hours using adapted material from the curriculum, Lead Like Jesus.
After studying how Jesus modeled leadership throughout his life with his disciples, they are now creating action plans. The goal is to apply some aspect of their learning to create a relevant project for their leadership role as teachers. Each teacher and assistant for each grade level are actively engaged in creating something together.