Mark and Melissa Kauk have committed to work in Haiti for the next two years. Mark will work with our Spiritual Shepherds as the Director of Leadership Development, facilitating training and materials for local leaders. Melissa will be working as Manager of Curriculum and Instruction, working with our staff to create culturally-relevant materials for teaching.
Transforming together, to be love in action, in a broken world.
This is the mission of Many Hands For Haiti. This is what drew our hearts to serving in Haiti with this ministry. In a world where only the gospel can transform brokenness and provide hope, living this out in tangible ways in the Haitian culture has become our new mission
A visible part of living out this mission in community is the daily gathering in the morning for devotions led by one of the Haitian staff followed by prayer and greeting each other after with a fist bump and a heartfelt Bon Joune ( Have a good day!)
As a Curriculum and Instruction Manager, one of my many opportunities is that I have the joy of taking care of the little ones while their mama’s are taking part in their weekly class. Children in Haiti begin their formal learning at age 3 when they attend Pre-School 1. Historically and culturally in some Haitian communities learning before the age 3 is a different concept. This program was designed to reach the most vulnerable of the population 0-3 years through nutrition, educational and spiritual health.
Group C children, 3 year olds, are ready for a ten minute lesson with a special activity or craft. I have written a simple lesson plan for each month that the Assistants will demonstrate and actively engage the children and the mamas. It is our hope that these simple concepts of teaching Scripture, sharing God’s word, singing movement songs, and reinforcing color and numbers will engage the children and that mamas and papas will continue these language skills at home.
While the mamas and some papas are in class, Group C children have the chance to play at an ‘activity table’. This 3:1 ratio gives each child the opportunity to look, touch, say, and experience new concepts. The first week we introduced a little table. A few of the tigasons (boys) tried to climb over it, under it, hang on it! The third week they all came and ‘te kanpe’ (stood) for 3-4 minutes and eagerly waited their turn! 🙂
Liz, PMJ Director, Kethlin and I meet almost daily. Set schedules of classes and health checks are in place, yet daily issues and concerns need to be met. The first week I arrived a mama brought her 15 month daughter with severe dehydration and diarrhea to the daily lunch time. After a discussion between Nurse/Midwife Monette and Liz, it was decided that this little one needed to be taken to the Pignon Hospital. Kethlin took the mama holding her baby on the back of the motorcycle to the hospital. After a week of intervention the baby was able to go home! Praise God!
In my ( Mark ) new position of Director of Leadership, much of my time has been invested in evaluating and considering new materials which emphasize a discipleship model of leadership training. We have settled on adapting material from a curriculum called Lead Like Jesus (LLJ) and complementing this with other resources. This is the first time this material has been used in any way in Haiti. My work has been to adapt material from the LLJ book and study guide by condensing, editing, and contextualizing the material for Haitian culture for small group teaching sessions.
This is a team effort. After the English version has been completed, the lesson and activities are translated into Kreyòl and then compared to the intended meaning and purpose. Frantz Accilien ( on the right ) completes each translation and Pastor Jean Ronel Joseph, the lead teacher ( on the left) reviews the translation to be taught at the next session.
Jean Ronel has a wonderful gift for teaching our first level 1 leadership training (Fòmasyon Lidèchip) which is for the Pre-school 1-3 and Grade 1-3 teachers of the School of Light at the Sylvain Center. He has created a warm and inviting atmosphere to learn. We are currently halfway through a 5 month program with sessions on Friday afternoons, twice a month.
It has been exciting to see the class unfold as the teachers engage in study and instruction together. The first few sessions have focused on the heart and spiritual habits of someone who leads like Jesus. This level one course will conclude with the group developing action plans to apply what they have been learning.
Each day the sun sets over the beautiful land of Haiti. Plants nurtured from seedlings take root nurtured by the life-giving sun and provide a future harvest of food for the families that are part of the 1000 day program. So too, new growth is emerging from a vision of seeds of hope nurtured by God’s Son, planted in anticipation of transforming together, first in the hearts of individuals, then families, and then communities, all for God’s glory.
Wonderful reflections and I am so happy to have you on our team. May God bless you both as you serve, learn, grow, reflect, cry, laugh, and love. He is in all things.