Mark and Melissa Kauk serve in Haiti full-time, working with Many Hands’ Love in Action programs. Mark serves as the U.S. Lead for Leadership and Melissa as the U.S. Lead for the First 1,000 Days Program. You can read their previous updates here.
On March 8th each of the 3 centers planned a presentation in honor of International Women’s Day. The Program Staff of First Thousands Day led the program with Nurses and Spiritual Mother’s collaborating. A time of worship, scripture reading, and prayer cemented the 2-hour gathering. The Spiritual Mothers and Nurses blessed the mamas by sharing the importance of their role in the family, church, and community. They told funny stories and encouraged them to remain steadfast during the hard times.
Often in such meetings, they allow anyone who wants to share to come forward. This is Friedna, a mother of a 3-year-old, who blessed us all with a praise song. I admire the boldness of her faith and love of Jesus!
The Children’s weekly one-hour class has been a success this year. Each week while the moms are in their class taught by our nurses, Spiritual moms, or me, the Group C Children have the opportunity to read stories, play games, recite colors and numbers, and sing songs. Below is a picture of the children singing ‘If your happy and you know it clap your hands, stomp your feet, touch your head, etc.’ This is such a fun way to teach body parts to little two-year-olds. The adults get into it also, always ending the song with lots of laughter.
The picture below is Dieula (pronounced Jay-la) from our Maliarette campus reading how God created the animals. Does the book look familiar? It is “The Jesus Storybook Bible” but is fully translated into Haitian Creole, ‘Istwa Jezi nan Bib la”! The only time these children see books and hear stories read to them is when they come to the program. Their eyes light up, they all want to point to and touch the pictures as they discover the wonders of God’s creation. I remind myself not to lose the wonder of God’s creation as I methodically go through my ‘important’ day completing tasks. How about you, is it easy for you to see God’s wonder about you?
Action plans are projects that individuals or groups in each staff leadership class are asked to create at the conclusion of the class to practice some of their new attitudes and skills. In our first teacher leadership training, teachers worked together with their assistants to come up with a new idea or further develop something they already do in the classroom. Here is a sampling of some that have been implemented in 2023.
One new idea that 3rd-grade teacher Jocethène Decius proposed was to have morning devotions led by the teachers each morning at 7:00 am before they begin the day. Jocethène creates a monthly schedule and devotions consist of singing, meditation, and prayer. Above, teachers meet in the gazebo and listen as Venia, the special education teacher, exhorts her colleagues!
PS1 teacher Elimène and assistant Willianise worked with the children to practice activities to build respect, love, and trust. After explaining why it’s important to trust their classmates, Elimène gives them an opportunity to demonstrate that! Children in another lesson are taught to share a hug and a cookie!
PS2 teacher Mirguelita and her assistant Scheesling introduced the first of a series of lessons on the five senses with ordinary things with a good smell ( bon sant ): citronella leaves (sitwonèl), flowers (flè), and deodorant (deyodoran).
Second-grade teacher Wilnide and assistant Shedline wanted their students with different abilities to learn to work together so students with higher skills could help those with lower skills. After some discussion, math was selected as the subject to work on, and a couple of lessons were planned to have groups of four at a table take turns in solving an addition story problem by adding the price of two toys chosen from a selection of eight cards. Others in the group were only to help if needed. Here a student shows off her work on a white board to the teacher in finding the total cost of a toy truck and a doll! One of the table partners celebrates with her correct answer!
It is wonderful to see the leadership being taking by the Haitian staff!! Thanks Melissa and Mark for your dedication and faith.
I loved looking through your pictures and seeing the work You guys are doing in Haiti! blessings on your trip back, I will be praying for continued ripe harvest Fields! I can see the love in your eyes for the people that you serve!