Trinity College experiences the joys of teaching children the story of Jonah and blessing families with goats. 

Catch up on Trinity College’s Day 3 Here

Children belly laughing, endless nails being painted, the whale spitting Jonah out, goats fighting, college students studying, hair being braided, and God remaining good.

Today was yet again a day full of God’s grace. We began the morning by traveling to Pella Christian School in a community called Savanette. We arrived to around 200 pairs of beautiful brown eyes staring directly at us. Whatever they were learning was immediately put to a halt and you could see the excitement begin to stir. We reenacted the Jonah story for the students and watched in awe as they paid attention to every word that was said and every comedic action that was performed.

After we finished the skit, chaos ensued. We brought out the parachute and did not stop smiling for the next hour as we watched the kids run, jump, and dance underneath. I was on the outside fanning the parachute up and down, trying to play with the girls trying to grab my skirt. I quickly ducked under the parachute and was greeted with a dozen squeals of joy. Before I knew it, we were completely covered in kids running after us, dancing with us, jumping and screaming with us, and the joy of the Lord was so present in my heart and in the smiles of dozens of kids staring back at me. We then began blowing bubbles and painting nails, each covered by a multitude of hyper children. Each kid was pushing each other to be next to blow a bubble or was stacking their hand on top of their friends to get their nails painted first. It was chaos, but it was God-breathed chaos.

After the students returned to their classrooms, we walked room to room distributing whales, coloring pages, crayons, Jonah foam art, and cookies to each student. It was so fascinating to see the dark and crammed rooms in which the students learn every day and to meet their teachers who work so diligently.

God-breathed chaos

Once we returned from Pella Christian, we returned to campus to perform the Jonah skit for the entire Thrive for Five program as well as the preschoolers. It was just as fun to perform and to watch the intent focus of the preschoolers and the giggles explode from the mothers. We distributed the Jonah trinkets and also lunch to the mothers and their children.

One of the grandmothers at the Thrive for Five programs has definitely found a special place in my heart. I learned today that Louisa, the grandma, is raising her grandson, Jerry, because his mom is no longer in the picture. As hard as this must be, Louisa is always ready with a smile, a kiss on the cheek, and endless “merci”s. She was so proud to introduce me to Jerry as she hugged him tight and reiterated his name numerous times to make sure I remembered.

We hand fed some of the children, playing airplane to get them to eat and hide-and-go-seek to bask in the cuteness of a baby’s belly laugh. God was ever so present in the hearts of both the mothers and the children there today and we pray what we performed today will continue to remain in their thoughts.

Performing Jonah skit for Thrive kids

Later in the afternoon, we were blessed with the opportunity to deliver goats to eight different families. Many Hands for Haiti has a goat program where they deliver goats to families in need and in return they give back the first female that the goat gives birth to. Goats are like savings accounts here in Haiti, where the longer you keep a goat, the more it can multiply in number, producing more financial stability in the long run.

Each team member was given a goat to give to a family. We were able to meet a member of the household our goat was going to and were able to say a blessing over the goat and over the family. We then walked some of the families and their goats back to their homes.

The home I went to was a family of casket makers and they were a welcoming bunch. The kids clung onto our hand immediately per usual, but one little kid melted my heart a little bit more than the others. This kid was young and had fungal infections on his head and on his legs. He was receiving treatment, but it was slow moving. As I watched the flies swarm around his head, I kept repeating in my head “This child needs to go to America to get treatment, he NEEDS to go”. Then God’s voice also whispered in my ear “My daughter, I have a purpose for this child”. I was reminded that if this child needed to or needs to go to America for treatment in the future, the Lord will make a way. But in this moment, he is here in Haiti for a reason, one of them being to touch hearts in a special way like he did mine.

Getting ready to deliver goats to families

After we returned, we set off again for another adventure—to visit UCI, a Christian university in Haiti. When we arrived, we all stared, mouths gaping open to a beautiful college campus that I think we all were not envisioning. We were greeted by Kristie, one of the founders of the university and of the elementary school right next to it. She informed us that they had over 700 children enrolled in the elementary school and 500 in the university. Praise be to God.

Our Christi gave us a tour of UCI where we were able to see the 3-story classroom building, the medical clinic, the dorms, the worship center, and also the elementary school. It was incredible. The campus was beautiful, the classrooms were well laid out, and the clinic looked like a budding doctor’s office. As a current college student, I was intrigued by every aspect of it and was thrilled to see what college looks like in Haiti. My fellow team members and I all joked at one time or another about transferring to UCI. God is at work in this place.

Like I said before, today was a beautiful day full of God’s grace. Sending blessings and prayers to all of you reading this! May all the glory be to God.

Brooke Helder

Catch up on Trinity College’s Day 3 Here