Friday, March 18, 2016

Haiti 2016 - Day 6

(Random: A closer picture of one of the kites the boys from the orphanage had made and use)

Day 6 in Haiti, Monday.

Monday morning the ladies and a few of the men continued with our home visits in the Rhode area. We were able to make another 8 (or maybe 9) visits. We handed out dresses, underwear, family bags, Bibles, peanut butter, reusable feminine bags and candy

As enjoyable as the home visits were, and they were, they could also get a little stressful when you were trying to figure out who belonged where, which kids go with which families. The children would follow you around regardless of whether you had already visited their home, some of them were easy to remember that you had already seen, and others weren't as easy.

Being a hard-core "rule-follower" it is sometimes hard for me to not insist on fairness and justice at all times. I would find myself getting worked up over things that in the end didn't matter as much as I thought they did at the time. I realized the more home visits we did that I was just going to have to trust in the Lord regarding who got what, even when it wasn't always "fair".

(Our translator, Jimmy, explaining the word-less gospel bracelets. The women really enjoyed these and many of them asked for extras with the cards so that they could share them with their friends. I loved the idea of giving the women something pretty & special with an eternal message that would hopefully change their heart.)

I know that I've gone on about the dresses before, but they were truly a blessing to the people there in a way that I never expected. The people there really have so little that something as nice as a dress is worth more than you may expect. They were always grateful for the dresses. I look forward to the next time I go and I hope to come up with something more for the boys too.

It was really nice to have some of the guys join us on the home visits, not just for "protection" but also for being our pack mules :) They did a great job of lugging the heaviest bags around that were full of feminine products, dresses and underwear.

(Tim snapped this picture as we were walking through Rhode on our home visits, of a new house being built. They're obviously at the beginning stages but I think the picture speaks for itself)

Monday afternoon, the ladies put on our first student sponsorship party. There were 40 students that were sponsored. We decided to break them into two groups of about 20 each and host two smaller parties than one bigger party. Looking back, this was a great idea.

Monday's party was primarily of students who had been sent gifts from their sponsors, which we knew would take a little more time.

Lynn had put a form together and had it translated into Creole for the students to answer for their sponsors. Things like their favorite colors, things they enjoy doing, their favorite subject in school, etc.

After the kids filled out their sheets and took updated photos, we had them go into one of the classrooms where we put on a puppet show (in creole) about the wordless book and the gospel message.

The party was for the sponsored students, but they were also allowed to bring their parents (and there were a few siblings there as well). Lynn shared with the parents about the sponsorship program and why the sponsors do what they do, and the reason is because of the gospel and what Jesus has done in their lives. The sponsor's relationship with Jesus and their hope for the sponsored students to hear the gospel continually is what motivates them to sponsor the students.

We centered the entire party around the good news of what Jesus has done and the good news of the gospel. We also made sure to promote Lavaud's church so that those families who do not currently attend the church would have a place to go to learn more.

After the puppet show we split them up and had some of the students make paper bag puppets and the other group make wordless gospel bracelets.

Then the groups switched, so that all the kids were able to do both activities.

Towards the end of the party each student was given a backpack with goodies and a few small toys. We also had a dress for every girl and a tshirt for every boy.

At the first party, we also handed out the bags and gifts from the sponsors for their specific students, including the three goats that were purchased. Many of the gifts included letters, so we would have the translators read the letters that were sent.

We were hopeful that the playset might make it out of customs sometime on Monday. The plan was to have a truck there first thing in the morning. The guys after taking a closer look at the big truck began to realize that it wasn't in prime condition to make the trip. Lavaud started looking into, and eventually went with having the play set delivered by a trucking company.

The playset did eventually make it, but it didn't actually arrive until 12:30am Tuesday morning. The guys stayed up and went over to unload the truck.

You could feel the excitement! Such a great feeling to finally get the set there!!

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