January 16, 2010

Do Your Shopping For Haiti

I spent my summer of 1998 in CapHatian, Haiti.  I had gone there to help a missionary friend of mine, Joetta, who was and is currently serving with OMS International.   It was a rich and satisfying summer largely due to the wonderfully gracious people of Haiti.    Since that summer, Haiti undoubtedly has a special place in my heart.

Also, within the next ten days I would  like to blog about some of my experiences while in Haiti.  I'm going to do this by sharing with you copies of the emails I sent back home to my church, who had helped finance my trip.

07/05/98. I'm happy to be in Haiti!  Joetta says she's never seen anyone enjoy the fresh pineapples, mangos, and papayas quite as much as I am.  I think that's just her polite way of commenting on the fact that I sure am eating alot of them!

The heat and humidity are oppressive, and by noon I'm wilted.  Evenings often bring welcomed breezes.

Some of my first projects have been counting Haitian money in the office, sewing hems and shortening sleeves for Joetta, and unpacking boxes of things people have sent Joetta to use in her various children's ministries.  This unpacking should have been a simple, quick job.  However, one church had neatly packed toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks, crayons, small toys, pencils, tablets, etc, in shoe boxes and then sprinkled hard candy (for Haitian children) over the top.  In the extreme heat, the candy melted all over everything! So this simple, quick job suddenly became challenging as I undertook wiping/washing the "sticky" off the items when possible.  Some things just had to be thrown away.  Another group of people had put candy in plastic bags (and that was good), but they packed it in the same boxes as bars of soap.  So all that candy tasted like soap.  However, the children enjoyed it anyway!

On Friday I started helping Rose practice English.  She is a 6-year old girl whose mother recently died.  She has now been adopted by her uncle who wants her to go to the English-speaking school this September.  But she must first pass an English test.  I will be working with her about 1-1/2 hours a day.  I want to use this time effectively, and Rose needs to gain confidence in speaking English.

We are starting VBS next week.  Joetta is letting me teach!  So this week I am getting materials ready. I've already met Joiny, a young boy who is going to translate as I teach. Joetta has several other Haitian ministry workers who will be in charge of the VBS programs.    During the summers, they do VBS for eight weeks, five days a week at a different Haitian church each week.  (Do you remember how tired you are at the end of just one week of VBS?)

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