Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tracing the highlights: Friends share gifts in Haiti

We have completed four days of Vacation Bible School in Savanette. The time seems to be flying by. We have averaged about 400 kids a day and 25 Haitian helpers. That's packing a lot of people in a small space but it's been a fun challenge!

Today the kids learned the Bible story of Daniel and the lions' den. Daniel is our example of "faithfulness" and "self-control." The kids were on the edge of their seats as Pastor Mele made the story come alive. He is very gifted at getting them involved in the story.

The week has been bursting with highlights. It's our family tradition to share highlights around the table at dinner each night. We continue this tradition with our visiting teams as well. We invite you to share in some of these memorable moments:

Goofy Jonathan getting the kids dancing in a Congo line during some down time at the Games group.

Gerby stepping up to lead the Drama on his own with the encouragement of our Drama group.

Kids going bonkers over Dollar Store frisbees. Ericlee, Roro and Wilcio teaching then to catch and throw a frisbee for the first time. There was even some good-fun tackling involved. This is what you call ultimate frisbee!

The Haitians showering our team with generous gifts, including overflowing bags of coconuts and mangoes, buckets full of fresh eggs and a table full of pineapples!

Little feet chasing after our truck each morning - so eager to get to the church for VBS to start.

Selena, Dana and Paula leading the kids in hand motions while they sing in Kreyol. I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart!

Debbi making funny faces at the kids in Crafts - their stoic faces transforming into giggles.

Perhaps the greatest highlight for Ericlee and me has been watching the team use their gifts in unexpected ways.

Anjie and Tim are a trained nurse and EMT. They have had a steady stream of people needing medical help at our house. They have repaired sliced fingers, dressed injured ankles and even removed stitches. It's been a joy to see God use their skill set where needed without any real prior planning on our part.

Other team members have been able to use their passion and gifts. Jonathan loves sports. He spends every spare moment playing soccer with the kids at the orphanage and neighbor kids and then melts into bed at night.

Annelise enjoys taking video. Her dream is to one day combine missions with her video and editing skills. She's been putting together clips for a little Haiti documentary. She is seldom seen without camera in hand.

Debbi thoughtfully put together a suitcase full of crafts and games to share with the orphans in the afternoons. The others have joined her in painting nails, coloring projects and games like Chinese jump rope with our own girls included.

I've also personally appreciated Paula, Beth and Debbi sharing devotionals and their teaching skills with the women in our Haitian Bead Project. Dana helped me teach the group to make star-shaped Christmas ornaments with recycled paper beads. We are excited to share this new product in the U.S. this winter.

Kim and Paula have experience with bookkeeping and Excel spreadsheets and helped me enter all the totals sold for the Bead Project this month.

Everyone has eagerly lended helping hands with our girls, especially Zayla who is on the brink of walking.

Did I mention this whole group has a gift for shopping? They all have blessed the ladies (and men) of our bead project as well as some women from the church and local artists with their shopping skills. And it was Tim was leading the shopping brigade!

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