That's how my time at the HOH went. From the time I touched the ground until I left again it was a constant stream of activity. And it was such a good time. I was so excited to see all the things that took place in my absence, and how well things are running. The team from Miami Shores was incredible, the VBS was a super great time, and reconnecting with the kids was the icing on the cake!
I took lots of pictures and want to share my time there with you with a bit of a photo diary... hope you enjoy. If you get a bit bored, scroll down for some current information, needs and prayer requests for the HOH. That means this will be a bit long -- sorry for that, but I do realize it has been a while too!
I had two full, bursting at the seams suitcases, these home-made dresses, that the girls are modeling, were part of what I brought in. A big thanks to all the ladies here in Manitoba who made them.
The team from Miami Shores Presbyterian Church arrived a few days after I did. They brought fun stuff for VBS, but the biggest hit was the T-shirts with our Bible Study theme printed on them. This team was just awesome with our kids, and some great relationships were formed. We look forward to continuing and building on these in the future. Already members of the team are helping me with various jobs that make my task of efficiently helping the HOH much easier -- what a blessing!
For the VBS week we split the kids up into three groups. At times we had over 120 kids in attendance as neighborhood kids heard about what was going on and decided to drop in to participate.
It was a great week of:
All teaching the lessons of God's incredible Grace, and our identity in Christ because of it. They learned each day about how they are loved, forgiven, accepted, have value, security and liberty in Christ.
Each afternoon we had games of all kinds with the kids. They competed with their various teams to earn as many points as possible. We also had quizzes each day and evening based on the lessons the day before.
This was the winning team, their prize a Canadian flag, donated by a friend of mine here in Portage.
As you can imagine it was an exhausting week for all involved!
A big thank you to everyone who had a part in my trip down to Haiti and in making the VBS possible. Many different people donated supplies and funds to make all of this possible and it really was a great time. One young man from our neighborhood stood up after the VBS and said that some difficult times in his family had caused him to really start having some bad thoughts about God. The lessons he learned at the VBS helped him realize how much God loves him and is standing with him through the difficult times. He went home a changed young man. So, thanks for your part!
Now for some updates. We have received the results of the Government exams that our students wrote. We had just a few who were successful, most did not pass which sounds terrible, but the pass rates of the schools where our students attend were between 6 and 31%, so you can see these are not easy exams.
A few of them did not fail by much and so have a chance to re-write the exams on the 25th of Aug. Linda falls into this category as well as Dieuny, Saingermain and Rosemène. You could keep them in your prayers as they study to try and prepare for these exams. As for school, we are not sure when it is going to start up this year. They have to wait for these exams to get finished before they can do that, so we imagine it will be a late start again this year.
We are so grateful for the church in Oklahoma who purchased our school shoes for this coming year. Now we are in need of some other people collecting and sending down some of the other school supplies we need. If anyone out there is interested in getting a few school supplies collected up and sent down to Miami, please get in touch with me and I'll let you know exactly what's needed and how you can get these to us. The e-mail to connect with me about this is; firstname.lastname@example.org .
We appreciate your prayers, financial support and all the other ways you give to us so we can help the children, youth and young adults God brings to our home. Thank you for all the ways you help out. Here are some prayer requests to keep in mind for the weeks ahead:
- Continue to pray for health for our staff and kids. The fever that went through in the spring has calmed down for now in our area, but the long term effects are still hanging on. Linda is having a very difficult time with her left wrist. The pain is so strong sometimes she is unable to do anything with her hand at all. Others of the kids and staff have other joints that are affected. They'd appreciate your prayers for complete healing especially with the coming school year approaching.
- Pray for those re-writing the Government exams on the 25th. Pray for good times of studying, for the ability to retain the information and for a good week of writing the exams. Linda has to re-write only 3 subjects, some of our young people have up to 8 subjects -- that's tough!
- Pray for the financial needs we have. Our over-all monthly donations have definitely been higher, but we do have some debt to pay off from our local hospital, and we have the school year looming ahead of us. We will have to pay approximately $250 US for tuition, school books and uniforms for each child we have in school. If you or anyone you know would like to help us with the 40+ students we will send to school this year, please let us know or send a donation to one of our partnering organizations.
- Pray that God would continue to use the lessons the HOH learned through our VBS . Pray that they would grow in their knowledge of Him and allow Him to work out these things in their lives.
- We were blessed to have a tiny little 17 day old boy named Mits brought to the HOH.