Yesterday as we were walking around one of the team members saw a little dog lying on the ground with its nose under some steps. We looked around and we saw its mother lying about 10 feet away, with three puppies nursing. I went over to the little puppy and picked her up; the Haitian people told me to leave her alone and let her die, that she was sick. The Haitian people as a whole are not kind to any animals. I offered the puppy some water in my hand, and she drank a little. I carried her over to the mother but the mother would not let her nurse, so we decided to take her back to the mission house. We gave her some milk and bathed her because she had a tremendous number of fleas on her. She was so weak she could barely stand; when she did stand and walk, she ran into things – we thought she was blind. After she drank some milk, we put her in a box and went to bed. She slept all night and, as you can see in the photo, this morning she was up and running around like she owns the place. She has stolen all our hearts. She is eating and drinking now, and she has been named Cinco.
Report by Teresa Stultz
Hello to all my family, especially my daughters, and friends in America and around the world! Today only reinforced my desire to do mission work here or wherever God calls me in the future. It is amazing how even our American school systems, that we are always complaining about, are more advanced than those of many other countries around the world.
Some of the teachers walked for over 2-1/2 hours, over two mountains, to attend the Teachers Conference we were holding. They came dressed up in their best clothes. The men all had on nice button down shirts, ties, and dress pants. The women all had on their nicest shirts and skirts. Everyone wore dress shoes. I cannot imagine having to walk for over 2 hours over mountains in my nicest clothes to attend a teaching seminar. Most of my fellow teachers and I go to workshops in jeans and t-shirts. We drive in our nice air-conditioned cars. I’m just saying, it is a huge contrast. These teachers show so much dedication to their craft just with the amount of effort it takes for them to attend the conference and how they come dressed in their best.
As the teachers arrived, each was given a backpack containing a solar light, pen, notebook, paper, bible, hymnal, and a rubber bracelet from Cinco. It was amazing how grateful each teacher was to receive the gift of light. Betty and I were talking about how all we have to do is flip a switch to have light. Here these people were so grateful to be able have a light source at all. We gave away door prizes containing simple items like Q-tips, toothbrushes, lotions, and washcloths. To them, those door prizes meant so much. Seeing them smile and get so excited about what we consider simple items was very humbling. They have so much less than we do, yet they are so grateful and full of joy.
Betty, Danielle, and I were in charge of teaching art and kindergarden activities. Praise God for all the wonderful ideas Betty had. They were simple. For example, the teachers really loved the idea of putting filler in plastic eggs. Then the children could shake the eggs the number of times the teacher instructed. The teachers could also write a number or letter on the egg; whoever had the letter or number the teacher called could shake the egg. Other items we were able to bring included pipecleaners, popsicle sticks, pony beads, posters and powder paint. Once Betty finished explaining how to use each item, she opened the floor to questions. Immediately, one man asked if she could explain again how to use these items; he had never been exposed to any of them. Praise God we were able to tell him that each school would be provided with at least a small amount of the items we demonstrated. Then another man raised his hand with a question. He asked us how we would teach a class size of 50. Yes, that’s right – 50. This man has 50 kids in his preschool class! As a teacher, I cannot imagine having a class size of 50 and no access to the most basic supplies.
In the second group we taught, we asked the teachers the ages of the children they teach. This was again a kindergarten teaching group. Some of the teachers said their students range in age from about 3 to 6. One man said that he has students as old as 10 or 12 just starting school. I just cannot imagine my own daughters not being able to start school until that late.
We ended the day by teaching secondary math teachers. Their secondary math is not like ours. So even those teachers were able to take away something. I was talking with one of those teachers, Sanders, at the end of the conference. He told me that, after spending all day in the conference, he now had to travel an hour (by car, more if he walked) to go study more for a different trade.
The teachers here are very dedicated, and grateful for even the simplest of things. I am so grateful for this experience. Not only has it allowed me to put what little French I know to good use, it has been so rewarding to do what God calls us to do and show these people love and help them. I pray I will be able to come back and help them again one day.
As usual, some of the local children have gathered in the courtyard, ready for us to show them videos and take photos (it is amazing how much they love that) or simply just to sit and enjoy each other’s company. So it is time for me to go play with children and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and scenery. I’m also happy to report that Cinco the puppy is doing very well. So long my friends!