Report by Sandy
I’ve been reading the TEM blogs for the last couple of years, but I never thought I would be writing one myself! As I have been praying for TEM’s work in Haiti, and have been aware of their needs, several have held a special place in my heart, but none more so than this new work of supporting the local school. When I received the call about helping on the trip I really was not sure whether to go — my insecurities tried getting the better of me. But to help the teachers, the kids and the school was an irresistible challenge. Once Kaylie and I got our tickets, we kept asking each other, “Can you believe we’re really going to Haiti?” As we were driving to the village, we were saying, “Can you believe we’re really in Haiti?”(and wondering what on earth we got ourselves into!). Now today we’ve said, “Can you believe it’s already time to go home?!”
It has been a great trip – very eye-opening as to the challenges this village (and Haiti) face, and exciting to see Chuck’s vision for the future of this village. Even more exciting is to see how God has been answering prayers and working in the lives of the people here in Z’Orange.
We started our day by meeting with the teachers/administrators of the Z’Orange school as we continued the financial planning for the year. It was so easy to see the huge heart these teachers have for the children here. They are excited about this upcoming school year and our partnership in helping them have a successful year. Last year they continued teaching in spite of frequently not getting paid. They work in difficult conditions due to the heat, lack of electricity, crowded classrooms, lack of supplies and improvements that need to be made to the school. Yet, through their faithful work, these young Christian teachers make a daily difference in the lives of their students, who have had excellent scores on state exams (yes, even in Haiti they worry about test scores!!). Many of the local families simply cannot provide all the tuition needed. However, TEM is setting up a sponsorship program where YOU will be able to help these children by providing $25/month to help pay tuition for a child. Donations will also be accepted to help with much-needed school renovations and teacher supplies.
Later in the morning we returned to the school to register 32 more children, for a total of 333 so far. They are expecting at least 50 more children on the first day, who have already paid their registration fee. Plus the possibility of another 50 or more students who may wait until the first day of school, September 17, to register. Word has already gotten out that the Americans will be supporting the school this year, so families are excited. We are excited that so many local children will not only be getting a quality education, but will also be studying the Bible each day. These children will one day soon be the young men and women who can make a positive change in their country. How we desire the future Haitian leaders to be followers of Christ! We have the opportunity to support God’s work in this area.
After lunch we worked on updating the new sponsorship website, finalizing school records, creating a brochure to begin giving out to potential sponsors, and another meeting with teachers. Please check out the TEM website over the next few weeks to learn how to begin your sponsorship! After all the work, there was still time for one last walk and playtime with the kids, which included dancing to Kaylie’s music, Clint and me on the teeter-totter with the kids, another numbers and colors Creole lesson from the kids, building and flying foam gliders, and laughter all around. They loved the attention, and we loved the reminder that kids are really the same everywhere – desiring attention and needing to see God’s loving hand through the hearts and hands of His people.