We have two Homes of Hope in Haiti nestled in a small, very poor community called Welsh. The needs across the country are great, but God has been opening doors for LSM to do more in this particular community. One of the projects has included the construction of a new school for our Home of Hope children. This new, bigger building will also provide the chance for kids from the community to attend school (many for the first time)!
I read a devotional this morning about a woman who sponsored a little family in Africa for many years. She didn’t have much, but she had known the very hard reality of raising children on her own as a young adult. She felt she could relate with a young single mother in Ethiopia – and so month after month, she scraped together the money to send.
Years passed, but this American woman didn’t just send in her check. She prayed for this little family, wrote letters and tried as best she could to give of herself for this family halfway around the world.
As I’ve been sorting through pictures from VBS this year, I can’t help but smile as I see photo after photo of happy kids, basking in their carefree summer days and having so much fun together. I also can’t help but see great hope written on their faces – made all the more powerful when you know how much it has taken for this smile to grow.
VBS created some wonderful memories for each of the Home of Hope kids last week! And while everyone is back home and getting back into a daily routine, the smiles remain.
There is no better time to look at the monumental changes in these children’s lives than at VBS. The 216 kids who were orphans, child slaves, extremely vulnerable and looking at the very worst the world had to offer are now able to run and play and learn together. This is incredibly powerful – not just because of the impact on these 18 families – but because it gives us a close-up look at tomorrow’s Haiti.
Over the last couple of days, the kids have been having tons of fun at VBS! In the mornings, the younger group gathers to hear bible stories and learn new songs and dances. The older kids spend time with guest speakers and have a chance to ask questions of the Haiti staff about different topics. It’s been great to watch the kids interact and enjoy each other. There are certainly memories in the making here!
18 Home of Hope families have gathered at the Cancer Redemption Campus for Vacation Bible School! As the kids arrived on Saturday morning, you could see the excitement in their eyes. This long anticipated week is full of renewing friendships with kids from other families, playing new games, singing, variety shows and even bible contests.
Do you remember the excitement you felt as a kid when it was finally time for your family’s summer vacation? You’d wake up with the sun and bound out of bed, pulling your bags of goodies for the drive and nearly bursting with energy. You just KNEW this year was going to be the best yet!
Gathering supplies and adjusting to new schedules can make a new school year rather daunting. But as you’re preparing for classes to start, take a moment and think about how incredibly blessed your family is to have the chance for your children to receive a quality education!
Consider this from Haiti, a country not so far away from here… Hundreds of thousands of children have no access to school, or have seemingly innumerable obstacles in their way, such as: What would you do if you didn’t have any money to go to school? What if there was no school near you, and you had to walk miles each day without any food in your belly? What if, when you got to the one-room school house, you found that there were no books, and you sat on a bench all day in the heat to memorize from a chalkboard?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Did you watch your dad in the shop, or discover a love of teaching from your 4th grade teacher? Did you job shadow someone or plan ahead to see what career you wanted to pursue in college?
Imagine what it would look like if the majority of the people you knew didn’t have a formal job. Imagine what you would dream about becoming when you only knew of three main professions in your community. What would you say then?
With a curious smirk, sporting a vest and tie, you smile and think, “What a cute boy.” What isn’t captured is how powerful this moment really is. You see, Obie*, the little guy pictured, had just joined his new Home of Hope family when this photo was taken. It was his first day in a new home. His first day eating three full meals. His first night sleeping in a bed all his own. It was the first of so many new things he never had before.