What an amazing day!
Our morning started with another delicious breakfast, where we said goodbye to mission groups from Minnesota and Sugar Land, TX, who also stayed at the Methodist Guest House. The Minnesota group is headed home today. Safe travels to our new friends!
We were then excited and anxious to go to the school on the compound to meet some of the children. Dressed in bright yellow collared shirts and gray skirts and pants, they kindly greeted us with smiles and waves. We gathered outside in the sun, and using baking soda and water, we showed some of the classes an inexpensive, quick way to make toothpaste. We also had a huge set of fake teeth and a toothbrush; some brave volunteers from each class demonstrated the proper way to brush teeth. Everyone caught on quickly, mixing the paste together themselves, and we gave the students samples of toothpaste to take home to share with their families. We then spent time with many classes during their lunch/recess break, where we took photos (including some selfies!), played games, and talked in several languages including English, Spanish, French and Haitian Creole. Those who spoke English told us they learn from American songs, movies and the Internet. Our group is amazed by the students here; they are attentive, kind, and most importantly: happy.
We also showed some of the Methodist guest house employees how to make toothpaste using the baking soda/water mixture after lunch as well.
This afternoon, we went to a nearby Methodist boys home and met an amazing group of young men aged 8-17. The boys each have families and are from rural areas of Haiti; they have received scholarships to live in the home in the heart of Petionville and earn an education. We began with discussing the story of David and Goliath, and then turned it over to the kids to recreate the story with various crafts, including paper bag puppets, Goliath drawings, slingshot crafts made with plastic cups and balloons and props. To say that we were impressed is an understatement. Several boys colored the Goliath drawings with precision and detail; some used their slingshots for target practice on Goliath drawings taped to the wall, and others used colored paper and crayons to create puppets and designs on the paper bags. Then came the most incredible part of the afternoon: the kids performed the story of David and Goliath, complete with a narrator, props and multiple speaking parts – David even defeated Goliath with a Star Wars light saber. Their knowledge and understanding of the biblical story floored all of us, and we were overcome with joy and emotion to witness it. We cheered as the kids took a bow.
We then went outside where we taught the boys to play an American favorite (especially for Kansas City): baseball. Most kids in Haiti are familiar with soccer and basketball, but not sports that require any sort of swinging motion or a bat/stick. However, they caught on quickly and within a few “innings” we had multiple home runs with whiffle balls hit well over the walls surrounding the home. We can’t thank our translator, Leonard, enough for helping us teach them. We ended our time with the group by gathering for a prayer, where one of the smallest boys – who also played the part of David – led us in a prayer that the kids say often in school. One of the oldest boys then thanked our group and said that they look forward to seeing us one day when we’re all together again with the Lord; a sentiment with which we could not agree more. It is so apparent that these boys hold the word of God close to them, and we hope that they continue to spread their light to others – both in Haiti and wherever their lives take them.
Tomorrow, we head to Petit Goave for a few days. Like the first leg of the trip, we’re unsure what we’ll do once we arrive, but are willing and able to do whatever is asked of us. As we’ve learned, one theme of our journey thus far has been adaptability – a great reminder to all of us.
Thanks for following along; hugs to all.