His Heart for Haiti

Giving Hope Through Child Sponsorship

School Visits – Always An Adventure!

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Ready to set sail!

The yacht we took to visit two island schools stated on the side, “Emergency Cholera Boat!”

A recent week filled with school visits was also filled with adventure! We needed to visit a few remote schools because they were selected for new school sponsors who were waiting for information and photos. There is no easy way to most parts of Haiti! Like any Caribbean country, the mountains in the center have to be crossed almost every time you go out. Usually there is a rough road with hairpin turns (and no guard rails). Sometimes there is no road but only a path to climb over them.

That was certainly the case one of the days that week as we had to climb over a mountain to get to a school! One of the days required riding mules and wading through two rivers, and one day we traveled to an island by a private boat. We always find a little school at the end of our journey! There is always a Pastor and his family that welcomes us who are living there serving the school and community. There is a church or cluster of buildings that they call school. Most of the times the church is used as the school during the week. They are always just scraping by.

We meet with the Pastor and director of these schools to evaluate and ask questions about the school, classes, education, and also what they are teaching spiritually. We then take pictures of the classes, school, and church. When the classes come together, sometimes we have the blessing of hearing them sing for us. We love to interact with the kids! If we have time we like to send off rocket balloons with them. They love the attention you give them! Occasionally we have a Haitian meal at the Pastor’s house such as chicken legs or fish, and rice and beans with sauce. They share the little that they have. It is very humbling.

View of Pestel harbor where we set sail!

View of Pestel harbor where we set sail!

Typical harbor scenes along the way.

Typical harbor scenes along the way.

Off on an adventure!

Off on an adventure!

The boat ride to the islands was really beautiful! Being out in the water was refreshing with the wind blowing in our faces. It was a wonderful break from the scorching heat! When we arrived at the first school on the island, one of the girls started crying when she saw us white people. It was the first time she had seen the “blan.” It was probably the first time for most of them? That is why we get so stared at!

Haitian waterways have all sorts of interesting boats.

Haitian waterways have all sorts of interesting boats.

The mountains you see are where we just came from.

The mountains you see are where we just came from.

Everyone hung out at one of the schools to check us out!

Everyone surrounded us as we were trying to take school pictures!

At this remote school on the island (above), there were so many parents there that we knew it would be a good opportunity to share the gospel. After taking the pictures of the kids the Pastor sent everyone into the church close by. Marie Lucie translated the gospel message from English to Creole. Much more can be shared with the people when you have a translator!

We have a list of things to accomplish at each school, but seeing the kids is top priority!

We have a list of things to accomplish at each school, but seeing the kids is top priority!

They aren't all so sure about us!

They aren’t all so sure about us!

Going up the mountains sometimes takes three hours to drive to the school, and it is always a very bumpy ride! Other times, you have to get out and walk after the difficult ride. But it feels so good to get out and stretch! Traveling up and down the mountain, we are always hanging on with a tight grip to keep our heads from hitting the roof or the windows! And watch out for anything that is loose in the car–it goes all over! The scenery is a so beautiful that it is a great distraction. You never know what you will see–anything from scenic mountains to a bowl of bananas on someone’s head to a person bathing in the river! Anytime we are out in the field it is a good time to share the gospel because there are people just everywhere!

Trusting each other was the idea!

Trusting each other is the idea! Wondering how this was all going to go!

Traveling on donkeys up the path to the schools was a real adventure! The donkeys were very steady as they stepped over rocks, tree roots, and up and down the steep paths. There were times when the donkey got really close to the edge of the river. It made you nervous but you couldn’t do anything but take a deep breath and pray! Those steady donkeys made it every time! When their master gave them direction, they were very obedient. The Bible came more alive to us in the story of Balaam and his donkey that talked to him, and Jesus who came riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.

Enjoying the sunshine in the countryside!

We sure did get stared at by the Haitians! This wasn’t normal for them to see!

Taking a rest along the trail!

Taking a rest along the trail! It was a neat experience to share together!

There were several rivers to cross!

There were several rivers to cross!

We got across one way or another!

The donkey had no problem crossing the river. Notice the chicken tied to the left behind Trinity!

Finally arriving at the school!

Finally arriving at the school!

Trinity didn’t have a choice when the Haitian tied a live chicken on the back of her donkey coming back from the school. She was always checking on that chicken to see what it was doing. It made her a little nervous that it might just peck her!

Carrying in boxes of boys and girls clothes!

Carrying in boxes of boys and girls clothes! Also in his backpack were the “101 Bible Story” books. Can’t wait to see their reaction!

The pastors wife passed out clothes to each child!

The director passed out clothes to the ones she knew were most in need!

Thanks for our new clothes!

Thanks for our new clothes!

Happy kids modeling their new clothes!

Happy kids modeling their new clothes!

Telling the kids about our friends who made the clothes!

The kids are so precious! They will take all the love you give them!

This is a typical school scene. All the classes are in the church in one room!

This is a typical school scene. All the classes are in the church in one room!

The food we are served is very good and in this case, very attractive!

The food we are sometimes served is very good, and in this case, very attractive!

When we travel to each school we take “101 Bible Story” books and Bibles if we have them available. We are always looking for opportunities to share God’s Word! We now have new posters (The Ten Commandments) to give them to hang up in their church and school! When also like to donate clothes, underwear, shoes, etc., to these children when we have them. Other items we hope to give to the schools in the future would be simple toys–soccer balls (1 0r 2 per school), frisbees, or any kind of balls. The kids would be so excited and the directors like it too!

Sharing the new posters we are giving to each school and church!

Sharing the new posters we are giving to each school and church!

A long-lasting way to share the gospel!

The new posters are a good way to share the gospel over and over!

One day we climbed for two hours over a mountain to visit a remote school north of Bonne Fin. As we finally sighted the church in the distance, Marie Lucie said, “If Jesus went to church in Haiti, this would be the church He would go to because these people went to such great sacrifice to build the church.” Many of the people that we passed on the mountain were going to market and they kept stating that we were the first white people to cross their mountain. Then they would add, “Now we will get a new road!” (Especially after they saw the “white man” climbing the mountain!)

How do they do it? How do they build a building when there is no road to get materials over a mountain? We sit at a table in a house or sit under a tree on plastic chairs. We have just crossed a mountain on foot, rivers on foot, an ocean by boat. Every single thing they need has been carried in by pack mule, boat, or on their head for centuries. Amazing!

It was a little treacherous! We passed many people, horses and pack mules on the path!

The climb was very treacherous! We passed many people, donkeys and pack mules on the path!

The view from the top of the mountain! We rested a while!

The view from the top of the mountain! We rested a while!

The church built many miles from any road!

The church built many miles from any road!

Typical class photos!

Typical class photos!

Schools are so thrilled to have a monthly sponsor so all the kids can attend!

Schools are so thrilled to have a monthly sponsor so all the kids can attend!

Sponsoring a school affects an entire community!

Sponsoring a school affects an entire community!

Thanks for your visit!

Thanks for your visit and thanks for remembering us!

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Author: Mike + Susie

Missionaries in Les Cayes Haiti

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