I just got back from Sunday brunch (Haitian style) with Robenson, Idelie and her fiancee, Divnel. Idelie, as you will remember, is the teacher for the mountain kids and she lives in Cabaret, so what better excuse than to go to Yolty's for lunch?! As we sipped on cold Sprite and feasted on poul (chicken) and cabrit (goat), I got an update on the progress of the kids, and prep for their final tests of the year. It's hard to believe that June is here and school's almost out for the summer! Idelie has done an amazing job this year and I am so grateful for her ministry and work with the children.
As a 'sequel' to the post I wrote about 'When Helping Hurts' a few weeks ago, I am excited to update you with the news that after connecting with Met Soufrann, the principal at the School of Hope, the kids will all be enrolled in classes here at the Mission next September! As we continue to collect birth certificates from the families and complete other enrollment papers, I am thrilled for the cooperation of the school leaders in helping these kids have a further chance at learning.
Over the past few weeks I have also been deeply encouraged by the partnership of the Compassion Team at the Church of Hope. Pastor Patris and Pastor Fonzie have been working with me to deliver soap, shoes and Bibles to the families, as well as spiritual mentoring. What a privilege it has been for me to work alongside these sustainable church leaders! It's truly an answer to prayer.
I also have to take a minute to brag on Robenson because he is pretty awesome. Any typical guy in grade 10 wouldn't take much time out of his schedule to tromp out into the hills, but Robenson has never turned me down once. Ever since his older brother (who once was my interpreter) left for school in the Dominican, he's been my sidekick and a wonderful blessing to the families and to me. He encourages the kids in their schoolwork and shows respect and care for the parents. In our past visit, Robenson reminded the mothers about the continual spread of cholera (due to the rainy season), and the importance of purifying water and washing hands of the children. He takes initiative and uses his deeper understanding of village life to encourage and equip the families in their daily lives. This summer, he will partner with Idelie and continue some shorter tutorial classes in preparation for the children starting school this fall, as well as lead bible studies for the families.
As we look ahead, more possibilities are shaping up as the children join the summer camp happening at the Church of Hope, and plans for homes being built for them in SourceMatelas. Thank you for your partnership in this journey and continuing to keep these families, as well as all of those I've mentioned in your prayers. I can't wait to update you more in person in a few weeks!