Sunday, August 12, 2012

reaching the village

     Is the summer really almost over? It has gone by so fast.  Looking back at week 1 of VBS, honestly I remember thinking it was going to be a long summer, but that isn’t the case at all! VBS has been so much fun and I look forward to the final two weeks (equally 8 weeks total).

     It’s so amazing to work for “an organization following Jesus Christ, [who] exist[s] to bring life transformation to every man, woman and child in Haiti” (Mission of Hope’s vision).  The first four weeks of VBS was very focused on reaching the “every child” part of the vision.  We averaged 800 different kids each week between the 2 different campuses.  And with our 60 Haitian volunteers, the first four weeks went extremely smooth! I have had the great honor to work with our Children’s Church workers to help coordinate the VBS and they have run away with it and taken ownership…I feel like a proud momma!  One of MOH’s core resolutions is “Indigenous Mobilization”, simply meaning…Haitians leading Haitians.  It is exciting to see the 60+ Haitian young people so passionate about leading the next generation, whether it is by telling the Bible Story, playing soccer with them, helping them make friendship bracelets or serving the kids lunch.  

     After the first four weeks of reaching the kids in our immediate area, we had a staff meeting to brainstorm on how to reach further, how to reach their village, friends and family.  We came up with a really exciting idea.  Each Thursday after VBS at both MOH campuses, we would take the VBS to the village where the kids live.  And this past Thursday was so amazing to see.  At the main, Titanyen campus, we bused kids from Minotre and Simonette.  With most of the kids coming from Minotre, that is where we went on Thursday afternoon.  Earlier in the week we met with a local pastor in Minotre to see if we could use his church as the location to invite the kids and their parents.  He was very receptive and willing to help in any way.  So Thursday after lunch, we (the North American teams, interns and VBS workers) loaded up and went to Minotre.  All week the teams had developed relationships with specific kids and on Thursday they had the opportunity to walk through their village and see where they live.  As teams walked through, we invited anyone and everyone to meet us at the designated church by 2pm.   

     The time arrived for the service to start…and if you weren’t familiar with Haitian culture, you might have been a lil disappointed with the low numbers in attendance.  But by the time the program was in full swing…the church was completely full!  (And when I say “church” we are talking about ply-wood walls and a tin roof; the original building was too damaged by the earthquake to be considered safe.)  Throughout the afternoon, Jean Marc led the kids in singing, games and of course some dance contests! But my favorite part of the program was when he would call kids up and ask them questions from any one of the 4 Bible Stories of last week.  Along with the questions…the kids were able to quote scripture from each of the stories!  How amazing is that?!? These kids were quoting scriptures to their parents, friends and community!

     We ended the program by inviting the Pastor of the church up to share a few words to the families from his village.  We thanked him for opening up his church and allowing Mission of Hope the opportunity to partner with him in ministering to the beautiful kids from Minotre.  We invited anyone without a church home to visit his church.  I believe this shows a lot about who Mission of Hope is…that its not about growing our church…but growing God’s Church!  If we are going to see Life Transformation all over this nation…we know it will take the efforts of God’s Church…all believers coming together for a common purpose – to see God move!

     After reading this blog, please take a moment to pray for VBS, the children of Haiti and for Mission of Hope!

Peace, Love and VBS!