A Week in the Life
Posted on June 15, 2014 by EMILYGSPRING Leave a comment
Here is a brief overview of what we did this week and what our typical weekly schedule will look like when teams aren’t here this summer!
Fishing villages: On Monday morning we scheduled to visit fishing villages in the area to play with kids, hang out with the adults, and maybe plan a mini-VBS. I love visiting the fishing villages because they give such a real and raw picture of what everyday life is like in this country and the hardships many people face to survive. This past Monday we walked the 20 minute jaunt over to Karnage. This particular village is shrouded in so much darkness and so much poverty it is usually heartbreaking to visit. When we arrived this time we started by going around the town hut-to-hut to pray at some of the homes in the community. We prayed with a couple of older women who both mentioned the need for work and success in fishing for the town; please also keep this town in your prayers as there is so much need for the light and hope of Jesus. After praying with the women we played with an adorable group of young kids who were filled with laughter and joy despite having very little. I just wanted to hug and hold onto them so tightly and I pray that they would know that there is a God who loves them even more and who is always holding them in His hands.
Women’s Bible Study: Mondays at 4:00 Haitian time we have women’s Bible Study with the Dames group from the church here. It is always a privilege to be included in this group and to be able to see the faithfulness and joy of these ladies. This week kicked off a new study of Philippians and Miss. Beth talked about having joy in the midst of suffering or trials, which is not always an easy lesson to hear or put into practice as a lot of us have been learning. But it was great to dig into this passage of Scripture with these wonderful ladies who have been through much more tragedy and suffering than I could probably ever imagine, yet they still face each day with such joy founded in Christ. Keep on praying for these ladies that they will continue to grow in their faith and joy in Christ, even in the midst of suffering, and be praying that we will be able to learn from each other’s example.
Clinic clean-up: Tuesday and Thursday mornings we’ve started working on cleaning up and organizing Jody’s medical clinic on campus. It’s been a process but we’re pretty proud of the progress we’ve made! There are medications and supplies to be sorted through and organized. Though the clinic is not officially opened yet, I’m glad to be a part of the process! Please be praying for the clinic, that it will be ready to open its doors soon and just pray for all who will walk through those doors to be treated. Pray that it will serve as a launch pad for ministry and that it will have enough supplies to serve all those who need to be seen.
Girls/Boys Discipleship Groups: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are when we meet with our girls and boys groups respectively. This week Morgan and I were able to start our girls group back up with the same girls we worked with last year. We only met on Tuesday this week due to final exams the girls have in school (which be praying for them in that, I know some of the exams were Thursday but there are more next Tuesday morning!) but I couldn’t wait to see them all. They are a crazy, sassy, spunky bunch of 20 girls from the community who come from varied backgrounds and have varied personalities. Sometimes it feels like we are back at square one with these girls and that nothing we are saying is sticking with them. Be praying that we will let God speak through us and that we will come to better understand what God wants to do in this group this year. Though it sometimes gets difficult and frustrating trying to reach these girls, I know that God is at work in our midst. None of us are the same as we were last year and I know God is still tugging on these girls’ hearts. For the boys group, Patrick has been meeting guys and losing games down at the soccer field in town. He invited some boys to join his younger and older guys’ discipleship groups and will start meeting with them next week. Please be praying for these groups as well. It seems incredibly difficult to reach the boys or men of this community yet it is such a necessary step to help bring about transformation here. Pray that there will be boys that come who are eager to listen and that God will speak into their hearts through this group.
Orphan Fun Time: We’ve started out our Wednesday and Friday mornings with fun time at the orphanage! Though the older and preschool-aged kids have mostly been in school during this time, school is now officially done so all 33 adorable kiddos should be around to have fun starting next week! But while we just had the little kids, we’ve been coloring with crayons, using chalk out on the sidewalks, and just hanging out and loving on these kids. Always keep these kids and the orphanage mamas in your prayers, there is such joy there and pray that the devil will never be able to snatch it away. Pray that God will watch over them and guide them in the way He wants them to grow.
Orphan Swimming Lessons: Wednesday and Friday afternoons are swimming lessons with the older kids from the orphanage. We head out to the ocean with the older kids in tow and have been practicing our basic swimming skills, like blowing bubbles, arm strokes, and kicking. It has been quite a fun and crazy adventure as some kids love the water, others are afraid of the ocean, and some just can’t stop squirming and flopping like fish (and somehow I always end up paired with the squirmers)! Anyway, it really has been fun and who knows, by the end of the summer we may have a swimming team fit for the Olympics?!
Wednesday night church: Also, on Wednesday nights we’ve been meeting as the American staff to have our own weekly bible study/church service. We’ve been watching a video from Catalyst or Southland Hour and it’s been good to just come together in this way and worship and learn together. I think it’s very necessary that we meet together and not neglect our own spiritual walks though on the mission field. I’ve enjoyed being able to do this and I’m asking that you keep us all in your prayers as well. Pray that we will not grow weary but that we will continue to put on our armor of God and fight the good fight. Pray that we will continue to meet together to worship, learn, and pray and that through this we will grow closer together and closer to God. Pray that we will have an early Acts church mentality about us, that we all will grow to be of one mind, spirit, and heart as we are connected to Christ.
Personal Bible Study: Though Thursday is mainly a repeat of our Tuesday activities (with clinic clean-up and discipleship groups), this Thursday night Bible study is the exception. Jody, Miss. Beth, Morgan, and I started a Beth Moore study called “Children of the Day” that goes through the books of Thessalonians. Jody thought this would be particularly pertinent for us as we are working to push back the darkness in this Mole community and we are praying that God will use us to help do that. So far it has been a great way for me to slow down and really dig into the word of God and it’s been challenging me in my knowledge of the Scripture. Pray that we will continue to go deeper with this study, that we won’t let this knowledge just sit on the surface of our hearts but that we will allow God to take us deeper and further than we could have ever thought. Pray that God will grow our faith through this study but also that He will grow our relationships with one another to be deeper and stronger. Pray that He will daily reveal more of Himself and His plans to us.
Special Project: In an effort to get the Castillo kids working together and being creative, us interns have started a special secret project with them during the first hour of their school on Fridays. Though I can’t quite tell you about the project I can say that it has been lots of fun! They are such bright and creative kids and we’ve laughed a lot during these times together. Pray that the kids will continue to grow closer to each other and learn more about what it means to work together. I just pray that they will come to truly understand what it means to be for one another and that they will grow stronger in that. Also, pray that these kids would fully realize and appreciate how valued and special they truly are, that God created them each to be unique in their own ways and that He has such great plans for their lives.
Creole School: Fridays are similar to Wednesdays in that we hang out at the orphanage with the little kids in the morning and then have swimming lessons with the older kids in the afternoon. But in an attempt to improve our Creole skills, we’ve also been meeting with one of our interpreter friends, Rodner, and having our own little “Creole School” of sorts. We haven’t met that consistently but I would say we are all improving! Please pray for all of our interpreters this summer that we all will be able to communicate well and also that they will grab hold of ministry opportunities as their own. It could be easy for this to become just another job and not all who work with the mission have a personal relationship with Christ so be praying that God will be speaking to their hearts this summer and bringing them closer to Him. And pray that we will be able to grow in our friendships with one another and serve as examples of light in their lives.
Friday Fun Night!: Friday nights we’ve also been hanging out with the Castillo kids and having a Friday fun night where we watch a movie! So far our Friday theater has shown “Snow Dogs” and “Monster’s Inc.” both of which have produced lots of laughs! I’m excited to see what the upcoming weeks hold! Just be praying for this family and these kids as well, it’s not easy living and serving in a third-world country consistently and the devil would love nothing more than for them to fail. But I know God has His hand on this family and He is watching out for all of them. Pray that they will feel His presence with them and would be comforted in knowing that their work for the Lord is never in vain, that they are being used in big ways for His kingdom and that they have so many who support and love them.
Community VBS: So we tried starting up our Saturday morning community VBS this week but a funeral procession through town made it very difficult for many kids to come. But we had 4 friends show up and we had fun playing Frisbee for a while, going through a lesson on creation and the fall, and then coloring some coloring pages. Though it was a small group I’m thankful for the opportunity we had to pour into these kids and love these few. I love having VBS open to everyone to come, I just want to be able to connect with this community in a larger sense and VBS is a great way to get lots of kids involved. We’ll probably be seeing a lot more friends coming in the upcoming weeks so be praying for all those who will come, that the Bible stories we talk about will really find a place in their hearts. Be praying that there will be no more reasons or excuses keeping these kids from coming and hearing the word of God.
Castillo Crafting: For Saturday afternoon the interns started having Craft Time with the Castillo Kids (like I’ve said before I feel like that could be a TV show)! This week we painted some pictures and ended our time playing some games of Twister, which resulting in lots of tangled messes and laughter. This craft time is a kind of incentive for the kids, if they are good in school that week they will be allowed to come to our craft time so be praying that the kids will continue to learn and grow in behaving well, not only in school but everywhere. Also, just pray that we will continue to be able to have fun together and that God will grow our friendships deeper through this!
Movie night: Saturday nights are my favorite night of the week because we have community movie night! Though it has been increasingly difficult to get our friends from the community to come (due to the superstitions and beliefs associated with the mission being near the beach/cemetery and it being dark outside during movie nights), all the orphans and most of the staff kids have been able to come the past couple weeks and we’ve had a blast! The first week we showed the classic favorite of “Finding Nemo” and we showed “Rio” this week (which just happened to coincide very well with the World Cup starting). Movie nights offer an escape for many of the community kids facing abuse or rough home situations and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to love on them through these fun nights together. We had more friends from the community show up this week (including some of our friends from VBS!) and my prayer is that more and more kids from the community will be able to come in the future. I pray that they will not let fear grip their hearts but that they will confidently believe that God will protect them.
Church in the Mole: Sunday mornings obviously start off with church and I’m so thankful for the opportunity we have to come alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters in worship and prayer here. I love hearing the church sing praises to God at the top of their lungs and to pray so fervently, and I have been challenged and inspired to grow in my own walk of faith. Though I don’t always understand all the words to the songs or the entire sermon, I’ve been growing in that and I get excited for the parts that I do understand. I just imagine every tongue and nation being represented in heaven and what a glorious party of praise that will be! I thank God for these believers and for their faith and joy that persists even in the trials of life. Pray that they will continue to grow together as the body of Christ and that they will be of one heart founded in Christ.
La Jeunesse: Though we have yet to actually be at a La Jeunesse/Youth Group meeting (since none of the youth came last week due in part to exams), our hope is to be able to go and connect with the youth of the church on Sunday afternoons. Since none of us have ever been I’m not entirely sure what this will look like but I’m excited for the opportunity to be able to connect more with those in our own age range and be able to help each other grow. Be praying for the youth group, that they will truly take hold of the truth they read in the Scriptures and believe it to be true for their own lives. Pray that they will make their faith their own and that they will cling to Jesus in the midst of life’s hardships. Pray that we will be able to build relationships with these youth and that we will be able to have fun together.
American church: Though Sundays begin with church they also end with church as the American staff watch a Catalyst or Southland Hour video together, similarly to our Wednesday night meetings. Like I said be praying that through this we will continue to grow closer together and closer to God. Also, be praying that these Sunday nights will help us refocus and prepare ourselves for the week of ministry to come. Pray that God will renew and refresh us during this day of rest and that we will be ready to jump back into the front lines in this battle for people’s souls each Monday morning.