Well, the Mole already feels like home and what an amazing feeling that is. By this point everyone has their own orphanage child claimed, their own bathroom stall of choice, and their own mosquito net rigged. I feel confident that I can speak on behalf of all of us when I say, it is going to be TOUGH to leave in just a few days. That is why we are all focusing on living in the moment and using every opportunity that God gives us. Our day started with a VBS in the Mole. After the team leaders spent hours in preparation, it is no surprise that VBS was a hit! We performed a puppet show about the story of Joseph, using storytellers and puppeteers to keep the kids entertained. They loved it! Then, they broke into groups and made their own puppets and played games. After VBS was dance camp (something I’ve personally been looking forward to for a long time). As always, the girls run on Haitian time, so we still had girls arriving 10 minutes before camp ended. But no matter how long they were there, everyone had a blast dancing and praising God together. Finally, our last activity of the day was taking the orphanage kids to the beach. Our group (by group I mainly mean Susan) was able to collect enough swimsuits to give every orphan a new suit. Their faces lit up when we showed them their new suits! Then we had a blast playing with the kids in the ocean and getting as sandy as possible. What a fun afternoon and what a blessing to be able to share it with such an amazing group of God-loving people. I know we will all have so many impactful stories and experiences to share with you all!
Okay so Emma pretty much covered what we did today, so I’ll talk about some of the different things we got to experience with the kids. At VBS this morning I was astounded by the amount of kids that came. 80 kids, both boys and girls, showed up so excited to just watch and listen to our story for them. As the kids arrived, we said good morning and blew bubbles with them. Most children would come is so timid and just almost scared to talk to us but as we blew bubbles with them, there was a smile on everyone’s face. It was fun for me asking the children what their names were and seeing the smiles on their faces when we could have that short conversation in Creole. It was interesting to see that the kids (mostly boys) were so protective of their younger siblings, or not. It kind of went both ways. I saw several boys who wouldn’t let go of their sister or their younger brother. Even if they did let go, their eyes were ALWAYS on their sibling. In other cases, it was heartbreaking. As we were sharing stories this afternoon, I heard about a young boy who got kneed in the head while playing sports. Tyler Sherman said that he held the boy as he cried for 10 minutes. Tyler also mentioned that this was odd for him because he knew from previous experience that kids only really cry for 5 minutes straight. After the first 5 minutes he said that he realized that the boy just wanted to be held, and Tyler fulfilled that need for him. We found out later as the boy was leaving with his older brother that the boy was probably from a rough home, as his older brother kind of pushed him and let him fall on the way out of the VBS. This was heartbreaking to think that the boy had to go back to that home. At the same time, it was heartwarming to think that we could show this kid God’s love for him and tell him that God would always be with him, using puppets and the story of Joseph. Another girl told a story several times today that really hit her. Morgan Kuchnicki (also known as Cookie) was touched by the way a little boy came up to her today. This morning at VBS, as I said before, most children were coming in shy with their heads down. However, this little boy was an exception. When he saw Morgan, he smiled and ran with arms stretched wide to cling onto her leg. It touched her how excited he was to see her, even though she was a total stranger. I love how all the youth kids (especially the guys) have clung to the kids from the orphanage. Some boys that you might think are tough and wouldn’t really cuddle a child are clinging to them and it’s simply precious. And I mean all the youth boys. That is, Darrin Bath, Ben Strickler, Hans Wieland, Austin Faulds, Ben Hampton, and Reid Fowler. They all have their “own kid” and they have definitely claimed them as their own. And I, personally, find it totally adorable. Okay, I think that’s all for tonight.