St. Louis Comes to Mole…

As part of their Christmas gift this year, we invited the St. Louis Orphanage to come spend the weekend with us in Mole St Nicolas! That’s right! ALL 133 of our kids were together for the first time! It was BEAUTIFUL!!

We weren’t sure how crazy this weekend would be with SO many kids. But it was AWESOME! They were SO sweet. I loved seeing everyone come together as one BIG family. Even the staff – they all worked SO well together! The bigger kids from St. Louis were holding & playing with all of our little ones. Everyone played nice the entire week! No fighting about who eats first or who is on their team.

It also brought me great joy to see the twinkle in their eyes when night came and they were surrounded by the beautiful lights.

You could clearly see the fruit of Mme Sondra (their orphanage manager). Their staff was so professional & completely engaged. They were a well-oiled machine. Meals were on time AND the kids were on time to each event. All weekend long – each child found a way to thank us for inviting them.

All of us here feel so honored that we got to host them for the weekend! My children, our staff’s children, & our Mole orphanage children – all of them found new life-time friends!

**

Friday –

So everyone arrived on Friday right at lunch time. Unfortunately it was pouring down rain. We were nervous it would rain the whole weekend but it cleared up Saturday morning! Phew!

I loved watching the children take-in the beauty of the Mole. They had never seen so many plants & trees. Bena was mowing our yard and they just stood there baffled. They LOVED the beautiful beach and couldn’t believe it was just right across the street. I had so many of them come up to me the first day telling me how grateful they were to just experience such a beautiful village!

Susan & I worked on a schedule for their weekend. Since it rained on Friday – we had to move some things around but we did accomplish everything we wanted to! Susan had the great idea to do a Christmas Camp next year and we could have the kids stay a little longer! I’m already thinking about next time…….. 🙂

The kids REALLY enjoyed the beach! They could have stayed there the whole time. Friday evening we divided everyone up into 4 teams. They were blue, green, red, & purple. We divided the teams in a way where everyone had the same amount of older kids and younger kids within their group. There were 33 kids in each group.

FRIDAY:
12PM – Lunch
1PM-4PM Beach
5PM Dinner
6:30PM – 1st Christmas Movie
8:30PM – 2nd Christmas Movie

SATURDAY:
7:30AM – Devotions by Pierre
8AM – Breakfast
9AM-11AM Crab Soccer
11:30AM Lunch
1PM – 4PM Beach/Basketball/Soccer/Volleyball
4:30PM Bonfire on the Beach
6:30PM Special Program – Singing, Skit, Dancing
8PM – Dance Competition
9:30am – 1st Christmas Movie
11pm – 2nd Christmast Movie

Sunday:
7:30am – Breakfast
9:30-11:30am Church
12pm: Lunch
1:30pm Leave

**
Saturday –

When it was time for breakfast they had to line up within their team. For one meal they had to make the perfect straight line. For another one they had to make a circle. Then we rated it 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th place. That’s how we decided who got to eat first. It was funny because the team that ate last for breakfast made sure they created the best circle to go first for lunch! 🙂

Crab Soccer was crazy! We took the kids to the basketball court. Crab soccer is where you have to play on your bottom and you can’t use your hands. Red & Blue played against each other. Then Green & Purple. Then the winners of each set played each other. Red & Purple were the winners of their games. When they played each other – Purple won! So everyone on the purple team got a prize!

The kids had never experienced a bonfire on the beach. They have never roasted hotdogs before. It was so much fun watching everyone experience it for the first time. We’ve done bonfires on the beach before with groups but have NEVER had 133 people to serve before!! And yet it was probably the easiest one we’ve done.

Throughout the day – Susan, Malaya, & I taught some of the older girls line dances. They LOVED it and picked up on it so quickly. So of course when pumped up the music on the beach – they had to break out and dance!

Their Christmas program was really cute. The kids acted out the Nativity Story. There were several groups who sang. Even Mme Sondra took a turn singing in front of everyone! The girls had a special dance they did that evening too.

When it was time for the dance competition we divided the kids up into 3 age groups. Miss Beth, Susan, Malaya, & I brought the kids over one age group at at time to teach them a dance. Then after some practice we played the music and they danced to it. I then went around and tapped the children who didn’t quite learn the dance…..until there were 3 people left! It was SO hard to tap people because they caught on so quick! I had to look for the littlest things to tap them out!

The first age group was 8 & under. We did the Cupid Shuffle & the Chicken Dance with them.

The 2nd group of kids was 9-14 year olds. We did the Love Shack with them.

Then the last group was 15-17 year olds and we did Cotton Eye Joe with them.

You will see in 3 of the pictures below – 3 girls standing beside each other on our “dance floor”. Those are the winners for their age groups. They each won prizes!

It was around 10pm before we were able to start the movie. I thought for sure the kids would be tired. All of us adults were completely worn out! But everyone watched the first one & about half stayed around for the 2nd one!

***
Sunday –

Sunday morning we did Children’s Church with our normal group & the kids from St. Louis that were under 12. The older ones all went to big church.

The kids LOVED children’s church. We started off with memorizing scripture. Then we did Jesus Aerobics to the song Big House! This is when we help the kids wake-up & also get rid of their wiggles. Then we did snicker-snacker. This is when you play music and then when it stops you call out – head to head or elbow to elbow – and the kids have to find someone to pair with.

Next it was time for the lesson. Today’s lesson was about the birth of Jesus! I LOVE telling that story! We have a felt board we use every week that is bright and colorful.

For crafts today we made maracas – our way of celebrating His birth. Then it was time for coloring sheets, mazes, & word searches that went with the story. We judged the best coloring pictures & gave out candy to the winners.

Then we played hot potato & mum ball. Mum ball requires the kids to sit on the table and not make a sound while they pass a ball around. If you drop it or if you talk – you’re out. WOW! We thought for sure this game would go fast. If we had 90 kids today – I bet after 5 minutes only 7 were out. So we had to get creative or the game would never end. Bonus – we now know the kids CAN sit still & quiet if motivated! 🙂

Since church was STILL going on – we took the kids back outside and played freeze dance. You dance until the music stops and then you have to freeze. If you move – you’re out. Those kids are awesome at this game. When church ended they were all sad because they wanted to keep playing.

The kids ate lunch and around 1:30pm they took off in the bus!

***
Below are some pictures from our Weekend Extravaganza! I couldn’t get them to load in order – but hopefully there’s enough pictures that you can spot your sponsored child somewhere!! 🙂 It’s like a game of Where’s Waldo!! 🙂

Thank you to everyone who donated so our children could have this awesome experience – something they’ll be talking about all next year! I think our campus is going into hibernation for a few days but we’ll have great dreams as we reflect on this beautiful weekend!

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