This past Saturday, we invited 20 ladies from the Karenage Fishing Village for a night of fun & fellowship!
We divided the ladies into 4 groups of 5. Momma Gigi, Elirose, Mme Nene, & Tizzie hosted each table. The evening started with popcorn, candy, & soda! The ladies spent 20 minutes just relaxing and getting to know each other.
We wanted to serve a smaller number of ladies so that relationships could form. We wanted them to feel seen & heard. We also wanted to identify which lady (at each table) was struggling & in need the most. Each staff member – secretly identified who that person was – so that I could make sure they received the biggest gifts during the “cake walk”.
After our time of fellowship – we started our 5 rounds of games. Usually we play Bingo when we want to do big giveaways. However, since most of our guests can’t read or write, we decided to use children’s games instead.
Rosie, Gabe, Asher, Levi, & Malaya were each responsible for a specific game. Each round, my kids would rotate from table to table until all 5 games were played by everyone. We played several games that involved removing a small toy from the mouth of a dinosaur/snake/hippo without being bitten – or stacking coins on top of the dog’s nose before he barks!
We also played a game where you had to remove strands of fake spaghetti without the marshmallow falling into the plate! None of the games required reading or strategy! The ladies laughed hysterically as the animated toys would “snap” randomly while they played!
Winners received different prizes each round. The 1st game, each table won shampoo. The 2nd game they played, the winner won soap. The 3rd game, they won toothpaste. The 4th game, each table won lotion. The 5th game, they won a purse & conditioner.
After we played the individual games, we played hot potato as a group! This children’s game is an absolute favorite in Haiti! After we declared a winner from the game, we then played Musical Papers.
This game is just like musical chairs only instead of sitting in a chair – we put papers all over the cafeteria. There’s not enough papers for everyone. If you don’t find a paper to stand on – you’re out. Winners from these games received a nice bottle of perfume.
The final game we played was our version of a cake walk. We placed numbers 1-20 in a circle on the ground. Those numbers matched wrapped gifts that were placed on a table. If you stood on number 5 – then you received the present labeled # 5.
However, we actually didn’t place the numbers on the gifts until the women started to play. None of the gifts had the exact same items – although all of them included toiletries, clothes, shoes, & household items.
However there were 4 gifts that had way more prizes than the others. The ladies who were identified as the most in need (at each table) – received those gifts. Whatever number they stood on, we made sure to label those gifts to match. (I know it’s a little sneaky – but some of the ladies had as many as 10 kids!)
Before they left, each of them received a bag of rice/beans, a bag full of toys, & a little bit of money to bless their family! We absolutely had a blast!!
Tonight we did the exact same thing, only we invited 20 women over the age of 60 to participate! We had the same format & did the same activities!
These ladies were definitely the most fun to be around. They came in SO tired & weary. But as soon as the games started, their inner child totally came out! They had a burst of energy that lasted all night! I wish I could show you a before & after picture of each one! Their entire demeanor changed throughout the night – as I watched them trade their sorrows – for the joy of the Lord!