***FYI..This blog was written on Wednesday but due to internet issues, we weren’t able to post until now.
WHAT A WEEK!
For the last 3 mornings, we’ve hosted the campus kids in the cafeteria for games & coloring, which they absolutely love to do.
During the afternoons, we spent time sorting boxes of beads, which gave me a huge sense of accomplishment when we finished. I also worked under Malaya’s instruction on making royal frosting and decorating sugar cookies for the party. I have a new appreciation for all that work!
Tom checked the rocking chairs on the kids’ porch and supervised their cleaning. He restrung clotheslines for the workers, and hung new lights up for each of the bedrooms in the children’s home.
We both spent MANY hours prepping for the Easter festivities, as well as decorating the cafeteria for the new Children’s Church Series called, You’ve Got Talent!
BELOW ARE A FEW MORE DETAILS FROM OUR PAST FEW DAYS HERE.
On Monday, a couple of the boys brought backpacks with pencils so they could draw. Two of the boys did characterizations of Tom, and everyone laughed when he started to draw his nose! A few of the girls danced, some of kids drew with sidewalk chalk, some worked on wordsearch puzzles, and others constructed crosses with the Jenga blocks.
On Tuesday, they spent a few hours drawing on white wooden eggs for an upcoming project! When we started the Tom and Jerry cartoons, the younger kids immediately dropped what they were doing, and scurried to the tables next to the screen! It was so much fun to watch the kids laugh & engage with one another.
On Tuesday evening, I joined Jody, Abbey, Mikela, and Malaya for their weekly Bible study called, Don’t Give The Enemy A Seat At Your Table. I thoroughly enjoyed this time together. I loved hearing how they’ve seen God working through these very hard times. It also brought me pure joy, listening to all the changes they’ve made, since starting the study.
Wednesday morning, we showed The Avengers movie, which the boys especially have been eager to see. The morning flew by quickly, as we spent our last full day here.
On Wednesday afternoon, we took a large group of kids to the beach. There is a brand-new rewards system for the children’s home. Each week, the kids can earn a sticker for good behavior. If you earn 4 stickers in one month, you get to vote for a special reward. This month the children voted for an afternoon on the beach with chips, cookies, and soda!
We were so honored to be apart of the very first reward!
Well today is the last day! I have loved spending time with the Castillo kids, the twins (how fast they’ve grown since last summer!), Jose and Jody, Abbey, and the staff.
People ask why we come to Haiti, and we always say, “To see our friends.”
I’ve never spoken a truer statement. I’m so sad to leave tomorrow but so filled up!
ON A SIDE NOTE…
I have to share how satisfying it has been this week, watching our campus kids take on more responsibilities.
Every Saturday from 4pm-6pm, the Castillo kids, the staff kids, as well as all the campus kids, join together for a massive campus clean-up.
They first meet in the cafeteria to receive their assignment lists, and then it’s off to work they go. It’s very impressive to see how much pride they take in their work. They genuinely enjoy working together, and have never complained once.
Every Monday night, Pierre & Jody meet with all the kids for a 2-hour counseling session.
These meetings provide a platform to address any issues or concerns that unfolded the week before. It’s also a safe space for the kids to simply share their hearts, explain their struggles, and openly discuss anything that bothers them.
If any child on campus disrespects one of the mommas, teachers, staff members, or even each other – they are given a Reflection Form and sent to Jody.
This form is designed to address the feelings & thoughts that led to their poor decision. It also provides an opportunity for the kids to gain perspective on how their actions may have affected others.
Since we’ve arrived here, there hasn’t been a day go by where we haven’t witnessed at least 6 of these little meetings between Jody and the kids.
In my mind I still see them as little children, but I know they are now at ages where they need to be learning these things. It’s so encouraging to watch these sweet kids learn from their mistakes, process their feelings, and begin taking ownership of their actions.