When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. -Galatians 6:10a (NCV)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bittersweet Easter Sunday

Easter started gloomy and rainy here in Haiti. Odessa and I drove out to Peredo for church. On the way the sun came out and gave us the perfect reminder of the "Risen Son!"

I worked with the kids in Children Church and passed out the Easter bags so many of you donated items toward. I have to say I have the better end of the deal between you guys and I. I get to see the faces and hear the delight of the kids when they receive gifts. I so wish you all could have been here.

I took great pictures to share with all of you. The bad news is my entire SD card is blank. I have no idea what I did (or the more likely probability of what Odessa did) to erase them. I am so sorry you all don't get to see the images. I'll just have to be very descriptive.

The boys backpacks each had a brand new match box car, easter candy, a pair of socks, underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, bubbles, soap and a washcloth. and silly bands. (Looking back I am so glad we gave the boys silly bands too-you'll see why)

The girls bags had hair barrettes, soap, washcloth, shampoo, candy, pair of socks and underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste and silly bands.

We even had enough to make some up for the toddlers in the church who are too young for Children's church. They each had a Beanie Baby, goldfish crackers, silly bands and matchbox car and underwear.

They loved it. The school principal and his wife helped hand them all out and when we were done I talked to the kids about telling God thank you. First of all to thank him for sending his son to die for us and now to celebrate his resurrection. Second of all thank Him for calling some Christian in the US to send these items to kids in a small village of Peredo, Haiti.

I asked them if they liked the gifts and they hadn't even opened them or looked inside. They were holding them tightly closed. All 77 kids! I told them they could open them and then the principal said to have them wait til they got home so they didn't start fighting over each other's stuff.

Wait til they get home?

But I wanted to see.

I folded my arms...pouting.

Was it worth risking 77 kids fighting over Easter gifts in an enclosed room?

Of course it was!

I told them to open their bags. The principal rolled his eyes. I giggled.

The girls loved their hair barrettes. This culture is super into braiding and making hair of all females pretty.

After about 4 seconds I heard the first fight.

I didn't dare look at the principal!

Over silly bands.

Or should I say stupid bands!

What is the deal with these things?

They make kids go crazy. But in a good way. And we had so many donated-every kid got a handful each.

To think of the Easter brawl that could have happened if we didn't put silly bands in the boy's bags.

IT was awesome-special thanks to Northside Christian Church in Wadsworth, OH, Kory Weldy's home church in Grove City, OH, Lesley Echelbarger, Beth Harbaugh and Suzanne Smith in Indiana. So many of you sent items for the kids and I want to say thank you , thank you , thank you. These people and churches went way above and brought these items down to Haiti when they came for a short term mission trip.

Part 2

So I titled this Bittersweet Easter Sunday. All the previous was the sweet part.

After all this excitement I turned and walked up to the church in Peredo and did one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I stood in front of the congregation and told them this would be my last Sunday in Peredo. I practiced it over and over the night before at home. How I would say it, how I would say it correctly in Creole and how I would say it without bursting into tears.

I didn't cry in front of them. I thanked them for everything they did for me the last 2 and a half years.

Everything they taught me about Haitian culture.

All the patience they had with me learning to speak Creole.

How they made me feel like I was a part of something.

I scanned the crowd and saw mothers who had graduated the nutrition program, teenagers who I worked with in throwing one heck of a New Years Eve party last year and countless people who have been seen in the clinic.

This was more than just leaving a job.

I was leaving friends. They aren't Haitians to me anymore. I knew these people now.

I felt my heart aching as I did not want to leave Peredo.

But due to disagreements between Haitian Christian Outreach and myself the leave is hard but necessary.

Who knew a small village such as this would have this much of an impact on my life?

I sure didn't.

But the Lord did-He knew exactly what He was doing when He called me to Haiti.

He called me to work for Him. Not one specific mission or organization. But for Him.

And that's what I'll do.

I appreciate all the prayers and works of encouragement people have offered Odessa and I already. We are doing fine and the Lord will take of of us as He always has.

Philippians 3:12-14 (New Century Version)
"I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason he made me his. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above."

So onto straining toward what is ahead!


Rainy said...

Awe, so sweet! Yeah! I'm so glad the children enjoyed their gifts. :o) I am blessed to know that I played just a small role in providing for 77 kids! Wow, 77, that is a lot in just a short time since I've been there. What a great way to communicate the love and gift of Jesus, on Easter Sunday. Way to go team.

God is Praised!
-Suzanne :o)

Silly Bands… guaranteed to make all children crazy, regardless of their culture or demographic. That is awesome!

Mary Ann said...

So thankful for people like you Ginny. You have done a wonderful job and surely God has used you in a great way to touch the lives of many people.

Please keep us posted as God leads you on the path he has for you.

Proverbs 3:5&6

Sara J. Harris said...

Wow Ginny!! Will be keeping you in prayer for God's direction for you and Odessa!