Friday, March 26, 2010

New playground for refugee kids!

It’s hard to believe it’s been ten weeks since the earthquake that changed so much for so many. Just like 9/11 changed the United States, the earthquake experience has affected all of us here. Activities continue, school is going on, as well as outreaches. This week Caleb was working with customs officials to clear the seventh container of relief supplies coming via boat through Cap Haitien. It’s been encouraging to see so much come in that we get to distribute to those in need. This week we had staffers and volunteers sorting through many boxes of donated clothing to narrow them down to sex and general size for ease of distribution. One volunteer mentioned to me that she was encouraged to see the clothing sent down was good quality, which I agree with. We should be giving the best we can to those in need.

This week we’ve had Cynthia Schlabach from Detroit, MI here to volunteer in a variety of capacities. Earlier in the week she helped me interview and encourage our youngest sponsored students write a thank you note. For the pre-schoolers this consists of a nicely done coloring page which will be sent to their sponsor with their grade report at the end of the year.

She’s also been helping out by putting all our handwritten reports of “internally displaced people” now currently living in our area. Some friends at World Food Program asked us to prepare these to help them plan on feeding needs in the coming months. But putting all of this handwritten French into an Excel report is not easy, but thanks Cindy for your help!

The other happenings this week have been a real answered prayer for me, personally. For several years, I’ve been hoping we could get some nice playground equipment for the school campus. All the preschool and elementary students have really needed something to do besides running in circles. By “coincidence”, Caleb met a group of volunteers ( who have a vision of building playgrounds in needy communities all over the world. They had already done two in Haiti as well as in the Ukraine, Kenya and other areas. They told Caleb they’d be willing to come if he could find the funding. With some of your generous help, we had them come this past week to get it up and it was completed in four days! Today was a day off of school in preparation of semester exams so we brought some of our guests from Port au Prince to explore the new playground facilities!

When I heard the shouts and cheers from all the kids from the camp as the bus rolled up, it brought tears to my eyes. They were so excited! It may seem like a small thing in the rebuilding of the country, but our hope is that these kids felt valued that someone would spend time building something just for them to enjoy!

Pictured here is just some of the Tilt a World crew who came! We’re now dreaming that we can eventually afford to fund another one at the camp itself in the months to come!

Thanks for praying!

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