Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rebuilding Schools and Graduation Images

It continues to take longer than we hoped to get information out but this is due simply to the busyness of all the activities around us. First of all we wanted to go back and update you on some of the rebuilding projects going on near Port au Prince. As we stated previously, one of the greatest needs is to get schools up and running again. These images show the current conditions at Joyous Hearts Elementary School which was destroyed by the earthquake. (See below)
Teachers and students are making do the best they can in a nearby lean-to as you can see, but are looking forward to seeing walls built on these foundations which have been laid. Work has been ongoing on this project as well as others; we’ll try to get you more pictures soon!

In the capital as well as where we live, life is continuing on. The school year will finish at the end of this month and almost everyone is ready for a break from the rigors of school. We are scheduling a few outreaches for the children before break. This coming week of June 17th we are having a day camp at our school campus for all the elementary students. This is being led by a group of volunteers from Fellowship Bible Church of Memphis, TN. We’re hoping it’s a time of encouragement for all the students. This will be followed up by scheduled kid’s camps held later in July. Graduation is scheduled for July 25th for some classes; below you’ll see some of our kindergarten classes practicing for their activities. In some ways it seems strange to all of us for such scenes of life going on as normal in light of the great tragedy that just occurred here. But for those of us that are still alive, we must go on, celebrating the accomplishments and re-building and grieving at other times.

One exciting thing going on now in Haiti is the World Cup Soccer Tournament. This is always a much anticipated event here even though we don’t have a team that makes it. Still area fans watch eagerly their favorite teams as well as the players who are of Haitian origin playing on others. It’s hard to explain to North Americans just how excited everyone becomes. One thing we’ve done with the generous donation of a friend is purchase a satellite dish system so that all the refugee camp residents can enjoy the tournament. When the dish was delivered and set up this week, the students and kids were literally dancing with joy! It’s a simple thing really, but something to enjoy in the midst of the loss we’ve all experienced.

Once the school year really finishes by mid-July we’ll be helping to re-settle our refugee residents to their families in the South. Caleb has been working with various leaders of the groups to find out what people want to do, etc. The majority of the 250 camp residents at this point are students (elementary and up) who were sent by their families to enjoy the stability here and finish the school year. Now that their families have had time to stabilize, they are anticipating the return of their children. Rest assured that we are looking at all the situations and trying to help as much as possible to make the move as easy as possible. Some kids will be staying here with us in the newly refurbished guest house/foster home. We have four children already placed with a house mother who have been at the camp the last few months. It will be good though to get them settled in a more permanent home setting in town. We’ll let you know the final numbers and who stays at the end of July.

In the meantime the camp is being prepared once these folks depart, to returning to its use for the various camps already scheduled. The annual summer women’s camp will start June 26th and later we have two kid’s camps and one youth camp scheduled. It looks to be a busy time so we would appreciate your prayers as these outreaches continue. One other note, we’re anticipating getting a physical therapy/rehab clinic set up on the camp grounds for the rehabilitation of amputees and the wounded post—earthquake. So be looking for future updates for status reports. The outreaches are continuing!


Tiffany said...

Wow. Debbie, your family never stops surprising me with the love and outreach you have. You are amazing. Prayers for that school to get rebuilt as soon as possible!

Anonymous said...

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- Thomas