On December 21st we had a busy day at our school. The students and parents came to pick up the report cards, for a concert put on by elementary students, and to eat, drink and be merry.    All our kids here onsite made a passing mark, but some need to pull up their socks starting in January, or their bike riding and/or rollerblading will be limited.

Kids are ready for report, program, party day at school

The program put on by the younger students was well done and enjoyed by students and parents.

Full room waiting for things to start

 

Preschool 1 class – Karena far right front

Then on to the best part for most of those in attendance – food and drinks.   We had enough food prepared for 260  and ran out by the time we reached grade four level.  Wow.  We started cooking the same amount again and eventually all in attendance were well fed.

Many hands make light work – director’s hands especially

 

A lot of meals and drinks were passed out today at the school

Thank you to those who sent some Christmas funds which enabled us to do this for the community.

On Sunday, 23rd, everyone who attended our church service were happy to leave with a gift and a cold drink.  Our HATS kids sang a special number while a black baby doll, depicting baby Jesus,  lay on the floor in front of them.  Simple but effective.  There were also a number of solo specials.

HATS kids singing with baby Jesus on the floor

 

Anne standing on pulpitand singing in church

 

Little Berlens singing for us in church

Monday, 24th, saw us celebrating Djemima’s 10th birthday with a party at 2:00 p.m.  Then at 5:30 pm we celebrated Jesus’ birthday with a special meal and gifts.  My kids were off the wall and over the hills with excitement that day.  The only way we adults could get things ready for both parties was to let them watch videos (which is a royal treat) with Vladimy there to supervise.

Sandra wishing Djemima ‘Bon Fet’

When Liette and Yvette came in November a lovely gift for all the children came with them, thanks to the generosity of people in the Calgary area.   A huge thank you to all of you for the fantastic gifts the children received.

Christmas dinner on 24th

 

Sandra very happy to have her own ‘baby’ to feed

 

Thanks from Jonathan

I had not had any time whatsoever for myself for a very long time and I was feeling completely drained after the Christmas party.  I requested a couple of hours for myself Christmas Day to unwind and to read.  Not to be!

Christmas morning around 4:30 I was awakened by one of the house mothers who felt she needed to let me know ‘then’ that one of the showers was leaking.  Oh my.  Not the best start to the day that I had hoped would be a little less stressful and tiring for me.  Awake very early when unnecessary so I thought I would make the best of it.  I decided to take an early morning walk along the canal.  Took JJ, Moise, Djemima and Leica with me.   We enjoyed our time together talking and enjoying the beauty.  On the way back to the mission my phone rang and from then on Christmas day was painful and stressful.

I was informed that a young man, David, with whom I have had a close and special relationship for 17 years had been killed in a motorcycle accident.  David was the one person in Haiti who called and texted me regularly to check on me, to say he loved me, and to tell me that I was very special to him and always would be.  I have often said ‘I know there is one person in Haiti who cares for me for who I am and not for what I can do for them’.   That was David.

David

I met David, through my daughter, Liette, my first year in Haiti.  I became involved in the lives of David, Josue (his younger brother and Liette’s godson),  his mother who was mentally unstable, and his blind grandmother, and stayed close to David from then on.  My relationship with David, over the years, strengthened greatly.  I was with him through the death of his grandmother, spent time with him after the death of his mother, helped him with everything possible so he could keep going and take care of Josue.   We had a special mother/son bond.

I blogged about David as one of the HATS success stories as a sponsored student a couple of years ago.  I told David last month that I was planning on doing another blog about him in January or February, which would bring people up-to-date with his life. He said he would come see me in January so I could do new photos.

David graduated from school, thanks to his sponsorship under Education Haiti.  For the past few years David has been teaching school and teaching English in a couple of other schools.  He was very involved in his church, where he was a leader of a group of young people, and where he regularly played his guitar and sang. Too, David had a regular program on a radio station that he used to try and lead young people in the right direction – to stay in school and be good leaders for the future of Haiti.  He was a young man with a calling and a mission to do everything he could to help his people.  He was well liked and well respected.

He played and sang in a concert at his church Saturday night. Actually Josue, his brother, did some singing with him Saturday too.  Afterwards he, Josue, and a young woman went looking for something to eat.  On their way home on a moto the accident happened.  David and two others were killed.

Josue is in the hospital here in Deschapelles in serious condition. Please pray for Josue.  He does not yet know David died in the accident.  If Josue survives, he has a long and rough road ahead – physically and emotionally as it was David that cared for Josue.  I went to see Josue at the hospital but he had no idea I was there.

Josue

The only family David and Josue had left in Haiti are an aunt and two cousins.  David would visit them sometimes when he would come to see me, as they too live in this area.  These family members are now asking for me to take on the full responsibility and expense of the funeral for David.  Oh my.  I can’t do it all.   Please pray for me to have wisdom in decisions, a loving spirit as I deal with the family,  and for strength to deal with it all.  Thank you.

God bless you.

~Karen