Since we use our new church Monday to Friday for morning devotions with students and teachers, for parent /teacher meetings, and special functions, as well as for our Sunday morning services, I will not separate what I write or the photos I attach, into church or school.
I must start by saying how very thankful I am for the church construction that has been done recently and how this building compliments our school. I wish to say a big thank you once again for all the support that has made it possible for HATS to build and to operate both the school and the church.
We have been having Sunday services in the church building since June. Our floor was very rough cement, which was the actual church foundation, and could not be swept or mopped. We had no windows or doors. We, however, were thrilled to have the space and met with God there every week.
In November Luckner held a meeting with parents of our students. When the meeting finished our school office was filled with parents requesting help – hoping their child could enter our sponsoring program.
|Parent-teacher meeting in our church|
|Parents in office after meeting seeking help to pay for their children’s schooling|
A couple of weeks ago, the doors and windows finally were installed. Luckner had been putting pressure on the person with the contract to do them. Last weekend the proper cement floor was poured. Now we can sweep, mop and keep it clean for both school devotions and church. The floor could not be poured before the windows and doors were installed or people would have walked on it and ruined it.
|Church at HATS|
Other than finishing the electrical work and painting, the inside of our church is now done. The outside – back and sides – will receive a layer of cement this week. The front was finished a few months back. Then the outside will also be ready for painting.
We are seeing some people from our area and children who are not attending our school IMKH attend our church services. Last May when our Springdale, NL team was at HATS one of the team members took a photo of the little girl next door who had gone out early morning to look for a bun and coffee for the family. When she and the little boys next door used to see this ‘blan’ going to and from the school, they would run and hide. I was finally able to assure them I was ‘not scary but friendly’. I invited them to church several times assuring them they did not need ‘church’ clothes, but should come in whatever they had to wear. Eventually one after the other five little ones from next door started to come Sunday mornings. They are now regulars and they are opening up. The little girl next door is starting to blossom. Love and acceptance make a big difference in the lives of children.
|Little girl next door having picked up a bread & coffee for family.|
|Little girl next door leaving church|
|Little boy next door had run out to see us returning from our walk|
During the summer break the three preschool classrooms, where we would open up the dividers to become one room for devotions and church, had permanent plywood walls added. The teachers love the separate classrooms and the fact that their young students cannot sneak from one classroom to another.
Also during the summer Luckner had a little work done on a room where students used to pick up their daily meal. It became a classroom for our additional class of 3eme Secondary (Grade 10) in September. Parents and students are thrilled that the students can stay at the HATS school, IMKH, to finish their education. In September we will add another class Seconde (Grade 11), the following year 2016, we will add Rheto (grade 12), and then September 2017 we will add the final year of schooling in Haiti, Philo (Grade 13). Three additional classrooms will be required over the next three years. We hope to be placing them on top of the present classrooms for grades, 7, 8, and 9. We firmly believe God will provide the needed funds for these classrooms.
|Preschool students in morning devotions|
|PS 2 cutie|
Education, preschool to Rheto, is very important to every student and their family in Haiti. In our area of the Artibionite Valley we want to continue to offer the good level of education IMKH has been providing. Our school operates with order and discipline, which the parents greatly appreciate. Students who transfer to IMKH from other schools quickly discover that – what they might have gotten away with elsewhere – is definitely not going to be tolerated with us. It is often a rude awakening – change or leave IMKH. Luckner continues to do a fantastic job as director of the school. Too, he teaches our secondary classes many hours weekly.
Our church operates without ‘a pastor’. We see no need to rush into that. When we have visiting groups one of the team members will give a message on Sunday mornings which will be translated into Creole. Otherwise I have been doing Sunday morning messages. When Joan is at HATS we share that which I must say pleases me greatly.
Having Joan and Keith working with me this year is absolutely ‘what the doctor ordered’, not to mention I believe is a part of God’s plan. They are very important to the church, school, children on site, employees, and most importantly those two are a tremendous help to Luckner in his huge amount of work at HATS, and to me in the heavy load I carry. I was sad when they returned to Montreal in November but at the same time glad they are returning in January.
|Joan doing schoolwork with Moise and Judel|
|Keith is always busy – when HATS has a team and also when we do not.|
We are all looking forward to January as three family members, Sandra, Dickie, and Jim, are coming to help for two weeks and just before they return to Canada Joan and Keith will return to HATS. Thank you God.
This month the children and I plan to spend a lot of time together during the Christmas break from school, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Everything we do at HATS is for the children.
Merry Christmas everyone. Jesus truly is the reason for the season.
Thank you again for all your support. May God bless all of you.