I received an email from Pastor Jean (onsite at Bighouse Orphanage) a couple of days ago, and he says that the children say to tell the teams, the congregation, and the sponsors that they love them, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
Our youth mission team just returned back to the states on the 1st from their week-long trip to Les Cayes. We are so proud of all of those who were able to go and all those who made it possible for the trip to take place. Since the Bighouse kids were out of school for the holiday week, the youth were able to put on a mini-VBS, a one-day soccer camp, and help in the beginning construction of a playground area! They report that the latrines and showers (which the November team helped begin) have been finished, and a dining pavilion complete with tables has been built to give the kids a place to eat and keep them away from the cooking fire! I will be taking a follow-up trip in the next month to check on everything, and Hu Debo will be leading a team down in February to conduct a mobile medical clinic.
Other exiciting news from our end is that we have recently become aware of the involvement of The Global Orphan Project at Bighouse orphanage and are moving toward partnership with them as we combine our mission teams and donations with their knowledge of Haiti and organized orphan care. This will look no different for our sponsorship program than it does now, we will simply be working with an experienced organization who is dedicated to helping orphanages and their leaders move toward self-sustainment. This is great news for our Initiative and for the people in the Bighouse community, and we look forward to our relationship with them for the betterment of the children's lives.
As we've emerged into the first of a new year, my mind is blown as I think about the journey that we have been on over the past few months. We have heard team's reports of the orange-haired, lethargic, and malnourished children from Haiti; and we have heard team's reports about the phenomenal energy boost due to consistent meals. We have heard stories of the affection-deprived kids who love to play with the Americans' hair, and we have heard stories of the painful shots that kill the worms. Suffering and beauty walk as hand in hand as compassion and risk, as love and selflessness. And we have foudn them all in this place. Thank God He has so creatively and mysteriously rumbled His inviting whisper our way, daring us to come along, and promising that our lives will refuse to stay the same once we've encountered this side of the Kingdom. It has been an exiciting, inspiring, and unpredictable journey; and the flooring news is that we've only just begun.
Again and laways, thank you for your giving and your interest in these stories. If you ever have any questions or would just like to talk mroe about the movement we're a part of, please don't hesitate to contact me. Happy New Year and God bless you!
He loves us,
Ps. If you recieve an extra card in your newsletter, your sponsor child was an economic orphan who has been reunited with his/her family. If not, your sponsor child is still a resident of Bighouse Orphanage. We celebarte the fact that these children are once again among relatives who can care for, nurture, and enjoy them, though we recognize the personal attachment among our sponsors. As your donations go to the entire project, we encourage you to continue in your praying and giving, as new children have been taken in at Bighouse and are now getting food and medical attention because of your partnership. Thank you all!