Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving as an Expat

Thursday morning started like most other days, with language study.  For one of our exercises Billy, our language tutor, had us listen to a popular, secular Haitian song.  As we listened he would pause the song and we would try our best to translate.  The lyrics of the song couldn't have been a better reminder on Thanksgiving morning.  Here are a few:
"Even though you have no food to eat, house to live in, and you sleep on the street - don't despair my brother, your life has not ended"
"Even though you are sick, and the doctors have no cure - don't despair my brother, your life has not ended"
"Even though you have no friends to support you or family to take care of you - don't despair my brother, your life has not ended".

For many Haitians life may be all they have.  So today I am thankful for breath.  I am thankful I'm alive.

To celebrate the holiday we had a total of 25 people over to my house for dinner!  It was a wonderful time of fellowship.  Everyone contributed something and we even had a real turkey, ham, pies, and ice cream!  The tables were decked with fresh cut flowers, most from my yard. And the children provided a dance party as entertainment. It wasn't the Thanksgiving I was used to but it was wonderful.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Girl's Bible Study

Ashlee and I (Sara) have started a girls' Bible Study with the 10-15 year old girls at the Community School of Bellevue.  Bellevue school is the school where my children attend also.  We've started meeting with the girls every Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 as school ends at 1:00. We've had two weeks of Bible Study so far and we have about 20 girls who attend. The topic we are covering is finding our identity in Christ.  This week my children put on a skit about the different "masks" they wear throughout the day.  Then the girls each made their own mask.  The girls love crafts!

Please keep this Bible Study and the female youth of the Community School of Bellevue in your prayers.  Please pray that Ashlee and I would be able to connect with them and grow relationships with each one.  Please pray the girls would feel comfortable discussing with the group.  And please pray ultimately that the girls would each come to know who Christ has uniquely created them to be.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Living Next Door to Cinderella

To most Americans Cinderella is a fairy tale. For many Haitians it is a reality. This country is full of Cinderellas. Girls, and boys, sent from their home to live with another family. Forced to do all of the chores while the children they live with run off to school and they stay behind.

 A 12 year old girl came over to my house about a month ago. She picked cherries with me from my tree and patiently chatted with me through my broken Creole. She came in my home and taught me how to make cherry juice. Over the past month she has come in my house for a wee bit of time a few times each week. I invite her in to play with my girls. She immediately picks up the girls rooms, arranging the toys and making the beds, and then grabs a broom and begins to sweep. I plead with her not to clean their room - to just sit and play with them. Cleaning is all she knows. Eventually she will sit and brush the dolls hair. But shortly after her name is screamed out from next door.

This week she came over and played Legos with all my kiddos.  Later the kids moved to a different room to play something else.  I took my eyes off the situation for just a few minutes.  She snuck away from play to Luke's room and picked up every last Lego.  This prompted a series of questions from Luke that night about her compulsory need to clean.  We ended up having a long talk about child slavery.

She told me she lives with her maternal aunt and goes to school here while the rest of her family lives in the north of Haiti. I've never seen her in a school uniform. She doesn't go to school. I'm not so sure she lives with her aunt. I hear her name called out again and again all day long. We've heard her scream out as she is hit  repeatedly with a switch. My heart is heavy. My heart breaks each time her name is called out.

Please pray for wisdom for us.                                               Pray for the restavecs in this country.                                                                                                           There are too many Cinderellas here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween Festivities

Luke the Nerd, Kate the Princess

Eloise the Princess with Luke and Kate carving pumpkins from our yard!
The Final Products

Kate making invitation and decorations for the party.

Friends and cousins joined in for festivities, dinner, and treats.