“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.” Luke 21: 29-30
God continues to perform miracles in the village and at the Mission of Grace this summer.
Children of Grace
Construction has begun on a building that will house the older boys in the orphanage and though its opening is several months away, we look forward to the day when all the boys can live in community together. The original orphanage building opened in 2011 with the second house following in 2014 and between the two we are blessed to have nearly 70 children in our charge with the youngest being less than six months old and the oldest being 16. But no matter the age, all are Children of God.
Although Haiti’s independence day is January 1, the national holiday of Flag Day was celebrated on May 18 and all of the children took place in activities ranging from parades at school, drawing and painting flags to commemorate the national flag’s founding and patriotic programs. We instill pride in place and country and the national colors of blue and red ruled the day.
Summer’s arrival means the end of our school year and what a year it has been. Although construction of the new school is not finished and we await blessings for the day when it will be, we nonetheless have seven classrooms being used despite their unfinished nature. Each day the sounds of hundreds of schoolchildren reverberates down the mountainside just as the trumpet sounds reverberated around Jericho. The hope of Haiti depends on an educated people who will be the change and that starts with the youngest who are taught the foundational elements that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Haiti requires our students to take end-of-year examinations that assess progress and allow advancement to higher grades and each year a higher percentage of students are passing. For Miss Lynn and Miss Kim it is a priority that all the children are given access to any and all means that will allow success. It has been no small effort to see the matriculation of so many students and it has taken the tireless work of our teachers, staff and the students themselves to see such improvement.
This year we added a 7th Grade and next year we will add an 8th Grade to finally fulfill Miss Lynn’s dream of having a school that extends from pre-school up to the end of elementary school.
Sixteen of the seventeen young women in our Teen Girl’s Home are in school and perhaps nowhere is the transformation of lives greater than with them. We have one of our girls in her 4th year of nursing, one studying to get into medical school and Betty just graduated from high school and is looking into furthering her education to study accounting. Our Girls love to serve in any way they can in the community and in Mission of Grace. On any given Sunday our girls are involved not only with Sunday Service at the church but also in programs at night during the week.
During the summer months the girls take on a larger role with the children in the orphanage and throughout the Mission and they are a much appreciated group for the love and encouragement they show as they grow and mature in school and in Christ.
Home of Grace Elderly Home
Nowhere else in Haiti will one find something like our Home of Grace where eighteen men and women are given continuous care and the blessings of Christ. Although most of our residents are older, we have recently opened the house to a few young people as well. We are thankful Pastor Jude regularly prays with and for all of our residents and visiting teams spend time at the house doing a variety of activities from playing dominos, painting fingernails, drawing, painting or just sitting on the patio holding a hand. It should be remembered that like our students at the school, and children at the orphanage, all of our grandmas and grandpas can be sponsored at www.missionofgracehaiti.org.
The village continues to be burdened by a continuing drought that affects people in a myriad of ways, including a lack of food that cannot grow without water. As such, our soup kitchen continues to act as a safety measure for those who need assistance for sustenance and nourishment. There are very few fallback measures in Haiti and malnutrition and starvation are common occurrences and as Jesus provided bread and fishes to the masses, we provide a healthy meal for anyone who wishes to partake in the program seven days a week.
Grace Community School
Children throughout the world wait for the final day of school and our children at the orphanage are no different. When they get to put their pencils down for a well-earned vacation it does not mean that their educations are finished for the summer, though. We have tutoring programs and all sorts of summer visitors offer agendas that will keep our children sharp and learned for the coming year.
Of course, it is never too early (or late) to think about sponsoring one of our school children. No child at Grace Community School pays to attend and instead we rely on sponsorships to give the highest quality of education that can be found in Haiti. Visit www.missionofgracehaiti.org for more information or click teh button below to become a sponsor.
When Miss Lynn founded Mission of Grace in 2010 it was with a vision of what would be, and now, just eight years later, many of the visions have become a reality. But the work is far from finished and in many respects we are just getting going. With Christ as our guiding light we will continue to reach for the stars, to strive for excellence to remember where all the glory and honor belongs.