Community Soccer, Art Club and Learning
Bonjou! Greetings from Titanyen, Haiti. I write to you this morning in the predawn chill after a beautiful run through the mountains north of Port au Prince. With a hot cup of coffee and journal by my side I look forward to this day of work and fellowship with the deaf community in Leveque. As always, I hope this post finds you all passionate about your daily adventures and pursuits.
I once again have a lot to report and am excited to write these short paragraphs to share all of the excitement with you.
The community continues to do well and are overall happy and healthy. We are still working out the kinks with community leaders to make sure that clean water is being run as a community asset and not as a 410 Bridge or Mission of Hope project and we are moving forward slowly but surely. The leaders and newly elected water committee still have some training to undergo before they take complete charge of the water solution, but with the start of the rainy season we are also hooking up several water collection systems so that we may utilize that daily water source for drinking water and for irrigation in the new gardens.
The lighting solution is still rolling along. E-solar Haiti traveled to the community and hired several deaf residents to help them pour the foundations for the new lights. We are waiting until the 27th of March for those foundations to harden and all of the lights will be erected that day providing large solar lighting for the first time in the village of Leveque!
An open team from the 410 Bridge recently traveled to Haiti to focus on several projects within the community, including art workshops, bible studies, worship and singing together in sign language, and some painting. Attached you will find a picture of Martha who I affectionately refer to as “my Haiti mom.” Martha took part in the art workshops and will be painting scenes of Leveque with several others in the community to start an art gallery that will be open to all visitors to the community. I also would like to draw your attention to the bottom of Martha’s painting as last week she wrote her name for the first time!!!!! Martha grew up never able to attend school and has just recently begun her studies in basic literacy. Her smile and giggle after she finished her painting and writing her name was infectious for all who surrounded her. Martha has since flagged me down on multiple occasions to show me the new art projects she is working on, she always greets me with a huge embrace and her characteristic giggle and beautiful smile.
A team member who specializes in deaf education and deaf ministry was able to spend many hours with a few of the deaf leaders (William and Berthide) in an in depth study of the book of Genesis. I was able to sit in on some of those sessions and I have never seen William or Berthide so eager and excited to learn – praise the Lord for passionate people who can help others articulate and manifest their own passions. I include here a message I received from Mackenson after the course of study was completed:
“We was have wonderful day!! .
We pretty well with deaf in leveque.
Taday I’m let you know
This afternoon,William , Berthide and Melanie
They was Begin teach some deaf learn bible word god. We very happy for this. Because they very encouragement deaf in leveque learn from bible for a new living.”
Also pictured at the beginning of this post is the deaf men’s soccer team. Last tuesday we began the Leveque community soccer league that every week will involve multiple soccer games for the adults and a few games for the interested children with the community. At this game over 100 foreigners in Haiti on short term mission trips traveled to the community to line the sidelines and cheer everyone on. As we all celebrated together and prayed together around the community I was struck once again by the importance of recreation and festivity in community building. As it is tuesday again, I will be traveling to Leveque to the afternoon to serve as a referee and to enjoy the festivities. Life can get extremely busy sometimes and I look forward to clearing the schedule every Tuesday afternoon in order to take part in the newly formed Leveque soccer league!! I include here another message I received from Mackenson the day of the first soccer matches:
Today we was have group come in leveque. they coming play foot ball. We very happy together.
Sure we play together neat in leveque with group coming in haiti. and they was praying and chants together wow !!! God bless this group.
Too children they was play game foot ball.
Thank you son much
Jesus it is peace”
We are also dealing with some political issues within the larger community that have caused problems for moving new families into the homes that are ready – however, those are now resolved and this Saturday we are finally moving in the next batch of deaf and hearing families – in total 32 new homes are ready and the families will move in starting very early Saturday morning. Please pray for these new families as they work hard to find work and find a flourishing life in their new homes.
Wishing you all the continued experience of the abundant grace and peace of our Reigning King!!