Thursday, December 13, 2012

Children helping Children

The kids at the LaSalle Christian Church of Christianville (kids in our children's church program) have been collecting an offering for the past year or so.  I gave them an incentive that if they arrived at a total of 2000 gourdes (about $50 u.s. dollars) we could do something exciting with the money.  Last month, they arrived at the goal, so I had the teachers pass out little slips of paper for the kids to write down suggestions about what they thought we should do with the offering money.  Here is the break-down of their responses:

1 vote for:   buy a bike that I need
1 vote for:   buy me a laser gun
1 vote for:   buy me a hose
2 votes for:  food (unspecified recipient)
3 votes for:  throw a party for us
19 votes for:  help the poor with it.
    My favorite response in this category was from a little child named Sendy who said "I would like for us to give money to the old people who are hungry, please.  And give to the children without mother and father that are begging in the streets."

So, the votes for help with poor with it won out.  I have a missionary friend here in Haiti, Michelle Meece, who works for an orphanage down the road and has an orphan with cancer.  His name is Wilson and he has been in treatment at a hospital in Port au Prince for the past several months.  He just finished his chemotherapy and Michelle was scheduled to accompany him on his last visit to the hospital, to say goodbye to the other children on the cancer ward and to receive his tickets for a trip to the Dominican for radiation.  I asked Michelle how many other kids were on the ward at any one time, and she said about 12.  So, I decided it would be nice to use the money that our kids gave in their offerings to buy some Christmas presents and treats for the kids in the cancer hospital.  My friend Cici and I spent every last gourd on chocolate bars, juice, cheetos, balls and barbies, and then we printed out a little picture of our children's church kids with a note saying it was in the name of Christ that we sent these treats, and with many prayers for their healing.  Michelle picked up the presents and delivered them with Wilson on their last visit to the cancer ward.  She took the following pictures, and she said that the staff and parents of the children were very surprised and happy to see that it was a group of Haitian children who had sent the gifts.  Oftentimes in Haiti people just assume that any charity must be from a 'blan'...a foreigner.  So it was nice to prove that theory wrong.