Kidz Korner

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    GLA School Day Snapshot

    Here at God’s Littlest Angels we have twenty-three children that attend school full time. At eight o’clock each weekday morning they line up outside and start their day by raising the Haitian flag and singing country’s National Anthem with their teachers. After their morning ceremony, the student’s head to school to attend classes taught in Creole, French, and English. The younger eight students spend their morning in the preschool classroom learning in Creole as well as participating in hands on activities that include painting, crafts and puzzles. We are also integrating imaginary play into their school day by way of building blocks, play food, and other supplies that encourage productive play. 

    Our fifteen oldest students attend half a day of English lessons where they learn a multitude of subjects that include early elementary Math, History, Bible, Science, as well as Vocabulary, Writing and Phonics. The other half of the day the students learn similar subjects and concepts but taught completely in French. The students also spend some time each week working on projects and crafts. They use a multitude of mediums such as watercolor and finger-paints to create beautiful artwork that is then displayed throughout the classrooms and school. These fifteen students also spend a block of one on one time with our School Assistant, Hannah, who is working to expand their English vocabulary and comprehension.

    We are so thankful our students are able to receive this education from teachers that care so much for them. A lot goes into sustaining a full school and we would not have such a successful program if not for the donations of school supplies, books and resources as well as the financial and prayer support from so many of you. Thank you for all you do to support our school program here at GLA!

  • Happy Flag Day 2017!!!

    Thank you for the outpouring of love and support you showed to all of us here at GLA this week as we mourn the loss of sweet Justin

    Today is Flag Day in Haiti. It's a celebration of this beautiful country, her flag of freedom and most of all, the Haitian people. Yesterday the school teachers organized a Flag Day Celebration and it brought so much fun, laughter, dancing and joy to all of our hearts. It was just what we needed! 


  • I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream!

    We were so blessed by the generous donation of ice cream this past week! The kids finished their school day on Thursday and went out to play on the playground while we worked with the volunteers to scoop out many, many bowls of ice cream! The kids were so very excited to be able to come into our dining hall and pick a bowl. Although we had spoons, many of our sweet angles were licking the bowl at the end. So very fun! Please take a minute to check out a recap video of our ice cream party! We love and are so grateful for this treat!!!

    Click HERE to watch the video!

  • S'mores Fun Around the Bonfire!


    There are many perks to living up at Fort Jacques. Yes, we have cooler temps in the evening, but we also have a beautiful area to have a bonfire so Saturday night, we did just that! Thanks to some of our long term visitors, after all the kids had their bath and were bundled up in their pajamas, we bundled them up a little more and all headed up to the bonfire for some s'mores.

    Our littlest children were in awe that they were going on a "late" night adventure and followed along in absolute wonder at where they could be going. Our older kids were so gracious to help keep the little ones on task of getting to the bonfire area (perhaps you've heard the phrase, "herding cats"?).

    We were so grateful to be able to have s'mores with all the kids, Haitian staff, and long term volunteers. It was a warm, sugar filled, and sticky night! Our oldest kids roasted the marshmallows while we worked to quickly assemble them for the anxiously awaiting kids. S'mores never disappoint!

    Once we'd all had our fill, the younger kids headed down to bed while the older children hung out around the fire a little longer and shared some of their hopes for what they want to be when they grow up. We had quite the variety of answers! A girl who wants to bake cakes. A boy who dreams of being the captain of a ship. A girl who wants to be a teacher. A boy who wants to be a helper so he can help those that don't have food and a place to sleep. And a boy what wants to be a carpenter so he can build houses for people that don't have them. 

    Hearing these kids dream is such a joy! To think of how the landscape has changed for our kids since they came to GLA and then to be able to hold on to hope of even greater things when they transition to their new families is such a picture of grace and mercy. We know that the journey isn't always easy, but we also know that so many things worth pursuing, don't come easy. 

  • Half Year in Review

    It has been such an honor to spend the last six months getting to know the personalities of the children at the Toddler House! This year was a year of transitions for many of the kids here. They said goodbye to the amazing Molly and Dave who many of them have known and loved for the majority of their lives. The kids also got to meet my family and we're continuing to get to know one another. They have said goodbye to seven of their friends as they joined their new families. They have said hello to eight new friends that have joined the toddler house crew. They said goodbye to one of our sweet nannies who left at the end of her pregnancy to raise her own son full time - and hello to a veteran nanny who moved up from the main house and had a fun reunion with many of our kids that she had raised as babies. So many transitions!

    I'm in awe of the way that the children here handle the transitions. It's such a testament of God's grace! Molly and Joyce have been so faithful in creating not just routine in the kids' everyday lives so they can know stability, but also in having traditions for the kids to look forward to each year as the seasons come and go. 

    Our kids here have grown up with these wonderful traditions and it is only through so many overwhelmingly generous supporters of GLA that they've been able to be funded throughout the years. 

    Since we moved here in July, along with the traditions that come with saying goodbye to friends going home and birthday celebrations, we've celebrated the last day of school, taken the kids on a trip to the Baptist Mission, cooled off on pool day, started a new school year, gone Trick or Treating, celebrated American Thanksgiving, and rejoiced in the joy of Christmas together! 

    What a blessing all of YOU are as you provide the financial support to provide, not just the daily needs of our children, but you always go above and beyond in your giving to keep these traditions alive for the kids - thank you!! We couldn't serve the kids of GLA the way we do without your continued support. We are in awe of the way God provides not just enough for our daily needs, but above and beyond to remind these children how adored they are - especially in the waiting. 

    If you don't already sponsor a child at GLA, would you please sign up today? $30 per month ensures that each of our children is cared for and has all of their needs met. If you would like too see children currently available to sponsor (you'll receive regular updates on the child), please CLICK HERE to see the children still needing sponsors and then CLICK HERE to set up your monthly donation. If you would prefer to make a one time, tax-deductible donation, please CLICK HERE

    We are so very grateful for your generous giving and support of our ministry here in Haiti. It is an honor to be able to love the kids at the toddler house while they wait to be united with their families. The work we get to do here could't be done without our faithful nannies, cooks, and YOU! Thank you so much and we hope you have a blessed new year!




  • Christmas at The Toddler House

    Our Christmas was nothing short of AMAZING! All of the children were blessed and so were each of us serving here! Our Christmas Eve celebration included delicious ice cream (and new hats!) for everyone followed by a cinema night which retold the Christmas story to them in a really fun way. 

    In our staff times of worship together and individually, we've been focusing alot on the extravagant generosity of God to His people throughout scripture and certainly in our own lives and to say we were overwhelmed this Advent and Christmas season would be an understatement. We're reminded of Jesus teaching His disciples to pray in Luke 11 and how He admonishes us specifically to ask for our "daily bread". But the biggest reminder of this season has been that what we ask for and what we receive are two entirely different things. The way that the Lord has lavished his love upon each of our children and all of us as staff here at GLA is something that continues to humble and remind us that this whole mission is not all up to us. We asked for the Lord to provide and he heaped loads of extravagant generosity onto this ministry!

    On Christmas morning, we had presents and stocking stuffers for every child. All of us had a delicious meal fit for a king and donations streamed to ensure that each of our Haitian staff ladies were able to receive new bibles and shopping bags full of household goods to bring home to their families! So much more than daily bread!

    Thank you to all of our loved ones, family and friends, and every GLA supporter who made this season one overflowing with the Lord's extravagant generosity. It's always the way that Jesus operates and we're so thankful for you, the faithful, who continue to follow Him as He leads you to help change the lives of every child here.

    Please enjoy this video from our weekend and please spread the word about the work that God is doing here at GLA so that others can share in it too! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • God Is So Good

    We love having teams at GLA and it's so cool to experience the creative activities that many of them plan for our Toddler House kids centered around worshiping and loving Jesus. Take a peak at a special time of Toddler House worship led by the team from Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana.


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    Birthdays!

    The celebration of a birthday is an important part of any child’s life, but how much more so when you are one in a number of many. Knowing your day of birth, having it be (in most cases) just your own the date that you hold on to that is “your’s”. It is a piece of the puzzle when building unique self-identity as a child.

    As with many busy families we may not be able to have each child’s party on their exact birthday, but we make sure every child has “their birthday”. It’s nothing over the top. And in honesty with how simple we keep their party I wasn’t sure for awhile that the kids even cared… but when kids who have been with us a few years can tell me what color cake they requested, and what gift they got from three years ago… I’ve begun to realize this is important… no matter how simple it isJ.

    On their celebrated day the birthday child gets to chose a new outfit out of 2 or 3 combinations to keep for just their own, chooses the colors of icing for me to decorate their cake, and has a “party” for “one” consisting of decorations, wrapped gifts, a cake, live “Happy Birthday” serenading that goes throughout the day (however off key), and lit candles to blow out. They can choose how long they want to hang out playing with their new gifts and eating cake, or if they want to go back to their friends right away… and sweetly… almost every child prefers to not even taste their cake before heading to their class, or care group, to show off their b-day gifts and share a bite of cake! We are blessed, by some very tenderhearted children, and the care they surround each other with.

      

    Facts:
    Most popular icing color combination: Blue & White
    Most popular b-day outfit chosen: button up shirts for the boys, skirts for the girls
    Most kids don’t blow out all their candles in one puff, or even realize that that is the goal
    Most well received gift through all ages a small bag of special candies that they haven’t had before.

    We are always looking for Birthday gifts for the kids.  If you are on your way to Haiti and would like to bring a gift to contribute towards a little one’s up and coming day please feel free to do so! Our most challenging kids to find gifts for are boys aged 7-13 and we have 12 of them who will still be here to celebrate their next birthday with us!

     

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    Settling In

     

    GLA’s infant/child care ministry is divided into two facilities. The Main House which contains the NICU/Nursery and the Toddler House. Each is set up for specific age and development levels. Depending on an infant/toddlers advancement, abilities, and personality, as well as which facility has more room and available staff we periodically move children up to the Toddler House who are aging out of the nursery. These kids spend 1-2 weeks having day long play dates up at the Toddler House, getting to know their new nannies, forming friendships with the other kids, and becoming familiar with the facility. On the final transition day they stay for dinner, bath time, and get tucked in for their first night in a new little colorful cottage. We always transition kids from the nursery in small groups so they have one another to pull comfort and security from, as well as so they can keep their closest friends who often times have become already, or will become in the future more like siblings than friends.

    Last week five brave little souls made the transition and moved up to Toddler House. They did amazingly well and we are so proud of them! They were not without fear, and you could see it in their faces, as well as feel their little hearts beat faster as new routines, new kids twice their height, and new big spaces become their environment. And just in case we didn’t know, they from time to time also reminded us in very loud announcements that they were being forced to move but weren’t going to be forced to be only happy about itJ. As empathetic as I am to their anger and uncertainty I am relieved to see their individual reactions and resistance to change and the unknown, it is healthy. We as a staff at Toddler House are delighted to have these new little people join our family, and the older kids have already claimed up who they will protect and take care of. They have all done so well, courageous little toddlers, managing new levels of endless stairs, eating in the big dining hall, daring to go down the slide all on their own, joining a new school and following along to the new lessons, in every aspect though cautiously hesitant at first, they have embraced the newness and joined in the adventures. When asked what they seemed to like the most… for each it is different. But ALL of them have loved the large open areas to RUN! Which Miss M and Mr J do often! And secondly the awareness and observation of the older children whom they seem to enjoy imitating:). Miss Y hasn’t lost a beat dancing with her new house sisters, and doing dolly’s hair.  And Miss M is in every waking moment exploring with excitement what she will climb next! As they become more comfortable their needs switch from less comforting and reassuring to more corralling and correcting (2 yr olds will be 2 yr olds) please continue to pray for their adjustments, the other kids’ dealing with feeling displaced at the youngest or babies of the house, and the ladies to have plenty of wisdom, patience, and energy to meet everyone’s emotional needs.


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    Back to School!

    The arrival of our local teachers was a lovely sight this morning to all of us as we kick off the start of a new school year!

    The kids had a good dose of free time and lots of special activities to fill the month of August. So much so that even they (well most of them) will admit they are ready to be back in school. That’s just how blessed we are by these individuals! Our kids look forward to their engaging teaching, their personal attention to each of them, their praise over challenges accomplished, and their daily encouragement as most of them struggle to overcome the personal frustrations and self insecurities of learning delays and disabilities.

    We are SO THANKFUL for these teachers and the impact they have on the kids’ lives. They are full of a certain amount of grace and patience that can be nothing short of God given. So as you think of them today and in the coming weeks please say a prayer of guidance and wisdom as these empowerers navigate the coursework of building up little hearts and minds into confident and capable individuals.

    Mademoiselle Elange ~ Joyce ~ Dave ~ Mademoiselle Michaelle ~ Mademoiselle Rose Laure ~ Mademoiselle Kiki 

  • New Soles!

    Hours of play a day can take its toll on footwear.  We put out to call for sandals and sandals CAME!  Thank you to all who donated and brought footwear for the kids to replace that which was broken and worn down to nothing! 

    Now if only we could get Shelove to stop chucking everyone's flip flops behind the fence when they're not looking;) 

    "The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;"  Psalm 37:23 


  • Helping Hands

    The toddlers (and all of us really) have been blessed over the last two day by a team from Family Christian Book Stores. Yesterday the team spent time cutting steps into the slope of terrain leading up tot eh ladies wash lines, and restringing all their laundry lines to hold more clothing, helping us conserve propane and allowing more loads to dry in the sun.

    Today the group spent their morning hours playing basketball, talking, holding, racing, playing tag, and lavishing attention on the kids. They wore them right out! None of the little kids woke up from nap on their own this afternoon.. While the little ones were napping they helped Joyce and the older kids transplant trees from pots to permanent spots.   

    Thank you, to the Family Christian team for your true labor of love!


  • Chefs for a Day

    Creative writing can be a lot of fun when you’re in Joyce’s class. For today’s assignment the kids got to pretend they were chef’s, each choosing their own foods for a menu, and listing what ingredients they would need.

    Eggs of some sort, boiled or fried and served with spaghetti, hot dogs, or bread to make a sandwich was a favorite choice across the board.

    Davidson even added to his menu that he would choose to make pasta for lunch because it would be “a little bit easy”.




  • World In Focus

    Chances for Children had a visiting medical team doing clinics for a week this month. They generously offered to fit in 18 GLA kids to be seen by their ophthalmologist and orthodontist. So we narrowed down a list and pick those children we had most concern about.

    For our most pressing cases we’d have had to send the child to Petionville for a hot sweaty long day in a waiting room somewhere, and for the others that we had just observed a questionable concern over their eye sight we’d have never been able to afford to send them down just to be tested, let alone fill a prescription for frames and lenses for them.

    So to be able to send such a large group all at once (security in numbers, a day trip to the dr’s becomes fun and much less scary), and only have to send them 20 minutes away, still in the cool and familiarity of the mountains was wonderful! And on top of that to have such a well organized clinic welcome and care for them while they were being shuffled between dr’s and waiting rooms for their needed testing was a God send!

    The kids came home happy (minus poor Iderby who had a molar pulled right away, and another 2 days later), and full of stories and excitement from their half day away. For the handful that needed corrective lenses, they were elated to go back two days later and be stylishly fitted to see the world a little clearer.

    A HUGE THANK YOU to Chances for Children and the Medical Ministry team from Highlands Church, Arizona for the otherwise impossibility of providing visual correction and dental repair for our kids. THANK YOU!


  • Playing in the Pit

     

    The bottom of the Fort Jacques property has a deep pit that was dug in preparation for the nursery/administrative building.  One of the kids favorite things to do is play in the pit.  When construction is quiet we'll often take them down to play in a little boys paradise or mud, rocks, sticks, steep inclines, and berry bushes.   They are very creative in their play and imagine the pit to be all kinds of things from an ocean of sharks to a lava pool, to a cave or a camping site (all thing they have seen and learned about through books and media in school).  They end up pretty muddy but its well worth the extra laundry.   

  • Egg Dying Fun!

    Photos say it all... 

  • belongs to such as these...

     

    The Harvest Bible Church Team spent Wed morning putting on a day program for our 45 kids at Fort Jacques. We were so grateful for their energy and excitement in sharing their personal joy in God’s gift of grace and salvation with us. The kids’ favorite Bible story right now is the “Five Loaves and Two Fishes”, the team shared that Jesus preformed that miracle and also how He called the stormy sea. They crafted, played games, and learned some new fun songs. They were reminded how Jesus always has time for the little children, and how great He desires to for them to talk to Him about all their fears, joys, troubles, and hopes. Our nannies participated in the program walking around with the kids at each station and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the activity.

    THANK YOU to the Harvest Team for putting this program together!

      - But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. - Luke 18:16

     


  • Warm Generosity

    Living in Thomassin we had some chilly “winter days” or “rainy season chills”, but for the most part long sleeved shirts and long pants made up only a 10th of the kids’ necessary wardrobe. At Fort Jacques we are blessed with beautiful fresh breezes, and a light misting or dense roll of damp clouds at some point almost every day. The temperature drops low enough at night to produce a blanket of dew over everything in the morning that drips off the minty green tin roofs. It’s a magical forrest kind of feel, but also a bit of a shock to the body’s senses on those mornings when you are “breathing smoke” as the kids say.

    We didn’t have a lot of thick blankets, fleecey pj’s, jackets, long pants, or even socks… since we had a very limited need for them. But over the last 4 months at FJ they have become 90% of the kids wardrobe. THANK YOU to everyone made (we got some very lovely quilts), sent, purchases, and brought down enough of everything to stock us up with enough clothing and bedding to comfortably care for 45 children! That’s no small deal, and we certainly appreciate the efforts of EVERYONE who showed us the warmth of your kindness and generosity in this way!:)

     

     

     

  • Lazy Saturday Chair Forts

    It’s a beautiful, warm, lazy Saturday afternoon at Fort. And nothing could be more fitting than casually shooting hoops while spectators lounge around in creative chair forts to shield them from the sunshine. Spring is on its way!

     


  • Karate for Breakfast

    The kids are so full of energy and life in morning! And why wouldn’t they be, it’s the very best time of day, brand new and ready for living.

    They get up at 6am, and school starts at 8, so besides bathing, dressing, and breakfast they have a bit of time on their hands to burn off some energy.

    This is what the upper level of the yard looks like post breakfast hour most days;)

    The oldest boys favorite show right now is “Kickin It” Can you tell? I may have even gotten in on the action this morning;)

     

     


  • Protected

    We're all OK.

    I'm not going to say Sunday night didn't put a scare into us all as for over 90 minutes a band of men (some of whom were armed) scanned the Fort Jacques facility.

    But I will say we are all OK.

    We are thankful for God's protection in so many ways.

    We are deeply grateful the men only entered one of the kids' houses, that the kids lay still and quiet, most stayed asleep.

    We are thankful that the two women who nanny in that house were calm, brave, and quick witted that they led the men outside to further their discussion and deterred them from any interest in any of the other kids' houses.  Most of the kids slept through the whole thing, and some of the nannies too.  We are so so grateful.

    We are grateful that the only other inhabited building they entered was our house.  We are grateful that no one was touched, assaulted, or in any way hurt.  We are thankful that though they lingered and took their time in no hurry to be on their way until satisfied with what they got they did not vandalize, harm, or take anything that cannot be replaced.

    We are so very thankful we had EDH, that there was power and lights to turn on.

    We are thankful that the police did indeed arrive in the middle of the night and fire warning shots in the air to clear and patrol the perimeter.

    We are thankful for the safety and protection of each and every individual.

    We are thankful for daylight after the darkness, for unity and masses, for neighbors and friends, for precautionary plans and preparations for another night.

    We are thankful that the kids seem to be processing what they hear happened, asking questions, talking their feelings out, and over all seem to only have minor concerned about what happened, and very little fear of the night to come.

    For all these things and so much more we are grateful. 

  • Happy Valentine's Day

  • Photos from our Christmas Celebration

    Kids 1st Christmas at Fort Jacques by Slidely Slideshow

     


  • Christmas Today!

    We haven't fallen off the face of the earth!  We're still here, settling in to Fort Jacques, finding a routine, and making it "home".  Everything has been a little different this year... including on what day we celebrate the Birth of Baby Jesus.  Today is that day.  The kids hardly slept last night in anticipation... and we slept very little in preparation:).  We are so blessed to give them a very special Christmas every year, and the only reason we can is because of the international community of people who are invested in these kids lives.. THANK YOU to who you are all over the world!  Here's a sneak peek of what lays ahead today.  I'll share MUCH more later.  

  • MOVING DAY!

    We're moving today thanks to YOU!!!  Follow us on Facebook to join along in this exciting day!

     


  • We're Moving!

     

    Well that little ticking time bomb clock on the home page is a little alarming and a lot exciting at the same time!!!  Two weeks from today half of GLA's children's ministry will be moving.  And not just like we have in the past "outgrown our facility and needed to temporarily relocate to a new place"  but we'll be moving GLA's older children's ministry to a new permanent home for them.  Not to something that will make do, but to a village of colorful cabins, surrounded by tall pines with fresh mountain air, an indoor activity/dinning room that can hold them all at one time, full sized classrooms with large windows for natural lighting, an amazing playground, and toilets!! So many toilets:)!!  We've made a few visits to the new site with some of the kids, and at least one with every child so the vibe around here is excited anticipation. They know where they're going and no one seems to be nervous or hesitant.  

    While the Fort Jacques crew and all their hands on deck have been diligently and exhaustingly pushing to have everything safe and ready for us by the end of the month, we have been packing, preparing, and slowly moving things up as they OK space by space to be "finished".  We've packed and moved up everything that is not needed on a daily daily basis.  Even the kids' beds have been moved up as the staff up at FJ are sanding and giving them a much needed fresh coat of paint.  The kids are having a large "slumber parties" every night, since the double bunks are now individual mattresses "jigsaw puzzled" on the floor for everyone to sleep on til we move.  

     

    All the spare clothing, sandals, bedding, etc are in lofts above the kids cabins, and though we held back just enough of what we thought we'd need til we got there sandals are breaking at a very rapid rate, and now that I don't have easy access to our spare anything suddenly everyone has outgrown their church shoes or can't find their sweatshirt jackets:)  So many things will be changing for these little ones in the next few weeks, and they are embracing it with enthusiasm and joy.  They've all pitched in, scrubbed bins, carried loads, packed the trucks, and helped get ready to move to their new home.  

     


  • Where's the cake?

    I certain spunky unique little princess turned 5 today!!! What a milestone, I remember 5 so well, I was no longer four fingers, but “A whole hand!” Perhaps five is too old to still be holding up fingers when asked by a stranger how old I was, but I happened to be a bit shy and it was easier than speaking;). This spunky little princess did not live at Toddler House last year at this time, she made the move up from the main house in the spring so this would be her first birthday celebration with us. I was excited, probably even more so than her, because it would be the first time I got to bake and decorate a cake for her. I told her this morning that it was her birthday and asked her what colors she’d like her cake to be (all the kids get to pick two colors, something my mother let us do as kids and let’s face it, as “mothers” we all do much of what we do based on what was done for us.) Faland was giddy, and her ever moving body did a little extra jig when she found out that it was her special day and her party would be later that afternoon. She chose red and pink and I set to work creating a masterpiece for her(or at least make something that would sufficiently impress her). Candles placed, finished before 9, I left it in the middle of the kitchen table where no ants would find it until she was free from school. One thing led to another and the day started slipping by. Every child at Toddler House gets their own cake, new birthday outfit, and gifts to celebrate their special day. Well when Faland was on break from school I called her up to try on her new outfit. She slipped it on and in true Faland style did a pirouette swivel and giggled at the way she felt in her new jeans and top. I told her to go up to her room and have a little rest and when quiet time was over she could come up for cake and presents. Well…. An hour later I called her up for her celebration… she ran in breathlessly excited, and Joyce received her with open arms while I frantically searched everywhere for a missing cake!! I panicked and Joyce came to help me look. I knew I hadn’t moved it, where could it possibly be. After a failed search effort Joyce bent down in front of Faland… “dear, have you seen your cake?” To which Faland confidently and radiantly expressed, “yes, I ate the whole thing!!!” It seems because this was her first party, she had thought that the “party” was simply receiving a new outfit and grabbing a cake on your way back out through the kitchen to share with your friends. I was the only one who seemed saddened not to have candles and a song, she simply eyed the wrapped gifts sitting there waiting for her, and we enjoyed “Part 2” of turning 5 together after a brief but tasty intermission.


  • Here We GOOOOO!!!

    Thanks to the generosity of several individuals we have books!  Beautiful, bright, colorful, flip back-and-forth through the pages, smell of printed material books.  The kids cheered as there teachers arrived for the first day of school, chanting Elange, Michaelle, Kiki, and Rose Laure's names and running to greet them with lots of hugs and kisses.  They had a fun vacation but were ready to be back into a more consistent day schedule again.  We have kids in grades Pre-K through 5th grade in our Creole/French program.  

    And kids in grades Pre-K through early 5th grade in Joyce's English program this year.  

    Because of our lower numbers at the house this year all of the kids are getting at least 4 hours of classes with the oldest 7.5 hrs.  There are a few protests from the 3 yr olds who think they need a morning nap still, and a few from the oldest who find classroom work to be a bore, but really all in all we have a very eager group of students and everyone is feeling refreshed and excited to learn!  

    Please keep our teachers in your prayers as they work hard to engage, encourage, and challenge each child individually.  It can be quite difficult with the many learning disabilities and various learning styles they need to incorporate into each class. 

    As always THANK YOU for your support and making a hopeful future possible for these little ones! 

     

  • Toddler House Needs Books!

     

    We have been blessed with lots of donated school supplies in the last several weeks to replenish our teacher's bookshelves and the kids cubbies, gearing up and ready for the beginning of the new school year.  Pencils, Notebooks, Markers, Scissors, Erasers, Pens, Folders, Rulers, Sharpeners, etc.  By the end of last school year we were scraping week by week for for most of those items, so this has been a huge blessing.  But though the supplies are here, the students are (will be) ready, and the teachers are set to arrive at 8am on Monday September 1st we have one major problem...no textbooks.  

    Buying school books in Haiti isn't easy.  All the books are published here in Haiti and though there is one main distributor none of those stores carry more than a handful of their chosen product at a time, making it impossible to show up at the book store and walk away with all of one kind of book needed, let alone more than one subject.  Each August Miss Magaly spends a combined total of 12 or more hours stopping at every bookstore, and street vendor to barter and buy a book here and a book there to fill our teachers' list of needs for their students.  We buy at the start of the school year for the entire 11 months.  Each student requires between 8-12 text book/work books for the year.  For a total of  425 books this year.  Books range in price from 3-5$ USD.  This depending on whether they have answers already written in then from a previous owner, are copy quality, or are sealed books.  We're looking at a bill for our 43 students for 1 year of between 1500-2100$ USD this year.  This is usually pulled from general fund donations.  This year we don't have it.  The kids will not be starting on Monday if we can't get in donations to cover cost of their books.  Unfortunately  there are no free Creole/French curriculums online that our certified Haitian teachers would be able to use, nor do we have the media and copy facilities for them to use them even if that was an option.  If you'd like to buy books for one of our students this year, please make a donation through the donate button at the top of the screen or send a check to the Colorado office.  Mark your donation Toddler House Text Books so we can be sure to count those funds towards our GLA kids' education.  

    As always, THANK YOU, for your generosity and support, its because of you that we can do what we do.  


  • Pool Day Fun!

    The long awaited and highly anticipated "Pool Day" event happened Saturday at Toddler House despite some patchy skies.  The kids and adults alike didn't let a little gray weather get in the way of six full hours of water fun! 

    Join us through photos!

    Psalm 126:2(ESV)
    Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
    then they said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”

      

  • From the Pits

    Joyce has a green thumb. She loves to grow things, especially plants from seed that she’s collected locally. Over the years she’s encouraged the kids in this area as well and they’ve grown everything from tomatoes, peppers, radishes, sunflowers, avocado trees, and passion fruit vines, to pine trees and sugar cane! Four years ago we had a little boy much matured beyond his 8 yrs arrive with his sister to come live with us. He wowed us with his knowledge of agriculture, and his ability and determination to make things grow. After eating a mango one afternoon he declared he was going to plant it and make a new tree. “Well of course, why not? That’s a great idea!” We encouraged, doubtful anything would come of it. Mr Green Thumb carefully selected a spot in the back yard, dug down till he hit a rock, and plopped that pit in the ground. 4 yrs later, that pit is a beautiful thriving 18 ft tall tree!

    Well Joyce used the aftermath of our mango feast several weeks ago as a teachable lesson for our pre-school group. Each of the kids, got their hands dirty (and much more) filling a bag with soil, digging in, and planting their mango pits. They of course had no idea why, at 3 and 4 yrs old its not really something they grasped, but playing in the dirt is fun no matter what the purpose right? Less than a week later Malouzie’s had sprouted. Shortly after Osmaika’s, and within 3 weeks everyone’s trees were up and growing! The kids have loved watching their trees grow. The idea is that eventually most of these trees will be planted on the new Fort Jacques property and provide our own fruit for the future kids of GLA long after these have gone. A few of them area already seeded in the ground just above the Toddler Pods at the site and doing well in the rich soil. It is a way to be more self-sufficient, a way to remember some of the little ones we’ve been blessed to share in life with, and a way to purposefully prepare for the future little ones that will call our’s their home one day, we nurture with hope and anticipation the fruit that will come…

    “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

  • The True Test

    August is summer school holidays for the kids at Toddler House. And every year we try to do fun things to entertain the kids and keep them busy. Some of our current kids have been living with us for 4 ½ yrs now and kind of “know” what they can expect out of school break. One of those things being a trip to Fort Jacques, which they have been asking about nonstop for 2 weeks. So Friday we were given the green light from John & Pat and with the help of EVERYONE here volunteers, adoptive parents, staff, and nannies we managed to pile ALL 43 kids from Toddler House into 5 vehicles and make our way up to Fort Jacques. The kids were pumped. 15 of them had never been before, only heard stories from the kids who had been. But what NONE of them were expecting was the newly finished Toddler House area playground complete with artificial turf. They were “jaw-dropping” A-M-A-Z-E-D… descended the playground stairs surveying all their options… then hit the ground running covering the entire playground within seconds. Sounds of excitement, laughter, and delight echoed in the rock walls as those who put so much time, effort, and energy into creating this oasis watched their masterpiece be enjoyed. It was a true test to all their work, and according to the kids it passed with flying colors. They hopped from teeter totters, to the tire swing, down the slides, on to monkey bars, to the chain swings, and back. Most of them had never felt “grass” before, and they were in awe. They cartwheeled, lounged, rolled, and crawled ALL OVER. It was just incredible to witness their delight, and we are beyond grateful to ALL who saw a vision for this future home play area for the kids, and gave, came, painted, scraped, leveled, nailed, and perfected this amazing oasis.


     

     

  • Better than Candy!

    It's mango season here in Haiti.  A season we all love!  The trees are heavy with ripe sweet fruit, which is trucked all over Port Au Prince from the surrounding country side in heaping taptap pick-ups that would usually be holding 12 passengers.  The produce is divided into baskets and wheel barrows and stacked for sale in a pyramid shape on every market vendors table at for roughly 15 cents US each.  Up in Thomassin the trees are hanging low from the weight and ALL of our neighbors have bushels of the juicy orange deliciousness.   One neighbor brought us a large bag yesterday, and this morning with the help of 3 market ladies (all within a 1/4 mile of the Toddler House) we had enough for every child and nanny to enjoy a mango to themselves.  A little messy;).... but oh so worth the extra laundry.  Wish we could share with all of you! 

  • We go with you...

    Beatice's story started long before the malnourished and neglected 9 year old arrived at our gates almost two years ago. She was full of a spunky vivacious desire for life despite the grim conditions and abuse she had been living in.  It started long before us, with roads, paths, people, faces, love, pain, loss, gain, suffering, and hope... 

    She brought to us her witty humor, compassionate spirit, joyful laughter, and that smile... that smile caught the eye of every individual that had the privilege of meeting her.  "Beatrice, I am Beatrice," she would say, warmly introducing herself to any visiting face who happened to come to the house.  "What's is your name?"   

    Beatrice attended school with us for the first time in her life.  She made no effort to hide her strong disdain of mathematics, but perked up when it was time for Bible.  She had glorious innocent child dreams of Heaven and would often share with us what Heaven would be like how beautiful it is, and what fun things she'd do. Cleaning was her passion, and so was making everyone else tidy up after themselves.  She never stepped off her "leadership" podium, never shied away from voicing a differing opinion that someone elses.  And never ceased asking questions about the big wide world.   

    Like every child Beatrice longed for a place of belonging, a family just hers.  She knew she had one.  She could remember her birth mother whom had come to visit her twice and would call from time while Beatrice lived with us.  At long last on Wednesday morning Beatrice regained her place of belonging in a family who was almost lost to her forever.  Though referred to as "ma petit" or "my child" by her caring nannies here, she beamed with a different sort of pride, peace, and safety as her mother wrapped her arms around her and whispered the endearing title in ear.  Trust.  Complete, total faith and trust in her mother.  She skipped and leapt lovingly kissing those who had been her sisters, brothers, and mothers goodbye.  And her story now continues though we won't always know where or with who it continues we know she is safe & secure in the care of the One who knew her before she breathed her first breath, to whom she has and will always belong.  

    "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."  Matthew 10:29-31



     

  • Field Trip - Destination Fort Jacques

    For the kids at Toddler House trips out, other than on foot through our neighborhood, are a rare thing.  Mostly anticipated with joy, sometimes mixed with a bit of  hesitancy of what they may encounter.  Police?  Hostile strangers who say mean things?  Big dogs?  When the first group is told we're going out, word quickly spreads, and instantaneously a cheer goes up "NOU ALE NAN MACHIN!" - "We're going in the truck!"  and then the questions come by the scores. Where are we going?  Who gets to go? Should I change?  What sandals do I wear?  Will we be back in time for lunch?  Should I use the bathroom one more time before we leave?  

    Last Friday, after the celebration for groundbreaking of the baby house just two days before, Joyce mentioned that the kids had been asking for awhile to go to Fort Jacques.  With it being a quieter day at the house than it had been in weeks we decided to give it a try.  Looking at our list of who would enjoy running around, and could handle the rocky terrain, factoring in how many adults we had to go along and pair up we settled on 33 kids... 60 minutes later we were all loaded into 4 vehicles and ready to go.  It was the first time for some of our younger kids that they had been out on a recreational trip since coming to live with us (aka not an adoption or Dr's appointment).  They were filled with wonder and took in everything they could see, and feel, and hear as we drove by.  Look at that! What is that? Who is that? Where are they going? What are they selling? and of course...LETS GO FASTER!!!  It's always a race to them.  And they cheer for whoever "wins" no matter if they do happen to be the other vehicle of kids that we were intentionally following behind;)  

    Joyce and my original plan involved the kids running around til they were bored at Fort and then piling them back and taking them to a playground on the way home to fill up the rest of the time out.  However there was no hint of boredom among them that morning.   We were blessed to have enough adults among us that we could buddy up each of the "little kids" with one of them and the older kids ran free under our joint supervision.  We introduced a short five item scavenger hunt first which they had no trouble understanding, the winning team pair, Laurore & Carine, bringing in all items within 6 minutes!  Next time we'll have to make a more challenging list!  

    And then... we just let them roam free.  It was amazing to watch them run, run, run outside of cement walls on real dirt and pine needles.  They ventured out and explored everything in this earthy new environment.  Many of them spending quite a bit of time running down into and them climbing up out of the pit that will one day be the foundation of the new baby house.  Wild flowers, blackberries, snails, butterflies, trees, rocks, sticks, dirt and SPACE captured their attention and with wide eyes they wandered.   We drug them away finally just after 12Noon, knowing that due to usual routine within 20 minutes we'd have a large brood of HUNGRY and TIRED little people that would not find the drive down nearly as amusing with rumbly bellies.  Such a successful day!  So much fun by all (well most... Dieudson might disagree there was all together to much puppy interaction).  So thankful for all the willing hands that helped us chaperone and pull it off!  

    "You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you."  Nehemiah 9:6 


  • Christmas Morning 2013

    Just a little glimpse of our Christmas morning.   Living Nativity followed by opening gifts... THANK YOU to ALL who made this possible.  

  • Christmas Fun

    We're ready!  

    We've been celebrating ALL MONTH LONG! 

    Sorry I've been absent...its been BUSY! 

    Take a peak...

  • Happy Thanksgiving from Haiti!

    Happy Thanksgiving from all of us to all of you! 

  • We Love the Change!

  • Preparing for Christmas in Haiti

    Though Christmas is still almost 3 months away Widley has already started to ask on a a daily basis if it is tomorrow.  Which is a great way to remind us that we need to get started planning for their Christmas celebration  here in Haiti.  Since we don’t have the opportunity to run to the store for last minute things we like to start making arrangements well in advance.  Every year since I’ve been at GLA there have been wonderfully gracious hearts, teams, schools, churches, families, and individuals together that desire to help bring a special Christmas season to the kids here at GLA.

    • Some make stockings.
    • Some send craft supplies.
    • Some provide decorations.
    • Someone even brought us a tree last year!
    • Some bring gifts.
    • Some package candy bags.
    • Some send funds for a special dinner.

    We’ve had people fly in specifically just to deliver gifts to make sure they are in here in time for the 25th! (HUGE HEARTS!)

    Every year I am amazed at the giving of others to make the kids’ Christmas here a time of fun, a time of reflection on the birth of our Savior, and a season of light hearted memorable moments.   And every year I am thankful that you, who may not be able to come and physically be a part of the work on the ground here in Haiti are the reason that we are able to do, to provide, and to make a not so ideal group home life seem a little more “family” like in many ways.

    Those of you who have made this possible thank you, truly thank you.  During the busy-ness of the Christmas season I always fail to extend a big enough thank you to explain how blessed we are by your thoughtfulness.  This is a slide show of Christmas from last year.  The toys and gifts were collected and donated by the Thomas Family and kids from CT Homeschool as well as several individuals who came and visited/volunteered in the months preceding.

    If you would like to help us bring a special Christmas to the 64 kids of toddler house (ages 3-11) and 60 kids at the baby house (ages 0-4) please contact me at: molly@glahaiti.org for ways you can help!

    Christmas Countdown

     

     

     

  • Superheroes!

    The kids made superhero wrist bands in school out of toilet paper rolls.  Each chose their special power and made “buttons” to help them achieve these things.  Joyful Miss J, chose Joy as her super power and she had a button shaped like an apple so when she pushed it, everyone could have apples and it would give them joy.
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