Easter Week Celebrations! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
We had a very meaningful Holy Week with the kids last week celebrating Easter. We’re a few days late but we would be remiss not sharing some of their activities and joy with you. We spread the activities out all week long so that that they could enjoy them more individually.
Early in the week we had a traditional egg hunt first for the toddlers then for the older kids. The toddlers patiently waited in their classroom while Kiki, Rose Laure, Simby, Nelson, and Myriam all hid eggs around the playground. While they filed downstairs and waited to receive instruction, but before they were allowed to start, Herson was already declaring that he knew where the eggs were. Jameson was certain he would find 10, and Dave declared that he was going to find a yellow one. Wensley was the only child who thought to climb up to the top of the slide to look for eggs. He was rewarded with a jackpot and then took the quickest route back down to continue to search for more. Here we usually don’t hide the eggs with candy already in them because as soon as the littlest kids realize there are candies in the eggs they are satisfied with one, and sit down to enjoy their sweet. Instead, we hide them all empty and then the kids trade them in for candies afterward. They stood in line pretending to count their eggs in the bag (though nearly impossible since most had multiple layers in their bag). Kerlin was so pleased with himself when he got to the front of the line to trade them in he didn’t even wait for Myriam to count them. He proudly turned his bag upside down and dumped them into the holding basket. Myriam was very generous with the candy. Regardless of how many eggs each child found she traded them for hands full of chocolate, definitely making her the hero of the hour.
The group then again hid all 200 eggs in the forest area of the property. The big kids were quick climbing around the hillside, and found 201 eggs within 15 minutes. The plus one was a real pigeon egg that must have fallen from its nest some time ago. Cristiano discovered it and brought it to Myriam wondering why it didn’t look like the rest of the brightly colored plastic ones. While Watson enjoyed his chocolates, having eaten them all by bedtime, Marie has been saving them and slowly enjoying them each day since. Dave and Frandy, who participated in the first hunt, benefitted from Dinel’s generosity as loyal to his character he kindly shared his chocolates with others.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6
On Wednesday Elange and Kiki shared the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection with the kids in each of their class, and we later dyed hard boiled eggs. Many of the kids remembered it from last year. The middle group mixed the dye beads into vinegar and watched it bubble until it disappeared. For the first year that we can every remember not one child tried to bite into their egg – shell and all, however we did end up rescuing quite a few from having rolled off the table and onto floor. Elange and Exuméne even got creative and dyed a few. The popular designs in crayon this year were people, suns, flowers, and of course classic kid “squiggles”. A few of the kids drew specific friends at GLA, and one little boy drew pictures of his adoptive mom and dad. The kids were quite proud of their creations, and equally pleased with how good they tasted the next morning for breakfast when Ghislaine served them with red creole sauce and bread.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3
On Thursday a local group from the Child Evangelism Fellowship in Port Au Prince came up to host a morning camp with the kids sharing the gospel and incorporated fun songs and games. This is the first time a group from CEF has come up to GLA and we were all very blessed by their passion for Christ and for kids! We look forward to future visits and further fun teaching.
Saturday the 9 oldest kids (with a few adult helpers) spent 2 hours making and bagging enough popcorn to feed all their friends, caregivers, and the support staff. The kids’ kitchen was occupied while Adeline prepared the afternoon meal, so the kids came up to the secondary kitchen to cook. While there it poured torrential rains on the tin roof and between the popping corn, rain drops on the roof, and the excited chatter of high-pitched voices I think we were all a bit hard of hearing in the end. The kids did a fantastic job taking turns putting oil and kernels in the pot, listening for it to start popping, alerting an adult when it stopped popping, and sprinkling on salt. The first “salter” got a little carried away. To avoid that happening to the rest we filled up a small shaker with just the right amount of salt to be sprinkled on each batch. When we were finished, it was still raining too hard to walk back to the kids’ area, so they hitched a ride in the SUV from the upper property to the lower property to eat a late lunch. Later in the evening they set up the school room with chairs from all three classrooms and “hosted” the rest of the GLA kids and their caregivers for the Easter Story as told in video through the “Story Keepers”.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Resurrection Sunday dawned cool and fresh. We rose early and made fresh hot cross buns for everyone at breakfast. Political tensions and random social disturbances have become quite common in cities near us so we are very cautious with how often we leave the compound and where we take the kids. Because of that we are not attending the local church in person, but instead we joined @rendezvouschrist.rvc for their worship service and Easter message in Creole. Afterwards we YouTubed more creole worship and the kids and their caregivers spent an hour praising Jesus and celebrating His victory over death. We all left with uplifted spirits and renewed hope in our hearts despite the heaviness in the world we experience here daily. We hope you all found a meaningful way to revel in the sweet truth of Christ’s love for you and His sacrifice made on the cross to free us from the penalty of our sin that one day we might dwell in His presence forever more.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;’” John 11:25