My Grandpa asked me last week “Stephen, how do you think the change in roles affected your time in Haiti these last 3 months?”
You see, when we arrived we weren’t sure if we would be teaching (like we had done in the past) or overseeing a classroom taught by DVDs, or if our main focus would be more on the discipleship/youth leaders/more-time-for-Mikey/technical skills training. Sure enough, that’s what our role was. We didn’t know how that would affect us, or the kids, but we had been praying that our roles could be more along these lines. We saw how valuable education was, but last fall when Anna’s hand got an infection that required us to fly out for surgery, we (and the mission) realized that the kids needed Haitians to oversee the Abeka Video School program so it could continue even when we could not be there.
We saw the great need for youth leaders to connect, disciple, and just do life with these 30 kids as they grow up. Anna wanted more time to be able to spend with Mikey. I wanted more time to teach the boys mechanics class. So it worked out.
As I look through the pictures on my phone I am reminded of all the fun times that we have had with these kids. So this next section is going to be an over view of my phone’s camera roll over the last 3 month.
When we would try and explain to the younger ones that we would be gone for 5 months over the summer so that Shaggy (that’s what they call me) can go to school to be a pilot they had a hard time understanding that. They would say “Ray and Bonnie always leave for one month, why will you be gone for 5 of those?” So you all know, Lord willing, we plan to return back to Haiti this fall to continue working with these guys that we have grown to love.
On our last Saturday there, instead of having Bible study at our house we wanted to leave the oldest class of 8 with an idea for what they could continue to do for the summer when we are not there. We all met in their classroom and challenged them to do this every week until we come back in the fall. Pray for them to be faithful in this time. It was such a good time we had there that night, being serous and taking prayer seriously. (something that doesn’t always happen)
So to answer my grandpa’s question I told him, “Well Grandpa, with these new roles we have really been able to grow deeper in our relationships with the kids. We are getting to know their individual personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and how to relate to them on their level better. And the hardest thing we are realizing is, wow, we are sure going to miss them.”