January 19 - 21, 2015
Today was a busy, but wonderful day. We got up early and brought all our bags and teaching supplies to be packed into the van for the drive to Haiti. We took over 150 children’s pictures at Ebenezer School in record time, with everyone doing their part. Since we didn’t have the opportunity to see Ebenezer classes last week, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to observe the opening ceremony then be able to quickly visit the preschool and elementary classes. Ruth and the kitchen staff served us a filling Dominican breakfast for the long journey and we left around 9:30 a.m.
Crossing the border into Haiti was an unforgettable experience! To compound the activity, Monday is market day and so many retailers were there with bulk goods to sell. There didn’t seem to be any order to this process and so many vehicles were trying to squeeze into such a small area at the same time. Pastor Herve and the Haitian School Board calmly led us through the chaotic experience and we continued into Haiti.
We arrived about 2:00 p.m. at the Mission Center and quickly dropped off our luggage, gathered teaching materials and headed to the Teachers’ Academy to begin the first day of lessons. Ellionaire introduced us and the teachers sang a song to welcome us. The room was beautifully decorated with ribbons, balloons and flowers. Instead of keeping the group together this year, we divided into two smaller groups of about 30 each. Bev taught a lesson on how to incorporate music and movement into their classrooms while Sharon taught a lesson on mathematics using the place value manipulatives and rulers that will be left at the schools. Nicole and Sherry reviewed Piaget’s concepts on learning and demonstrated parachute activities. The students at the teacher school loved trying out all these activities. The parachutes and balls will also be left at the schools and Judy gave a lesson about the basics of public speaking.
Waking up today, it felt somewhat bittersweet knowing it was our last full day here on this island that, for the past week, has truly felt like home. However, the last day of teaching surely didn’t disappoint. We visited the school Dupin today. This school has an amazing hike through small villages, across a stream, and up a mountain. Once we arrived we got straight to teaching. I personally taught an English lesson today to fifth and sixth graders (about 42 students). Since their English knowledge is little to none, I started with a lesson on teaching them their numbers and played a counting game, and ended with a lesson on family and created family trees. The students seemed to especially enjoy hearing me try to pronounce some of their family members’ names. It was an amazing experience to interact with the children and be a part of their education. After that we finished up our day at MPCA teaching language and math classes. Reflecting back on this week I have seen God’s hand at work in so many ways. It won’t ever matter how many times He brings me back to the same island, I continue to stand in awe of His majesty.
Last night as I was preparing for my lesson, my devotional reading said this:
“Our Lord Jesus differs from all other teachers. They reach the ear, but He instructs the heart. They deal with the outward letter, but He imparts an inward taste for the truth, by which we perceive its savor and spirit. The most unlearned of individuals become ripe scholars in the school of grace.”