The following was written by Mark and Jill Bell:
Loving Haiti has never had anyone here at Christmastime, so this is a new experience for us. And Day #1 has been a whirlwind.
We arrived in Pignon yesterday noon, and it was with rising joy that we approached the landing strip in our little 5-seater airplane.
As we entered the LH compound, we were greeted by the older boys – such a happy reunion! They have all grown so much since our last visit. After a bite of lunch, we were invited to attend the preschool/kindergarten program. The teachers and children worked very hard to put on an almost 2! hour program, with lots of loud singing, play-acting the story of Christ’s birth, handing out of small gifts, and the handing out of 45 evaluations/folders, one for each student. Afterward the teachers had a small celebration and Pastor handed out some gifts to them from one of Denny’s former high school students. The gifts included 2 French/English dictionaries – Pastor Francois is so very proud to have begun this Kindergarten program that will include the children learning French and English, which will help them as they move through the next levels of school in Haiti.
Today we awoke to Pastor Francois holding conference with some women from the Choir Committee. Then there was a steady stream of visitors, i.e. people in need, through the early afternoon. We were blessed to be able to give the widows, who come weekly for food (thanks Corvallis Tribe!), an extra cash gift – they were visibly appreciative.
We then gave the older children a Christmas money gift from a Loving Haiti supporter and the Kids Who Care Club, and they headed out to the busy Saturday market to make purchases. They wore very big smiles as they left the compound:-)
Also, Nurse Nanette came from the hospital to treat the children. She comes twice a week to provide medical care – yahoo! Something new and so very needed here at the Children’s Home.
In-between Pastor’s meetings with the folks who came through his gates, he took us down for a closer look at the new school, the property around the church, and his home being built; we were able to discuss priority projects as he sees it and as we see it.
Being here for just a little over 24 hours has confirmed the love we have for these people, the great work that is being done through Loving Haiti’s partnership with Pastor Francois, and the need for regular visits in order to keep growing our relationships here. Thanks to all of you who support us through your giving, your prayers, your encouragement. We appreciate you!