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My “Old” Friend

This was an extra special week for me, personally, here at Mission of Hope International. Rev. Cheryl (Vasil) Minor and I go way back to 5th grade. We were in the same middle school and high school. We never really “hung out” together, but we were both passionate about music and played/sang together for years. We hadn’t seen each other in 30 years when we found each other on Facebook. Apparently, Cheryl liked what she was seeing of our work in Haiti and, along with her husband, Rev. Paul Minor, they formed a team from their church (All Saints Church, Belmont, MA) to serve at MOHI.

Our friends from the All Saints Church in Belmont, MA

The team raised money to purchase over 300 recorders – the musical instruments – and they set out to teach our students what to do with them. I was amazed at the work they were able to do with our students. They were singing out do-re-mi’s and rhythms, while learning how to read quarter and eighth notes and play the notes on their recorders. The team also did singing and story time with our preschool, first and second grade classes. On Friday, the entire preschool and primary school came together in the chapel for a concert. There was singing and musical accompaniment on the recorders and we celebrated a birthday. I was amazed at the way they were able to hold the children’s attention throughout their time together.

Story time and music instruction

Our first ever primary school concert at the MOHI school in Thozin

Most Haitian children do not have the opportunity to study music or learn to play an instrument. Consequently, those who do tend to be seen as a bit superior to everyone else. In this regard, I am just overly thrilled that our entire primary school was exposed to learning to sing, read music and play an instrument this week. The recorders will stay at the school and I hope that in the future we will have many more opportunities to teach our students and begin to cultivate those who are actually gifted in this area. Imagine how many truly gifted musicians never get the opportunity to engage their talents. I trust the Lord has begun a great work in our schools that will reap a love of making music!

Cheryl (Vasil) Minor with the primary students, as they prepared for their concert

We enjoyed taking the team to some different places around town, Taino Beach, The Hands and Feet Project, Haiti Made, Be Like Brit, La Foia Block Factory, our St Etienne campus and the MOHI village of homes that you, our friends and supporters have built for families in need.

Everyone was so excited when the team chose a class to sponsor, on behalf of the church – especially the students IN that class!

The team from All Saints Church with their newly sponsored class

We can always make time for snuggling!

We had a special invitation to dinner with our Sri Lankan friends at the UN Base. It was so kind of them to accommodate all 15 of us. We all enjoyed hearing more about Sri Lanka, playing pool, talking politics and eating some hot and spicy Sri Lankan food. YUM!

A great evening at the UN

While we enjoyed the team from All Saints Church, lots of work was still going on around us. Cabinets/tables/counters /desks were being fabricated, electricity was being wired, bathrooms were being plumbed, drainage was being installed, sermons were being preached, the sick were being treated, exams were being taken, classes were being taught, soccer, dance and karate were being practiced… That’s but the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few pictures from the past couple of weeks:

Let’s see if we can stop the flooding!

laptop fun time

MOHI Medical Clinic

Livening up the rockers

Building cabinets in the school and clinic

New bathrooms and an office

Demolishing the Kreyol urinals. YAY!!!

This morning in Thozin

We will be starting our Women’s Conference Thursday night. Please remember to pray for this special time of ministry with Sister Rita Pereira as our keynote speaker. We are also expecting the G3 team from the Worcester area of Massachusetts. They come each year and are a blessing – especially in our medical ministry. Again, your prayers are appreciated.

I often feel like saying “thank you” is so minute, compared to the enormity of what our partners are enabling to happen here in Haiti. Nevertheless, I will say it again, with all of my heart, THANK YOU!!!

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