As Albright’s first Mission Team to teach English is wrapping up their time in Haiti they are eager to share their journey of this pioneering work with you! As you read of their experiences, prayerfully consider how God would have you be part of ‘Albright’s Partnership with Haiti’.
“We have been blown away by the hospitality of the people of Gens de Nantes.
As we walk to school in the morning, we are greeted with a friendly 'bonjou' or a 'Chou-Chou' from the children. We have learned that this is a special way of saying, 'I love you'.
Our teaching day goes from 8 - 1 with a break in the middle and chapel time at the end of the day. It was so neat to sing the familiar chorus ‘Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God' together in chapel. Margo led half the group in English, while Marillia (Pastor Andre's wife) led the other half in Creole, and we sang the song in a round. What a joy it is to worship together!
We are amazed at how much our students have learned and how thankful they are that we are teaching them. We know that there are many more who are desperate to learn. Classes were originally scheduled to end on Wednesday, but we learned that some of the Haitian teachers taking our class would not be able to attend after Monday, due to a conflict. Not wanting them to miss out, we altered the schedule and held an additional class on Saturday. We will now teach our last class on Monday.
Our meals have been delicious and we have been well fed. Two of our cooks are recovering from chickungunya, a virus carried by mosquitoes, and we have met several people who are suffering from the fever, aches and pains of the disease. Please pray for healing for those afflicted, and for God's continued protection for the team.
We woke up extra early Sunday morning to make the trip to church in Acul des Pins, a community about 6 miles north-west of Gens de Nantes. A few of the team members stayed back as they were not feeling up to the long journey over the mountain, but we were joined by Pastor Andre and our translator, Willie.
In Acul de Pins, the church is located a short ways off the main road, bordered by a lush tropical landscape all around. Our team was given seats on stage and we were pleasantly surprised to have a fan oscillating above us. The church service was just over three hours long and included Sunday school, prayers, singing and a message from both the local Pastor and Pastor Andre. As the service ended we were warmly greeted with hugs and handshakes from the congregation; we felt such joy in their church. Afterwards, the team took a walk down to visit the family who received a new house last year, financed through Albright donations. It is set in a beautiful area, tucked away from the main street.
Returning to Gens de Nantes, we enjoyed a delicious supper of fish and chips. There is lots of preparation to do before Monday’s last day of class. We are excited to celebrate with our students, but we know saying goodbye will be hard.
The last day of teaching was emotional. It’s Graduation Day! A special celebration was held in the chapel where each class sang a song that they had prepared. Each student was presented with a ‘Certificate of Completion’ and class photos were taken.
There was a special presentation of Creole Storybook Bibles and a gift of school supplies for each school represented in our classes. We also awarded ESL Dictionaries to the students we felt could best use them.
The students sang for us in gratitude and many wanted to speak in front of the group and give thanks. Team Leader, Laurie, spoke on behalf of our teaching team and told our students how humbled we were to teach them and how thankful we were to God for the opportunity to come to Gens de Nantes. She also encouraged them to share their resources and to continue practicing their English.
We encourage you to join us in praying for these students - that they would have opportunities to continue learning and practicing their English, as many have a deep desire to do.”
As the team now prepares for a trip to Cape Haitian before traveling back to Puerto Plata on Thursday, we ask for your prayers for overall health of our team and for safe travels.”